My Time on the Outreach Committee

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, February 10, 2019

By: Nancy Sebren Bell

In Luke 6:31 we read, “and as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” I remember as a very young child my parents translated this relentlessly as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  This message, thanks to my parents, became a ‘cornerstone’ for our life and faith. The interpretation of this message transcends age groups; I said it to my own children and, as a senior, I still hold the message close to my heart.

In 2010, I retired from decades of teaching and hoped to become involved in outreach programs. One Saturday soon after I joined St. Mary’s I decided to go to an outreach event, “Stop Hunger Now.” God certainly had a hand not only in my decision to go but also had a definite idea of the group with whom I should become involved. The Betts and Mickel families greeted me with open arms. That morning “jump started” my love of St. Mary’s and my future participation in outreach programs. As I left that memorable morning, I was on an Altar Guild team and headed for the Outreach Committee.

As the years unfolded, I had the incredible opportunities as an Outreach Committee member. When David asked me recently what my best Outreach Committee memory had been, I quickly answered the year Nancy Kristofak and I helped with CARITAS. I was astounded with the outpouring parish response for CARITAS and for the sincerity and enthusiasm of actual participation. As the years passed, I saw that same caring, intentional response to MANY outreach programs, small and large.

The Outreach Committee works exceptionally hard to listen, to contemplate, and to investigate the ways we, as individuals and as a parish, can “do unto others…”  I feel we are making huge, positive strides to include all age groups of our wonderful St. Mary’s parishioners in outreach opportunities. As we have implemented a grant process, we can see a future where we are not only giving financial support to organizations but also enjoying ongoing relationships with those recipients and thereby with the larger community.

I feel extremely blessed to have been a part of this committee. My faith has deepened and widened by programs inside St. Mary’s and outside in our community and in the world. It seems to me God is leading St. Mary’s to continue to honor and practice the words found in Luke 6:31.