Religions and Spirituality

Union County Multi-Faith Congregations Invited to Participate in 2nd Annual Homeless Sabbath Weekend

The First Presbyterian Church in Cranford will host the “Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Vigil,” which coincides with the Sabbath Weekend. Credits: TAPinto Photo Archive

CRANFORD, NJ – A group of non-profit organizations and interfaith congregations are seeking multi-faith congregations across Union County to participate in the 2nd Annual Homeless Sabbath Weekend, according to a press release from Monarch Housing and the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford.

During the weekend, congregations will collectively pray for all homeless people and for an end to homelessness in local communities. Participation in the weekend includes prayers and readings as part of a service, holding a supply drive and incorporating the theme of homelessness into a holiday display or live scene.

Last year, four organizations in Cranford participated in the weekend: Calvary Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church, St. Michael Church and Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim.

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“Twenty-five congregations from across Union County participated in last year’s Sabbath and the goal this year is to increase participation to 50 congregations,” the press release reads.

The weekend, which takes place Dec. 15 through Dec. 17, coincides with the “Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Vigil” on Dec. 21 at the First Presbyterian Church.

“December 21 is the longest night of the year and is a time to remember all homeless people who died in the past year due to their lack of shelter or care,” the press release reads.

According to NJ Counts, 475 people experienced homelessness in Union County on Jan. 24, 2017. The Sabbath weekend and vigil aim to promote the belief that no one should be homeless on the holidays or at any time of year.

To register a congregation, click here.

This year’s Homeless Sabbath Weekend is organized by HomeFirst, Family Promise of Union County, Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, Community Access Unlimited, the Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council, Gateway YMCA , Monarch Housing Associates and Iris House.

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