By Rev. Canon Keith Nethery
With much talk about those serving on the front lines, St. James’ Westminster in London found that a group very close to our hearts, had a need to help those in need that they were helping.
Let me translate that for you. Indwell is a Christian Charity that provides affordable housing, with supports, in various communities in Ontario. In 2019, Indwell opened their first facility in London on Dundas Street downtown; it’s called Woodfield Gate. Space for just less than 70 people in a newly renovated building and a team determined to build a community.
Early on, St. James’ provided support and we have been excited to help as we can since the facility opened. Given that parish member Julie Ryan is on staff at Indwell, we have an open line of communication.
The Indwell staff really are front line workers in this pandemic. They work with vulnerable people and in fairly close quarters. The staff are fantastic and hard working. With the pandemic came new restrictions and extra work. It took a full team effort to keep up the pace. One staff member, who headed the food security program, needed to be away for a week. Could the staff pick up the extra duties? Then came another idea. Would St. James provide one of the meals in that week? Of course we would and did and so did three other churches in London.
It took a little bit of planning to arrive at the simplest solution. We bought the food and Julie came and picked it up! No social distancing issues.
But there was a second request, which was at least as important if not more so. As all of us struggle with the restrictions and fears surrounding COVID-19; it only makes sense that stress levels would be a little higher in a facility like Indwell. Would St. James’ send some notes of encouragement? Of course we would. Ten pages in total. There were cartoons, favourite prayers, family sayings, stories of inspiration. All filled with the love of our community and sent to Indwell. Julie related how she posted all of our good wishes on the bulletin board by the front door at Woodfield Gate. A resident came along and surveyed all the notes and turned to Julie with a smile and said, “I think we’ll need a bigger bulletin board!”
Our prayers continue for the staff and residents of Indwell as they together forge through these difficult and stressful times. Thank you for serving our community.
Oh, by the way, Indwell is working on a second larger project in London which will a blessing to this community. They need all the help they can get to continue to reach out to those in need. Indwell truly is a wonderful organization with a brilliant plan to help those who need it most.
Rev. Canon Keith Nethery is the rector of St. James’ Westminster, London (Ontario).