Church Uses Inauguration to Raise Funds for Shelter

Post a Comment » Written on January 21st, 2009     
Filed under: News
BOSTON, MA (January 21, 2009) – The Covenant Congregation Church used the occasion of President Barack Obama’s inauguration to raise funds and food for a local homeless shelter.

More than 40 people watched the inauguration. One-third of the people were from outside the church, including several from the shelter.

Boston“We wanted to open our doors to the community, including the courthouse next door and the homeless shelter down the street, so that others would have a chance to watch it and watch it with others,” said Pastor Fred Elliott-Hart.

“When the actual swearing-in began, most people took a seat on couches and living room chairs, or on folding chairs around tables,” Elliott-Hart said. “During various parts of the ceremony, some people stood when people in D.C. were asked to stand, folks joined in the Lord’s Prayer, joined in the applause, sang the Star-Spangled Banner, and a number of people wept at various points along the way.

“It was not about politics,” Elliott-Hart emphasized. “The inauguration of an African-American president is such a historically meaningful occasion. Coming the day after Martin Luther King Day, how wonderful to seize the opportunity to celebrate the progress toward the dream of racial justice and equality.”

Patty Glidden, who directs the church’s outreach to the mission came up with the idea. Attendees brought canned goods and paid $2 for a light lunch, and the proceeds were donated to the mission.

“This event was an opportunity to open our church doors, however scary and vulnerable that may be for us, and be in relationship with our community wherever they may be,” Glidden says. “Today, I saw joy and hope as a small group of people from our community celebrated this momentous occasion. Barriers are being torn down and opportunities abound to share our faith in love and service. This was not a flashy or media-highlighted event, but I was grateful to be with friends and neighbors and will remember the experience fondly.”

Click here to read a related story on the reaction of five Covenanters who attended the inauguration.

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