A large part of our purpose is to provide meaningful projects for our congregation to share God’s love, serve the needs of God’s people and to help develop our own faith. We provide opportunities for local Mission outreach and also beyond our community.
One of our projects for many years has been the Midnight Run in New York City. For those who don’t know, this is an organization that was started by former street people to address the needs of those living on the streets for whatever reason; often because shelters are dangerous and housing expensive. It includes churches, colleges, and other civic or business groups who carry out weekly Runs. The Midnight Run group provides some large vans and they communicate with those living on the streets to provide the list of stops made by each Run.
A great reason to get involved in the Midnight Run project, no matter which task you choose to do, is that it is a way to follow Jesus, to strengthen your faith and to serve others. We are told by Jesus to reach out to those on the fringes, to feed and clothe them and to let them know they are cared for; that they are also God’s beloved. They have physical needs for clothing, food, etc., but often a greater need to be treated as human beings. We strive to share God’s love with whomever needs it and we learn from those who can teach us about life from their point of view.
Our Confirmation Class just did a full Run to feed and clothe those experiencing homelessness in NYC. We have always had enthusiastic feedback about experiences with the clients, as well as the satisfaction of filling needs for clothing and food. Our recent Run has returned with some good experiences from our Confirmands and their helpers (see the previously published reflection).
We have been asked by some of our other youth and a few other members to have another Run, perhaps in the Spring, for the rest of the Congregation. We are waiting to hear about our choices of dates in late May and early June. In the meantime, before we commit, we would like to gauge interest so that we have enough help and food & clothing donations, etc.
There will be an interest sign up sheet in the Gathering Space after church, if you think you might want to help with this rewarding ministry. There are many tasks that need to be done, so you can think about whatever your own schedule allows. You don’t have to decide now as this is just an interest survey, but here are some ideas of what is available to do: driving the vans, going on the actual Run, buying underwear, socks, etc., putting together lunches, sorting clothing donations, making soup, cleaning the kitchen after the Run (usually the next day).
If you want to partner with someone to prepare lunches/soup, let us know. It’s a great way to get to know & have fun with fellow members. We hope that you will consider helping to support this valuable ministry.
~Heidi Haring, for the Mission Commission