This past Friday, after the shaking had stopped, and the assessment and cleanup had begun, I was so grateful to walk through the St. John building to find no real damage. Judith Goodrum, our preschool director was onsite during the quake, and spent some time cleaning up the bits that needed it.
Later that day, I received a phone call from one of our members, Cathie Clements. Cathie works for RURAL CAP and told me that one of their facilities, Karluk Manor had been without electricity, water, and heat for over 8 hours. Karluk Manor is a facility that works to help transition people from chronic homelessness and alcoholism into a more sustainable way of life.
She asked if St. John might be a safe place for these residents to spend the night. Of course, the answer was, “YES.”
In less than an hour, we had the building unlocked and ready for our guests. Robbie Brawner, our youth pastor, did a lot of organizing of volunteers, from cooks and servers, to musicians and entertainers, to Bingo callers and people just willing to visit with our guests.
Sal, from Sal’s New York Grill also came with his family, donating lots of food and time.
As I witnessed so many St. John members step forward to host our neighbors from Karluk Manor, I admit I was humbled. I was moved to tears. I was PROUD.
This weekend St. John, you proved that you are the church who you profess to be, loving neighbor as Jesus commanded. Never in my life have I felt more blessed to serve as a pastor. Never in my life have I felt such humility at your selfless actions and love.
From the bottom of my heart, St. John, I thank you, and I love you.
Your fellow disciple,