My Saint Michael’s Story: Pat Randall

Posted by on Sun, Sep 15, 2019 in Giving

I grew up in a small town, attending a small parish.  It was the center of our social as well as our spiritual life.  I must have been in kindergarten when I told my father I didn’t think we needed to go to church every Sunday.  He informed me I was wrong.  As I got older I realized how important our faith community was.  In our small parish, we all took care of each other as well as those in our greater community.

As an adult, I have lived in several states, gotten to experience several different parishes, and wondered if I’d ever be able to find one as spiritually nourishing to me as the one I had grown up with.  Fortunately I landed here at St. Michael’s, where I’ve been for some 35 years.  I’ll tell you a story that made a huge impression on me when I arrived here.  On a warm summer day, a young man, who might have been seventeen and was undoubtedly homeless, wandered by the church and, sensing there might be food available, sat through the Eucharist and then helped himself to our usually abundant coffee hour. He repeated this for six weeks or so.  Even though he didn’t smell good and was obviously never going to be a contributing member, in that time not one person made him feel that he didn’t belong here.  In fact, he was often sent off with food for the road.  I knew then, and I know now, that St. Michael’s is a place that takes seriously Christ’s words that what you do to the least of them, you do to me.

Now I have a confession to make.  That little girl who didn’t think it was necessary to attend church every Sunday still lives somewhere in me.  Occasionally I think I’d like to take a break, to do just what I want to do and to be rid of commitments and responsibilities.  But as I look around me at this service I see Jenny baking muffins and gathering a group to go visit Edith Harman. I see several parishioners who had volunteered to fetch Bruce Meyers on Sunday mornings when he could no longer drive.  And Gail who served on altar guild for many years, and Rob and Bob who are worship leaders. And Bill who is our parish treasurer.  As well as Nicole who is a greeter at later services.  I see Lori  who makes sure that children in our community have Christmas presents and lunches when school is not in session and adults in need have access to a hot meal each week night. And I see parishioners who have personal ministries that I’m not even aware of.  (If I left anyone out, I apologize.  It’s just because I don’t know you as well as I wish I did.)  Here is a group that loves the lord with all their hearts, and with all their souls, and with all their might and also loves their neighbors as themselves.  I believe St. Michael’s parish as a whole is a community that St. Paul would approve of.  And that prompts me to get past myself and realize that I can be a better person.  I can strive to be a better Christian.  I am indeed fortunate to have spent my adult years in a faith community that is as spiritually nourishing as the one that shaped me as a child.