Hi all. A lot has happened since the last time I wrote here!
- On December 8th, The Dale and Christ Church St. James (CCSJ) teamed up for an afternoon of carolling and Christmas goodies/winter necessities in the parkette outside the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Center (PQWCHC). It was a snow globe-y kind of a day, and the hot chocolate and harmonies were flowing. Our friends from CCSJ provided many of the goodies, along with lots of winter gear. We continue to be so grateful for our partnerships with churches like CCSJ, and community organizations like PQWCHC.
- On December 15th, The Dale collaborated with a community musician/organizer named Heinz Klein to host event called “Spirits in the Sky.” This was a drop-in style memorial, to remember and honour the lives of the many people Parkdale has lost in the last 20 months. One of the most difficult things about the pandemic has been the inability to hold memorials for our friends, and so we seized the moment when, a) restrictions allowed, and b) we had access to indoor space. It ended up being a really special afternoon of music, sharing of memories and lighting of candles for our loved ones.
- On December 23rd we shared a Christmassy lunch-to-go with the community (turkey sandwiches, a clementine, ginger ale, Christmas cookies), along with gift bags. We used Morrison (our outreach van) as Santa’s sleigh, complete with a poinsettia wreath and Christmas carols from a bluetooth speaker. While we can’t WAIT to sit down around a table with our friends for a festive meal, this little outdoor time was pretty sweet.
- Then on December 24th we (the staff, members of our families and some long-time friends), went for a walk around the neighbourhood with yet more gift bags. We bumped into some new friends, as well as folks we haven’t seen in a very long time, and were able to share a bit of joy with each other.
And now it’s 2022! Hard to believe it’s been almost/only two years since COVID changed all of our lives. This Omicron wave is feeling especially difficult, isn’t it? We sort of thought we were nearing the end, and now it feels a bit like we’re back at the start.
In the midst of COVID fatigue, deep concerns about the shortage of places for people to escape from the cold, and general pandemic-induced anxiety, I keep turning to a song that a couple of Dale friends composed:
“Keep on trucking with the Lord,
He’s the one who will support
you through every situation you get in.”
May we all keep on trucking, knowing that we are supported through every situation in which we find ourselves.