This morning Bethany and I went to the Homeless Church which meets at the Embarcadero by the Ferry Building. It started here in the city about 17 years ago and now has two services every sunday, with up to two hundred people meeting together.
It was wonderful to worship in the open air, singing old school songs and not ministering to those who are homeless but worshiping with them. It was interesting to be the one entering on to their territory where they, in reality, are the superior ones. But they were very welcoming and many people approached us to say hello and talk. The man who we met on Homeless Plunge, Mike, was there so we spent some time talking to him and made new friends in Rick, James and Meredith.
They start with a time of worship and then serve coffee with cake/cookies (translate: biscuits) before the sermon is preached (today’s involved a ventriloquist’s puppet – those things never fail to freak me out) and afterwards they have a pancake breakfast.
One of the girls who we spoke to said how much she loved it there because nobody judged one another. She suffers from depression and paranoia and spoke of how “normal” churches place labels on “people like her” and condemn them but at Homeless Church she is welcomed, loved and supported.
One of the leaders, Stephanie, spent some time speaking to us about the lack of services for women in the city and the desperate need for more shelters and safe houses for them. She has such a passion for seeing something like that realised in the city; it was lovely to be able to pray with her.
I can’t wait to go back next week and to start dreaming of how I can take it all home.