Did you know that St. Michael is the patron saint of police officers (among several other groups and individuals)? I only recently found that out. Because we live next door to the church, our family is quite aware of how often we hear police sirens zooming down either Washington or Waters Avenue. Putting those two pieces of information together has led to an idea forming in my head, one I have shared with our Vestry.
I'd like to create a space at St. Michael's for our local police officers to come when they are on duty and need a break. That might be simply a quiet place to sit and write a report, a place to have a moment's solitude and a hot cup of coffee, or a place to come in and pray if they need to. Following a tradition of our I AM Food Pantry, i also envision a place for them to leave prayer requests for us, so that we can hold them in our own prayers.
I wonder what it would mean to our local police force to know that there was a place at a church just for them whenever they needed it? To know that this parish was holding them, their work, and their families in our prayers, even if we've never actually met them? What might that mean for them as they go about their duties of keeping us and the rest of our community safe and protected?
I've found the St. Michael's medal pictured above for a pretty reasonable price. I'd like to offer it to the officers if they'd want one, as a tangible sign of our prayers for them and a reminder that St. Michael is watching over them as they work. In addition to that, there are a few other things we'd need to start this ministry. The first is a place inside our building that we could set aside for them; we'd need a Keurig and some supplies to go with it, so they could make a fresh cup of coffee; we'd need to replace the keyed lock on our Waters Ave door with a numeric entry lock, so that we could give them a code to enter the building at night. There are probably some other items we would want, but those should get us started.
If you're interested in helping start this ministry or in donating some of the items we need, please let Fr. Kevin know. We'll keep you posted as it unfolds and let you know when we launch it.