The following is the text of the powerful reflection given by parishioner and deputy rector’s warden, Kim Smith, at today’s liturgies. (November 22, 2020) We invite you to read it and prayerfully listen to Kim’s message.
By Kim Smith, Deputy Rector’s Warden
Hi, today I am here to share my journey to becoming an active Parishioner at Christ Church.
Over the years I have had a yearning to return to life within the Church. My fear of arriving alone to a place I recognized as an experience families shared was very real and I wish I had conquered it much sooner. The catalyst that brought me to the doors of Christ Church was the loss of a very dear friend of mine. It was not just the loss, but actually sitting at his bedside as he lost his struggle and was taken from me. Just as he took his last breath he had a very calming look on his face; by the expression in his eyes I knew there was something in the room that called him to come and it was his time. He and I had promised one another that whoever died first would come back and tell the other what happened after death. He died in June and by October I was very angry with him for not coming to me and this is what lead me to Christ Church.
The first time I entered for the 8am service I knew this was the place for me. I remember sitting at the back of the church trying not to be noticed, but was quickly invited to the front of the church and welcomed by the group I now call my Church Family, to join them. Being a shy person this was something that would usually unnerve me and scare me off, but this time it touched my heart and did not unnerve me at all. Listening to the liturgy and the sermon delivered that day made my decision to return the next week and the next week and the next week…
I saw the different things that people I knew only by face offered to the Church and the community. Seeing their faith in what they were doing made me want to be able to give in such a manner as well. I had no idea what I had to offer, what was needed by the community or how to get involved in any of the Ministries. And if I am to be completely honest those who already were invested in Ministries intimidated me and this caused me to shy away. Having a busy life, already trying to balance family and work seemed to be another way to justify not being able to volunteer as I had no time to commit. I knew then as I know now, this was an excuse I made in order to protect myself from really putting myself out there, to celebrate life as a Christian. On a side note I seem to be able to find time to do mindless activities like sit on the couch to watch tv or play games on my phone.
One day after the service Don approached me and asked if I would consider becoming the Deputy Rector’s Warden (to be honest I had no idea what this really meant and had to go home and google it later that day). How could I say no to him, this was exactly what I had been waiting for, an invitation to serve and assist the success of Christ Church anyway I could.
Adding this commitment to my “hectic” schedule has actually enhanced my life, and really made me realize how important Christ Church and the people are to me. Yes, it was easier to come once a week for a service and think “look at me, I am doing the right thing” but to join Ministries that help others and bring your relationship with God to life is something that you cannot achieve by being a bystander.
We have a handful of committed volunteers and can always use more. So if you get a call from someone asking for your assistance on a Committee or in a Ministry please take it as a calling not only to strengthen your own spiritual journey but the good that you will do for so many others in our community, province and country as well. Please believe me I know, how valuable your time is, it is the most precious thing you can give to anyone as it is the one thing that you can never get back. I promise you that once you decide to give, even just an hour a month to volunteer you will realize how much that one hour can enhance your life.
Knowing that I am a small part of a bigger group, has allowed me to let others know of my journey to have a relationship with God; now when I am challenged to justify my faith I do not believe it deserves justification, it can be seen in how I live my life and relate to those around me.
It has taken me until very recently, actually in the last few days to forgive my friend for not coming to me and letting me know what happens after death. I now know that his love for me led me to the Red Doors of Christ Church and this is how he conveys to me how great it is in the afterlife.