Valentine’s Day Agape | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

02.14.20 | Community, Pulpit Posts, World

photo by Charles Edward Case

The musical Come from Away has been running on Broadway since it opened in 2013. It is adored by those who have seen it. Tourists and residents alike continue to fill seats at the Schoenfeld Theater, and no wonder. The show tells a story of open hearts and generosity in the midst of heartache and fear. The plot is based on something that really happened: in the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, when airplanes were grounded in the U.S., 6600 passengers and crew from 38 planes originally scheduled to fly into our country were diverted to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland.

The population of Gander stands at around 9000 people. In an instant and without preparation their census almost doubled—foreigners from all over the world arrived in their tiny community—and without hesitation residents opened their homes. They cooked, cleaned, transported and comforted the strangers in their midst. They created community in the unexpected moment when people arrived who were in need.

Although romance is the main focus of Valentine’s Day, the real St. Valentine was a healer who ministered to Christians who were persecuted in the earliest days of the church. His actions embodied Christ’s command to love others through acts of mercy. His commitment to Christ was made visible in his commitment to those around him who needed help.

In addition to the Broadway musical, HBO released a documentary about Gander called, You Are Here: A Come From Away Story. The film introduces viewers to Nick and Diane Marston who met in Gander on 9/11, fell in love, and eventually married. In a newspaper interview over a year ago, Diane said, “There was so much evil, tragedy and sadness going on…in Newfoundland there were so many angels who took care of us.” And another passenger replied, “My new mantra is, why do we have to wait until a natural disaster or terrorist attack occurs to be kind and compassionate?”

A rhetorical question, to which the Gospel response is clear.

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

THE LATEST

Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

LEARN MORE
For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.

Sermons

Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.

History

Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.

MUSIC

Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

LEARN MORE
Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.

LEARN MORE
SOCIAL SERVICES

Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.

Classes

Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.

LEARN MORE
Volunteer

Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.

Partner

Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.

Donate

Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

VIEW ALL
Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.

EVENTS

See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.

Newsroom

Holy Apostles in the news.