NEWS & NOTES
In this week's note, Heather Cull, who leads our Wicker Park Community Group with her husband Ian, shares her experience of serving breakfast at Reborn Ministries in Garfield Park.
I like the idea of our church partnering with ministry happenings in Garfield Park. Yet to step out in faith and actually interact with people stricken by cyclical poverty, drug addiction, incarceration, violence and a forgotten neighborhood is not easy.
A few of us had the privilege of serving at Reborn Ministries this past Saturday morning. In preparing for our time there, I met with Erica, a merciful kind-hearted sister in Christ who runs Reborn’s Overflow coffee ministry. Our very own Stan Dyl has been involved consistently with the Overflow ministry on Thursdays and Saturdays. Erica shared that you never know who will walk through the door, but there are always important conversations to have.
As I drove back from that meeting to the gentrified streets of Wicker Park, I let the gravity of the West Garfield Park surroundings sink into my soul. Vacant lots, food deserts, unkempt houses, the faces of people. Under-resourced neighborhoods is one of the central issues in our current heated mayoral race. I want to help ... but how? Reborn invites us to join them in small yet significant ways to care for people here.
Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early and arrived at Reborn with breakfast food and griddle in tow. We served up pancakes, sausage and fruit to more than 50 people. Confesor worked the door, welcoming passersby to join us. People were grateful and transparent about their lives. One man shared it was his first meal in two days. Another man, a member at the church, shared his testimony about God’s redemptive hand in his battle with drug addiction, now clean for 9 years. It was a blessing to not only serve a warm breakfast but to get out of our bubble and live in the same space with our West Garfield Park neighbors, if only for a few hours.
In addition, our handling of the kitchen and coffee duty freed up Erica and some of the regulars to mingle and love the people coming in directly. It was also a blessing to serve alongside my Painted Door brothers and sisters, sharing laughs and getting to know each other a little better. We hope to serve a meal at Reborn again. We’d love to have you join us!
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
-2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Interested in donating meals to families with a newborn? The latest meal train links will be posted below if you want to participate!
THIS COMING SUNDAY
WHERE LOVE LIVES
Pastor Mark Bergin
In this broken world, to lose ones we love is a guarantee. Sooner or later, we will all know the deep pain of loss. Yet there is something else to know amid loss, something surprising and even sweet. Loss is where love lives. That’s why the scars in the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus are eternal. He was crucified before the foundation of the world, the scriptures tell us. He has always borne those scars, and he always will. Because hidden within them is not only the great loss of Christ’s death but also the great love of God. God’s love lives in the scars of Christ. And in our every loss, he invites us into those scars. He invites us into his love.