Outreach ministries return this September.
We are considering bringing back in September some ministries that have helped us connect with those living around us. Join us.
The ministries focus on those who have no roof over their head. The Listening Post, our ministry of presence; Evening Prayer, where we lead our visitors in prayers in the sanctuary read by the volunteer; and the Sandwich Makers who gather 15 minutes a day to put together brown bags of food to be distributed daily after evening prayer.
We are looking for volunteers for all three ministries. And let me tell you, these will nourish your soul and your prayer life.
Everyone yearns to be seen and heard, and this is most true for those who find their shelter on the streets and are often dismissed, shamed, and overlooked.
While the Lord of the Streets provides tangible goods such as mail, clothing, healthcare, and Bible study, "The Listening Post" is an opportunity for those clients and anyone on the street to stop for respite.
Every Friday from noon to 2 p.m., we create an oasis on the street in front of Trinity Church beneath the old oak tree. We provide anyone walking a chair to rest their bodies, refreshments, and someone to talk to about their day, their joys, their sadness, or anything on their mind.
With a simple gesture of hospitality and a listening ear, we allow them to sit in silence if they want to, without filling out forms. It allows them to express their concerns and to have someone to talk to, have someone to listen, someone to witness. It gives them time to breathe, to think, to vent, to release, and in so doing, allows them the space to hear their thoughts. By providing a non-judgmental presence, we give a safe space to find their path to a solution.
In the Book of Job, the most powerful thing his friends could do for seven days was sit in silence and honor his grieving. So many of those we encounter who are homeless or near homeless are so set upon they feel like JOB. We are their witness. We see them. We hear them. And in so doing, we empower them.
We are not counselors. We are listeners. We will provide training. But some skills you will need are to be a good listener without trying to fix them, empathetic, and the ability to remain calm, non-judgmental.
Over the next few Sundays, we will share moments from those ministries in this space in the hopes you will want to get involved.
Theresa D. McClellan
Head of Evening Prayer and Listening Post Ministries