On the first Sunday of Advent, December 1, the rain increased through the afternoon, and the temperatures were going down. I’ve said before, if you want to know when the worst weather in a month is going to be, look to the first and last Sundays of the month, when The Welcome Church worships outside on the Ben Franklin Parkway! Two people were front and center in forming the circle for our worship service: two women, who are both always stylishly dressed, and depending when a person encounters these individuals, can each speak graciously, intelligently, and professionally. Both suffer from mental health issues and have conflicts with reality, which would make it difficult for them to be able to live in a stable housing situation, and they are part of Philadelphia’s homeless community. They have been a part of The Welcome Church for many years. We welcome their gifts. One is a gifted artist. The other speaks French. On this Sunday of December, they both showed up right on time for worship, and a few of the men whom we know stood around forming a bit of an outer circle. A group of 10 to 20 enjoyed a time of worship and coffee hour together. The Welcome Church makes sure that there is pastoral care available for people who live on the streets of Philadelphia, that people have safe spaces to which they can reliably return, that bases for relationships and trust are laid, that community is available to people who are often shut out, that there is no one who does not encounter welcome.
Thank you to all who have supported The Welcome Church! Thank you to those who have baked cookies for Teatime, or donated housing goods for people moving from homelessness to housing, or responded to a special need of our women’s shelter, The Well! Thank you for your prayers for The Welcome Church!
Please come to a benefit concert for The Welcome Church, featuring Hazelita Fauntroy, Soprano, on Sunday, January 12, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., at Ardmore Presbyterian Church. Ms. Fauntroy will present a musical tribute to two great freedom-fighters, at the bicentennial of the “Moses of her people,” Harriet Tubman (1820), and the centennial of Dr. James Farmer (1920), who was active during the major Civil Rights Movement. She will perform spirituals, rhythm and blues, classical areas, jazz, etc., taking us on a historical musical journey of a road to freedom. A freewill offering will be taken. Ms. Fauntroy is a former resident of The Well, and she is one of many women who has used The Well as a stepping stone and now lives in permanent housing and continues to be a leader in The Welcome Church. — Rev. Schaunel Steinnagel