Third Annual Successful Homeless Sabbath Weekend

Multi-Faith Congregations Assist the Homeless with Basic Needs and Remember That They Are Our Family

Over the weekend of December 14-16, over eighteen multi-faith congregations in Union County participate in a Homeless Sabbath Weekend. The Weekend served as a reminder that “No one should be Homeless for the Holidays.”

The Homeless Sabbath Weekend was planned and coordinated by a group of caring people from non-profit agencies and interfaith congregations – Community Access Unlimited, Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, Family Promise of Union County, Gateway Family YMCA, HomeFirst, Iris House, the Urban League of Union County, the Union County interfaith Coordinating Council and Monarch Housing – who are asking you to please join us for a multi-faith “call to action” on the third annual Homeless Sabbath Weekend December 14-16, 2018, on behalf of all people who are homeless in Union County!

The organizers asked congregations to include prayers and readings in their services held on December 14th, 15th and 16th, 2018, at your respective house of worship. Across Union County, congregations collectively pray for all homeless people and for the commitment to end homelessness in our community.

  1. Central Presbyterian, Summit
  2. Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains
  3. First Presbyterian Church, Cranford
  4. First Unitarian Society, Plainfield
  5. Holy Cross Lutheran, Springfield
  6. Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Scotch Plains
  7. Islamic Center of Union County “ICUC”, Union
  8. New Covenant Church, Plainfield
  9. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Plainfield
  10. St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, Cranford
  11. Temple Sha’arey Shalom, Springfield
  12. Temple Sholom, Scotch Plains
  13. Union Baptist, Elizabeth
  14. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rahway
  15. Townley Presbyterian Church, Union
  16. Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, Westfield
  17. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, New Providence
  18. Fanwood Presbyterian Church

The Islamic Center of Union County (ICUC) shared pictures and reported that over the past couple of nights, a handful of ICUC volunteers preform a: midnight drop to feed the homeless and distribute care bags of socks, a hat, scarf and gloves along with a hot meal.

Members of the congregation also visit neighbors and other people who might be the most vulnerable in their community.

Temple Sholom of Scotch Plains/Fanwood reported that over the Homeless Sabbath Weekend, its sixth-grade students led their worship. The theme was family.

They also talked about how the families experiencing homelessness that the congregation is hosting next week who will be a part of our Temple family.

On the night of January 23, 2018, 459 people, including 41 people without shelter, experienced homelessness in Union County, according to NJ Counts, the Point-In-Time Count.

As many of us continue to celebrate the holiday season in our homes, please remember the many individuals, families and children who do not have a home for the holidays or throughout the year. Please give them a voice, hear them, help them.

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