Foot washing on the green

About 100 people came to an ecumenical worship service on the green in New Haven, Connecticut, where people’s feet ceremonially washed and free foot care was offered by local podiatrist and student nurses. More than thirty pairs of shoes were distributed. The bishop-elect of Connecticut, The Rev. Ian Douglas, preached.

Ed Stannard of the New Haven Register reports:

The story of Maundy Thursday is one of God being subversive, Bishop-elect Ian T. Douglas told the crowd gathered on the Green for Maundy Thursday.

Jesus, the expected Messiah, washed the disciples’ feet. Later that night, after the Last Supper, the hoped-for king of the Jews would be betrayed by one of his closest associates and arrested as a common criminal.

Chapel on the Green, a weekly nondenominational service, on Thursday combined the tradition of foot-washing with real foot care for those who live on the city’s streets.

About 100 people came to the afternoon service, and more than 30 received new shoes donated by Bob’s Stores. More received vouchers, socks and foot-care kits. Student nurses from Gateway Community College helped care for the people’s feet, and Ceasar Irby, a podiatrist from Stratford, examined any needing special attention.

“Any time you’re providing services to the less fortunate, it’s a good thing, and I think they appreciate it,” Irby said.

“This is extremely important because people who are living on the street, sometimes their feet are wet or they have cuts or they have underlying health issues that they don’t know about that need treatment,” said student nurse Nyiesha Bowens of Stratford.

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