The Oasis - July 24, 2019
Author: Rev. Estelle Margarones
July 24, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones
Just over a month ago, I had the opportunity to both bear witness to God’s grace and to experience it myself. I, along with Joanne Myers and Susan and Ray Mancinelli, joined folks from St. George’s Episcopal Church and the York-Ogunquit Methodist Church at Portsmouth Pride. Together, we were the Welcoming Churches of York. After the parade, we three pastors offered blessings to those walking by. These were profoundly moving—for the recipients and the pastors!
I was particularly struck by the tears that poured forth time and again as people mentioned how much it meant to them that ‘the church’ was there at Pride. The honesty and depth of emotion that people let us see was indeed a gift. Had it been only one person affected this way, it would have been worth going, but it was so much more. It’s astounding how much of a difference you can make just by showing up. If I helped to take God’s love out into the world, I surely received more than I gave.
After Pride, I decided to go to BJ’s Wholesale. I needed gas and a snack. Something in my demeanor tipped off the gentleman working at the deli counter and he remarked that I must be hungry. “Yes,” I said using a superlative, “I’m starving!” He didn’t miss a beat, but gave me two slices of the Buffalo/Jack cheese I’d just ordered and then (even as I was still thanking him), he walked over to the other machine and got me two thick slices of ham.
I’m still so grateful for his kindness. We continued to chat as he prepared the rest of my order and I told him that I enjoyed speaking with him and that I was getting great sermon material from it. He said, “No, this isn’t sermon material. There are many other people out there doing far greater things than I. They are sermon-worthy--I’m not.“ That’s where I beg to differ.
There are many ways to have an impact upon the world. All you have to do is see the need and respond to it. You could cure a disease, become an astrophysicist, write legislation….or you could work in the deli department at BJ’s Wholesale Club and give a hungry person something to eat.
Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…”
First Parish Vision Statement: “Following the way of Jesus, we aspire to authentically invite, courageously include, and generously serve all with compassion and grace.”