What our guests are saying:
"This group of people helping us with life problems are awesome. God Bless you all."
"You're staying under God's roof, how much more protection can you get?"
"Family Promise gave me, a single mom of four, hope and self-esteem. I asked God in my time of need for guidance and he gave me Family Promise."
"Being here at Family Promise has helped me in many ways. My Mom and I are so blessed for finding this place. We are bonding and we are so close to getting our own place. I feel safe and comfortable here. The food is good and the people are so nice. They have helped us so much. Anyone that comes here will feel happy and comfortable."
What our congregations are saying:
"Through the Family Promise program, we at Avon Lake Presbyterian Church have been connected with people we never would have otherwise. We have reached out to those in need, but they have reached out to us. We have hosted them, but they have hosted us as well. We host each other in Christ's love and in Christ's presence. Being a part of this ministry has been a blessing to us because we have been fed by those who come and live with us for a week; fed with laughter and relationships and conversation, and by the love of Christ, which brings us all together."Rev, Thomas Robinson, Avon Lake Presbyterian Church.
"The immediate benefit of IHN is not hard to see: a roof over one's head, home-cooked meals prepared with care, shared smiles and tears, a knowledgeable staff willing and able to assist in finding a place to call home. Equally as important is the way in which IHN changes the lives of all those the program touches. In a word, IHN is nothing short of transformative - channeling God's grace through guest and host alike in bread broken and lives shared."Rev. David T. Hill, The First Church in Oberlin, UCC.
"Hospitality. Such a nice, friendly, feel-good word. You'd be hard pressed to find someone press you on the value or justification of hospitality. Each of us along this journey we call life has been touched by someone else's warm welcome, a hot meal, a lift here or there, a few bucks to get by or some other kind and selfless act. It is at the very root of Jesus' ministry and at the very heart of Christian living.
Hospitality. Talk about another really strong word. How many times do you really stop and think; have I shown hospitality to my brothers and sisters in need every time I had the opportunity? Mother Teresa once said that Jesus tests the love of his followers by appearing in the most grotesque disguises to see if we can still see him. How often do we make assumptions, create stereotypes or pass judgment simply based on someone's appearance? I would suggest that we look beyond the facade of our clothes, our hairstyle, our skin color and other unimportant features and search for Jesus in each person we encounter. Not only during this time of advent when our charitable and caring radars are off the charts, but in June and July when are minds long for the comforts of our boats or the peace of a day at the beach. Are we still showing hospitality to those in need? Hospitality. Stop and think about it for just a moment.
Today our church is welcoming with opening arms a group of people from Lorain County who have fallen upon hard times. We will provide them with shelter, caring hearts, a listening ear and hot meals for the next week. We will show them hospitality. Are you a part of this team that cares and tends to these people in need? You should be. Are you busy? Yeah, we all are. You should be a part of this team, because we all need hospitality at some point. Could you imagine if we all took a small chunk of our television time or our internet browsing time or cancelled one meal out and instead gave it towards the hospitality of those in need? "You may say that I am a dreamer, but I am not the only."-John Lennon.
2,000 years ago an innkeeper in Bethlehem, some shepherds and three wise men showed compassion to a young couple in need of hospitality. What it resulted in was the single, greatest birth in the history of creation. Jesus Christ, shown hospitality at birth, taught and provided hospitality in his life and died to give us ALL (no exceptions) eternal hospitality with the One who created it all.
Hospitality is a strong word. Think about it."Nate Taylor, Director of Youth Ministries, Avon Lake United Church of Christ