Crucial needs during season of giving
During both services on Sunday, Dec. 11, Mary Beth Sullivan, a multicultural case worker at the Preble Street Resource Center, delivered a poignant story to the congregation — the plight of the homeless in downtown Portland.
In place of the morning’s sermon, Mary Beth told the story of Preble Street and its daily attempts to deliver “positive, unconditional” services to people who have very little or, in some cases, nothing.
She told the stories of many of her clients, and clients of coworkers. In each case, there were individual struggles, uncertainty, and poverty — people in need of the very basic necessities in life. But in the end, she told how the people at Preble Street strive to provide “moments of grace in action.” And in many cases, she said, “sweet miracles happen every day.”
She also told story that in April, Preble Street, the Florence House for women and the teen center for the first time served 1,000 meals in one day. But by this past October, serving 1,000 meals a day was becoming a common practice.
Our church and many others have supported the ongoing efforts of Preble Street and its case workers, but the need is increasing. A special offering was taken during Sunday’s two services and as Rev. Ruth Morrison pointed out, “So much of what we do and give at Christmas has little to do with the Christ Child. This (Preble Street) has everything to do with the Christ Child.”