A Circle of Light

It’s 7 p.m. at Grace Community Church, and the Wednesday dinner for the Glenwood community is ending. Twelve of the dinner guests bypass the parking lot and head into the Weaver Extension (WE) site next door. The WE site is a shelter partnership with Greensboro Urban Ministry that provides a safe bed for 12 men from December through March.

Dana, one of the shelter managers, is waiting to greet Marcus, Lashawn, Brian, Timothy and their roommates. They are like family, coming back together after a day out of the house. Smiles, a little ribbing, even some hugs riffle around the shelter room as the men put down their things.

Neat, efficient, cozy

Four bunks, covered with bright quilts and blankets, form three straight rows. Each bed has a chair beside it, and a plastic tub at its foot. Each space, in its spareness, is neat and efficient. This room, in its warmth, is cozy. And home.

Grace’s Elders come in with the WE guests. They’ve come to pray with the guests and maybe watch a little football together after chores are done. Brian, from the Elder Board, encourages everyone to come together. They circle up and introduce themselves. It’s a blessed thing to be here, one of the WE guests chimes in.

Greensboro Urban Ministry WE sites allow more people to be fed, sheltered and safe during harsh winter weather. Urban Ministry provides shelter 365 nights a year for 86 men, 14 women, and 16 families. From December to March, Urban Ministry partners with congregations to create these additional Weaver Extension (WE) sites. Grace Community is one of five WE sites this year. Together, the sites will provide more than 70 additional beds for men and women during these coldest months of the year.

Prayers for family, home

Back in the Grace circle, Brian asks for prayer concerns. Bradley, the youngest guest, prays for his mother and stepdad. Marcus prays for his family and looks at each person in the circle. This room is his family, he says. Some men pray for jobs. All pray for a home.

Everyone takes hands and for a moment, they are all standing in a circle of light. Bradley mentions that he’d really like to go to GTCC to study design. Timothy, who has just celebrated his birthday, is going to get rehoused, he says earnestly. He just needs a little help getting there.

This is where you come into this circle of light. Your support for Greensboro Urban Ministry keeps men like Timothy and Bradley fed, sheltered and safe until they find new housing. Your support also helps households at risk of losing their homes make utility payments so they can stay housed.

We are able to do this work because of your support to our Winter Fund. Thank you!

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