My life is saturated with good words. In my church life, I know I am to love my neighbour as myself. In my community life, I am to live the Rotary motto “service above self.”
In my professional life, the Lougheed Mission statement says “people caring for people.” In my personal life, the Lougheed Coat of Arms proclaims “We Live to Serve.”
My daily challenge as I get out of bed each morning is to translate this impressive rhetoric into an inspired reality of good works from these good words.
In recent years, I have discovered the Elgin Street Mission has been a place that takes articulation to participation.
The Elgin Street Mission, with Pastor Rene Souliere’s ministry, does feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the distressed. Its neighbours are the Blue Door Café (often referred to as the soup kitchen) and the Corner Clinic.
They, too, are refuges of caring and sharing. In a society often obsessed with belly-button gazing of feasibility studies, outreach strategies and stakeholders meetings, these agencies feed hungry bellies, reach out and welcome without judgement and know their stakeholders are often homeless, but find shelter and sustenance under the roof of the Samaritan Centre.
It is appropriately named after that wonderful parable told by Jesus when asked, “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus answered with the story of the beaten man left in the ditch. His Levite friend and spiritual priest both walked by him in his distress.
The Samaritan who did not know the man and who socially would not associate with him, stops and helps him. The parable concludes with Christ commanding His listeners, “You go then and do the same.”
The Samaritan Centre on Elgin Street is such a pit stop of help on this journey of life. It is a shelter from the demons of addiction, abuse, mental illness, hunger and poverty. It needs our help to pay its building expenses.
On Feb. 23, the Samaritan Centre has organized a walk for homelessness. They call it the Coldest Night of the Year.
It will be a two-, five- or 10-kilometre walk, starting from the Rainbow Centre at 6 p.m. (registration and chili at 4 p.m.) The Lougheed Team, which for the past five years has regularly served a meal at the mission, is going to put our souls in our soles.
People caring for people should not only be printed on corporate stationary but seen in the community by us putting our feet on the street.
How about you? Do you walk by the Samaritan Centre with good intentions or will you walk for the Samaritan Centre knowing it makes you a neighbour who walks the talk?
Your family, friends and/or fellow workers can enter a team – or you can help the Lougheed Team by making a pledge at 252 Regent Street, Sudbury ON, P3C 4C8. Let your good works be your good words.
Gerry M. Lougheed Jr. is the managing director of Lougheed Funeral Homes, as well as co-chair of the Elgin Street Mission’s fundraising committee and charter president of the Rotary Club of Sudbury Sunrisers.