Dear Friends of Ecclesia Ministries common cathedral,
On April 12, I had the privilege of being present with housed congregation volunteers and members of the common cathedral community for a portion of City Reach. City Reach is a wonderful program which provides leadership experience for community members, hands-on experience for volunteers from housed congregations and student groups, and material assistance to homeless men and women.
I have long known about the program, but first hand experience left a powerful impression on me. I heard so many words of gratitude for what City Reach offers on up to 8 weekends each year. Some are grateful for the fellowship in a safe, warm space. Some are grateful for the clothing and other donations which allow homeless men and women to "shop" for clothing of their choosing. Some are grateful to God whom they proclaim the source of Hope.
One particular image which struck me was a homeless man who walked with enormous reverence down the aisle of St. Paul's Cathedral Church (across Tremont Street from the regular Sunday worship site on Boston Common). Upon reaching the choir steps, he stopped, bowed his head, and after a time of silent reflection, made the sign of the cross and then sat in a pew to await his turn to select clothing.
I wonder if I would be so reverent in the face of the hour by hour challenges which are that man's daily lot.
I do not know what he prayed for at that moment, but I imagine it included gratitude for just being alive and hope founded in God for what lies ahead.
As you look forward to the joyful celebration of Easter Day, I hope your prayers include the image of that man with so few things and yet so much faith. I hope your prayers will encourage you to respond to his needs (and those of so many others) with generosity of spirit and generosity of action. Please know how much this ministry values your participation in whatever way you can!
Finally, please keep the leadership in your prayers as we now begin interviewing candidates for Executive Director and Assistant Street Minister.
(Rev.) Stephen O. Voysey, Board Chair, common cathedral