By Carolyn Tomlin
JACKSON — Sending birthday, get-well and sympathy cards is a common practice in many Baptist churches in order to let other members know they are remembered.
For Sue Lile, however, sending cards is a personal ministry.
“When my mother was in a nursing home in 2007, some people never received any mail,” said Lile, a retired teacher and lifelong member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Jackson.
“So, I thought, I could do this! I started with a few (cards) and today it’s grown to include church members, friends of my family, relatives and others,” she noted.
Beginning in 2007, Lile has sent approximately 40 cards per month. In the 11 years that have followed, that comes to about 5,280 cards.
Through the years, Lile has made many friends in her church while serving as song leader, Sunday School teacher, church clerk and on numerous committees. And then there are the students who have benefited from her 30 years in the classroom.
Although Lile makes numerous visits to shut-ins, hospitals and to nursing homes, the card ministry lets people know they aren’t forgotten. One elderly lady who was having a birthday said, “I knew you would send me a birthday greeting. I was looking in the mail for it, because I knew you wouldn’t forget.”
Another said, “This card did the right thing, at the right time.” Many people say it brightens their day.
“Starting a card ministry is something anyone can do,” Lile observed. “As we grow older and perhaps, no longer driving, you can still buy cards and stamps online and have them delivered to your home. Selecting an appropriate card for each person makes this a personal contact.”
For example, “thinking of you” cards can be for either male or female and can cover birthdays, illness, congratulations, and sympathy. Be sensitive to the health condition, especially when there is a terminal illness. Lile purchases LifeWay cards which contain a Scripture verse. “This is one way of sharing Christ with others,” she said
“A card ministry keeps people connected and sends a message of encouragement. It’s something that anyone can do, and it blesses the giver as well as the receiver,” Lile added. B&R