Mennonite World Review LogoMennonite World Review

Last updated May 10.

May 16, 2011 issue

Hosting homeless families

By Peter Goering Hyattsville (M.D.) Mennonite Church

The abundant participation of many members enabled us to host Warm Nights in our church March 6-13. Warm Nights is a program for homeless individuals and families supported by 15-20 neighborhood congregations. Each night 20-25 adults and children were served a hot meal and given lodging.

During Lent, we collected a special offering each Sunday for A Wider Circle, a local nonprofit organization that works to help children and families in the Washington, D.C., area escape poverty.

A procession of palms introduced our Palm Sunday worship service of music and scripture. Holy Week continued with a tenebrae service and simple meal on Maundy Thursday.

On Good Friday, several members hosted a simple worship ser­vice in their homes. A potluck breakfast was served prior to the Easter Sunday worship service. A joyful worship celebration on Eas­ter concluded with all singing Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus.

Women from the church were on retreat April 29-May 1 at the Roll­ing Ridge Study Retreat Center near Shepherdstown, W.Va. Eva Beidler led the group in appreciating the environmental art of Andrew Golds­worthy and the stone formations of the Inuit people. Attendees explored the use of nature for crea­tive purposes, learned how to “look with our hands,” and used natural materials like rocks, moss, seedpods and twigs to make artful, symbolic creations.

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