Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Longest Night--St. Joseph Homeless Memorial Service

Last night I attended the memorial service for homeless people in our community who died in the last year.  This service is put together by the Continuum of Care, a network of agencies that work with homeless people in St. Joseph and is one of hundreds of such services that take place on the longest night of the year across the country.  (See the KQ2 news story.  Read the St. Joseph News-Press story.)

Like most such events, my spirit is willing to make time for them but my flesh is weak and focused on the busyness of my schedule and the many balls I'm trying to keep in the air.  Yet, last night I did make it to the service and it was deeply moving.  We remembered five individuals who died in 2010 whom dedicated, overworked and underfunded social service workers tried to help break the cycle of homelessness.  A homeless man I'm acquainted with who struggles with an alcohol addiction sang a very moving song and representatives from the agencies that work with homeless people in our midst spoke movingly of those they work with. 

I was reminded anew of the needs of people who walk the streets outside my church and thankful for the many dedicated people in our community from the YWCA, InterServ, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army and more who do their best to care for them.  I am in awe of these folks who serve "the least of these."

Grace and Peace,


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