This morning I was thinking about the meaning of the word “Pilgrim” since that is the name of the newsletter at the First Congregational Church, one of the places we submit this article because of our partnership with them. Of course, originally it meant the group of English Puritans who founded the colony of Plymouth in New England in 1620.
In its broadest sense, a pilgrimage is an extended journey with a purpose. Isn’t that kind of like what life is like? We are here for an extended journey through life on this earth and hopefully we have a purpose. Have you thought about what your “purpose” is lately?
I know what Urban Community Outreach’s “purpose” is, though our Mission Statement is a little vague. “To advance the interests and promote the welfare of the economically disenfranchised and homeless people in Long Beach by offering a welcoming environment to provide respite, nutrition, opportunity, and hope.” That word “opportunity” has come to mean more and more things as we grow and provide more services and a stronger support system.
With so many people coming to us we have many ways we help because each of their “life’s journeys” are different.
Sunday, February 26, we had a senior couple who came for assistance in finding a way to bring in more income because their rent is going up. I was able to establish that she is taking care of his health needs and so should be eligible for IHHS payment from the government. We are working on that for them. He has a doctor’s appointment this week to get the doctor to sign a letter stating that so they can prove his condition warrants her assistance.
We helped a church member who had gone over budget this month and couldn’t afford all of her rent. We gave utility assistance for a mother trying to make a go of it.
We also had the Long Beach Community Chamber come to sing and provide some cheerful music for the group. They really liked it. Some danced! Another handsome young homeless man was inspired by seeing the piano and came up and placed a beautiful classical piece to our surprise! We gave him some new shirts for an interview so he could get going on the next part of his life’s journey.
Sunday’s at UCO’s DIC is such a blessing and a joy!