Gratitude. Patience. Hope. Joy. Virtues and graces that speak to us through the upcoming Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas seasons.
I don’t know about you, but for me during these pandemic and election year-intense months, those four virtues are hard to come by sometimes. Scripture stories of storm-ravaged boat rides, hungry disciples on a hillside, mayhem in cities, and frightened followers in the upper room are much more relatable this year.
“Be not afraid.” “Have faith.” “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.” We hear these words from Scripture as well. What are you grateful for these days? Where have you witnessed patience and hope to bolster your faith and ease your fears? In this year of loss, confusion, and disarray, where have you seen signs of the light, the joy of Christ?
I write to witness to you the signs I see in IVC:
- Service corps members who are in touch daily with the suffering of the most vulnerable are finding new ways to serve remotely. We have formed new agency partnerships locally and globally, opening virtual pathways to bring the tremendous talents, skills, and wisdom of our service corps members to even more people in need.
- We’ve hosted virtual reflection sessions on spirituality, racism, and catholic social thought. We’ve honored people who serve their communities. Benefactors continue to give generously, and as funding through the Cares Act helps to keep social service non-profits up and running, our finance staff made sure we were able to apply for them, and used the funds wisely.
- The brightest light for me –the one that fills me with such gratitude and hope—is in watching the IVC staff respond to the challenges we face. Our local directors across the country, many of whom juggle parenting and family caregiving, have risen to the occasion with dedication and amazing creativity. They continue to work hard and selflessly. The executive leadership team and administrative staff support the directors and their mission, doing the sometimes thankless but critical background work that keeps IVC vibrant.
God’s love is the light in this darkness. IVC staff members – and our national board who supports us — are the brightest lights of hope and signs of God’s love for IVC. They are the unsung heroes of IVC and my inspiration.
You and all you do to make a strong, viable, ongoing expression of Christ’s healing love through IVC is what I am most grateful for, what brings me joy and hope. And I patiently wait for the time when we can all gather again!
Wishing you all the light of God’s love, shining to bring you joy during the holy days ahead.
With faith and gratitude,