INTERFAITH HOSPITALITY NETWORK
By Pastor Jon Vollrath
By Pastor Lyle Kath
Greater Rochester (Mn.) Area IHN program Coordinator
EYOTA AREA IHN
Holy Redeemer Catholic Church - Eyota Host Site
Our Savior's Lutheran - Eyota
Peace Lutheran Church - Eyota
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church - Plainview
Community Presbyterian Church - Plainview
"More hands make the work lighter!"
Eyota-area Churches IHN and Our Savior's Lutheran is always looking for more volunteers. Check out the job description and if you feel there is something you can do, please contact IHN Coordinator, Pastor Lyle Kath, 545-9980 or ljkath at charter.net.
2012 SCHEDULE FOR SERVING
2013 SCHEDULE FOR SERVING
Coordinator: (Host Site)
-Handles sign-up for host week
-Manages host week
-Greets guests-does intake/rules
-Handles questions and problems
-Liason to Stabilizer Counselor and Director
Those wishing to cook and serve a meal may do so by checking with the Coordinator for the number of guests and bring their meal to Holy Redeemer Rectory (on 3rd St.SE just south of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church) at 5:00 p.m. It is your choice as to whether or not you care to eat with the guests. Also, you are asked to stay until the 8:00p.m. overnight host arrives.
Provide evening meal for up to 14 guests, along with 2-3 volunteers. Dinner is served at 6:00 pm. Help serve the evening meal; help with clean up.
Provide hospitality to guests from 6:30-8:30 PM; read to children; visit with parents; lend a listening ear and caring heart (always two volunteers on duty).
Sleep overnight at the host site; 8:30pm to 8:00 am (AM times can be flexible) (always two overnights on duty)
Provide transportation (IHN van) from host site to the Day Center (811 7th Street NW) in the AM (leaving around 7:50 AM (if no high school students) and 7:20 AM - if need to drop high schoolers); and PM drive-(pick up van from host site at 4:30 pm)-pick up guests at the Day Center at 4:45 PM - and take back to the host site. (This can be different drivers-AM and PM-or someone who works in Rochester those hours-who can drop guests off; keep the van-and then pick them up after work and take back to host site).
Who Are You?
Who are you in Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan? There is a robbed, naked, beaten-up man laying in the middle of the road, an 'I don't want to get involved' Priest and Levite, and a Samaritan; someone who was considered to be outside the faith and a 'dog,' at least in the eyes of the Jewish elite social/religious community at that time.
May 15, 2007, 91 year old Leonard Sims of Detroit, Mi. was viciously attacked while going to his car at a convenience store parking lot. He was beaten with 21 blows, had his car stolen and left for dead while 5 people stood by and watched, not lifting a finger to help him. After watching a surveillance camera of his ordeal, the World War 2 veteran Sims was asked what he would say to the 5 onlookers if he had a chance. He replied, "I would tell them that they are low in class, low in spirit, low in life," His wife Nora added: "Speak up! Stand up! Get up and do something. Get involved, because it's not right. It's not right at all."
One could say the 5 onlookers represented the Priest and the Levite and it's obvious who's the beaten man; Mr. Sims. But who was the Good Samaritan? In this true story there wasn't one. Still it begs the question, "If we would have been there, who would we have been?
Here is another take on the same parable. There are those in our sphere of influence who, for whatever reason, (circumstantial or reasons of their own) are financially incapable of affording a home or apartment. They're beaten down and find themselves in the middle of the street. They're the homeless. One of the saddest songs ever written was by Don McLean entitled, "Homeless Brother." In it, we hear these words:
"Down the bowels of a broken land where numbers live as men,
Where those who keep their senses have them taken back again....
Smash your bottle on the gravestone and live while you can,
That homeless brother is my friend."
Currently there is a program designed to help our homeless brother/friends in our spheres of influence; it's called-Inter-faith Hospitality Network. This nation-wide program is made up of local churches which unite to provide housing via their church facility and food provided by their members to the homeless of their area. Each church hosts homeless 'guests' for one week at a time then rotate. The 'guest' or program participants must first qualify for the program which includes a screening for drugs, alcohol, and previous criminal records. Those which do not qualify are forwarded to such programs as the Salvation Army, Dorothy Day, etc. The majority of IHN program participants are single mother's w/children; however, there are many nucleic families as well. In considering whether or not to participate in the IHN program, some Lutheran churches have 'stepped around' it by labeling it unionism. (Priest, Levite?!) Still, there have been some Lutheran churches who have been willing to get involved and get their hands (and churches) dirty (so to speak yet sometimes literally) at the price of helping their homeless brother. In a very real sense, IHN has been a Good Samaritan!
The writer of the Hebrews says, "Remember those in prison as if you were there fellow prisoners." The homeless are prisoners to their circumstance. Thus, the Hebrews writer calls us to remember and consider ourselves chained together with them in their homeless prison. It seems only a real, true friend would do such a thing. In a sense, the homeless are that beaten man in Jesus parable. And, if we be chained with him, we too are the beaten man. Because of sin, we are all the beaten man. But thanks be to God, Jesus is our Good Samaritan! But He's not only our Good Samaritan, Jesus is our Savior and true friend! On the cross, He was our Good Samaritan by healing our wounds caused by sin. Jesus is our refuge and strength and forever provides us with the balm of His love, peace, as well as a place to go in this life and the one to come. Thus, we know who we are in this parable. Yet, there is still one more way of considering.
Jesus says, "When you have done these things unto the least of these my brothers, you have done it unto me." In other words, the beaten man is both our homeless brother and Jesus. And according to Jesus words, we're the Good Samaritan! As a participating church or volunteer in the Inter-faith Hospitality Network program, we have an opportunity to be a Good Samaritan! What a blessed opportunity! This harvest field is ripe and getting riper with each passing day while the workers are few. For more information or to see if you could start an IHN program in your area type in: Interfaith Hospitality Networks on the internet. All praise and glory be to God for His love and mercy endures forever!
Pastor Lyle Kath
Greater Rochester (Mn.) Area IHN program Coordinator
Our Saviors Lutheran