Citizen-Times profiles First Presbyterian’s ‘Sanctuary Saturday’

From the Asheville Citizen-Times

[Sanctuary Saturday occurs] from October through March in the fellowship hall at First Presbyterian Church [in] downtown [Asheville], when the hungry and homeless seek refuge from the elements and protection from the unknown during the cold winter months.

Now in its fifth year, the Saturday Sanctuary ministry at First Presbyterian is a study in care and compassion, a volunteer-driven project that offers guests a hot, nutritious meal followed by a movie with popcorn, board games and magazines, clean restrooms, benches for a nap and, most of all, fellowship and community with people who do not judge.

“Being present with our neighbors has been the part that’s been most transformative for us,” said the Rev. Michael Poulos, associate pastor for youth and mission. “When you sit down at a table and share a cup of coffee with someone who may be camping in the woods or staying at a shelter, things change.” …

Saturday Sanctuary began modestly in January 2009 after a homeless man froze to death near downtown. The church leadership felt compelled to open its community room on a trial basis for six weeks in hopes of becoming a stronger advocate for the homeless. …

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.