When God Calls

Servant’s Heart from the desk of a deacon

As I talk to different people, the one question that I continue to hear is: “How could God allow this to happen?”

We all have choices to make, as we did at the beginning of this pandemic. We looked at how governments across the world handled the beginning of this crisis. No one knew how it would change our lives for either the short or long term. We still don’t.

I do believe however, that God is using it for the good of all. We are seeing racism, uprisings in many countries and cracks in our homes for the elderly, all of which demand our attention. Not the least of which is how we are now doing Church and the ministries which are attached to it. This is a difficult time for all of us.

As I ponder all of this, there are also blessings to be recognized. Life as I had known it came to an abrupt halt at the beginning of this pandemic. I had time to reflect about what I had been doing and where my minis- tries would go from here.

At first it was a time to rest but as time went on, it became obvious that there were ministries waiting to be taken up, but in a new way.

The first thing I reflected upon was how we would continue with the Free Store, our program to offer clothing and light housewares to those in need in the community.

Just because there was a health issue did not mean that people were not still suffering and in need. I discussed this with our Priest who thought that using the Free Store as a collection point for agencies that interacted with the vulnerable might be something to consider.

This had to be something that would be COVID safe, as well as create a safe way for people to drop off donations. We checked with 12 agencies to see what their response to this would be and were so pleased by the positive feedback. And so we began the Free Store as a collection depot.

These agencies are given a specific time to come and collect any amount of items they might need in a six- week period. The items in turn are given to those who come to the agencies in search of help. There are two volunteers who restock Free Store items and to make sure everyone is following COVID protocols when they come to pick up items.

At any one time, there are no more than five people in the store. The store is held on the stage in our Church Hall which allows for space to distance.

We have a specific date and time for people to drop of donations which are left for a week before sorting is done. To this point we have had all the donations we need to continue operating the store.

Did God cause this pandemic? I do not believe so, but our loving Father is showing us the places in our communities and all over the world where we need to change and embrace all those who are suffering from a multitude of issues. We need to show our love as well as our willingness to help in anyway we can.

We are called once again to make this earthly home an inclusive, caring and loving home for all.

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:3


  • Patricia Simons

    The Rev Patricia Simons is a deacon serving the people of St. Saviour’s Penticton.

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