Co-Presidents' Monthly Column

September 2019        



I write this piece for our newsletter looking out at Alewife Cove from my deck on a day the local weather news described as a “delightful summer day.” It is Sunday and I have just returned from church where peace candles were lit for two mass shootings during the past week and for the laborers arrested in an ICE raid in Mississippi.

Shadows and Light

Against the background of darkness in our nation I sat in church smiling at Mark Samos’ stories of friends, honor, and Greek identity and Karen Ethier-Waring’s reflections on the sacredness of food for the body and the soul. After the service we wrote postcards to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to urge him to let bills on gun reform get to the Senate floor.

And still: Shadows and Light

I contemplate the words “I give to the work of All Souls” and how in the best of times and the worst of times I look to our church to sustain me. I give to the work of All Souls –we give to the work of All Souls.

What is the work? Why do we give?

I’d like to share a story from this past week that many of you may not have heard. I believe it serves as an example of our work. At her office, co-president Laurel Holmes was approached by a fellow social worker about a difficult case. A young mother was in labor with her second child. Her husband, here on a student visa (enrolled in a graduate school program) had returned to their home country to take care of some issues. Sadly, he was denied reentry into the United States. The young mother was alone and had no one to care for her thirteen-month old son. Laurel reached out to Carolyn. Describing what happened next to All Souls’ Board members she said that there was a whirlwind of calls, texts, pleas, and finally, offers of help. Meals were organized, car seats secured, toys and books delivered. But most of all, Carolyn stepped up.  She met and reassured the woman –soon to have a child- wrapped up the little boy, and took him to her own home. When Carolyn needed to attend an important meeting the next morning (and Kate had a previous commitment) Ginny Campbell came and stayed with him.  That evening, he transitioned to another family who offered their care and hospitality so that Carolyn and Kate could leave for a long-planned vacation.

I had the privilege of meeting the little lad. His bright smile and glowing eyes were the highlight of my week!

This is an example of the work of All Souls reflecting our mission to “create a welcoming, caring, justice-seeking community within and beyond our walls”.

Next month we will take up the first of three mission offerings discussed at our annual meeting. To remind, we had a budget shortfall in what we raised versus what we need.  The Board and Stewardship Team proposed three offerings throughout the course of the year to close that gap. 

I urge everyone to step up and contribute as much as you are able remembering that, “our work weaves the fabric of love called community.”  Look for more information in next month’s newsletter. 

Shadows and Light

Our unified efforts do create light that pushes back the shadows of fear and hate.