– As reported in the TSP Times Advent 2016 issue –
Almost 50 Seniors and friends gathered for lunch in the Studio on November 6th as part of the Season for Commitment events. A delicious meal of corn chowder, apple cider, cheese, crudité, hummus and nuts along with Cobs-donated buns was enjoyed by all. Conversations flourished as the sun poured in. Between the main course and dessert, people were asked to share some “stewardship lessons” from their lives.
Tithing was a common lesson from our childhoods, giving 10 percent of our earnings. Discussion of whether this should include other charities we support and whether it was based on our earnings or our net worth, pushed the envelope for some. Many remembered the importance of putting an equal amount in both sides of the envelope, for local and mission givings. One lovely story shared was of a grandmother who as a minister’s wife in the prairies in the 1930s would collect used clothing, launder and mend, then invite folks for tea and send them off to “shop” in her front parlour – sharing with dignity.
Some remembered giving produce instead of money, helping to feed the minister’s family. Others, who had little money to spare, shared their hospitality by inviting those who were sometimes seen as “misfits” or “socially unpopular people” to their home.
Some remembered the tradition of giving a toy each year, others remembered the “loose change bottle” which was taken to church when full. Inviting foreign students to join them for Christmas was one family’s tradition, others remembered the expectation that their allowance would include giving an offering each Sunday in Sunday School. For some, volunteering was part of family life and they noticed that many women in their families took care of their neighbours who were sick or shut-in.
Some remembered the priest setting up a contest from Sunday to Sunday regarding which Mass had given the most. Some shared they were looking for guidance in what their financial and other commitments should be.
As stories from each table were shared, we also dug into apple crisp and tea as we wound up our time together in time to clean up and make room for the Sunday afternoon Salsa!! Judith led us in prayer and blessing before we departed. Thanks to all who pitched in to make this Senior’s lunch possible and delicious!