July 24, 2014
July, and June before it, was plenty busy at Grace-Street Ministry. With the warmer and now hotter weather, there are more requests now for tents, tarps, sleeping bags, shampoo, and soap, as people understandably head outdoors. Boots and sneakers and socks are in constant demand in every season. We regularly support transportation needs, e.g. a ten-ride city bus pass to a man or woman who has just landed a job or who has a need to visit with family or children. Inside the Preble Resource center it is a relief to everyone that it is finally summer! The 11:30 Service of prayer and communion each Sunday has been well attended so far this summer, bringing 20-30 to the circle most Sundays, often approaching half of whom new. By the end of the month, the Ministry will say goodbye to pastor Elizabeth Peterson, who leaves after four years of service, first as intern and then as pastor in order to devote more time to the Kindness initiative she launched at her home church in Westbrook, Maine. She will be sorely missed. At Amistad Day shelter, the Tuesday morning discussion and prayer meeting continues to attract three to five participants most times and to be deeply meaning to all, regulars and first-timers alike. For pastor Mair, the Ministry’s founder, and pastor Bob, new since last December, the Ministry in its many, many settings (including the Preble Street Resource center, Oxford Street shelter, Florence House, Logan Place, and Amistad) and sides (in which “presence, prayer, and advocacy” is shared) continues to be a great and humbling blessing of work. We give thanks every day too for the Ministry’s home church, Williston-Immanuel United in Portland, and for the commitment there of pastor Deborah to ministry to Portland’s homeless and marginalized. Amen.