Finding a home at CEUMC
Our church hosted its first guests from the Greater Portland Family Promise mission during the week of Aug. 13-20, welcoming three families from Morocco and Angola. Thanks to many volunteers from our church, St. Alban’s and St. Bartholomews, it was a rewarding and successful week of helping homeless children and their families.
There were a total of five children and five adults.
The week of hosting was coordinated by our church’s Deanne Burr and Linda Webster, without whom the many details and organization for the week would not have been complete.
The families first arrived late Sunday afternoon, had supper and fellowship time with volunteers and then retired to their rooms around 9:30. The Family Promise van picked them up at 7 the next morning and took them to the Day Center in Portland. The families returned to our church at 5 p.m. and the next overnight cycle began and continued through the week.
Volunteers from the three churches prepared dinners throughout the week, spent time with the children and adults in the evenings, stayed overnight at the church in case help was needed by any of the families, set out breakfasts in the mornings and provided food for lunches.
On Saturday morning, when the families did not have to return to the Day Center as early as they had during the week, a larger breakfast was prepared including banana pancakes, scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, juice and coffee.
At the Sunday morning services, after the three families had departed our church for the final time, the Rev. Casey Collins, in her sermon, said it was “holy ground” with what the members of three churches had done to ease the burden for three homeless families for a week.
In part, Pastor Casey said, “This was holy ground. Gathered around the dinner table, people from very different parts of the world, very different cultures, colors, very different religions, laughing, using common gestures and whatever bits and pieces of language they could understand, passing the bread and sharing the cup . . . I knew without a doubt God was present.”
There are 13 faith communities who will be hosts for a week at a time during the year in the Greater Portland Family Promise network. Our next hosting will be in approximately three months but no exact date has been set.
If you did not volunteer to take part this time, but would like to do so next time, contact Deanne Burr or Linda Webster.