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Our gifts for Mission & Service support community ministries as well as Healing Fund projects like the weekly sharing circle at St. Matthews Maryland. This community ministry offers health and wellness programs to meet basic needs and help families thrive. 

One of the programs is a weekly sharing circle led by an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, followed by a simple lunch. One participant describes her experience there: 

The Elder opened the sharing circle with a prayer and lit some sage, one of the traditional medicines used by Indigenous peoples. When sage is burned, the smoke cleanses a person’s body, mind, and spirit so they can put aside their worries and be present. Also, it is believed that smoke can carry a person’s prayers to the Creator. 

Once the circle opened, we all took turns sharing anything we wanted. The Elder taught us about the Anishinaabe Creation Story, and later we talked about what we learned. 

After the sharing circle we had lunch. The bannock was delicious! I was happy to chat with one of the Indigenous participants who was a long way from home on the west coast of British Columbia. She first came to St. Matthews Maryland three years ago looking for services, and the warm reception encouraged her to return for programming. Eventually, she started to volunteer and built her confidence as a helper. 

I was grateful to them for providing such a safe place for the participants to build relationships, learn about health issues, and support their goals for health and wellness. 

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.