Our gifts for Mission & Service support community ministries as well as Healing Fund projects like the weekly sharing circle at St. Matthews Maryland. This community ministry offers health and wellness programs to meet basic needs and help families thrive.
One of the programs is a weekly sharing circle led by an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, followed by a simple lunch.
One participant describes her experience there:
The Elder opened the sharing circle with a prayer and lit some sage, one of the traditional medicines used by Indigenous peoples. When sage is burned, the smoke cleanses a person’s body, mind, and spirit so they can put aside their worries and be present. Also, it is believed that smoke can carry a person’s prayers to the Creator.
Once the circle opened, we all took turns sharing anything we wanted. The Elder taught us about the Anishinaabe Creation Story, and later we talked about what we learned.
After the sharing circle we had lunch. The bannock was delicious! I was happy to chat with one of the Indigenous participants who was a long way from home on the west coast of British Columbia. She first came to St. Matthews Maryland three years ago looking
for services, and the warm reception encouraged her to return for programming. Eventually, she started to volunteer and built her confidence as a helper.
I was grateful to them for providing such a safe place for the participants to build relationships, learn about health issues, and support their goals for health and wellness.
Your generosity through Mission & Service helps create a world where everyone belongs and where we take care of each other so no one is hungry or alone. Your gifts truly do make a difference. Thank you for giving generously. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of Mission & Service.
Your enthusiasts : Cheryl Palylyk & Deborah Holowka
Photos for every Minute are available online at www.flickr.com/photos/UnitedChurchCda