Church at the Park
The sign reads “Church at the Park”, but a nondescript driveway along a road full of other nondescript driveways is all we see. Where is the church? Where is the park?
As we pull up to the former Oregon Jaycees building a few cars doubling as homes come into view, and then a flurry of activity. People walking back and forth, some carrying boxes, others holding doors, others cuddling dogs or engaged in conversation. Where was the line of those in need waiting to be served a meal? Where was the silence as they ate hunched over their plates? Where was the shame so often associated with homelessness? None of this. Instead there was leadership, ownership, and an energy born out of a sense that this was theirs. And it is. Theirs.
That’s the most amazing part of the story. Dozens of people served by dozens more, all members of one community, one family, one church.
We park our car and walk up to the doors and immediately we are guests, welcomed into the embrace of a place being formed and shaped by the same people it seeks to serve.
How does this happen?