I prayed The Dwelling would be relevant.
I prayed this new community of faith would be church for the world.
I prayed this church would meet the distinct needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
I didn't imagine it would look like this.
At least not this quickly. But here we are, this atypical church launching in an atypical world.
Two weeks ago we purchased a mobile shower trailer for our community with an estimated delivery date of mid-May. The world seemed "normal then."
Time wasn't of the essence.
Public places weren't closed.
Our neighbors had at least some spaces that were open to them.
And then the world changed.
And our vulnerable neighbors were the unintended casualties of social distancing.
The reality, to go home, to stay in, is a privilege.
While the world around us closes, our siblings are reminded that they're on the outside, that home isn't a physical place.
In the midst of a public health emergency, when our collective health depends on our ability to have a home to quarantine or isolate in, it becomes even more obvious that housing is health care. We can't keep entire communities healthy in the midst of a pandemic if any one of us is left without a home and sleeping on a sidewalk, without proper hygiene and access to showers, or in a crowded shelter without the ability to slow or stop the contagion.*
So we did what the church does best. We responded. (Thank you North Carolina Synod)
Two days ago we signed a rental agreement for a trailer to help us through these next few months as we await the completion of our own. But with that came other unplanned expenses: a generator, shower and laundry supplies, the cost to clean and "pump out" the dirty water tanks regularly, rental costs on top of our purchase price, and I'm sure more we haven't even thought of yet.
But this is what the church does when we're at our best. We lead with faith. We love our neighbors. And we respond.
So I invite you to join with this church. From the privilege of your home. Join us here on the streets with The Dwelling. Help us remind people who God is in the midst of the storm. You can make a donation to help us cover costs at https://www.thedwellingws.org/give and click on the PayPal link.
Or you can Amazon us supplies of your choosing - address found on the website. And you can pray and share and be advocates for our neighbors. It's times like these that we remember that we belong to one another. Come and Dwell with us. ---- If you have questions, please reach out! I'm so happy to share. *Check out this incredible Vox article that articulates our current world so precisely. https://www.vox.com/…/21183812/covid-19-coronavirus-homeless