Baby its cold outside!!

So I am sitting here tonight with Starr (see her pic below taking a well deserved rest) after helping Brenthaven Church welcome 30 guests off the cold, cold streets and into their warm building for the night. It has been a wonderful night and I have been doing some reflecting I wanted to share with you.

Someone asked last week if the word of God is proclaimed at these warming shelters. This question immediately brought to my mind the typical requirement by some shelters and missions that someone must attend a worship service before they can eat a meal. That practice just does not feel right to me, so I wrestled with the question for a few days; it took an action by one of our guests last week to help me find the true answer.

While there is no sit down worship requirement before you can eat your meal here at Brenthaven, make no mistake, worship is taking place in our midst!! God is being worshipped when we pray before the meal and everyone is quiet and respectful. God is being worshipped when a guest breaks into song on the piano that sits in the room everyone sleeps in together. God is being worshipped when you hear “God bless you” over and over again. God is being worshipped when a young homeless man gives up his spot on the full bus and steps back out into the cold so that his place can be taken by a man with a severe disability.

Remember I said it was an action by a guest who helped me know for certain that the word and worship of God is alive at these warming shelters. That action was a moment of confession, followed by grace and forgiveness.

Phil was not having a good night last Thursday when he was here and he got really angry about some little something that really doesn’t matter. Tired and worn out by the long day, Phil’s temper got the best of him and he almost left the church that night. Thank goodness he came back inside; about an hour later he handed me the note you see pictured below and asked me to make sure all the people from the church read it. God is being worshipped when confession happens and forgiveness and grace is the response. Phil is back with us tonight, and we welcomed him with smiles and a bear hug or two 🙂

Starr Counting Sheep

Starr Counting Sheep

Phil's Note

Phil’s Note

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