Giving and Thanks

What good can one small church do? Quite a lot, apparently! Article by the Rev. Shelly Banner, priest-in-charge at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Pulaski.

It was three days before Thanksgiving and St. James’ was bustling. In the office was Karen, on volunteer secretarial duty, catching every free dinner order. In walks John, having finished a survey of all the people working on Thanksgiving, so dinner could be delivered to them in the pharmacies, the ambulance corps, the urgent care, the grocery store and the like. All 84 people would receive dinners. Then he went into the sanctuary to remove altar paraments, hymnals, kneelers, altar chairs, flower stand and the prayer votive stand. All of this done to assist (and maybe shorten the time) the repair personnel who start the ceiling repair on November 29th.

The first of the 25 turkeys were smelling delicious with the able kitchen crew led by Marilyn H., including Fran and Sharon, Cathy and Ken, Jackie and Dave. While they commandeered the kitchen, Maureen was busy designing and printing the stickers to go on the Thanksgiving takeout packages. Another crew doubled up to sort and inventory office files with Ken and Jim, while Tammy hauled out the Advent wreath and stand, filled the candles and got us in good stead for Advent 1.

Meanwhile in the hallway outside the priest’s office, Cathy, Shelly and Dave checked all the 21 bath kits and personal care kits destined to be delivered to Interfaith Works for incoming refugee resettlement families. A few kits were missing an item or two, so dutifully Ken and Dave and Marilyn purchased what was needed. Dave made several trips to the store, prompting the checkout clerk to ask him if he was finished after his third trip, or would he be back again later! Dave volunteered to drive them to InterFaith Works.

Everyone was getting hungry, so Marilyn went to pick up pizzas from Fastrac. Who knew they make good pizzas beside Jim? Everyone took a break and then after some jovial conversation, everyone got back to work, some deboning turkeys, some starting more turkeys and some labeling the tubs of kits for Interfaith Works. It takes a community to prepare all these items, and St. James’, Pulaski has many diligent souls upholding servanthood. On Thanksgiving Day, 300 meals were given away to people in need of any kind. Among all the myriad of blessings I acknowledge in the season set aside for Thanksgiving, I count the community of St. James’, Pulaski a very large blessing.

Showing 2 comments
  • Jim Ridgeway

    We have a fantastic Priest bringing us the word of Christ, and as the book of James states so beautifully, faith without deeds is dead. This little church is very alive. We heard the words of our Bishop, “ Bring it”!

    • Meredith Sanderson

      Jim—love this reminder of that sermon, love this comment, and love St. James’! Thanks!!

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