Are you looking for a way to make a difference but you’re really busy? Don’t do night meetings? Have an erratic schedule? Don’t drive? Just plain tired? Have we got a group for you!
Epiphany’s “Friends Indeed” is a low stress but much appreciated way to get involved.
The group began fourteen years ago, in the midst of an interim period. A new parishioner had asked Cynthia Hubbard, our Interim Rector, for help. She was working full-time as a nurse and didn’t yet know anyone in town. Her elderly father was ill and needed to move in with her. She couldn’t get his hospital bed delivered because she couldn’t stay home from work to wait for it. Could the church help?
We realized that although many of us worked hard for a number of volunteer causes and Epiphany had an active ministry to elderly who are home bound, we didn’t have an organized way to respond to emergency requests. We needed a way to notice and respond when Parishioners needed a helping hand due to illness, accident, or bereavement, a sick child, a new baby, and other unforeseen situations.
Cynthia turned the job over to the newly reconstituted Pastoral Care Committee where former Parishioner, Jody Clark, observed that “a friend in need is a friend indeed!” And with that, the Friends in Deed were born.
Over the years, the “Friends” have responded to many opportunities to share love and support with other Parishioners. We’ve sent cards, brought flowers or cookies, and delivered countless casseroles. We’ve given rides to medical appointments (and in one case to seminary classes!), and have taken those unable to drive out for adventures. We’ve sat with the dying so a spouse could have an opportunity to go out. On occasion we’ve mowed lawns and done laundry. We’ve gone to the pharmacy, the bank, and the post office, and picked up groceries. Once we planted window boxes for a friend weak from cancer. There have been casseroles for families with new babies, and on one occasion, babysitting for the older sibs. We’ve even walked the dog!
Joining the friends is a great way to bring happiness and comfort to others and it’s a good way to make new friends. This is a great example of “many hands make light work.” We receive requests directly from the weekly Staff Meetings, through Sarah Twiss, who communicates with the Friends Coordinator for that month. The Coordinator sends a group e-mail to all Friends. (This is how you can find out who the other Friends are - and we’ll try to wear our “ask me” tags on Sundays). Those who are available volunteer as they are able. Some Friends volunteer every month, some a few times a year. We don’t have scheduled “on call” weeks, we just respond as the Spirit moves. It may be someone you know or it may be someone who lives near you whom you’ve never met - you’ll know when it’s the job for you.
In words attributed to St. Theresa of Avila,
“Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Join the Friends in Deed - you won’t regret it!
Submitted by Joy Cass