We’re still trying something new with our monthly newsletter. We’ve got an exciting announcement, some data form our recent work, some pictures, a prayer for peace in our hearts and neighborhoods, and links to a couple of stories that are on our minds recently. Please let us know what you think; we’re still trying to make sure these updates give a fuller picture of our work and lives.
Our big announcement: Grace and Main Fellowship (including Third Chance Ministries) was awarded the B.R. Ashby, M.D. Award for Outstanding Community Service! We are honored to receive the award from the Danville Regional Foundation. Clark Casteel, President and CEO of DRF, remarked, “[Grace and Main’s] commitment to practicing hospitality, building community and walking alongside those struggling with homelessness, poverty, addiction and hunger every day is changing lives right where they live and work.” We’re excited to use the grant associated with the award to expand our impact in housing stability and among people experiencing housing instability. Thank you to everyone who made it possible: the kind people who nominated us, everybody who has supported our work all these years, the individuals and families who have funded the work that received the award, the many leaders who make up Grace and Main’s extended family, the partners who’ve been integral to our work, and the Danville Regional Foundation and the Ashby committee for selecting us for this honor. Thank you to everyone!
In December 2020, we provided 218 meals through grocery bags, subsidies, the Urban Farm, meal pickups and dropoffs, and a few other methods. In the year 2020, we provided 2,858 meals in total!
In January 2021, we provided 527 nights of shelter through our network of housing resources including hospitality spaces, rent/utility subsidies, and a few other methods. This also included the emergency housing discretionary fund recently created to address the COVID-related rise in evictions and housing instability.
In December, we provided pastoral care and spiritual direction 198 times lasting 75 hours. That brings our 2020 total of instances of pastoral care and spiritual direction to 1,666 times lasting 646.3 hours.
In December, we provided 166 rides lasting 29.1 hours. That brought our 2020 total to 1,463 rides lasting 372.7 hours. These rides include things like trips to the doctor, pharmacy, grocery store, and work. Of course, since March 2020, these rides have been masked and involved temperature checks and extra safety precautions.
Interviewing an Urban Farm leader for the Ashby Award Announcement Video
The Union Street Dam on the Dan River near sunset
A Short Prayer for the Cultivation of Peace
O Lamb of God,
who is the prince and author of peace in our world so intoxicated with the promises of power;
weed the gardens of our hearts and minds and prune from us all hatred, violence, discrimination, and the desire to dominate,
in order that our lives might be good soil in which the roots of your love might take purchase and produce good and abundant fruit.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Some Stories Worth Rereading
In December of 2019, Jessica wrote a story called “Jacob’s Wandering Heart” about the many roads one of our Grace and Main leaders has walked over the years and how all those roads brought him into our little community. “Jacob” celebrated five years of sobriety in the fall and we’re still so thankful that he walked those roads to find us.
In February of 2019, I wrote a story called Jeron’s Ride. It’s all about “a family united by a chosen bond instead of blood” and how the neighborhood cares for Jeron. In a time that has been tumultuous and when our minds have often turned to the effects of it all on kids, remembering this story brings me a measure of comfort.