Union County, NJ - A group of non-profit agencies and interfaith congregations are encouraging multi-faith congregations in Union County, New Jersey to join them for a multi-faith “call to action.” This “call to action” is the Second Annual Homeless Sabbath Weekend December 15-17, 2017.
On the night of January 24, 2017, 475 people, including 55 people without shelter, experienced homelessness in Union County, according to NJ Counts, the Point-In-Time count. The Homeless Sabbath Weekend organizers believe that no one should be homeless for the holidays or at any time of the year.
Twenty-five congregations from across Union County participated in last year’s Sabbath and the goal this year is to increase participation to fifty congregations. Springfield congregations represented last year were First Presbyterian Church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Saint James the Apostle Church and Temple Sha’arey Shalom.
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 are organizing this year’s Homeless Sabbath Weekend on behalf of all people who are homeless in Union County.
Congregations will collectively pray for all homeless people and for the commitment to end homelessness in our community. Participation in the Sabbath means sharing a prepared prayer or reading as part of a service, holding a drive for blankets or other necessities, performing a short play or incorporating the theme of homelessness into a holiday display or live scene. Registered congregations will receive materials to help make their participation as simple as possible during this busy holiday season.
The Homeless Sabbath Weekend event aligns with “Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Vigil,” hosted by The First Presbyterian Church, 11 Springfield Avenue, Cranford, NJ on December 21, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. 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.
• Visit https://monarchhousing.org/wp-content/uploads/Sabbath/SabbathFlyer.pdf to learn more about the Homeless Sabbath Weekend and to register your congregation for the event.
• Visit https://monarchhousing.org/wp-content/uploads/Sabbath/UnionCountyVigil.pdf to learn more about the December 21 Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Vigil, First Presbyterian, Cranford.