The Union Gospel Mission…


has been a fixture in St. Paul for decades. Evangelical in its orientation it has provided a haven, a home, and a refuge for all who are homeless, addicted, and battered and find their way to its doors.  It has never, to my knowledge,  been a source of scandal.

I’ll be there tonight with a band of Pentecostals to assist in a group event  by playing music. Do I agree with every point of their theology. No.  Could I accept every part of the Mission’s statement of faith. Again, no.  Yet I’ve resolved to walk through any decent door that comes open to me and help any group of believers who are ministering to the poor and downtrodden based, if on nothing else, on the shared desire to fulfill the call of Matthew 25.

I’m Orthodox down to my toes and if anyone asks I’ll tell them why. Yet the truth is that the only way to be “out there” is to be out there beyond the parish walls and trying to find any good way to reach out and do what needs to be done. If my fellow travelers are not exactly like me I’ll take whatever help I can get and share whatever I can with them. We won’t be able to share the Eucharist together, that will have to wait, but for the person in prison or stuck without a home that is remarkably low on the priority list. Let’s stop the bleeding or the hunger first and then we can get on to the details.

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