FAIRFIELD GRACE AND JESSE LEE YOUTHS HOST A MIDNIGHT RUN
When nine high-school aged youth staggered in the door at 3:00 AM after a night on the streets, their parents showed no concern. They didn’t check for slurred speech, blood shot eyes, or signs of mischief. They knew in fact that their children were roaming the streets of New York City on a mission — A mission to bring assistance and compassion to those in need.
For several months now, the Congregations of both Fairfield Grace and Jesse Lee Methodist Churches have been rallying their Youth in collecting clothing, blankets, toiletries, and food donations in preparation for this Midnight Run. Hundreds of dollars in monetary contributions, food supplies, and donated items were garnered.
On Thursday, March 28th, after hours of preparing close to 200 sandwiches, filling lunch bags, making soup, organizing toiletry bags and sorting clothing, the youth loaded in vans and headed to the streets of Manhattan. Arriving at 10:00 PM, they spent the next four hours combing the streets helping those in need. They passed out supplies and hot beverages, distributed warm clothing, left lunch bags next to those sleeping on the sidewalks, and most importantly, these youth interacted with dignity and respect to those who have so little. They understood that respect can reaffirm the humanity of a person at a time when homelessness seems to have stripped it away. “Hearing their stories and the circumstances which led to their current situation was a real eye opener” stated 15 year old Nick Leppla.
Through this worthwhile endeavor, these youth were able to see the homeless as real people, and the homeless men and women learned that these teenagers have commitments and concerns that go beyond their own lives and families. These late night relief efforts create a forum for trust, sharing, understanding and affection. That human exchange is the essence of the Midnight Run. And Hunter Rempe felt that “Our homeless brothers and sisters were very appreciative of our efforts. It felt good to give back to the community”.
So the next time your child states they want to roam the streets of New York City, they just may be up to something good!Midnight Run, headquartered in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., is a nonprofit union of more than 100 churches, schools and communities in the metropolitan area, and throughout the United States. It was established to deliver clothing, blankets, food and toiletries to the homeless and oversees the process of material distribution of volunteers. For further information, visit www.midnightrun.org.
Join us for a family fun fellowship event!
Family, Friends, and Children welcome!
Please bring coins to mark your card,
and donate them when you’re done!
Event activities include:
Car-pooling is recommended. Churches are invited to bring a finger food to share at the reception.
Contact Heather Sinclair at 203-929-3537 or click on brochure for more information.
Beloved New York Annual Conference Family:
By now you have heard of the tragic bombing connected with the Boston Marathon yesterday. Our prayers go out to the victims and families of those impacted by this senseless violence. Our prayers also go out to the City of Boston and to Mayor Thomas Menino, who checked himself out of the hospital to travel to the bomb site.
In the midst of calamity, our faith sustains us. The poignant words of the Psalmist ring true; “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble”. (Psalm 46:1-2).
Let us walk in the strength of the Lord as we respond to this seemingly unspeakable tragedy. What follows is a list of suggestions that can be helpful as we journey in the aftermath of the bombing:
1) Pray. Prayer changes things and God meets us in the midst of prayer.
2) Send an email or a card to a Boston area church located near the marathon finish line:
3) Donate blood to the Red Cross as a tribute to the loss of life.
4) Volunteer time with an organization that fosters community building.
5) Address the tragic violence during worship; perhaps tweak an already finished sermon.
6) Pray some more.
As United Methodists, we have consistently held to our faith in times of trial. Let us continue to focus on our faith in Jesus Christ. Let our song be:
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”.
All my prayers,
Bishop Martin D. McLee