Being part of GPPC is being connected. This means being connected to God, your church family, the community garden, world missions, the choir, the youth, the dinner out group, CARITAS, or one of many other ways people connect at GPPC. The GPPC connection and contribution to the Palace Ministry continues to shape my faith.
My first visit to the Palace was many years ago. You have probably heard about the Friday night visits, the picnics, the birthdays, or the Christmas gifts. You probably have helped with one or more of these activities. Over the years with the help of a roster with names and pictures and a little effort I have gotten to know the residents and track the turnover. I’d like to tell you about some of my friends and their thanks for the many visits and gifts from GPPC.
A few of the residents have families they visit or that visit them. For most, seeing familiar faces on a regular basis is rare. The simple dignity of knowing someone’s name can turn a dull expression into a bright smile. There is the man who was in a car accident and is a really good chess player. Another resident goes to dialysis several times a week. One served in the Marine Corps and one recently spent a few months incarcerated. These men have value and worth. Their stories are rich and many have a strong faith in God.
Our congregation has nurtured the participation of the residents at worship, in Sunday school, and at other GPPC activities. I am convinced it is the relationships we build on a Friday night playing games or sharing a snack or meal that allow us to really get to know these folks. They are individuals with feelings, needs, and opinions just like you or me.
It may sound trite but I do feel I get more than I give when I visit the Palace.
Cheri recently retired from Anthem after 32 years. She has been busy catching up on vacationing, visiting family, and celebrating a 40th anniversary with Steve. She rides her bike most days. She has been a member of GPPC for 27 years and is currently serving on the Stewardship Team, which is offering a couple of blog pieces for our reflection. To learn more about the Palace ministry, speak to Cheri.