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A quick poll

If your church had an opportunity to run an out of the cold shelter for one night a month and yet it put things like sound and media equipment at risk (or even worse, may interrupt the Sunday morning service a bit), would it do it?  Let me know in the comments and feel free to explain your reasoning.

11 Comments

  1. MDSF says:

    Jordon –

    The only time I know of a local church here in Santa Fe doing that the shelter was scuttled because of liability issues. I don’t remember if the reason given was insurance or lease trouble.

  2. scottcripps says:

    Hey Jordon,

    ‘Inn from the Cold’ in Calgary allows churches to partner with them and host guests overnight once a month. So there are a number of churches around Calgary that do this. We’ve found that as long as you have enough volunteers than there isn’t really any concern with hosting a shelter.

    My other experience with a church hosting a shelter is the one my uncle runs out of 1st Baptist Vancouver. He deliberately chose to use the church instead of a neutral site so that church would be seen as a loving response to poverty and also so that Christians could not divorce social justice from their faith. They run their shelter every tuesday night in downtown Vancouver.

    Scott Cripps

  3. David Swanson says:

    Many of the churches in the county I recently moved from participated in this program: http://www.dupagepads.org/

    The program is successful enough that the church I was a part of decided that our resources were better spent making homeless folks welcome at our Sunday morning services. We generally had 30-40 folks join us for the morning.

  4. Tim Good says:

    It does raise the “what’s most important” I once lost a bass to a overnight guest that had showed interest in sound/band gear. He hung around for a few weeks… he was such a interesting fellow. Never saw him again (which is likely because of the theft) which was too bad.

    The reality is that stuff does go missing when it has value and can be sold to provide necessities.

    I struggle with (and I work in the A/V industry) with churches that spend 100′s of thousands of dollars on Audio/Video/Lights/Fancy stuff and (as far as I can see) do nothing to feed and house the poor.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I take the opposite opinion, one of the most important things a church can do is worship and anything that interferes with that should be eliminated. If Saskatoon is booming like you say it is, they should pay to take care of the homeless.

  6. Chris says:

    If we could do it, we would. And we would make sure that the right/smart/wise security decisions are made – just like we do with any other event, whether it’s run by one of our own ministries or an outside program.

    If something gets busted or stolen during an event, we have to pull budget money from somewhere to replace it – it’s annoying to have to buy things more than once.

  7. Micah says:

    Jordon,

    I would do this. In fact, something like this is the only thing that would make me consider spending mone on a building.

    Micah+

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yep, we do it (and share with a few other churches – we take turns). No sound gear missing, ours is pretty easy to lock up. All instruments, except the grand piano, get taken home by their owners.

    We’re a suburb – our homeless are pretty harmless.
    - Mike O

  9. Anonymous says:

    In Kitchener/Waterloo they have a decent out of the cold program that many churches share.

    The church I “use” to attend, was too far out of the downtown sector to host the event and when it was approached to then financially help – it refused. The reasoning I was told was why help another church with it’s responsibility for the homeless?

    The out of the cold program can be a huge blessing, and many people I know volunteer from many churches and denominations.

    It can also (unfortunately) be a transparent film to see if the church you attend is willing to help and take action.

  10. Tim Good says:

    @anonymous in K/W
    I “used” to attend one of the churches that is part of the Out of the Cold program in K/W – my “current” church still helps out that church and gladly accepts – time, food and money. I know another site partners with “out of town” church to supply volunteers.

    I’m not going to say that your experience didn’t happen – but there are 7 different churches involved – if you really want to help – connect with Pat at Bethany EMC – That is the Saturday Night location – you can even tell here I sent you.

  11. Dave King says:

    RE Inn From the Cold Calgary,

    Scott there are a number of Churches that help, but that number is low around 20 out of the hundreds in the city. I’m sure they’ve the same reactions as Jordon.

    - Peace