Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Special Report...

This past Sunday Chris and I attended worship service at, Pilgrims in the Park in Bryan, TX.

Pilgrims in the Park is an open air church service conducted, administered and financed by the seventy year young Rev. Lenni Lissberger, for "all wayfarers on life's journey". Services are held under a picnic shelter each Sunday in Neal Park, a small public park on the west side of Byran, TX.

Rev. Lenni prepares lunch for her parishioners every week. This week she brought sandwiches, boiled eggs. cookies, coffee and orange juice. She pays for the food and supplies out of her own pocket. The parishioners are very grateful.

There were roughly thirty people in attendance this Sunday. All but four or five were homeless folks.

On the front of the worship bulletin - which Rev. Linne also prepares and prints each week - are there words...

Regardless how much money you have in your pocket,
Regardless of where you spent the night,
Regardless what language you speak,
Regardless of the color of your skin,
Regardless of who you love,
Regardless of whether
you have a family,
or we become
your family,
You are welcome here!
There was hymn singing and praying. There was a time for greeting each other and a time for scripture reading. Rev. Lenni gave a short inspirational talk. Several of the congregants helped in the service. One read the scripture, another handed out bulletins, several participated by expressing their sorrows and thanksgivings during the community prayer. Most all were homeless, down on their luck and destitute, but one could sense that they really cared about each other's welfare.
After the service, several people, without being ask, packed up the coffee jugs and other things, folded the table and loaded everything neatly in the back of Rev. Lenni's car. Next week when she arrives there will be several there to help unload and set everything up again.
I don't know that I have ever witnessed more honest and selfless expressions of the teachings of Jesus - to love one another, to show compassion, to include those on the margins of society - than I did that morning. The people who attend worship service at Pilgrims in the Park are very special people... And the Rev. Lenni Lissberger, who makes it happen, week after week, is a very special human being.
barry e