One of the advantages and joys of being co-moderator is that by spending more time at the church I learn about how special the members of this church are. The church members who give their time and talents to Koinonia feel particularly like unsung heroes this month. They go about their work quietly but effectively helping those who need help in whatever way they can.
More than 20 years ago right after I started working at MASS MoCA one of my colleagues called in sick. A sick day turned into a sick fortnight for the poor guy. When he finally came back, skinny and pale, it turned out he had been virtually unable to get out of bed for 10 days. We felt terrible that we had ignored him but he had just started so we barely knew him. Turned out he had just moved to North Adams and knew no one in the area. I remember our curator, who was from Arkansas, saying that his isolation could have been prevented if he had just had a “church home” — the good ladies from the church she grew up in would never have let him languish in his apartment hungry and ailing for nearly two weeks.
I hadn’t heard the expression before but I liked it. I like the sense of care and security that “church home” conveyed. I have never needed to avail myself of the benefits a church home (and I hope to continue my streak) but I am really proud to be member of an organization that provides a church home for anyone who needs help.
My mom didn’t believe in giving up material things up for Lent on the grounds that quelling a chocolate addiction or cutting out caffeine didn’t do much for anyone. Rather she advised us to use the season to focus on being a better person — give up being petty or mean (especially to your sister) instead of giving up cookies.
Mom also wasn’t a stickler for starting your self-improvement efforts on Ash Wednesday so for this Lenten season I’ve added a goal of being more like our Koiania caregivers, selflessly and without fanfare offering help to those in need when they need it.
Your Co-Moderator, Kathryn Myers