Door Ministry Reflections

Every day I get up -“Thanks be to God”-make coffee, prepare some breakfast or just start the day with a prayer on the run. Does this sound familiar? I may have the grocery on my “to do” list, among other things. I may be mentally planning my route as I leave my driveway. I head toward work or errands but give little thought to other important needs that are not in question… Monthly bills are on “auto-pay” so my calendar takes the majority of my attention. In this short paragraph, here are the needs that are “invisible givens” –housing, food, car-Driver’s license/insurance/gas, work/school and how to find and pay for these necessities; clean clothes and how to make this happen for a family; utilities/lights/gas/phone/internet (especially in our overly connected society and world) and how to pay for all these; health insurance or not. These are basics that do not even relate to our other, very real, needs for love, companionship, compassion, presence, friendship, caring -PRAYERS.

Our St. John the Evangelist “Door Ministry”, funded by the Charity Fund collection September 15, is a ministry that brings the service of these needs together. Our primary reason for this ministry is that people have always and forever come to the local church when they are in need. It is our mission to serve the needs of people who find themselves poor because of circumstances of life, many of which are out of our control. Possibly our more life-giving, healing aspect is listening to people’s stories and offering a moment of refreshment. This is not always the case, nor is it what everyone is seeking, but the peace lands on those who seek and need it. Compassionate presence and an empathetic heart to greet our Door Ministry guests is what our volunteers offer twice a week.

Some of our volunteers reflect on their ministry:

I like to think the Door Ministry program at St Johns is a valuable program because it not only helps the homeless but it also gives to those who need that extra help, like someone working two jobs, who need a bus pass to get to those jobs!!! It also has opened my eyes to the beauty of my God’s work for them!!

I do believe there are people who truly need our program –laundry, gas cards, and food cards are needed by the majority that we see at Door Ministry.

I find it rewarding to provide beverages and pastries to people who are in need of immediate help, to be able to visit with them, and listen to them while they wait for their visit. Some are new to the community and know no one, and many times we are the only ones they have to share their current situation with. Even a smile, hot cup of coffee and a donut can start their day with some amount of comfort.Door Ministry is a gift in my life. As a Door Minister, I have the privilege of listening to life stories very different from my own. Those who seek help frequently share experiences that I can’t even begin to imagine. As a Door Minister, I have learned that though I can’t fix most problems, I can share a cup of coffee, LISTEN, and offer words of encouragement.

Door Ministry gives me the unique opportunity to see Christ in the faces of so many who suffer hardships and struggles. It is humbling, and I am grateful.Thank you for the generosity you are able to offer in support of this ministry of outreach! If you would like to be one of our volunteers, please contact me at the Parish Center.

With Gratitude,
Mary Vlazny