This Lent in addition to reading and reflecting upon the Scriptures of Holy Week, I have been following a blog that is encouraging people to engage in 40 Acts of Stewardship. The stewardship acts we have been encourage to participate in involve the stewardship of our own spirituality. We have been encouraged to listen, to share chocolate, and to do a loving act among a list of similar activities. These actions and reflections help us to see how we are being a part of God’s way of blessing the world. (You can see more about these daily projects at http://stewardship-news.org/P3Z-3ZZEC-MCS7BH-1YJ0DF-1/c.aspx )
One of the daily challenges was Random Acts of Kindness. This one particularly caught my attention because it was a theme for the day recently in the dementia respite program that I coordinate.
The program is called Side by Side and is a part of the ministry of Varsity Acres Presbyterian Church in Calgary, Alberta where I worship. I plan the program and work with the volunteers who are an essential component. We have 9 people with dementia who come for a day filled with activities and who are paired with a volunteer companion who spends the day with them, helps them with an activity if needed and ensures their safety in the building in a variety of ways. Every week we have a different “theme” for the day which helps us to keep the programming fresh and interesting. Some weeks instead of doing a craft at activity time, we undertake a special project. For the week, Random Acts of Kindness we undertook to prepare Birthday Cake parcels for the Food Bank.
The theme ran through the whole day starting with the word search that I prepared, and was highlighted beautifully by the minister (Bob) who led us through the story of the Good Samaritan and highlighted ways in which all of us could randomly help people whenever we saw a need.
Then at creative time we built the parcels. Every package contained aluminum cake pans, a cake mix, icing, candles, fancy plates and fancy napkins. We are very grateful to the congregation of Varsity Acres for providing the contents of the Birthday Cake parcels. In total we put together 43 bags which will be delivered to the Food Bank on Monday.
We were blessed by the congregation’s generosity and in turn we were able to be a blessing to others. From the acts I have been asked to undertake by 40 Acts it is clear that being a blessing in the world is what we are all meant to be striving for. What a joy to know that in a small way I could be a part of that blessing and made it possible for our participants and volunteers to share in the blessing of being the blesser.
Life is good.
Today’s prayer: BLESSING
Bounteous and Generous God we come to you with joyful hearts
Love from you overflows in ou Spirit and compels us to reach out into your world
Every day we see what you have give us and are grateful
Send us forth in your name to be the blessing you have called us to be
Send us forth to be your joyful presence in the world
Incite us in acts of kindness
Nourish within us a strong and generous spirit
Guide us to those who need your blessing this day. Amen
Photos 1, 2 courtesy Pixaby.com
Photo 3 courtesy Edie Olsen