The Church of the Nativity, Malvern held a service in March to honour parishioners who are essential and frontline workers.
The service, which was held online due to the pandemic, honoured more than 30 parishioners, including a nurse, a police officer, a postal worker, personal support workers, a mechanic, teachers, childcare workers, a gas station equipment technician, grocery store clerks and a TTC worker.
“They’re going out there on the front lines every day for us, so I thought, ‘Let’s show them that we appreciate them and the hard work they do,’” said Donna Lovell-Mannick, who came up with the idea for the service and helped to organize it along with Noreen Callendar and Arienne Johnson.
The service featured a PowerPoint presentation that showed the names and occupations of the workers. In some cases, the person’s photograph was shown as well, some of them wearing their face mask and uniform. They received a certificate from local MP Shaun Chen and also a certificate from the church, created by Shauna Callendar, that thanked them for their courage and dedication. They were also given a key chain with the Lord’s Prayer on it.
The workers were delighted to be recognized and many of them shared their certificates with their co-workers when they went to work the next day. “They were so happy that people remembered them,” said Ms. Lovell-Mannick.
The Sunday morning service included hymns, prayers for essential workers, a homily by the Rev. Pam Prideaux, incumbent, a poem by nurse Emma Cloney, and artwork by two children of the parish. Afterwards, there was a coffee hour where the local politicians spoke and some of the honoured workers expressed their thanks and appreciation.
Ms. Lovell-Mannick said the service was an amazing experience and urged other churches to honour their essential and frontline workers as well. “You have to let people know they’re appreciated and they’re not alone,” she said. “They are going the extra mile for us, we have to pray for their protection.”