Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Today Was Packing Day

Every year the Episcopal Church Women of Parroquia San Cristóbal have their Love Basket program. They collect money and
then assemble paques of food to distribute to the poor for Christmas. Today was "Packing Day." I was pleased to see several young persons there helping with the packing.

Tomorrow we will distribute the paques, after our Holy Eucharist and Healing service. The folks at San Cristóbal are really wonderful about making sure that we have food for the poor; many people bring food every Sunday, and a basket of food comes up with the Gifts during the Offertory. Sometimes I feel like a second-century bishop preparing paques of food to distribute between the two Sunday services. But Love Basket program distributes much more food than I do on Sundays. We prepared 80 paques in under an hour this morning, and they will all be gone tomorrow. This is an important shared ministry in our parish, and I am so happy that the young people are involved.

The congregation is on to me now. While I was taking photos today, I was asked "Are these showing up on the blog?"
The Young Guys Reflect Upon Their Labours


MadPriest said...

Hi Padre
Not having the foggiest notion of the situation in Panama, can you give me some sort of indication of the economic status of those doing such extensive giving in your parish.
This information may be helpful for my own ministry
Thank you.

Padre Mickey said...

The majority of people in my parish worked for the Panama Canal Authority during the United States presence. They have all retired and are live on fixed incomes. We have some members with what might be considered (by U.S. standards) an upper middle-class income, but the majority would be considered working-class. We also have some folks who are very poor. But everyone contributes to the Love Basket Program, and many working-class folks donate food every Sunday. The congregation is very serious about working to bring about God's Reign, and are very generous. Almost everyone in the parish is a pledging member, too, no matter what their economic status. I feel very blessed to be here (especially with the constant Cuban-Beat ministry we have here!).

Padre Mickey said...

Of course, I mean that they are LIVING on fixed incomes.

MadPriest said...

Sorry to bother you on this, Padre, but in US dollars per week, what are we talking about. I am genuinely interested in your situation.

Padre Mickey said...

I would say that the average income is $750.00 per month. A few folks bring in more than that, a few folks bring in much less than that, but the majority take in very close to that amount. Our annual budget for the parish is $82,000.00, and some $50,000.00 of that is from pledges. I can't be more specific as I don't have the information and I actually stay out of the financial aspects of the parish.

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