A Servant's Heart: Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC) and St. John's Parishoners

March 15, 2015

 

Bob and Molly Joy have been serving our neighbors at the VMC for five years. When the Joys moved to Knoxville from New Jersey, they were looking for a volunteer opportunity they could do together. That’s when they met Ginny Wetherstone, former director of the VMC, and their Friday morning adventures began. Bob had worked for Colgate Palmolive having traveled to over 100 countries as a senior executive and retired once their sons Robert and Christopher got to high school so that he could spend some time with his family. Molly holds a PhD in Political Science and had worked several years in educational research. 

 

Bob and Molly are especially touched by the opportunity to get to know those neighbors with whom many do not want to engage. They are blessed by getting to hear peoples’ stories and build relationships, breaking down the barriers that exist. Upon meeting a new neighbor in need, the Joys introduce themselves with a warm handshake and their names, then an invitation to talk about what is going on. Bob says, “Suddenly there’s a change in their demeanor…99% are open about their lives and telling their stories.”  Whether these people have no family or community support due to extreme mental illness, or they are one broken down vehicle or family illness away from being homeless, or they have made a series of unfortunate life choices, Bob and Molly look for ways to connect and support each person. Volunteer Ministry Center helps in many ways, including assistance with rent or utilities, covering the cost of a prescribed medication, providing clothing, replacing various forms of identification, and so much more. Bob speaks of the many examples of neighbors they’ve been able to bond with. He tells of an Iraq Veteran who served with distinction but came home to no help or support. Unable to adjust he turned to alcohol and drugs. Now he has access to his prescriptions and is like anyone else when he is on his medication. Bob also tells of an educated man, with a successful career and a nice home, but who now lives on the streets, unable to recover from his son’s suicide. Molly says their experiences at VMC each week help keep life in perspective and Bob says that is something that brings to life what they hear each Sunday at St. John’s. In fact, when Bob and Molly returned to their southern roots they visited several churches, many of them much closer to home in Vonore, but “…sitting in the space and seeing the choir and procession…St. John’s just felt like home.

Bob and Molly Joy have been serving our neighbors at the VMC for five years. When the Joys moved to Knoxville from New Jersey, they were looking for a volunteer opportunity they could do together. That’s when they met Ginny Wetherstone, former director of the VMC, and their Friday morning adventures began. Bob had worked for Colgate Palmolive having traveled to over 100 countries as a senior executive and retired once their sons Robert and Christopher got to high school so that he could spend some time with his family. Molly holds a PhD in Political Science and had worked several years in educational research. 

 

Bob and Molly are especially touched by the opportunity to get to know those neighbors with whom many do not want to engage. They are blessed by getting to hear peoples’ stories and build relationships, breaking down the barriers that exist. Upon meeting a new neighbor in need, the Joys introduce themselves with a warm handshake and their names, then an invitation to talk about what is going on. Bob says, “Suddenly there’s a change in their demeanor…99% are open about their lives and telling their stories.”  Whether these people have no family or community support due to extreme mental illness, or they are one broken down vehicle or family illness away from being homeless, or they have made a series of unfortunate life choices, Bob and Molly look for ways to connect and support each person. Volunteer Ministry Center helps in many ways, including assistance with rent or utilities, covering the cost of a prescribed medication, providing clothing, replacing various forms of identification, and so much more. Bob speaks of the many examples of neighbors they’ve been able to bond with. He tells of an Iraq Veteran who served with distinction but came home to no help or support. Unable to adjust he turned to alcohol and drugs. Now he has access to his prescriptions and is like anyone else when he is on his medication. Bob also tells of an educated man, with a successful career and a nice home, but who now lives on the streets, unable to recover from his son’s suicide. Molly says their experiences at VMC each week help keep life in perspective and Bob says that is something that brings to life what they hear each Sunday at St. John’s. In fact, when Bob and Molly returned to their southern roots they visited several churches, many of them much closer to home in Vonore, but “…sitting in the space and seeing the choir and procession…St. John’s just felt like home.

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