Feeding and being fed

A feast for those at the edges

As a street chaplain in Marin County, California, I join with the street community in San Rafael, California, every Tuesday. Our Wellness Group is made up of people who live in their cars, people who sleep in bushes and those who are newly housed. Some drink before noon, some are in recovery. We are joined by mental health consumers, retired clergy, lay monastics—and whoever else is moved to join us. In less than an hour we move together through the ritual we’ve built over the last ten years: we sit in silence, pray and discuss sacred and secular texts. Recently, we have concluded the time with a meal organized by members of our community.

Tuesday mornings I meet with Randy, Gary and Jay—cooks who happen to be homeless—and we plan the dinner. We scavenge most of the food from local service organizations and the St. Vincent DePaul Free Dining Room, and we have a modest budget for other ingredients.


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