Okay, so over the weekend, there we were in Philly- a place I definately want to go back to when I have an opportunity. I didn’t see much and wanted to see it all- but there is only so much one can do and see while in a car. At any rate, the street church we were observing meets in the Parkway in front of the beautiful Family Court Building there in Philadelphia. A grand backdrop, no doubt. Sadly, I took no photos as it would hinder the trust built up by the church for it’s people. Unhoused folks are very private individuals and trust must be built and maintained. Once lost, the damage is huge. The church comes to that location once a month. They serve coffee before the service and their liturgy is very close to ours. The day we were there, there was someone serving donuts or other snackage in back of the Welcome Church and to the side, chicken was being served by the Baptist Church. Unlike our church, they met at 3 o’clock . The Gathering meets at 1:00.
It was a beautiful, sunny day, the wind whipping my hair around as if I were next to a fan.It was cool, brisk, really and I was wearing short sleeves. I began to get a little chilly, so I stood in the sun where the warmth covered my shoulders like a shawl. People gathered in a semi circle to try and hear the service in progress. We sang a song for the people that we were taught only the night before.It was a lot of fun to do.After the Eucharist, people lingered about a bit as if they, too , were gathering the warmth I felt. It was an amazing experience and I was so glad I went.
I love the street church. I always feel humbled afterward and blessed throughout. If you have never been to a church for the housed and unhoused, it is an experience everyone should have. Google churches for the homeless or unhoused in your area and see what you are missing. When you visit, I can guarantee you will be blessed and feel humbled. I can just about guess that you’d never worshipped God quite that way before. But, watch out- it’s a blessing that is addictive and that, my friend, is a wonderful thing!