A group of Nativity Lutheran Church members in Weeki Wachee, FL, came together to talk about serving community needs in Hernando County. The outcome is People Helping People (PHP), an interfaith community of Christians, Jews, and Muslims who are concerned with the increasing numbers of hungry and homeless people in West Hernando County.
To address this concern, PHP has begun modestly by providing two monthly meals at the Senior Citizens Club of Hernando County. Cecil Bradley, Nativity member and president of PHP recently said, “This week I was a part of a conversation in which a Jewish man was talking to an Indian doctor about donating money to a charity started by a bunch of Lutherans. Is that interfaith or what?”
Bradley has said repeatedly that he has experienced the power of the Holy Spirit at work in this process. Also on the leadership committee are Diane Rowden, former county commissioner, and Nativity members JoAnne Boggus, Ron VanMatre, and Pastor Kristen Wee.
On Sunday, August 23rd, 55 guests were served by 28 volunteers. Among the guests were people who are living in the woods, one man who had not eaten in three days, and a family with two children who had suffered recent job losses. Marty Reiman, a member of Temple Beth David, worked his magic in the kitchen, not just feeding the guests but providing take-home food as well. As word about PHP has spread a wide variety of enthusiastic volunteers have come forward. One person brought toiletries to give away while another arrived with her massage chair to give mini-massages to volunteers and guests alike.
Pastor Wee of Nativity Lutheran commented, “As this interfaith community of volunteers has come together we have discovered that we have something very important in common: an understanding that people who lose themselves in the service of others end up finding themselves over and over again.”
-Article by The Reverend Kristin Wee, Nativity Lutheran Church, Weeki Wachee, FL
-Photo by JoAnne Boggus