Care for the hungry and homeless of the Peninsula drew an unusual number of clergy together, on the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in late January. The Christmas memories of “no room at the inn” for the baby Jesus inspired clergy to eat together and to hear of the issues and services for those in poverty, on our affluent Peninsula.
Churches may not agree on biblical interpretation, gender equality or religious language, but they can come together at their best on compassion for the poor!
The lunch event was organized by the “Peninsula Homeless to Housing” (PH2H) task force, made up of individuals, service groups and churches whose mission is “to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness on the South Surrey White Rock Peninsula to live in safe and appropriate housing.”
Information was shared about the Cold Weather Shelter, the low-cost community meals, the Sources Food Bank, the homeless outreach workers, and other practical resources for churches who are caring for people in poverty.
There was a brief presentation on how churches and other non-profit organizations can leverage their land for low-income or subsidized housing. Opportunities for involvement and deepened service were highlighted, including last Saturday’s “Coldest Night” walk.
Many of the clergy and their representatives were surprised by the statistics of poverty on the Peninsula and were impressed with what was already happening. They agreed that more individual and congregational efforts could and should be made to make a difference.
After all, people are cold and hungry out there, as one person said, and they are our neighbours!