Some Updates from Grace and Main
Fall is coming and with it: cooler temperatures. The trees are starting the spread the rumor in orange, red, and golden whispers. There’s an insistent crispness to the air in the morning even if it relents to heat by midday. By the next time I write to you, I think we’ll have made it to genuine “sweater weather.” Well, I hope so at least. Fall has long been my favorite season; it feels like a sigh after summer’s exertion. In our work and life at Grace and Main, it has usually been a brief respite from the challenges of summer and before the freezing threats of winter. It’s a time to give thanks, even if we know it often feels too brief.
As I write this to you, we’re closing on a piece of property (a set of four apartments) on the Northside of Danville that I’m looking forward to telling you about. The purchase of these units was funded by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia and by a portion of the money granted along with the B.R. Ashby, M.D., Award for Outstanding Community Service that we received earlier this year. These apartments will be a big addition to our work to provide equitable, affordable housing in our neighborhoods and, in the long term, we look forward to expanding that work into many more places with the same values and approach.
There’s still a lot of work to do, but there’s one thing I know for certain in this moment: we couldn’t do it without you and this is every bit as much your victory as it is ours. So, thank you. Thank you for your prayers, your support, your encouragement, and your trust. There’s good work ahead of us and it’s built on all the good work you’ve made possible in the past. Keep your eyes open and I’ll tell you more about what you’re helping to make happen.
As always, I welcome your questions and thoughts. Please feel free to reach out and, if you find yourself encouraged by what we’re working on and want to see if continue and grow, consider becoming a supporter.
Grace and Peace,
In August 2021, we provided 367 meals through grocery bags, subsidies, the Urban Farm, meal pickups and dropoffs, and a few other methods. This brings our yearly total up to the end of August to 2,808 meals.
In September 2021, we provided 372 nights of shelter through our network of housing resources including hospitality spaces, rent/utility subsidies, and a few other methods. That brings our year-to-date total to 3,996 nights of shelter.
In August 2021, we provided pastoral care and spiritual direction 336 times lasting 103 hours. This brings our yearly total up to the end of August to 1,871 sessions lasting 747 hours.
In August 2021, we provided 306 rides and spent 35.9 hours personally giving rides. These rides include trips to the doctor, pharmacy, grocery store, and work. This brings out yearly total up to the end of August to 1,696 rides with 249.9 hours personally giving rides.
Given our history of shared meals and community feasts, Grace and Main was asked to help provide for the kitchen area of the new community center near Cardinal Village.
Here’s some of what we were able to provide to help make shared meals a possibility when COVID allows.
A Short Prayer as Summer turns to Fall
O God who decreed a time for everything in its season — for rising and falling, for growing and withering;
speak to us in the waning of summer’s heat and in the slow turning of leaves to all your brilliant colors;
in order that we might give thanks for your unchanging nature in the midst of all change and, in doing so, might learn a gratitude deeper than any circumstances.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Some Stories Worth Rereading
In March of 2018, I wrote a story called “Precious Memories” about a family in a hospitality house and about what is precious to Jesus and his followers.
In October of 2017, I wrote a story following the death of Bruce called “Bruce Was Ready.” This September was the fourth anniversary of Bruce’s passing as we still miss him very much.