A Season of Gratitude

By Gillian Doucet Campbell

“Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.” 

— Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem, By Dr. Maya Angelou

Bishop Susan Bell was thrilled to announce that with the support of Ecclesiastical Insurance we have more than achieved our goal of raising $10,000 in support of our diocesan Pandemic Response Fund. 

“This result simply delights the heart of God — to share our resources with our neighbours like this at this difficult time is so moving to witness,” said Bishop Susan Bell. “So many people will be helped by the pandemic ministries which are exemplifying God’s great commandment to love our neighbour.”

The results of the first-ever diocesan #GivingTuesday matching gift campaign show that in just one week over $13,125 was raised, primarily through online donations! With the $5,000 support from Ecclesiastical Insurance the amount of funds raised through the initiative increases to $18,125. Additional donations made by cheque and mailed to our diocesan office are still being received.

Thank you to those who were able to contribute to this fund. Each gift will meet the real needs of people in the many communities of our diocese. 

Colin Robertson, Vice President, Operations and Risk Control, with Ecclesiastical Insurance was delighted to hear the news, saying, “2020 has been a difficult year. Ecclesiastical is proud to give back to the communities we serve. We’re grateful for this opportunity to be with the Niagara Diocese in 2020 in this way as it aligns well with the support we have been able to provide this year to frontline charities across Canada.” 

Holy Trinity, Welland, parishioner Jim Butts also speaks of gratitude and a desire to give back as his inspiration for the volunteer work he does through his parish, “When I wake-up in the morning I have all that I need. There are many who don’t. So, I give back.” 

Prior to COVID-19 Holy Trinity, Welland, worked with several churches in the area to provide a meal and groceries for 60 –70 people each week. During COVID-19 this number has increased staying closer to 170 a week. “We know there’s a lot of need around us. If we can help, we will,” said Butts. 

Stepping up to meet this rise in demand Holy Trinity, Welland had to increase their freezer capacity and food budget. Normally the funds to support this would come from facility rentals and mini-fundraising events — all things that have been suspended during COVID-19. Now, Holy Trinity, Welland relies heavily on individual donations and grants, including a grant from the Niagara Diocese Pandemic Response Fund. 

Butts says, “I just want people to know we’re here for them and if they can, to pay it forward.” 

Recognizing the mounting challenges and diminishing resources that our parishes are facing we are grateful to all those who have been able to pool their resources of time, talents, and treasure during the Pandemic. Each gift is important and welcomed. Thank you for wholeheartedly embracing the Peace of Christmas — each to each, with kindness, comfort, and compassion, lighting the way for others as we are able.

“These gifts will make such a difference to people like those compassionately supported by Holy Trinity,” noted Bishop Bell. “Thank you, more than I can say, to all who have generously offered a real gift of love and hope through their donations to the diocesan Pandemic Response Fund.”