[Hpn] Pastor Inspires Congregation To Help Homeless

owaynat@comcast.net owaynat@comcast.net
Sun, 12 Jun 2005 05:51:39 +0000


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> 
> 
> Beaver Dams pastor inspires congregation to help homeless 
> 
> John P. Cleary 
> 
> June 10, 2005 
> 
> The Rev. Grant Nicholls, pastor of the Beaver Dams United Methodist Church, 
> didn't know what to do with the money. 
> 
> Last winter, a few days before he left for a conference of pastors in 
> Houston, a congregation member slipped him some cash and asked him to use it 
> as he saw fit. 
> 
> He took it with him to Houston. One day, Nicholls slipped away from the 
> hotel where the conference was held to stretch his legs. 
> 
> "I was in search of a good, affordable cup of coffee," he said. "And 
> McDonald's is usually the safe port in any storm." 
> 
> To get to the nearby McDonald's, Nicholls had to walk through the kind of 
> place most of us would have avoided when visiting a big city. 
> 
> "You had to walk underneath the elevated expressway," he said. "That took 
> you through the center of a really large homeless community." 
> 
> Nicholls has lived and worked in big cities. He's seen that kind of 
> makeshift housing development before. This time, though, it tugged at his 
> heart. 
> 
> Later at the conference, another pastor suggested that participants join him 
> in buying their lunch at McDonald's, then buying an extra lunch to share 
> with someone at the homeless camp. 
> 
> "I thought, that's what I've been waiting for," he said. "That's what I'm 
> supposed to do with that money. 
> 
> "We had a group of over 100 pastors that went in a group to McDonald's," he 
> said. "I mean, by the time we got going, we had a line down the block." 
> 
> They warned the McDonald's manager, who opened up a separate line for the 
> pastors. 
> 
> "We served well over 500 hamburger or cheeseburger meals," Nicholls said. 
> 
> Sharing lunch with the homeless, Nicholls got to hear some of their stories. 
> These were not people who didn't want to work, he said, or drug addicts or 
> the mentally ill. He said they were people who, for whatever reason, had 
> slipped to the very bottom of the economic ladder. 
> 
> "It was really a very moving experience," he said. "One of the young men I 
> had lunch with was originally from Dundee. He's been homeless seven or eight 
> years. He went down there to work on a shrimp boat, and he did that, 
> seasonally, but in the offseason he was homeless." 
> 
> Nicholls brought those stories back with him to his congregation in Beaver 
> Dams. 
> 
> "Their first reaction was, what can we do?" he said. "There are homeless 
> people right in our own area here, and with very, very limited shelter 
> facilities." 
> 
> To get a taste of what the homeless face, some of the young people from the 
> church - and a few adults - will erect a cardboard village today in the 
> church parking lot. They will sleep on the ground and eat only what they can 
> beg from passers-by, Nicholls said. 
> 
> Participants have solicited donations and pledges. Money raised will be 
> divided among area shelters and agencies that help the homeless, Nicholls 
> said. 
> 
> The church is hosting a chicken barbecue fund-raiser Saturday, but the 
> cardboard city residents won't be eating there unless generous visitors buy 
> them meals. 
> 
> "We're only going to eat what we can beg or hustle from others," Nicholls 
> said. 
> 
> He hopes the youth learn lessons of compassion from the project and come to 
> be thankful for the things they have. 
> 
> "Maybe by experiencing a night like this, our young people will appreciate 
> better what they do have and what it takes to get that," Nicholls said. 
> 
> The chicken barbecue is planned for noon. A dinner costs $7. The church is 
> at 1285 County Route 19 in Beaver Dams. To make a donation to the homeless 
> project, visit 
> www.beaverdamsumc.org. 
> 
> John P. Cleary is a staff writer for the Star-Gazette. Neighbors runs daily 
> on this page. 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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<BLOCKQUOTE style="PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; BORDER-LEFT: #1010ff 2px solid">-------------- Original message -------------- <BR><BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Beaver Dams pastor inspires congregation to help homeless <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; John P. Cleary <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; June 10, 2005 <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; The Rev. Grant Nicholls, pastor of the Beaver Dams United Methodist Church, <BR>&gt; didn't know what to do with the money. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Last winter, a few days before he left for a conference of pastors in <BR>&gt; Houston, a congregation member slipped him some cash and asked him to use it <BR>&gt; as he saw fit. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; He took it with him to Houston. One day, Nicholls slipped away from the <BR>&gt; hotel where the conference was held to stretch his legs. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "I was in search of a good, affordable cup of coffee," he said. "And <BR>&gt; McDonald's is usually the safe port in any storm." <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; To get to the nearby McDonald's, Nicholls had to walk through the kind of <BR>&gt; place most of us would have avoided when visiting a big city. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "You had to walk underneath the elevated expressway," he said. "That took <BR>&gt; you through the center of a really large homeless community." <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Nicholls has lived and worked in big cities. He's seen that kind of <BR>&gt; makeshift housing development before. This time, though, it tugged at his <BR>&gt; heart. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Later at the conference, another pastor suggested that participants join him <BR>&gt; in buying their lunch at McDonald's, then buying an extra lunch to share <BR>&gt; with someone at the homeless camp. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "I thought, that's what I've been waiting for," he said. "That's what I'm <BR>&gt; supposed to do with that money. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "We had a group of over 100 pastors that went in a group to McDonald's," he <BR>&gt; said. "I mean, by the time we got going, we had a line down the block." <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; They warned the McDonald's manager, who opened up a separate line for the <BR>&gt; pastors. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "We served well over 500 hamburger or cheeseburger meals," Nicholls said. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Sharing lunch with the homeless, Nicholls got to hear some of their stories. <BR>&gt; These were not people who didn't want to work, he said, or drug addicts or <BR>&gt; the mentally ill. He said they were people who, for whatever reason, had <BR>&gt; slipped to the very bottom of the economic ladder. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "It was really a very moving experience," he said. "One of the young men I <BR>&gt; had lunch with was originally from Dundee. He's been homeless seven or eight <BR>&gt; years. He went down there to work on a shrimp boat, and he did that, <BR>&gt; seasonally, but in the offseason he was homeless." <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Nicholls brought those stories back with him to his congregation in Beaver <BR>&gt; Dams. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "Their first reaction was, what can we do?" he said. "There are homeless <BR>&gt; people right in our own area here, and with very, very limited shelter <BR>&gt; facilities." <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; To get a taste of what the homeless face, some of the young people from the <BR>&gt; church - and a few adults - will erect a cardboard village today in the <BR>&gt; church parking lot. They will sleep on the ground and eat only what they can <BR>&gt; beg from passers-by, Nicholls said. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Participants have solicited donations and pledges. Money raised will be <BR>&gt; divided among area shelters and agencies that help the homeless, Nicholls <BR>&gt; said. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; The church is hosting a chicken barbecue fund-raiser Saturday, but the <BR>&gt; cardboard city residents won't be eating there unless generous visitors buy <BR>&gt; them meals. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "We're only going to eat what we can beg or hustle from others," Nicholls <BR>&gt; said. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; He hopes the youth learn lessons of compassion from the project and come to <BR>&gt; be thankful for the things they have. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; "Maybe by experiencing a night like this, our young people will appreciate <BR>&gt; better what they do have and what it takes to get that," Nicholls said. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; The chicken barbecue is planned for noon. A dinner costs $7. The church is <BR>&gt; at 1285 County Route 19 in Beaver Dams. To make a donation to the homeless <BR>&gt; project, visit <BR>&gt; www.beaverdamsumc.org. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; John P. Cleary is a staff writer for the Star-Gazette. Neighbors runs daily <BR>&gt; on this page. <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; </BLOCKQUOTE></body></html>

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From:    "William Charles Tinker" <wtinker@metrocast.net>
To:    <hpn@lists.is.asu.edu>
Subject:    [Hpn] Pastor Inspires Congregation To Help Homeless
Date:    Fri, 10 Jun 2005 12:32:17 +0000
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