At the Cathedral of St. Philip last Thursday night, the annual Homeless Requiem honoring those who have died on our city streets was attended by many, including members of Church of the Common Ground. When the baskets came round for a collection, a young woman in our community lifted her hand in one seamless and confident gesture and placed into the basket her nickel. Her head was raised and the expression on her face radiated the power of community living the Gospel: love one another.
At Church of the Common Ground we talk a lot about the ways in which we are called by God to love each other. We talk about a community of God’s love that knows the first way to show our love to God’s world is to show up. We show up at the Homeless Requiem at the Cathedral of St. Philip and are chalice bearers or readers. We show up with St. Anne’s to build a Habitat Home each year. We show up at Common Soles every week to wash and nurture the feet of our brothers and sisters on the streets. We show up learning about the labyrinth with our friends at St. Veronica’s guild. We show up at Theology from the Margins to talk about God and learn more about the ways of God in this world. We show up and give, not two copper coins, but one silver nickel and rejoice that God is smiling because of our gift given freely. We live our truth that two copper coins are sometimes really two loving hands ready to embrace the world with love.
But, being a community of love on the streets isn’t always easy. At Church of the Common Ground it takes coffee, creamer and sugar for hospitality before Morning Prayer. It takes bottled water for Bible Study ensuring that our community has clean and healthy water available. It takes paper to print bulletins for Sunday worship and newsletters to share the story of community. It takes a van to transport our altar for worship, our folding chairs and ecclesia cross for Morning Prayer, our cooler and water for Bible study, our reading glasses for all of our community who struggle with reading their Bibles due to poor eyesight. It takes two copper coins given again and again by people near and far to help sustain the message: We are all God’s beloved.
So, today and this week we come to you asking for help. This is our time for appeal to help us plan the future of this church into 2019 and beyond. To make a donation, just click here and choose Church of the Common Ground from the donation list. If you are unable to make a financial contribution at this time, then please commit to prayer for our community.
Next Sunday when the Gospel of Mark will ask us all to reflect on the widow and her two copper coins, we invite you to celebrate what we are calling Common Gifts Sunday. During our worship service at 1pm in Woodruff Park, we will bring to the altar all of the contributions, donations and pledges we have received from parishes and individuals. We will bring to the altar the offering cards of our own community where they will affirm the time and talents they will dedicate to being a community of God’s love on our city streets. It will be a celebration of hope and love not to be missed. So, please join us and, if you are able, please give.
(Photos are from the Church of the Common Ground archives and a few of the Sunday worship photos are from Bill Monk who graciously shares his ministry of photography with us. Thank you.)