One of the best-loved stories in scripture is that of the Good Samaritan, found in Luke 10, which begins with a question posed to Jesus: “Who is my neighbor?”
FBC, we are blessed to have kind, compassionate, hard-working neighbors in our sister downtown congregations of First Presbyterian and the McMinnville Cooperative Ministries. Last month, representatives from these three churches gathered at FBC to talk together about our ministries to and with the neighbors we share who are experiencing homelessness or significant need.
Those churches’ stories are our stories, too: They’re nervous about safety. They’re uncertain about effectiveness. They’re hearing, “You’re the only place I can go” or “you all are the only kindness I get all week.”
At FBC, we know that many of our neighbors face difficulties bigger than we can solve. In our conversations with our neighbor churches, we acknowledged the limitations of our resources and our abilities. But we committed to doing what we can, together, to support our volunteers, sustain our programs, and set consistent policies between our three properties. Our hope is that this policy work will make enforcement easier and it will help to meet our guests’ need for consistency, too.
This partnership of churches also committed to reach out farther, to try to draw in more partners, to work on those parts of the solution that are bigger than us and beyond us. Please keep this work in your prayers.
Some neighbors we have because they inhabit the physical structures near us. And some we have because they have brought themselves to our doorsteps. The gift and the challenge of our calling is, we get to be in ministry with all of them. Thank you, friends, for bringing kindness, hope, care, witness, and loving presence for this neighborhood. I’m so grateful to be doing this work with all of you.