|by Carol Vojir|
(First in a series about what St. Dunstan’s Church means to us parishioners)
In 2011, when my 31-year-old son-in-law was dying of metastatic melanoma, agape meant spiritual nourishment from people I didn’t know well. I chose St. Dunstan’s for that spiritual nourishment because the church was close to where I lived then and because of the music. Through what I received at St. Dunstan’s and by God’s grace, I evenmanaged to squeak out a song to my son-in-law on the day of his death – pretty amazing because I had avoided singing by myself ever since middle school, certain that I would die instantly from embarrassment due to the poor quality of my voice!
I went back to Las Cruces, NM, after Kristen and the children were settled in fall, 2011. I always knew I’d be back in Seattle, though. When my grandson turned 13 in 2016 (and the troubles therefrom began), God called me back here. Once in Seattle, there never was a question about where I would attend church. Good thing, too! There have been many problems with the family, too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that St. Dunstan’s is, and has been, my lifeline through all the troubles and stress. Heartfelt thanks, my brothers and sisters!
I feel the love, I feel the welcome and acceptance, I feel the spiritual, physical, and mental nourishment. Yep, the parish at St. Dunstan’s practices agape!
*Karl Barth’s definition of agape identifies with the interests of the neighbor “in utter independence of the question of his attractiveness” and with no expectation of reciprocity (Wikipedia). The term also is used to refer to God’s love for humankind.