A great thank you to all the volunteers and organizers who helped make our participation in this wonderful event on September 13 a fun success. Let’s do this again next fall!
Our homeless friends from Mary’s Place Shelter return as our guests at PRLC November 3rd-10th. Every three months we provide dinner and safe shelter to up to 14 women and children from Mary’s Place as part of a rotating group of area churches.
It takes many hands and hearts to carry out this important ministry, and the rewards of volunteering are immeasurable. If you’d like to get involved, check the bulletin for training opportunities to be scheduled in October.
The Aurora Commons Ministry on Aurora Ave provides a safe space of hospitality to share relationships, resources, and the fullness of life with all visitors, especially those involved in street-based sex work. PRLC has enjoyed many fruitful partnerships with the Commons, and we’re sharing a series of stories from the front lines of ministry to the hurting in our community. Please read and consider with me how to continue our partnership with this vital organization.
by Karen Cirulli, Aurora Commons Director of Community Life
Last Tuesday was a very special day because she got to be outside.
A very dear woman and friend of the Aurora Commons for many years is an office manager at the Georgian Motel on Aurora. Until her collapse in June, “Margaret” had been working to keep the office open 24/7 all year round. Margaret’s situation is not unheard of, as an office manager at an Aurora motel. A loss of her job would also mean the loss of her home, so she continued and still continues to work above what is acceptable for anyone in our society because desperate times call for desperate measures.
During her many years at the Georgian Margaret has been a mother hen and protector of the most vulnerable. One cannot get more front lines then Margaret. Last Tuesday, Margaret boldly put a sign on her door saying she’d be “back at 5″, and hopped in a Commons staff member’s car to go downtown to work on her disability claim. After the appointment, they drove around town just looking at the city. It had been so long since she had been able to just take time to be an observer. It was such a special day. At day’s end, the two got burgers at Little Coney Island and fed the birds while sitting on a bench at Golden Gardens. It is hard to describe how meaningful those moments were. She kept breathing in the air and sighing as she repeated, “This is wonderful, this is wonderful.” And it was.
Incidentally, our friends at the Commons contacted us recently about a need “Margaret” had to treat her beloved cat, George. Through the PRLC Outreach Fund, we helped pay for the cat’s treatment and bring peace to Margaret’s world. This is just one of the many ways the Commons helps us help those in need on Aurora Avenue.
~ Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher
When Tracy Garza began talking about Hope House, I heard a cautious longing in her voice. It was clear she felt drawn to the immense and compassionate work of walking beside women who were escaping the sex trade. But it was also clear she felt apprehensive at leaving the stability of her career as a high school teacher. Through prayer and discernment, she took a leap of faith to serve women who are often cast aside. Please consider how you might be able to support her and this ministry, financially and with prayer.
~ Erica Shutes-David
For the last 9 years, I have been teaching at a high school in the Seattle area. However, in the last year, after much thought and prayer, the calling on my life has changed direction. I now serve Mosaic Community Church and our anti-trafficking organization, Unbound, by working as a coach at the Hope House.
Before the opening of the Hope House I, along with 6 others on our team, began a program of trauma-informed training, began planning for women to come to the Hope House, and developed a program of holistic healing for the women who enter Hope House. As women participate in the program, they will receive hope and freedom along with practical skills which will help them as they transition out into the world free from sex-trafficking. Over the next two years, I will be working closely with the women, mentoring, guiding, teaching, and loving them as they journey to freedom.
We are already seeing fruit from the hard work and preparation that has gone into the Hope House. In the time that Hope House has been open, I personally have attended community life-groups with the women, led them through coping skills and process groups, and even walked with one of the women as she made the decision to follow Jesus and to get baptized!
~ Tracy Garza
Please join us at the adult forum at PRLC on October 25 as we welcome Tracy to tell us more about Hope House and ways we can support her through prayer and financial aid. If you’d like more information you can visit the Hope House website at http://www.mosaic-seattle.org/#/ministries/unbound.
The annual Greenwood Hunger Goblin Trick-or-Treat event occurs this year on the actual Halloween holiday. Can you help to welcome trick-or-treaters in our Narthex from 12-3p on 10/31? It’s a fun way to support the outreach ministry, and show our neighborhood that we’re a warm, fun, and welcoming place to be. Candy donations also help greatly. Please pick up an extra bag or two of Halloween candy and drop them at the office during the week or at Grace Station on Sunday.
As the weather changes there’s an increased need for coats, jackets, and blankets for the needy. We are collecting slightly used or new jackets, coats, and blankets for adults and children during the month of September. All donations will be given to Mary’s Place and other shelters. You can drop off your donations in the box in the lobby from September 1st to 30th.
The Aurora Commons Ministry on Aurora Avenue provides a safe space of hospitality to share relationships, resources,and the fullness of life with all visitors, especially those involved in street-based sex work. PRLC has enjoyed many fruitful partnerships with the Commons, and this month we’ll start a series of stories from the front lines of ministry to the hurting in our community. Please read and consider with me how to continue our partnership with this vital organization.
~ Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher
An Aurora Commons Story
By Karen Cirulli
“It’s so easy for you to judge; you don’t understand what it’s like,” I hear her say.
Just the previous day, this dear friend of our community had appeared at the Commons sober. A month before, two of our volunteers had taken her to detox, from where she was transferred to a sober house. When she came by sober, her usual shuffle had turned to a sturdy walk, her wandering eyes were able to meet mine … and stay. My friend was fully present and we were present together. As she maneuvered solidly through the Commons, making herself food, chatting with friends and making phone calls, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She was overflowing with determination to become healthier, for herself, for her children, so she no longer had to sleep outside.
The next morning, I felt it in my belly when I laid eyes on my stumbling friend. She glanced up and her voice uttered a broken, “I know, I know.” We hugged and she was there, but not like yesterday. Throughout the day she fought with herself, questioning the use of sobriety when she had already been “a drunk” for so long. It was as if her determination of the day before had never existed.
When a community member relapses at the Commons we each handle our grief, sadness and disappointment differently, and it inevitably engages our own story. Whether it’s a reminder of a parent’s broken promise of sobriety, or our own broken promises to ourselves, we feel it. It’s in these moments that tension sometimes becomes palpable in the Commons. Our relapsed friend reminds us of how dark it can be, and how helpless we all feel against our own brokenness. All we can do is embrace, shed tears, shudder and pray for renewed hope.
At day’s end, when all seemed lost, by some bold-faced miracle, this brave woman returned to the sobering house. Somehow she mustered the courage to start again, to hope and believe that the hard road of recovery is worth it.
- Sunday September 13, 2015 -
Here’s the schedule for the day:
- Gather for worship at 8:30 and 10.
- Following the 8:30 service, there will be coffee and goodies available in the Fellowship Hall. You can stay or go home and come back at 11.
- Following the 10 a.m. service, there will be lunch for everyone in the Fellowship Hall. You’ll be invited to sit at a table with people working on the same project you are. There will be some instructions and information given as well.
- The Benediction and Dismissal will happen after lunch as we go on our way to our projects.
Here are the projects:
- Phinney Phlames to Visit Homebound Members
If you’re a Phlame family (kids entering 4th & 5th grades), you have the opportunity to visit and deliver gifts to some of our homebound members.
- Sack Lunches for Compass Housing Alliance
Especially designed for young families and people who want a sit-down job, you can assemble lunches to be delivered to the Compass Housing Alliance’s Peter’s Place Day Center.
- Clean up of PRLC Grounds and Food Bank
Help make our own home beautiful and functional.
- Neighborhood Clean Up
Disperse into the community to pick up litter and beautify our surroundings.
- Projects at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
About a dozen semi-skilled building improvement workers needed to help our partner in ministry address much-needed repairs.
We’re pleased to offer these projects as a way to be God’s love in our community, and also a means for getting to know each other better. We should have enough T-shirts for everyone whether you can pay the suggested donation of $10 or not. We hope to show the community our commitment to loving God’s creation with our hands as well as our hearts. Be sure to join the fun!
No training needed!
The women and families of Mary’s Place shelter are our guests at Phinney this week.
Some help is still needed, and these particular jobs do NOT require the usual boundary training and Mary’s Place orientation. If you’ve been thinking of volunteering, but haven’t had a chance to get the training, you’re in luck!
We need two people to pick up linens and take them to the laundromat on Tuesday, August 4. They need to be picked up around 9 and back at church by 2 so that they can get to the next host location.
Two people are also needed that day to pack up supplies and put them back in storage.
Please contact Peggy Kreger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-860-5027 if you have questions or if you are willing to help.
PRLC’s Food Bank is in need of a volunteer driver to pick up its Food Lifeline order one Monday morning each month.
This task involves driving a 16-foot truck (provided by Chuck Cady Realtors) to and from Food Lifeline’s warehouse in Seattle’s SoDo district. The hours are roughly 7:30-9:30 am. If interested please contact current driver Don Thuring at 206-363-7055.