It's 8:45 p.m. on a summer Friday – time to get ready for a night on the town.
What to wear?
Navy blue shirt and baseball hat with reflective labels.
What to bring?
Tootsie-Pops, protein bars, bottles of water, a coupon for a free sandwich at McDonald’s and a cell phone.
“Gracious Lord, we give you thanks for this opportunity to share your love with others. Lord, we pray that you would equip us and help us share what is needed this night,” said Rev. Kate Nicol, an elder in the New England Conference and the Street Pastors team leader this night.
What is needed this night might be a listening ear, a ride home, the calm voice that stops a fight, that free sandwich or the way off the street for the night.
These volunteers, clergy and laity, will spend the next four hours “on patrol” – walking and talking with the people they meet; some will be homeless, others bar hopping; some are just curious, others want to talk about their lives and their faith or loss of faith.
“When we’re out there and people are talking to us, we get to be that safe space that they may not be able to find anyplace else,” Rev. Nicol said, describing this ministry not of evangelism, but of presence.
To read more of this story from the New England Conference, click here.
– Beth DiCocco is the communications director at the New England Conference.