I spent most of Saturday in Joplin at St. Philip's Episcopal Church.
St. Philip's hosted our Southern Deanery Meeting, which was preparation for the Diocesan Convention in November.
After the meeting and a delicious luncheon in the parish hall--thanks St. Philip's Altar Guild--clergy and laity alike joined in a mini-mission event.
We were there to get the parish hall ready for a second Free Garage Sale for the people who lost everything in the tornado several months ago. The event will take place this Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm.
In preparation, we unloaded trucks and cars full of donated goods from Kansas City, St. Louis, and Bentonville, Arkansas.
Donations included winter coats and other clothing, blankets, artificial Christmas trees and ornaments, even a bed.
A group from Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield, on Friday had delivered two vehicles full of new appliances and other items, which had been purchased by our Outreach Committee and assembled.
We filled the many tables that had been set up in the parish hall, the lounge, and the hallways of the church with the donated items. I wondered how the people of St. Philip's would manage on Sunday.
On Saturday in Joplin, we came together in that mini-mission--not only people from the Southern Deanery, but also youth groups from the Dioceses of Missouri and Arkansas.
We were one Episcopal family--one in our faith in Christ and one in his mission, reaching out in love to a hurting and suffering world.
And it felt good.