Church Sexton Makes A Quiet Difference

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email


At St. Mark's Episcopal Church in downtown Prattville you will find Oretta Rice vacuuming up dirt, organizing hymnals and sprucing up the kitchen in the parish hall.

"I don't complain," said Rice.

And it's been that way for 22 years, day in and day out, week after week, you better believe Rice is a treasure to the small parish.

22 years of quietly coming to St. Mark's where it's quiet and still. There are some who may believe what Rice does is menial work, a drudgery  but not Oretta Rice. She's learned the secret of finding joy in what could be considered a mundane task and making a difference along the way.

"I think about the Lord and the condition of the world. I pray as I vacuum and clean and I pray for the world. I learned how to comfort people going through difficult times. I tell them to hang in there. God loves them and I give them a hug and a smile," said Rice.

Rice spent two years in college but gave it up to stay home and raise her children.

"No regrets," Rice said.

Rice had planned to major in psychology because in her words 'she loves people.' Either by coincidence or divine providence, this job of keeping the church clean has given Rice insight into parishioners and a sense of peace.

The church tells us in more than 20 years no one has complained about Rice nor has Rice complained herself.

"I just get along with people," said Rice.

Oretta Rice, making a difference by cleaning up and letting go.

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