Thought Of The Week: Lynette Sunderland

Written by Writings & Sermons by others — 19 October 2016

Who would have thought in October 1991, I would have been sitting in October 2016 “acknowledging” and “celebrating” 25 years of “working” at Alyth?  I use these three words loosely – acknowledging because in fact having joined Alyth with my family as a child of 9 I have been almost part of the furniture for over 40 years.  This means to me that most of my life has been “Alyth” in some way – sometimes as my first home and sometimes as my second but never far from my thoughts in that time.  Celebrating – yes, a personal achievement but not only do I celebrate 25 years of my involvement but I celebrate all those people, some sadly no longer with us, who have been alongside me on the journey through these years and have enabled me to do the work that I love and enjoy.  And, working – yes it’s been hard work at times but I would not have wanted to have been anywhere else – for me it has truly been vocational rather than a nine to five job!   The support I have received from lay leaders and the congregation, the friendships I have made, the lives I have been privileged to have known, the generations I have witnessed grow up and the special colleagues with whom I have been very lucky to have worked as part of a team, have made this a very special and rewarding 25 years of my life.

This weekend also sees the 25th Anniversary of the Sukkot Sleepout.  Started by Jon Epstein and Mike Klein, each year, many very hardy young people have braved the elements to sleep overnight in the Alyth Sukkah and by doing so have raised awareness of those who are homeless and in addition, raised a large amount of money for the relevant charities.  This Shabbat we celebrate and thank all those who have taken part in this over the years.

During this time of Sukkot, as we read about the Children of Israel wandering the desert and finding shelter from their sukkah, our thoughts turn to all those who have no shelter, no homes and very little or nothing in their lives.  This thought makes me, for one, thankful and very grateful for all the wonderful things that I have been able to be involved in over the past 25 years that has enabled me shelter, joy and a huge amount of pleasure. Thank you.

Shabbat Shalom / Chag Sameach