This story will appear in the April print issue of Anglican Life, written by Maureen Lymburner. Photos provided by Home Again Furniture Bank.
Last April, members of the Archdeaconry of Avalon chose to give up the comfort of their beds to share an evening on the floor of the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Their sacrifice demonstrated compassion for those who live without basic furnishings each day and night, and has inspired members of other faith communities to participate in Home Again Furniture Bank’s Heads Without Beds campaign.
Heads Without Beds aims to raise awareness, and funds, to end furniture poverty on the northeast Avalon. In seeking sponsors to sleep without a bed for one night, participants are helping to ensure that others will not have to suffer that same discomfort and indignity.
Leaders and laity of multiple faith communities have elected to join together and sleep without a bed on April 17th. Multi-faith participation in Heads Without Beds exemplifies the underlying commonalities of differing religious expressions. Each religious tradition abides by a variation of the Golden Rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12), as seen in the many selfless acts of service and care for society’s most vulnerable.
Participation in the St. John’s and Area Council of Churches, the Religious Social Action Coalition NL, and now in the Heads Without Beds campaign, demonstrates an active commitment by local faith communities to find ways to thrive together, work toward common goals, and advocate for vulnerable populations in a combined community of care.
Home Again Furniture Bank’s initiative Heads Without Beds is a great way to continue the deepening of multi-faith dialogue and action, for the betterment of community.
About Home Again Furniture Bank
Home Again is a nonprofit organization that aims to end regional furniture poverty. To do this, Home Again collects donations of gently-used furniture to redistribute, for free, to those referred by partner agencies and organizations. Each week our volunteers deliver beds, blankets, pillows, sofas and more to individuals and families who had been living without.
As partners of Home Again, each Anglican parish in the region can refer parishioners and others in their communities who find themselves without basic furnishings.
Past furniture recipients have shared “I can have a seat in my own house now because I have a table and chairs and cups to serve coffee. I also have a bed now so I don’t have to sleep on the floor anymore.” Another recipient said, “The mattress allows me to sleep better. The dresser helped me organize my clothes. The lamp allows my son to sleep with the light on.”
Less than 4.5 years old, Home Again has furnished more than 1300 households. And there is an ever-growing list of more than 150 households waiting for the furniture they need to turn their house into a home.
You Can Help
You can help ensure that others have a bed to sleep in by supporting Heads Without Beds. Ask questions and learn more about the work of Home Again Furniture Bank. Sponsor a Heads Without Beds participant by making a tax-deductible financial contribution. Participating churches will have specially marked envelopes. Some participants will use sponsor donation sheets. Or donations can be made online at: https://bit.ly/2k2FX4n
For more information:
Article by Sarah Hedderson
Being able to form new relationships with fellow youth in the church is a great opportunity for the young people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Over the past 6 years youth between the ages of 12 and 19 have had wonderful experiences learning about God, their faith, and how to incorporate them into their everyday lives through the GPS conference. GPS (God’s Positioning System) is an annual conference held around the province focusing on vocation, self discovery, and building relationships with fellow youth.
In previous years, participants have had the opportunity to hear from many remarkable keynote speakers including Scott Evans, Bill Cliff, Mark Dunwoody, Sheilagh McGlynn and Jenny Salisbury, and this year’s keynote speaker will be Steve Greene, as well as participate in other activities such as outreach projects for local charities, wellness activities, arts and crafts, and games. This year the conference will once again be held at the Lavrock camp and conference centre from May 1st to the 3rd. This retreat venue offers great accommodations and an enjoyable outdoor environment exceptional for fun and recreation. During the weekends events participants will take part in fun games to get to know one another, participate in outreach projects, explore the idea of vocation and so much more.
Youth aged 12 and up are invited to join us for the conference in May. GPS is a great way for youth to build new friendships through faith and expand their beliefs in a different environment outside of a normal Sunday morning service. The conference is always lots of fun and there are many different activities to do, friends to make and different ways to explore your faith.
This year we are very excited to have Steve Greene as our keynote speaker. Rev’d Steve Greene is currently assistant curate to the rector for South Huron Regional Ministries. Greene has had prior experience working with youth in a conference setting as he has led faith driven workshops such as a slam poetry workshop at the CLAY (Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth) gathering, as well as being the keynote speaker of the 2018 CLAY event, which some members of the GPS team were lucky to attend. Rev’d Steve Greene is a talented and engaging speaker; we’ve heard many of Steves talks, and can say first hand that they’re an amazing experience to be a part of which none of you will want to miss at this upcoming GPS.
For more information on this event or to register please visit our Facebook page Anglican Youth ENL, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . The deadline to register is April 16th, 2020. We hope to see you there!