It’s Time to Branch Out!

Written, Interviewed, Voiceover, & Filmed by Caela Collins

Listen to the Story

As June comes to a close let us realize that it is the month of magic, not the kind of magic that hides in the depths of a Mary Poppins carry-on or the depths of a black top hat. Its also not the kind of magic that’s tucked underneath the cool side of a pillow, appreciating in value as the clock strikes midnight. June represents the kind of magic that can’t be contained, the kind of mysterious wonder and awe that only God can comprehend fully. God speaks to everyone in their own unique way whether it be dance, or nature, or liturgy. However, one profound way God’s magic emanates isn’t that of songbird nannies, rabbits, or tooth fairies, it’s in the stillness and silence of universal reminders to abundantly & unapologetically love our earthly siblings.

June’s true magic is born through reminders, which hold the magical wisdom of God’s word:

  • A reminder to accept one another as they are and where they are. (LGBTQIA+ Pride Month)
  • A reminder that our Black & Brown siblings in Christ are equals, not by emancipation, but by birthright. (Juneteenth)
  • A reminder to respond with compassion to those who mask their despair with anger, irritability, and bitterness. (PTSD Awareness Month)
  • A reminder to protect & prevent American children and teens from a man-made epidemic through programs like Swords to Plowshares.(Gun Violence Awareness Month)
  • A reminder that monetary success, material assets, and hierarchical titles can fly far away like Icarus [*Proverbs 23 4-5] but to keep core memories with loved ones extremely close to your heart and soul. (Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month)
  • A reminder that the word “home” isn’t exclusive to tangible walls and curated designs inspired by the latest trend on HGTV; its wherever you have love, feel safe, are seen & welcomed. (Immigrant Heritage Month)

A final reminder that June enchants us with is to help keep one another safe from the workplace to anyplace (National Safety Month). With the help of The Rev. Matt Handi, Priest in Charge at St. Luke’s, South Glastonbury, ECCT visited the parish house next door to learn more about a charitable pop-up shop called The Olive Branch.

Branching out can be a bit daunting, but not for Jacqueline Ford, founder of The Olive Branch, South Glastonbury and bureau of external affairs, Department of Children and Families (DCF). In regards to National Safety Month, St. Luke’s, South Glastonbury created a safe space for The Olive Branch to grow roots as it spreads it’s branches to offer peace and reconcile family relationships:

Interview with Jacqueline Ford at St. Luke’s Parish House, South Glastonbury

Questions Asked:

  • Introduction
  • How did you get Started with The Olive Branch? and What brought you to St. Luke’s, South Glastonbury?
  • Why South Glastonbury?
  • What called you to do this work?
  • What is a story that has always stuck with you?
  • Why name it The Olive Branch?
  • What advice would you give to someone who’s interested in volunteering or even starting their own charitable pop up shop?
  • Explain what DCF is and how it connects to The Olive Branch:
  • What is the Olive Branch Experience?
  • Tell us about your collaboration with St. Luke’s, South Glastonbury?

Get Involved!

Donations“We are accepting new toys for birth to 18 and we’re in desperate need of items for our teenage population they can email me and we can make arrangements to meet in the community. I’m thinking about having different hubs in the community, but we’re gathering items all year long. It’s not just about Christmas time. It’s really about all year long!”
Website: The Olive Branch

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