St. Barnabas launches Good Neighbor Project
When Jesus offered the Summary of the Law – love God and love your neighbor as yourself – a Pharisee asked, “Who is my neighbor?” That’s when Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, who stepped up to help someone in need when others refused.
Because of social distancing requirements, many of the ways we’d like to serve our neighbors aren’t currently possible.
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village recently launched the Good Neighbor Project. Through the great generosity of a handful of parishioners, we mailed $100 to every household in the parish and asked the recipients to use those funds to be good neighbors.
That money came with only three rules: you can’t keep it, you can’t give it back to the church, and you have to tell us how you used it to be a blessing.
The reports of how our parishioners used those funds have started trickling in. So far, we’ve heard from families that have helped feed the hungry. Others used it to buy toys and craft supplies for children in need. Some parishioners have given generous tips to servers at restaurants struggling to stay afloat. The list goes on and on. A few of our children have even contributed their allowance money to increase the impact.
If you’re reading this, I encourage you to consider finding some way to be a good neighbor. If you’ve got some extra cash to spend, go for it. But there’s also an infinite number of ways you can spread some love without spending a dime. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
the Rev. Alexander D. Martin
Priest-in-Charge at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village