Many of you may recall that on Sunday, August 24th, Rev. McCarley preached about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. During her sermon she mentioned The Rev. Steve Lawler and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and the troubles they were experiencing at their Food Pantry. The Rev. Amy Porterfield Turner submitted the following article which also references Fr. Lawler. We are including this to keep you abreast of the events in Ferguson, Missouri; and to request that you continue to keep all those involved in this conflict in your prayers.:
Many of you at Zion have watched the news reports about the death of Michael Brown and the aftermath of his death in Ferguson, MO during past weeks, but did you know Zion has a connection to the Episcopal Church in Ferguson?
During my senior year of college at Washington University in St. Louis, I worked at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ferguson, MO as their Youth Director and led the Confirmation class. It became my church home while I was away from Zion. St. Stephen’s rector, The Rev. Steve Lawler, was an important mentor as I began the journey to my vocation as a priest. In fact, Steve flew in from Ferguson to serve as one of my two presenters, along with Mother Melanie, when I was ordained as a deacon at Zion on January 9, 2010.
St. Stephen was and is a wonderfully vibrant church that has had a long standing Food Pantry that I volunteered with in college. However, due to what has been happening in Ferguson, their demand has increased rapidly. Local schools, which provide meals to area children, have been closed for their first two weeks of school. Also, due to rioting local stores where they purchase goods have been closed.
It has been heartbreaking to see images of the community I worked in be torn apart by anger and violence, but there has been hope amidst the crisis. It has been amazing to hear about the generosity of people from across the country helping St. Stephen’s and other local churches provide much needed assistance to the Ferguson community. There continues to be a great need, and you can donate at http://saint-stephens.info/collaboration/our-community-the-vine/food-pantry/
The Rev. Amy Porterfield Turner
Update on Collin Harp:
As most of you may, or may not know, Collin had surgery on July 8 at Inova Fairfax Children’s Hospital to remove a tumor form his left ear. Due to the size of the tumor, which was about the size of a marble, Collin has lost about 90% of the hearing in that ear. Collin has had 2 follow-up appointments to date and thanks to the prayers and thoughts of everyone, he is recovering well and the pathology report came back clean!
During our time spent in the hospital we realized that our troubles were nothing compared to those of other families, and we thank God for watching over us during this difficult time. Collin, as well as Stephanie and I were treated so well by the staff, nurses, and doctors at the hospital and we want to give back!
Inova Fairfax Children’s Hospital has a program called Inova Child Life specialists, which dedicate themselves to easing the anxiety and stress affecting children during a hospital stay or outpatient procedure. Each time that Collin was in the hospital he was recipient of their great care and understanding. The Child Life Specialists program gives toys to children for their bravery during the procedures they have done and we would like to give back!
We are undertaking a toy drive through the end of September, to collect new toys which will be donated to the program by Collin, so that the Child Life Specialist can help to put a smile on other children’s faces and help make their time in the hospital just a little more enjoyable. We will be putting a box in the back of the church for collection of the toys, so if you would like to make a donation of a new toy, you can place it in the box through the end of September and we will then take Collin to make the delivery to Inova Fairfax Children’s Hospital the first of October.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at home. We are usually home after 6pm during the week.
Collin, Stephanie, and I thank you again for your thoughts and prayers during this time! It just proves that power of prayer works!