No doubts at St. Thomas, Cambridge

The patron saint of our parish is the apostle Thomas. When many think of Thomas they stop at the image of a “doubting Thomas” but not us – we have no doubt that Thomas was a man of action and a show me kind of guy. Show me a need, show me an opportunity and together let’s make a difference. Tradition has it that Thomas after his experience of the resurrected Christ as told by gospel writer John, did just that. There was a need, an opportunity in India, and off he went to plant the church there and to become loved by many for doing it.

Here at Saint Thomas we try to follow his example. Our self-image is that of a mission church.  Churches need a self-image. It is big in defining who you are, in charting your course and being guided by the Divine Spirit. Being a mission church also pushes us to focus not solely on the bricks and mortar but also on loving lavishly and living fully not for yourself but for others with greater needs than us.

For this little short article let me give an example. Inside our front door are always food donations being built up for the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank. But three years ago we came up with a new idea to build on that initiative. A couple of women wanted to bring smiles to the faces of children who might never celebrate their birthday with a party. So we added in the birthday box program. Our parishioners take a box and fill it with everything a parent would need for their kid’s party. We have a list to guide them and every so often we take the boxes down to the Food Bank and they handle the distribution.

We may not see the smiles but we know they’re there. It may not be much but it is something.

Maybe you want to share a vignette story from your outreach program as a way to uplift the body of Christ and celebrate new life.

John Ridout,                                                                     
people’s warden and lay reader at St. Thomas the Apostle