/* ----- ---- *?

Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Grace House

That's the name of the shelter that St. Mary's runs. I went down this morning to meet with the Sr. Warden, and a couple of dedicated volunteers, to learn more about it. It was fascinating. The idea of providing shelter space began even before they had a church home, maybe 3-4 years ago, when a young woman and her child showed up on the doorstep of the house where the church plant was meeting. She had nowhere else to go. They realized then what a need there was in the area. The ramshakle old house they now own was purchased and donated, with this ministry in mind. The first floor has been renovated to serve as a chapel, and the upper two floors house the shelter residents (currently 15 people: 5 adults and 10 children). They had to fight some significant local opposition, in order to be able to open their doors and do this work, but the local residents are beginning to see that their objections were largely unfounded.

We made a list of the most pressing needs-- and there are many-- to be able to discuss them cogently with other area groups (mostly churches), hoping to get more folks involved. The senior warden is going to set up some meetings for us in the next couple weeks, and we'll go to chat with some area pastors. I might be doing presentations for their leadership boards/congregations; we'll see. In addition, Cindy and Ron have volunteered to do some “cold calls.” Gotta love these people.

Additionally, I was able to meet a few of the residents, and talk with them, just a bit. I broached the idea of a Tuesday afternoon Bible study/conversation time with one young woman. She was noncommittal, but I got the feeling that she might come if I showed up. I’ll try to begin next week, after our contact visits are done. Maybe I'll bring munchies... feed the body as well as the soul...

Finally, I spent some time fiddling with the "Synthia," which is a computer-aided keyboard that they use to support congregational singing in worship. No one plays an instrument in this congregation, and there's no room for one even if they did, in that tiny chapel. It’ll be while before I can do it smoothly, but I think I have the basic idea of how it works-- at least, enough to program music for Sunday. A handy gadget.


Blogger Dawgdays said...

And to this group you said, "So, set the charge, brothers and sisters, and let the steel pour forth"?

Sounds like they already gone and done it.

June 10, 2004 10:03 PM  

Blogger Jane Ellen+ said...

Yes, they have, in many ways. And at the same time, like anywhere else, there are other areas that are a challenge. Being able, for example, to talk with others about what they're doing, and why-- the faith that calls us to this purpose-- often seems harder for people than the actual doing. That's one reason there's not been a lot of commmunity involvement to date, and part of why I'm there this summer.

June 11, 2004 5:35 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home