by Bil Purdy
This year, two weeks before Christmas, one of our parish men was helping get decorations from the storage room to the hall for the ladies to begin sorting and planning for Christmas. He unpacked the tree and set it up in the back of the church and was told one couldn’t put up a Christmas tree as it was still advent. He said this in not a Christmas tree, it is an advent tree.
Let’s invite our people to cover it with mittens and scarves and warm socks, etc., and turn it into a Christmas tree for the homeless and street people – and that is what they did. It took only one week to fill the tree to overflowing. The gifts were delivered before Christmas.
The first Sunday in the New Year, Robin Campbell of Manna came to our service to thank us for our support, and Bishop Logan, who was present, commended Robin for the ministry they were doing.
Manna Homeless Society is a registered, non-profit society, staffed by volunteers who raise awareness and offer assistance to the homeless, the unemployed, and street people in the Oceanside area. For several years, the parish of St. Mark has been donating clothing, food, and bikes throughout the year. Manna is one of the cash recipients from the precedes of the St Mark’s Fair. The weeks leading up to Christmas this year were cold and damp, so we thought of a way to give a little extra bonus.