American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

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A Weary World Rejoices



From Tom Parkins:

Calvary Baptist Church, Newark, has been all virtual since March, but as we say, "the building is closed, the church is open". OPEN INDEED!

We have a rich tradition of serving the homeless and poor of Newark. We normally open up to the homeless, lonely and hungry on Christmas Eve, with a BIG feast,safe warm overnight, breakfast, gifts from Santa and Christmas Day lunch. Not possible in 2020. Newark homeless are sheltered by the state and county in area hotels. We had to go to them and that provided new opportunities.

Since we are meeting virtually, Pastor Corey made a mobile Advent Wreath to video. He asked me to do the wreath on Peace Sunday. I took the wreath to the Red Roof Inn where a number of homeless are sheltered.

These are the players:

  • Tim-- his Mom had died the week before, covid related. We originally planned it with just me and Tim. But they asked him to stay late at work. So I got Betty and Mike. Betty invited Melissa and Euvie to join us.
  • Mike. Never homeless until pandemic. (April) Lost his job and apartment. Worked a while last summer until he hurt his shoulder. Very depressed. Pray for peace and that he can move forward.
  • Betty. An 60 year old woman. She was Pops long time partner. He died a month ago, and she is still grieving his loss. Pops would panhandle to provide for her. Does not see a future without him.
  • Euvie. Just met him that night. He just got an apartment and we furnished it in one week. Going back to school to improve job skills.
  • Melissa. Mother of 6 kids age 1-14. homeless because of domestic violence. Living at RR since early Aug. She got a chance for subsidized housing in Dover but needed $800 by Friday or go to bottom of list. Dover is safer for her.

Our homeless-needy fund is in good shape. Friendship House could not help since not in New Castle County. I coordinated with First Baptist, Dover. They will take the lead in furnishing. They also have a food pantry. So Calvary will bond with FBC, Dover which is good. 

Thursday night I took the "pocket pastor" to Red Roof parking lot. Corey does zoom prayer sessions and as Corey led the Thursday prayer zoom, Melissa opened up. Corey prayed the Chaos Blessing. "How did you know that I needed that now?" It was the final virtual prayer session of 2020 but it was the best. 

We talked about peace before lighting the candle.. I spoke of peace as from in John. Jesus says, "Peace I leave you."  I explained that type of peace. They listened so attentively. When we were done and prayed, Melissa sayid "I want that peace." I will never forget lighting the candle.

Categories: Ministries, General, Region Life ~ Date: 1/5/2021
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