Have you ever wondered what a “normal” week at Mercy is like? While I have to say that nothing has seemed exactly “normal” for a while now, there are some things about the Mercy community that remain constant. Even in our creativity, and many adaptations, there are just some things about this community that never change–in a good way! Our constancy is intentional. When things get chaotic, when life is overwhelming, when there are not many people or things you can depend on, it’s good to know that you can rely on your church community to keep showing up for you and to be present to you in the good times and the bad ones too.
So what did this particular week look like for the community?
On Sunday we welcomed our partners and friends from Druid Hills Presbyterian to host a specially prepared breakfast before our outdoor worship service. It was so nice to see these friends now that we no longer share space on a regular basis! We love having visitors!
On Monday we opened in the morning for a hearty breakfast followed by our outdoor clothing closet. We shared a lot of warm coats, gloves, hats, hand-warmers, and sleeping bags as people prepared themselves for the coming cold. After sharing clothes we prayed together and studied scripture (all from the back of Pastor Chad’s truck!) before sharing hot delicious soup and cleaning up.
Tuesday is typically our pastors’ administration day, but it was extra cold this particular morning, so our pastors came out to share hot coffee, grits, and pull out some heaters for the community to warm up a little in the chill! That afternoon our friends from the Church at Ponce and Highland prepared a delicious lunch to be shared–they faithfully do this every single week for us!
On Wednesday we opened early once more for hot breakfast and coffee followed by prayer and bible study too. Our friends from the Harriet Tubman Free Foot Clinic stopped by to share clean warm socks and help us distribute clean shoes to our community members. After sharing a hot lunch, Pastor Lattimore led his Empowerment Group–a recovery focused group that is growing in numbers every week and meets spread out in the parking lot!
On Thursday we shared hot coffee, breakfast, and warm clothing once more with the help of some great volunteers and seminary interns! After music, prayer, and the study of scripture, we shared lunch while we waited for our friends from the Mercy Care street medicine team to stop by and check in with several members of our community.
On Friday, while our pastoral team takes a day off, our friends from Oak Grove United Methodist stopped by with lunch for our community, as they have been faithfully doing for years!
There you have it–just another beautifully busy week at Mercy! Sometimes it feels like our active little community does so much that the weeks all meld together. Yet, I’m thankful for all the little grace-filled moments that make each week memorable too–I’m thankful for the volunteers with their sleeves pulled up, humbly and patiently washing breakfast dishes, for the pastoral conversations that happen between clothing closet and prayer and make all the difference, for the laughter and jokes made over hot coffee even when it is too early and freezing outside–all these things make Mercy what it is. And no matter what happens or how we have to adapt, we’ll keep showing-up for each other, creating simple Christian hospitality where it’s needed the most.
Do you want to get in on a week at Mercy? Come volunteer and spend some time with our community–we’re currently meeting outdoors, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing, and there are a variety of ways to get involved!