SC oot oot focus & SC Homelessness

WHO IS THIS HONORED MAN IN COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA? WHY DOES HE HAVE HIS OWN FLAG, EGOTISTICALLY FLYING AS A SYMBOL RIGHT ALONGSIDE THE PALMETTO STATE/Crescent moon FLAG AND THE AMERICAN FLAG? (Not to mention the identical orbs on all 3 poles)
SYMBOLS AS THE LANGUAGE…

Shelter the Homeless

We find our call to do so in scripture: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)

Jesus understood what it meant to be homeless as he began his life homeless, born in a stable.  During his ministry he often relied on the hospitalty of others to put a roof over his head for the night. The Pope demonstrates this understanding of homelessness for us in his efforts to serve the homeless of Rome.  He has established showers, bathrooms and a barbershop inside the Vatican for the homeless.

At Ascension during the month of February we have for many years welcomed the homeless with our winter shelter. This year winter shelter will take place February 10-16.  Participating in this event is a very direct way in which we can practice sheltering the homeless.  In addition to providing for the physical needs of our winter guests, we also need to consider their emotional and spiritual lives.  This year we are asking parishioners to consider signing up to spend a few hours in evening fellowship with our guests.  Talking and socializing with our visitors can be as valuable as providing food and a warm bed for the night. 

While homelessness is most often thought of in relation to a physical place, people can be homeless even if they have a roof over their head. During this month, think about those who are lonely, disenfranchised, or unwelcome in their own homes.  Finally, think about the whether Jesus is welcome in your home.  Have you invited him in or is he still homeless?

Did you know that almost 600,000 people—25% of them children and 15% of them veterans­­—were homeless in the United States this year?

  • Support and/or volunteer at a homeless shelter.
  • Support and/or volunteer for charitable agencies who care for the homeless, build homes, and provide support in the wake of natural disasters.
  • Advocate for public policies and legislation that provide housing for low-income people.
  • Consider becoming a foster parent.
  • Donate unused useable household items for someone else’s home.
  • Let your house be a welcome place for a child who may not have a parent home after school.
  • Have bottled water and small snacks in your car to give to homeless people you meet.
  • Smile when you meet a homeless person. Don’t look away as if they don’t exist.

(Statistics provided by The National Alliance to End Homelessness)

Parable Reflection: Luke 16: 19-31 The Rich Man and Lazarus

Read Luke 16: 19-31.

 The Rich Man’s sin was not that he was rich but that he did not see the beggar at his gate. How often do we not see those people around us who are in need? Is it because we are too busy rushing around? Is it because we refuse to see? In this Year of Mercy we recognize that God in his infinite mercy saw our need and came to our rescue. We are called open our eyes and our hearts and do the same.

 Reflections:

  1. Prayerfully and slowly reread Luke 16: 19-31. Listen to what the Lord has to say to you.
  2. Who do you refuse to see? Why?
  3. Who is the “beggar at your gate”? Who in your life needs your help?

 Psalm for the Month

This month’s corporeal work of mercy is to shelter the homeless. Another way of looking at this is to provide shelter/comfort/peace to those in need.  Several psalms reflect our need of the Lord’s sheltering peace and strength.

Ps16:1-2         “ Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;

                        I say to the Lord, “my Lord are you.

                        Apart from you I have no good.”

We can take refuge/shelter/comfort under the merciful arm of God. How wonderful He is to us, His children.

Ps 61:2-5         “Hear, O God, my cry, listen to my prayer!

                        From the earth’s end I call to you as my heart grows faint.

                        You will set me high upon a rock, you will give me rest,

                        for you are my refuge, a tower of strength against the enemy,

Oh, that I might lodge in your tent forever, take refuge in the shelter of your wings!

 Reflections:

  1. Prayerfully read Psalms 16 and 61. Listen to what the Lord has to say to you.
  2. The hymnal in the chapel contains the hymn, Shelter Me, O God. Sing or silently pray that hymn.
  3. What comfort/shelter/peace can you offer to someone in your family?
  4. Volunteer to help with the soup kitchen at the JCOC . See Marie 495-1886 x 414.
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