The most concise definition of the nature of God in the Bible is I John 4:8: "God is love." The larger context of this famous statement is significant: "He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love."
At Saint Elizabeth Church we realize that in order to know God truly and not just in words we must love our neighbor, and to do so in a particular way. "A new commandment I give unto you," Christ said, "that ye love one another; as I have loved you. . . . By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:34-35). The particular way in which we are commanded to love others is as Christ loves us.
The Greek word for this particular kind of love is agape, rendered in Latin as caritas, from which we get the English charity. Charity is not just about giving money to others, abstractly and at a distance. It is about experiencing true human personhood. It is about entering into a personal relationship with others that involves our relationship with God, who as Holy Trinity is united in the personal love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To love others this way is to become united to God, and to participate in his very life.
Our parish community takes very seriously the commandment to love others unconditionally and sacrificially as God loves us. Our ministries include various expressions of this divine love ranging from the spontaneous (such as helping the needy and visiting the sick of our own parish) to organized projects such as visiting retirement homes at Christmas to sing carols. Every year members of our parish travel at their own expense to Mexico to help build homes for the needy there.
See below for the current list of recipients of our regular "Charity Sunday" collections each month, as well as Project Mexico.
Charities we are supporting in 2016
Click on the links to learn about them and consider giving yourself!
Poulsbo Fishline is the main source of food and medical assistance to the local needy.
The Saint Nicholas Uganda Children's Fund is an Orthodox Christian charity supporting the welfare and education of poor children in Africa.
The Saint Petersburg Children's Hospice is the first of its kind in Russia and is run by the Orthodox Church there.
Affiliated with the Saint Innocent Orphanage, Project Mexico has an onsite director, priest, and staff that help children and needy families near the coastal town of Rosarito.