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  • Joan Armitage

Serving Christ as an SJC volunteer


‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it for me.’ – Matthew 25:40

On Saturday 22 July, eight members of the Canberra Rotary Club, the irrepressible John Kent from St Peter’s Weston and I, sought grocery donations for St John’s Care outside Woolworths, at Majura Park, from 9 am to 4.30pm. Volunteer collectors were rostered on for around three hours.

The day began quietly, revved up in the middle, and then quietened down after 2.30 pm. As a result, St John’s Care now has around 75 bags of groceries and over $550 in cash donations.

Many spoke of how pleased they were to find a place where they could donate food. One person spoke of this cold winter. He wanted to help those ‘doing it tough’.

Another touching scene was a very young blind girl, with her white stick, accompanied by her grandmother, feeling the trolley so she could add her donation. A different memorable scene was a toddler who kept wailing “goodbye peanut butter” as her mother took her away.

It is important that someone from St John’s Care is there to receive people’s generous donations and to say thank you (I add ‘bless you’).

I know the Wednesday ‘back room’ team at St John’s Care will be so pleased to see the stack of shopping to be unpacked and put on the shelves. As a member of that team we never mind a very busy morning doing this.

Why do I volunteer at St John’s Care? I see my faith journey being a bit like the two sides of a coin. One side concerns my personal relationship with God and Christ, through prayer, study, worship, leading worship and meditation. The other side includes my volunteering at St John’s Care.

For the present, at this time, I believe I am called to serve those who Christ challenged us to care for in Matthew 25:31-43 and Mark 10:45 - Christ came ‘not to be served but to serve.’ These two passages have resonated with me since I was a young child. I give thanks to St John’s Care for the opportunity to serve in this way.

Joan is an 8.00am parishioner, a Lay Minister, a volunteer at St John’s Care and the Schoolhouse Museum and is a leader of the Christian Meditation Group that meets in the side chapel of the church Wednesdays at 5.00pm.

#faith #volunteer #serve

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