By Joan Goodchild, Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – At a time of year when many people are focusing on the joy and celebration of the holiday season, there are a significant number of others who struggle with depression and sadness. And it is those folks that Sabina Terrades seeks to reach out to and help.
Wellspring United Methodist Church is a small church, with just Pastor Jennie Thrash-Crichlow, a music director and a team of volunteers on staff. The church shares space with Trinity Episcopal Church, 440 Main St. but on Christmas Eve, it holds a service outside, in Dean Park. Several years ago, it was this service that first prompted Terrades, to get involved with Wellspring. She is now an active lay member and volunteer with the church.
“We were searching for a church and went to the Christmas service at the park and thought, “this is beautiful; this feels right,” she said.
Terrades also led a Blue Christmas service at Wellspring on Dec. 17.
“We'se acknowledging the fact that for some Christians, this is a sad season. Some feel lonely, or have lost loved ones,” she explained. “But we also acknowledge that, through the healing of God and Jesus Christ, faith will keep us strong.”
The Blue Christmas service is one of many outreach efforts Terrades is involved with over the course of the year in her tireless volunteer efforts for Wellspring. The Blue Christmas service is part of a “Hope and Healing” series of services dedicated to those who feel “broken,” Terrades explained; whether it is spiritually, physically, financially or any other way. Last month, a service was dedicated to the unemployed.
“Things have been bad economically,” Terrades said. “Everyone is suffering in one way or another. I think there is a growing need for spirituality.”
Terrades, who also works full time and is married with two small children, said her volunteer work drives her life, and her ministry for those in need is her passion. Through an effort at the church known as Project Abundant Life, she and other volunteers have worked with the Interfaith Worcester Hospitality Network to host many homeless members of the community as they are lodged in various churches one week at a time.
The mission has also done outreach work in other regions, including trips to Louisiana and Haiti, assisting victims of natural disasters and regularly organizes food drives for local pantries.
“There has been an upswing in need recently,” Terrades said, “but I'se been there before, too, feeling spiritually broken, and now I enjoy giving back to my community. It adds to life.”
Wellspring will hold a candlelight service on Christmas Eve at 5:30 p.m. at Dean Park and then a Christmas morning Mass at 9:45 a.m. at the church. For more information go to www.wellspringumc.net.