LOOKING FOR TUNA TEAM MEMBERS
With the beginning of the new year we will be reorganizing our Tuna Team, that group of volunteers that provides tuna sandwiches for our downtown Hospitality Center. Team members work on weekly rotation, so any one member only has the responsibility for sandwich-making every 6-7 weeks. Sandwiches are typically made at home, and can either be dropped off or we can pick them up. We can even provide the supplies or reimburse team members for expenses.
VALUE VILLAGE PARTNERS WITH NIGHTWATCH
Here’s something you may not have known about Value Village: if merchandise has been on the floor for two weeks without selling, it is removed to make room on the racks for new things that have come in.
And what happens to everything that’s removed?
Well, at least some of it is going to be coming to Nightwatch. Value Village has selected Nightwatch as a local partner to donate whatever goods we need—e.g. blankets, coats, etc.
How great to have such a continuing source of supply!
CONTRIBUTIONS SOUGHT FOR NIGHTWATCH CHRISTMAS PARTY
With the hot weather we’ve been enduring for the past several weeks, who can think about Christmas?
Well, we need to, because it will be December by the time you receive the next newsletter and we can’t defer talking about our annual Christmas Party until then.
The reason we can’t defer is that we need to begin collecting =items for the Christmas stockings we give out to all guests who attend. The Christmas stockings typically contain helpful items such as these:
- knit caps
- Kleenex (pocket pack)
- sewing kits
We would welcome contributions of any such items if you have them. We would also happily receive any monetary contributions towards purchasing such items.
CHAPLAIN’S NOTES: “Watch Your Language”
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
–Matthew 5:37 KJV
Yes, our guests occasionally drop the f-bomb at Operation Nightwatch worship and Bible studies. I respond by gently reminding them that hospitality means leaving such speech outside. Most comply. Unfortunately, one can hear much worse at any MAX stop or school bus stop these days.
Last month, there was a double shooting at 16500 NE Halsey Street within shouting distance of my house. Three weeks prior to and three blocks west of that tragedy, a man on the corner yelled into his phone using every obscenity and racial slur he could muster. Who was the other party? An adult or a child? His neighbor? Did this and other exchanges eventually lead to gunfire and death? The very next day outside FedEx Office, a woman was verbally assaulting two children in her car. Obscenities, slurs and soul-crushing anger. How will these children restrain their own anger, talk to their own partners or children one day? It’s not “just words.” It’s a contagious epidemic. I’m firmly convinced that relationships blown up by explosive speech are a major cause of homelessness. It matters.
The title of this piece, besides being your parents’ wisdom, is a caution from the late Lutheran pastor and professor Joseph Sittler to the church. Don’t dumb down or cheapen our language for God. Don’t speak in arcane and unintelligible terms, but don’t let our God-talk fall to the least-common-denominator speech of the street. Or movies. “Speech” also includes what we do. Actions say how we see and think about other people and ourselves.
Yes, relationships explode. Others may never have the chance to properly form. I weep when I see the young Mom holding her child on her arm at the bus stop. He’s looking at her, but she’s looking at her phone. I grieve when I see the weekend Dad home from work and out with his wife and young daughter in the stroller. He’s rocking the girl, she’s looking at him; but he’s looking at his ipad. Much of learning to speak and think and communicate happens before we ever speak. Communication happens through our eyes, through touch, by being fully present to another person. That language needs to be watched, too. It needs to happen early and often.
And don’t forget silence, at worship, in the home, in the world. Jesus often went up on the mountain to pray. He was never wired with earbuds and ipod. Language is listening, and God speaks in silences. Silence is golden. Many days in this noisy world, it would even be Divine.
-- Pastor Roger
THE PORTLAND PANTY PROJECT
Paige Sanders and Ashley Garber are Lewis and Clark students who have volunteered at our downtown Hospitality Center this past school year. Especially sensitive to the needs of homeless women, this summer they took the initiative to start the Portland Panty Project to obtain clean women’s undergarments for distribution. As Ashley describes their goal on the PPP’s Facebook page, it is "to raise $3000 to provide up to 1,000 homeless women with one bra and two pairs of underwear per person." To that end, they've launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe, and have already raised $1285.
Paige and Ashley are shining examples of the many great student-volunteers we’ve had working with us. So this is a “shout-out” to them.
But it’s also a “shout-out” to their campaign. They had a sensitivity to a portion of our service-population that most of the rest of us had been overlooking. Support the Portland Panty Project!