Candles Show Appreciation at Gladstone Park

May 01, 2006 | Richard Cook

At Gladstone Park (Ore.) Church, even little things mean a lot, so members are invited to nominate fellow members to receive a candle of appreciation for acts of kindness and helpfulness.

"Individuals who have received candles are nominated anonymously," Connie Durbin, Gladstone Park Church head deaconess, said. "I then call those selected to the front of the church to receive their candles of appreciation." She reports that about 55 individuals have received candles since October.

One small boy, Adoniah, son of Edson and Madeline Simon, was so excited over his new candle that he exclaimed, "Mom, keep my candle separate from your decorative ones!"

"I was surprised and felt honored to receive a candle," said Jim Erickson, a local deacon. "I don't want to be put on a pedestal, but I feel I'm doing my best for God. It does feel good to be appreciated."

Durbin got the candle idea while at Big Lake Youth Camp's family camp last year. "Campers who saw others doing little unnoticed things like giving up their places in line, helping at the dining tables, etc., turned their names in to be recognized around the campfire," she explained. "Then when the song 'Go Light Your World' was sung, I thought about using candles."

Durbin plans to continue the appreciation program weekly.