The Confirmation Classes of 2012-2013, and of 2016-2017, went to Boston to connect with the homeless population, through Ecclesia Ministries and other youth groups. They took part in joint relief efforts as well as worship, reflection and discussion. Young people grow up quickly and a program like this allows them a mature, first-hand experience with one of the country’s areas of need.
“On Friday, we heard stories of life on the streets from 12 people in the homeless population. Later that evening, the same people took us on a tour. We saw the benches they call home. We saw the store with an overhang where they prefer to sleep when it rains. We saw the corners that are deemed dangerous – don’t sleep there.
On Saturday, we prepared a sandwich lunch…hundreds of sandwiches. And we re-sorted the clothes brought by our group and others. At lunchtime, the homeless folk were invited in to eat and gather some needed clothes for themselves. All the while, we were engaged in conversation with many new people. We asked a homeless boy what he wanted for Christmas. He answered, “a shirt”. He just wanted a shirt.
Later in the day, we had time for reflection on who we had met, what we had learned, what we were feeling. Together, all 4 youth groups wrote a prayer, which was prayed in each of our home churches on Sunday morning. It reads:
Gracious and living God,
We give thanks for this time to share hospitality together, giving hope to the homeless as one community through God’s love. By being open-minded to those in need of a hug or smile, we show gratitude, giving dignity through grace and honesty. Thank you for this educational, mind-opening opportunity, which gives us a new perspective on life and thank you for giving us the gift of willingness to see life through the shared optimism of the homeless community. It is through truth-telling that our youth will learn to be caring individuals who share the abundance of our lives. We pray for those in need of the things which we take for granted like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, coffee and water. We pray that everyone going through hard times has a Merry Christmas! May the holy chaos we experienced gradually give way to the knowledge that we served God and others with integrity and honor.
Lord have mercy. Hear our prayer. Amen.”
written and presented by LCC Confirmation Class of 2012-2013