Friday, December 26, 2014

A Mitzvah on Christmas Day

“I think it’s a mitzvah (good deed) to do this because we are feeding the less fortunate.”  -Nathan Slotnik, 13, a visitor from Maryland who assisted Congregation Albert at St. Martin's on Christmas morning.

The service is an invaluable human kindness and hospitality to people who have been displaced. I come as bishop of the church to make it clear that they are loved and to remind them that Jesus and the holy family were displaced people.” -Rev. Michael Vono, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande
For  the last two years, volunteers from Congregation Albert have served breakfast at St. Martin's Hospitality Center on Christmas morning.  The effort is led by Rachel Brookins, who was part of the original group that helped create the Interfaith Hunger Coalition. Nine children helped with the effort, including Bayla Brookins, Rachel's daughter. “It’s incredibly important that they be involved, not only because they are great workers and very dedicated, but because you want charitable work to become part of their routine and culture as they get older,” Brookins told The Albuquerque Journal.

In addition to Christmas, members of Congregation Albert served at St. Martin's on Sunday, Nov. 2. The St. Martin's breakfast is one of  three actions available to members of the temple to fulfill Tikkun Olam, the pursuit of social action and social justice. Congregation Albert also supports two other local projects, Family Promise and Project Share.
A service preceded this year's breakfast, led by Bishop Michael Vono of  the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. Also on hand was Rev. Susan Allison-Hatch, who also collaborated with our effort to create the Interfaith Hunger Coalition. Rev. Allison-Hatch serves on the staff of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church and is Missioner to the Homeless for the Diocese of the Rio Grande.  A picture that accompanies The Albuquerque Journal article shows Rev. Allison-Hatch and Father Richard Rohr (of the Center for Action and Contemplation) praying with a person who is experiencing homelessness outside St. Martin's.

Here is a link to the full article in The Albuquerque Journal.

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