This week, the oldest member of our parish (who still sits in the pews every Sunday) is turning 102. Yep, that’s right – take a second to just let that number soak in.
When I interviewed for this position at St Peter’s I was told that it was a church community of many faithful elders. The vestry joked with me that their tag line could be, “Worship with us and live forever!”
In my time here thus far, I have begun to build relationships with these elders, particularly those who are regular attenders on Sunday – which many of them are. They encourage me, impress me, and always brighten my spirit.
In church yesterday, as I thought about our elders, the lives they have lived and their active participation in our parish, I also thought about their children. I have witnessed some of the most gracious, thoughtful, kind caregiving in this parish.
For most of our active elders, there are adult children who accompany them to church every week – who make sure they get in to the service safely, show them where in the bulletin we are, and assist them in getting to the communion rail.
My view of this is limited, of course – Sometimes I know about a larger story, but most of the time I don’t. I just get glimpses, from my vantage point, of what love looks like. I see the dedication in taking care of parents. Some still have the ability to walk, remember, or hold conversation – some don’t.
These members of my parish, who are caring for their mothers and fathers, always seem to do so with such dignity, and respect. I can see a commandment lived out – to honour your mother and your father.