Sugarcane Cups

We had an immediate response to our last newsletter calling for additional support so we could cover the added cost of using renewable, compostable cups and spoons to serve food on the streets. We have been using the bagasse cups for a month now. We plan on introducing the cornstarch spoons in January, once our current supply is used up.

Bagasse is the fibre in sugarcane that is the waste product after the sugar has been extracted. We tested them out. It doesn’t sweeten your coffee; and it is not sweet to eat. Larry Bonczar did extensive testing of this.

Alex Smerkanich

We lost another enthusiastic supporter of this ministry in October, when Alex Smerkanich passed away at age 81. Alex was godfather to both me and Philip McGraw. He also recruited many others to make sandwiches. He championed “Turkeys ‘R’ Us” at St. Philip’s to make sure we had hearty, meaty soups.

I have always said that I am never sure who all is involved in this ministry. I found out at Alex’s funeral that that can go both ways. I met people who regularly make sandwiches who never knew quite what they were for. They just knew that Alex told them to make them and that they were for the poor. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)

Memory Eternal!

Blankets and Coats

We need blankets, coats and jackets to give away. I realize that most of the people who receive this newsletter have already cleaned out their closets for us. It’s time to reach out further. How about giving blankets and coats to the poor and homeless instead of exchanging useless gifts among coworkers? It could be a team effort, instead of an opportunity for individual embarrassment. (Or am I the only one who feels that way about obligatory gift exchanges mixing with office politics?)

For blankets, it is best that people buy new blankets for themselves and give us their old ones. We need functionality not marketability.

Spread the word. Share the warmth.

Thanksgiving Offerings

The night before Thanksgiving Michael Heveran, Vincent Kaufmann and I traveled to King of Prussia. The catechism school at Mother of Divine Providence R.C. Church had its Thanksgiving service for the students and their parents. The offering at this service was for each student to bring in items to stock The King’s Jubilee’s pantry. The grade school had gathered a similar offering earlier in the day. We brought two car loads home. We can use about half in our soups and spaghetti. The other half is going to restock Word in Action International’s food pantry.

Turkeys are coming in from “Turkeys R Us” at St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church and from individuals. Our freezer is nearly full. We baked four turkeys to serve on the street and in Ridge Avenue Shelter the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and delivered seven turkeys to families in Philadelphia. The more we receive; the more we can give away.

Peace Mennonite Church in East Greenville gathered men’s coats for us to give away.

May God bless all those who bless Him in ” his distressing disguise.”

Riding Shotgun

It’s always better to have someone riding with me in The-King’s- Jubliee-mobile on the way to and from Philadelphia. If you want to come along, please give me a call to reserve your spot. Usually I am flexible up to the last minute.

There are certain expectations of the person riding shotgun, however. Recently I was accused of unreasonably not explaining these expectations in advance. So I decided to put them in the newsletter to give constructive notice to all who should hereafter take upon themselves this responsibility. They are as follow:

  1. Approximately midway to Phila., he/she shall open the glovebox and offer all occupants of the car their choice of Altoids from the selection found in the glovebox.
  2. When offering the Altoids, he/she shall say: “I don’t mean anything by that.”

More Sandwiches Needed

We need more sandwiches Thursday nights. The population on the streets in center city Philadelphia has gone up. So far, we have been able to give everyone who shows up something to eat each night, but we haven’t been able to give everyone something to take away for later.

Here are the guidelines for making sandwiches:

Don’t use mayonnaise or any eggs or egg products as these can go bad quickly without refrigeration.

Make sandwiches that you would like to eat.

Place the sandwiches in individual sandwich bags.

You can then pack them back into the loaf bags and write on that bag what kind of sandwiches they are.

Arrange to drop them off to my house by 6pm on Thursday or at St. Philip’s by 7pm on Thursday. We leave the church parking lot as the bell is chiming 7pm.

You don’t need to worry that we will have too many sandwiches.

Saint Nicholas Day

December 6 is the day we commemorate St. Nicholas. This year it falls on a Thursday. This is the one time during the year that we give out money to everyone we serve in honor of St. Nicholas. We get dollar coins and try to have enough to give everyone two or three. At this point, we don’t have enough money to do that. We have $150 in our account. Please consider making a donation immediately so we can give proper honor to this great saint and share a little happiness in Jesus’ Name.

If you hand me a roll of dollar coins, I will see to it that it gets given away.

The Barn Needs Heat.

It has been a year and a half since we moved and the barn is still not near done. We can’t afford to hire workers. We really can’t even afford all of the materials. That is why we keep asking for help.

The barn will house the freezer and food pantry and office for The King’s Jubilee as well as the woodshop, studio and office for “Come and See” Icons, Books & Art.

When this is completed, it will allow me to more efficiently produce icons, so that I have more time to devote to developing The King’s Jubilee. There is a lot more that can be done to serve the poor and needy.

The barn needs heat, electrical wiring, insulation, siding completed, painting, etc. I have the woodstove parts. I need to assemble it, make a place for it and acquire and install a proper flue. We need to build a wall and shelves for the pantry. The list goes on. This may have gone better if I really knew how to build.

Some Guiding Principles

  1. If we can’t do it in Jesus’ Name; we don’t have time to do it.
  2. It is the tender mercies of God that lead men to repentance. See Romans 2:4.
  3. Condemn no one. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15
  4. Everyone I meet is loved and treasured by God, because they uniquely reflect his image and glory. I want a glimpse of the person and potential God sees.
  5. “It is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” (2 Corinthians 12:8) We can’t give what we don’t have. Whatever TKJ does have is given away. If we are given more, we can do more.
  6. We are having fun. Nothing should be done out of constraint or guilt. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We believe Him and find delight in the works which He prepared for us to do. See Ephesians 2:8-10.