I was reflecting, this morning in church, what I liked so much about First Presbyterian. As I was listening to the, lovely, granddaughter of one of my fellow congregants…sing out so boldly and courageously, during a hymn, I considered what out church believes its mission is. Jane and Bill’s granddaughter is full of the active and visible love of God as are her grandparents. Jane S. and Bill M. have worked with a the Southern Illinois Diaper Bank for many years. They now are instrumental in our churches outreach to a, ‘Free Laundry Day’ each month. In three months the ‘Free Laundry Day’ has served, well over, 100 needy people at a cost of over one thousand dollars. By the way the majority of this money has been donated. They have 14 volunteers and they minister to people…a quarter at a time! Two of the 14 volunteers were originally recipients of the, ‘Free Laundry Day.’
I recall Jane telling our session, which is the governing board of our local church, that during the initial outreach of the laundry day…that a homeless person came in and stripped down to his underwear…and patiently waited as his clothes and sleeping bag were washing. Jane reports that there are repeat consumers of the ‘Free Laundry Day,’ and there are new people each month.
How would you feel if you were homeless or food insecure or destitute…and someone offered to provide you the funds to clean your clothes and your bedding and provided you the human dignity…of those, primary, needs?
I told Jane how moved that I was by her efforts to provide a fundamental care and outreach to those who seldom receive such consideration.
‘What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.’ James 2: 14-17. NIV