Is it “Bridge of Hope” or “Bridges of Hope”? This question is one that I have been asked more than once recently.
The question is usually asked in the context of the church’s long-standing relationship with a local mission that addresses homelessness along the banks of the Susquehanna River. The name of this ministry with whom St. James has helped before and will likely help again, is Bridge of Hope. One bridge. Singular.
However, we at St. James are actively striving to build other bridges of hope. Plural. More precisely, we are super-enthusiastic about helping other bridge-builders do the work that they feel called to do.
This past weekend, I was grateful to be given opportunities to actively serve three local non-profit organizations.
On Friday, a group of us served lunch at Bethesda Mission. This group consisted of Jessica Enck, Mindy Lange, Karen McLaughlin and her father Lenny, Tammy Stine and me. Tammy Stine’s leadership ability is exceptional; I appreciate her leadership and the leadership of SJPC’s Outreach and Mission Ministry Group.
Please mark your calendar for Saturday, March 10; that’s when St. James is scheduled to serve at Bethesda Mission again. By scheduling our next luncheon on a Saturday, we hope that more people will be able to participate; please join us if you are able to do so.
This past Saturday, I attended a fundraising event for Safe Harbour of Carlisle. Safe Harbour is another non-profit organization that fights homelessness in central Pennsylvania. At this event, cartoonist Robb Armstrong spoke about his nationally syndicated Jump Start comic strip and how his experiences with homeless men and women inform the scenarios that he explores in his art.
Of course, one does not have to go to Philadelphia, where Armstrong resides, to stare homelessness in the face. There is plenty of suffering closer to home. In response to this need, St. James is considering jumping back into Bridge of Hope by exploring the possibility of setting up a neighboring team to support a family in search of more stability and freedom.
Based on the results of yesterday’s exploratory meeting, all signs point to another neighboring group coming together soon. If you have any interest in strengthening this effort, then please contact Melanie Shaver-Durham to lend a hand.
If there is another bridge being built out there to which we, as a congregation, should be contributing, then please bring it my attention or to the attention of any member of SJPC’s Outreach and Mission Team, which consists of Craig Bonebrake, Jim Masters, Melanie Shaver-Durham, Tammy Stine and Randy Winter.
Meanwhile, let’s keep celebrating God’s call to service and the blessings that come through following Jesus Christ, who gives his life for the sake of the world.