Our first box of cornstarch spoons arrived this week and we used them last night. You can’t tell any difference between them and petroleum based plastic spoons, until you try to compost them. The cornstarch spoons compost in 180 days. Plastic spoons are here forever.
Daylilies are amazing. They put forth a beautiful bloom and it is gone in a day, only to be replaced the next day with another glorious bloom. Jesus told us to consider the lilies of the field in order to encourage us to have faith in God’s provision for us. This in turn is to encourage us to share what God blessed us with today with others, knowing that God will have new blessings for us tomorrow.
If you have a sunny spot in your yard, you should plant a daylily or two or three or a hundred and forty-six. This will remind you to thank God for his care for you. It can also remind you to pray for the poor and for The King’s Jubilee. This is why we are planning a daylily sale in May.
I have found a source of locally grown daylilies in Dublin, PA. They will make available to us three or four varieties of naturalizing daylilies. We will take orders, then deliver them to churches for planting in mid May.
I am looking for a volunteer to coordinate this for various parishes in the Delaware Valley. If you can help us in this way, give us a call or send an email. Thanks.
In the Winter 2008 newsletter, I proposed a “Broom Brigade” as a possible service opportunity in Philadelphia. Last week, Mayor Nutter announced the Philly Spring Cleanup to take place on Saturday, April 5. This is a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference!
I made the bold, presumptuous step of committing The King’s Jubilee for at least ten volunteers to help clean that day. Please contact me to sign up so we can coordinate transportation, etc. It should be fun working together. Wear gloves. Bring brooms and rakes.
Almost two years ago in the Summer 2006 newsletter, I asked you to pray for a woman I called Clare. She had suffered a heart attack and was ordered by the doctors to quit working. She applied for her SSI disability benefits. More than a year and a half later, she is finally getting her first check. She has had to live on the street and in shelters and use a lawyer to get her benefits. They call it Social Security; yet it seems to me that it is neither sociable nor secure.
Today, she was to receive a lump sum check for the last eighteen months that they should have been paying all along. Bureaucrats, politicians and lawyers play free and loose with these regulations and case files, while they collect regular paychecks and live in comfortable houses. Meanwhile the “cases” they are deciding are God’s children dying by inches on the street.
Pray for Clare that she may find affordable housing to move off the street.
In the last Report, I told you that the University of Delaware OCF is taking their Spring Break to come to Souderton and Philadelphia to help us finish the barn and serve on the streets. This is the week of March 30.
The Antiochian Women of Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Chester County read this. Then they called and asked if they could bring dinner for the gang on Monday evening. What a blessing! Following dinner, we will have Great Compline and Fr. Noah Bushelli will give a talk.
Sunday evening, I will be telling stories from the street. Tuesday evening, Fred Benjamin, who recently moved into his own apartment after about eighteen years on the street will be here to share some of his experiences and answer questions.
Wednesday evening, we will attend Pre-sanctified Liturgy at St. Philip’s. Thursday evening, we will serve on the street in center city Philadelphia. Friday evening, we will take part in the Akathist Hymn at St. Philip’s.
Saturday is the Philly Spring Cleanup.
During the day we will be working on the barn and doing other small service projects locally, depending on how many people participate. We are in need of some host homes for the students to sleep and shower. All meals will be taken together at our place.
Anyone else who wants to come and help that week is welcome to join us. Please give a call or send an email so we know how to plan. If anyone else wants to bring food for the group, that is welcome, too. Just remember, it is a lenten menu.
If we are going to maximize the effectiveness of the time of these volunteers, we need more funds to buy construction materials.
Donations gladly received.
Time for a review on the meaning of our name: The King’s Jubilee. The jubilee in the Law of Moses was to happen every 50th year. There were to be Sabbath years every 7th year, where the fields were to lie fallow and Hebrew slaves were freed for the year to give them opportunity to earn enough to buy their freedom permanently. The 50th year was a Sabbath of Sabbaths. It followed the 7th Sabbath year and included the cancellation of all debts, the freeing of slaves, and the redistribution of the land. The details of this can be found in Leviticus 25-27. Bound into this plan was the proclamation of the truth that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.” Land, the most fundamental “capital” in an agrarian society, cannot be owned by men. It belongs to the Lord. So it can only be used for a time. Also, our God is a God of ‘second chances’ and the jubilee reflects this. One may make bad decisions which land one in poverty, debt and bondage. The Sabbath year comes along and gives a break and an opportunity to possibly work into a better situation. Every 50 years comes a radical redistribution, and another shot to live in freedom. The start of this year was marked by the blowing of horns and the lifting of a great shout! The Jews never truly observed the Sabbath years or the Jubilee. That is why they went into captivity. They were in captivity for a year for every Sabbath year they had neglected. In Isaiah 61, the ministry of Christ and his Church is described as a continual Jubilee: “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” The Church was quick to get about the business of the Jubilee. The Epistle of St. James promotes economic equality and balance saying “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low; because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.” (1:9-10) The Apostle Paul spent one of his journeys collecting to provide for those suffering from a famine “that there may be equality.” [2 Corinthians 8] So the “Jubilee” in our name stems from the desire to fulfill the Lord’s ministry of facilitating His abundance to flow to those in our society in desparate need of a second chance. It is “The King’s” because it belongs to Jesus Christ the King of Kings, along with all that is given, all who serve, all who receive, and the very streets, parks, houses and prisons it is shared in. “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing.”
The King’s Jubilee serves soup, sandwiches, pasta with meat sauce, something hot or cold to drink (depending on the season), fruit and goodies to between 50 and 175 men and a few women in Center City Philadelphia every Thursday night. This is in a park, year-round. We also share toiletries, blankets and season appropriate clothing with them.
We serve in the open air, because some of those we serve are paranoid and will not readily enter a place with which they are unfamiliar. Also, some of them are not homeless, but are on very low, fixed incomes. They won’t go to a soup kitchen to take from a program just for the homeless, but they feel free to eat with us to stretch their food budget, so they can stay off the street.
We gather household goods and furniture on occasion for any who are moving off the street into permanent housing.
We also try to gather resources for other ministries that serve the poor in Jesus’ Name. If we can’t do it in Jesus’ Name, we don’t have the time or the desire to do it.
Wherefore, by the abundance of thine ineffable compassion, O Christ God, make us worthy of thine illustrious voice and number us among those who stand at thy right hand.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.