The Gathering is a Community of Faith of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. It was begun in December of 2012. There has been a need for a spiritual gathering place in Dallas, where the housed and unhoused can come together on Sunday to seek healing and spiritual fulfillment as well as community. St. Thomas is one of many Episcopal churches enlisted to provide the meals throughout the year.
November 16 was St. Thomas’ final turn, for this year, to provide lunches at The Gathering. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to offer love and a meal to those that most people simply do not see. It is quite moving to be with the homeless attendees, as they come together to worship and ask for prayers for their friends and family. The Eucharist service begins at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons at Thanksgiving Square, and lasts for about 45 minutes. Several of the homeless who attend have taken on leadership roles, and serve as chalice bearers, ushers, passing out the service programs and helping to set up the church for service.
Preparations began on Saturday as Mother Virginia, Andy Rohrbacher, my husband and myself, prepared 100 sack lunches. Lunches included meatloaf sandwiches, a small can of fruit, chips, granola bars and water. Preparing the lunches takes about an hour. It is always a fun time filled with conversation and laughter, while we pack lunches and get to know each other.
On Sunday, Brian, Cristian and Cameron Truncali, Mother Virginia, Bill Leazer and myself attended the Gathering service, then we passed out the lunches. We had a donation of hand warmers that we also passed out. It was a very cold day and the homeless were so grateful for the hand warmers
Below are a list of needs of The Gathering:
- Rain Ponchos
- Thermal Underwear (M-XXXL)
- Warm Coats (M-XXXL)
- White Socks
- 2-4 person tents
- Tarps 8×10 and 10×12 (brown or camo)
- Boots (various sizes)
- Subway restaurant gift cards
- Starbucks gift cards
- Hygiene items
- Dental work
- Eclessia Crosses
- Bibles – large print New Testament
A special thank you to everyone who helped serve this ministry the past year! If you are interested in a volunteer position to help with taking people to the doctor or mentoring the ones who are in the process of finding jobs, please contact Lisa Cain.