“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house, when you see the naked to cover them…”. Isaiah 58:10
Many often equate the Old Testament with a wrathful God lording over His people with threats and plagues. We sometimes feel as though charity…taking care of those less fortunate than us...was a new idea born of the New Testament and Jesus.
It kind of makes sense. The images of an angry God causing a flood to cover the whole earth, or turning a woman into a pillar of salt for the offense of looking at a city He destroyed, or sending a plague of frogs over a whole country, are much more exciting and memorable than “feeding the poor”.
However, in fact the Old Testament is full of references of taking care of the poor and less advantaged. Jesus’ affinity for the needy and his message of our obligation to help them was a not a new idea but continuation of what he had been taught as a good Jew. The bible mentions “charity“ over 2,000 times.
Human to Human is one way your Diocese of Western Massachusetts is answering that call from God made more than a Millennia ago. We come at this with an attitude of abundance, in every sense of the word. With that in mind, our Vision is to “Support organizations to do God’s justice by sharing Jesus’ mission of mercy, compassion and hope in the world”.
In short, we aim to be part of the solution. We want to help all who need to be heard--be heard; that all who need to be fed are fed; all who need to be clothed are clothed; that all who need a place to lie their head can do so in comfort and safety; and that all know they are beloved.
While the pandemic has slowed things down, Human to Human has continued work towards that vision by supporting the good works of several organizations. Among our missions are:
Building Bridges provides free meals to veterans in 11 different sites with more on the way. These meals are an opportunity for vets to build community, be heard and yes, enjoy an excellent meal. We plan on continuing to support the expansion of this wonderful ministry.
Walking Together is a street ministry in the South Central Neighborhood of Worcester which has provided many services to the people of that neighborhood. These include support of the recovery community with 12-step meetings and Narcan training, a warm dry place to gather, spiritual guidance and even water when public sources were shut off during the pandemic. One of the cornerstones of Walking Together is Laundry Love. Laundry Love allows anyone to come to a laundromat once per month and do their laundry for free. Other services include child watching, pizza and free prenatal checkups in partnership with a local hospital. Walking Together will be going through a transition soon and Laundry Love will continue. Human to Human will continue to support Laundry Love and hope to support additional site development.
Marie’s Mission provides diapers and other services for many families in Worcester through the hard work of two of our Worcester parishes. Human to Human will be supporting the expansion of sites for this amazing ministry as well.
Our most recent effort will involve supporting an outreach and support ministry of the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Facility. This ministry provides comfort, counseling and other types of support for incarcerated women and those who are about to be released.
There is more! And there will be a lot more to come!
Your Diocese…Bishop Doug Fisher is committed to building a sustainable organization that will “ resource emerging frontline ministries within and beyond the the walls of our churches”.
While there is much to be done, there is only one agenda….Love!