By Christine Warner
The Concrete Cathedral is humming, beauty and ugliness evident with piercing clarity. The vaulted ceilings of this church are the skeleton braces of the highway; the pews are bent metal chairs; the worship music is raucous; the parishioners are brothers and sisters in Christ who are homeless or formerly homeless.
This worshipping community under the bridge welcomes core members who gather in while also offering hospitality to many on the edges, some watching curiously, some through the fog of mental illness, or those who appear absent in K2-induced rigor mortis bodies. The Eucharist, shared among men and women from all walks of life who for various reasons find themselves homeless, becomes the focal point at the end of worship, the Body and Blood of Christ. Christ is present under the bridge as the cars zoom overhead.
Matthew 25 ministries companion the vulnerable, the marginalized, and the under-resourced communities of North America. Whether serving in prisons or helping restore lives after incarceration, whether companioning single parents or at-risk youth who struggle with substance abuse, whether receiving the stranger through refugee ministries or caring for asylum seekers at the border, Anglicans are not only loving “the least of these” but they are also entering into solidarity with Christ himself, encountering Jesus.
The Matthew 25 Initiative supports, encourages, and equips justice and mercy practitioners who serve in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico through affinity groups, soul care retreats, and thought leadership, as well as offers resources, training, and guidance for new initiatives and parishes.
As the community worshipping under the interstate sings the closing hymn, it is unclear who are those serving and those being served, as the sense of Christ himself serving rests on all regardless of their story. We are all the poor in the kingdom, given the riches of grace in Jesus.
Learn more or register at AnglicanJusticeandMercy.org