By Pastor Rhoda Klein Miller
For many years, the Seniors Ministry at Oakridge Adventist Church has hosted a Christmas lunch for those in their ‘autumn season’ of life. It is highly anticipated time of connection and cheer by regular attendees. Even though Vancouver is growing rapidly in population density, social isolation is a serious concern, especially with seniors who have lost their ability to drive or find transit difficult to manage in inclement weather. Guests of the lunch this year included several community neighbours, some who rent elder-accessible garden plots built on the edge of our church property.
Last year we saw how our lunch guests struggled to hold their plates steady as they moved along the buffet line, or carry them in one hand while the other gripped a cane. We reached out to Deer Lake School and asked if they could help with our event. Gladly they agreed, seeing an opportunity to sharpen their skills and forge a meaningful partnership with our constituent church. Thirteen students from Mrs Knopp’s Foods Class along with adult chaperones arrived to help set up tables and chairs before greeting the arriving guests. They served hot beverages, took orders from the menu options, delivered full plates and then shared a delicious food and delightful conversation. We were grateful some students could speak Chinese to a few ladies who had never been in our church before. The class was very attentive and quick to meet requests for more and clear away empty plates. The meal was completed with cake for dessert garnished with chocolate dipped strawberries the students prepared. In appreciation for the student’s effort, a donation was made to their upcoming service trip to Panama.
Witnessing this exchange of blessing between generations the word’s of Acts 20:35 rang true: By working hard in this way we help those who are weaker and remember the words of the Lord Jesus who taught, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’. (Acts 20:35).