By Cleo Cyr
The question was not simply 'how do we continue our current outreach missions?' but also 'what else can we do?' — and the parishioners of Holy Trinity in the Parish of Hammond River responded to both!
The soup mission which has provided 350 meals to Romero House once a month for nine years, as well as donations to the KV food bank, were easy missions to continue and haven't missed a beat. However, we felt the need to do more for both parishioners and others.
During the early phase of the pandemic, a group of volunteers formed to send cheerful cards and notes to all parishioners and other people who were in our thoughts and prayers.
The rector, Rev. Michael O'Hara, his wife, Sheila, as well as other parishioners also decided to make phone calls and touch base with those young and old. As well, the weekly ZOOM 'Coffee Times' started by Michael have become special moments where we are able to see each other and comment about hair length, and hair colour (or lack of) and generally 'catch up' with each other's lives. Continuing a study of the 'Liturgy of the Ordinary' through ZOOM and having a recorded online Sunday morning prayer service have also been welcome additions.
However, the question remained 'what else can we do?' That was when the 'Sandwich Brigade' was conceived. We contacted Wendy Pottle, the director of operations and outreach at Outflow Ministry, who then contacted Kara Carline as she manages meals and food distribution at the centre — and the rest is history.
We have 12 families from Holy Trinity and four family friends who make sandwiches, casseroles and baked goods for Outflow on a weekly basis. Through social distancing, the 'goods' are dropped off in a drop box at one person's home and then taken all together to Outflow.
Kara then shares the food donations with Outflow as well as the Coverdale Centre for Women and Romero House.
We may not be able to share a meal physically with others, but we pray that a bit of 'nourishment' from a few helps in some small way.
PHOTO CAPTION: Kara Carline manages meals and food distribution at Outflow Ministry in Saint John, which has benefitted from the generosity of parishioners in the Parish of Hammond River. Submitted photo