Dear Intown Family,
I hope this finds you well and coping with the circumstances thrust upon us by the spread of the coronavirus. We find ourselves living through a most unusual page of our lives, one that has seemed to both separate and bind us together at the same time. It is the hope and prayer of the deacons that, even while physically separated, that we as a body can continue to draw closer together – both by serving and opening ourselves up to be served – as we encounter difficulties created by social-distancing directives.
To that end, I wanted to offer a reminder about the existence of the Deacons Fund, which serves to assist members and regular visitors through financial crises caused by job loss or reduction, unplanned medical costs or other emergency situations. The fund has aided numerous members through times of need, and we are already aware of members in our church family who are facing financial difficulty or could be soon.
If you find yourself in such a state, I do hope you will connect with us through Dave Sawchuk, Intown’s executive director of operations, or any member of the diaconate. Or, you can go through any other member of the staff or session as well. It is a confidential process – applicants meet (most likely by phone in this instance) with a member of the diaconate’s benevolence team who can then authorize the distribution of financial assistance. If you know of someone who might be facing financial hardship, please be encouraged to make him or her aware of the fund and offer your encouragement to make use of it.
And, along that same line, for those among us blessed to have the resources and circumstances to withstand this storm, please consider replenishing the deacons fund and share with church family members in need. It recalls, again, a favorite recitation of the early church, from Acts 2: “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”
You can make a gift to the Deacons Fund here.
You hopefully also know of Intown’s partnership with Toco Hills Community Alliance, a ministry supported by several neighborhood churches that provides free food and clothing to the homeless, working poor and others lacking sufficient resources.
The ministry, located on Lavista Road behind St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, has particular need for the following: shelf-stable milk (milk that can be stored without refrigeration), full-size hygiene supplies, quart-size baggies, rice, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, canned meat/tuna, as well as disinfectant wipes, Lysol spray and hand sanitizer. Donations can be left at the alliance (it’s open Tuesday-Thursday 1-4 p.m.; social-distancing precautions are being taken) or you can make a financial contribution here.
Lastly, I feel tremendously grateful that the stay-at-home measures have created more time together with my wife Robyn and our three children than normal, and I trust I’m not alone. (In having more time with your family, I mean, not mine. That would be weird.) The temptation to shut out the rest of the world and enjoy my family is really high. But I’ve been reminded, too, that for a lot of us, this time has been terribly isolating. I encourage all of us to reach out to friends and family who might be feeling especially detached at this time.
My thanks for making it this far and for considering ways that you might be able to participate in loving our church family. Let's pray for God's provision in quelling the virus, protecting health workers, aiding those impacted and prodding all to find our role in serving.
On behalf of the Intown diaconate,