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By Sandy Smith
The COVID vaccine clinics sponsored at Christ Church Cranbrook last year brought me face to face with many forms that a sanctuary, a “Space for Grace,” can take.
Remember how eagerly the world awaited an end to the feelings of powerlessness engendered by the pandemic? A respite from the isolation and specter of serious illness, possibly death, that a COVID vaccine would afford us. We would be able to meet friends and loved ones again! What a blessing it was when Christ Church Cranbrook opened its doors to the community and offered hundreds of people access to a life-changing vaccine, and I was happy to volunteer.
I understood that my role at the clinics included making sometimes complicated paperwork and process seem less intimidating and welcoming individuals unfamiliar with our church. Indeed, I heard some arrive saying they had never seen such a beautiful building up close.
“Can we really go inside?” several asked.
What I was not expecting was to encounter another form of unfamiliarity; many had not felt seen before. Thus, I met grace in the shyness or tentativeness of those who might not have expected our volunteers’ warm welcome. It was in the worried eyes of some who had no or little English to read and fill out the required paperwork and visitors who were pointedly nervous about navigating any healthcare system.
Yet one thing was clear: They trusted Christ Church Cranbrook.
At a moment of historical vulnerability and uncertainty, people would find a safe space here where they could take action to protect themselves and others from this deadly pandemic. Unambiguously, Christ Church was known beyond its walls for being a safe space! What a blessing I received in seeing that awareness in action. Amid the most uncertain eras, we were a “Space for Grace” between people at times of such uncertainty and fear.
This is, of course, just one example of the many ways we create “Space for Grace,” but it was one that truly made me proud to be a part of this faith community. Our pledges and gifts to Christ Church Cranbrook make moments like this possible throughout the year, and it’s why I am honored to support the transformative work of this church community, its ministries, and its leaders.
We invite everyone who considers Christ Church Cranbrook your spiritual home to consider making a pledge to support our mission and ministry in 2023. For more information or to make your pledge online, click here. For questions, please get in touch with Rev. Chris Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.