by Bill Mahler
During the final evening of the Homeless Shelter, Ron McCarty and I were at the Welcome Center when the group meeting downstairs began to leave. That group is a combination of Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and Alateen members, in other words recovering alcoholics and their families. They rent our lower level meeting area every Sunday evening and had 197 people in attendance that evening, a typical number.
As they were leaving, one of the leaders came over to us and indicated that they usually don’t see church members on Sunday evenings. He wanted to express his thanks for the use of our building and for the safe, convenient parking we provide. He said, “You may not know how much good you are doing for this group by providing a welcoming, safe place to meet.”
Earlier that day, Allen Morgan (Coordinator for the Homeless Shelter) asked the men if there was anything more we could do for them. One of the men quickly said, “How about staying another week?” Several of the men had indicated during the week that they felt very welcome at St. Luke and really appreciated the good food, fellowship, and facilities, especially the showers.
In light of the appreciation expressed by these two groups and the other community groups that rent our facilities during the week, I would like to thank all the people who
- talked with a homeless guest,
- prepared or served food for the homeless,
- drove the men to or from our church,
- stayed up half or all night as a host,
- decided to locate our church where it is convenient to reach by bus or car, and
- decided on a building that is well suited for various meetings.
Even though our mortgage is a challenge that must be overcome, our building and location can be an asset in reaching out to our community with God’s love and the saving message of forgiveness through Jesus. Of course, we most importantly thank our Triune God for providing all that we have in this life and eternal life, as well as leading us to be his ambassadors to the world around us.