We are popping our buttons twice over this morning: First, because The New York Times today carries a wonderful story about Street Church, a ministry to the homeless conducted by the Rev. Anne-Marie Jeffrey of Church of the Epiphany, which is downtown at Metro Center, and second, because the story was first told by our own Lucy Chumbley in the July/August issue of Washington Window. Have a look.
A small slice of the Times’ story:
“When you become homeless, you become very aware of how people treat you,” said the Rev. Anne-Marie Jeffery, who runs Street Church. “It’s hard to walk into a church, and it’s even harder when you are homeless because you’re worried about how you will be received, or if you smell bad. Some people never go inside at all, because they worry that they can lose all their stuff,” as in shopping carts that must be left outside, “or be sent to a mental hospital or to jail.”
Street Church began last February. Though Epiphany keeps its doors open during the day for everyone, and offers breakfast and an indoor service for the homeless on Sundays, the rector, the Rev. Randolph Charles, had wanted to expand into some type of outdoor worship, Ms. Jeffery said. So Mr. Charles met with the Rev. Deborah Little Wyman, another Episcopal priest, who started an outdoor worship mainly for the homeless in Boston 11 years ago and who wanted to find a church in Washington to begin a similar service.