Service Above Self
When I first came to Sarasota over 25 years ago as the new Rector of Church of the Redeemer, it wasn’t long before I received a call from Elaine and Bob Kyllonen, asking me to come to Resurrection House to say a prayer on the occasion of its 5th anniversary.
So many obstacles had been overcome during those first 5 years and they were thankful that not only had RH survived, but also was thriving in its mission to provide hope to the neediest of the needy in our community. They wanted that anniversary to be marked by prayer and thanksgiving to God.
It wasn’t long after that milestone that I received another call from Bob, asking me if I would consider becoming the President of the Board. I thanked him for the honor of being asked and said yes to the opportunity to be able to serve my community in that way.
Over these 25 years since, we have seen many changes in the city of Sarasota, but the homeless continue to be with us and continue to need our help. We have seen changes in leadership as Bob and Elaine Kyllonen retired and David Proch took the helm. When David retired, Bill Wilson assumed leadership. With all of our directors, we have been blessed with strong, capable leadership.
At times, we have been seen as partners with the community in meeting this need and sometimes we have been seen as part of the problem! Sometimes our community has forged ahead with real progress in helping the homeless find homes. At times, there has been such optimism that folks have told us our services would soon not be needed (Thank you very much!)
Throughout all of these times, positive and negative, good and bad, we have not changed. We have offered the services and ministry that we provide and have trusted in God that he would lead us in any changes that might need to be made in the future. In the meantime, our modus operandi was to continue to do what we do to the glory of God and to service of the poorest of the poor.
Resurrection House provides a much-needed ministry to members of our community who are in need and it helps to make Sarasota a place of compassion. I am thankful for this lighthouse of hope and I am thankful for the many people who have made it possible and who continue to make it possible through the generous gifts of their time, talent, and treasure.
Fr. Fred Robinson