On February 23, St. John's is once again spearheading the Long, Long Night of Hope sleep-over event to raise money for the Lookout Society. Participants sleep in their car overnight, or in St. John's church, to raise awareness for the needs of the homeless in our community. As you will recall, the Lookout Society owns and operates Dovercourt House in our own Lynn Valley neighbourhood, as well as emergency shelters in North Vancouver and around Metro Vancouver and a number of other services that help our society's most vulnerable members.
The participants have raised over $25,000 in just the first two years of taking part in the event. Last year, St. John's participants were joined by a couple of St. Catherine's members, and this year the hope is that even more North Van Anglicans and Lutherans haul out their sleeping bags for the cause. Our Lynne McNaughton is participating, fresh off the plane from Toronto, and is encouraging other St. Clement's folk - especially the youth! - to join her.
For more information on participating, or on donating, please visit the information website set up for the North Van Anglican and Lutheran region. (To donate directly to the St. Clement's team's efforts, please click here.)
And to put you in the spirit of the venture, here's what one three-time participant said about her choice to take part each year:
It's very important for us all to realize that homelessness is not something that only happens to other people. It truly can happen to anyone. I participate in this every year to remind myself, and the people around me, about all we have to be grateful for and how important it is to help when we are able.
* I am grateful for a huge, loving and supportive circle of family and friends that protect me
* I am grateful to have a good job that takes care of my needs and allows me to help others when they need it.
* I am grateful for a job with people I love to work with who appreciate and acknowledge me
* I am grateful for a church community that holds me in their arms and strengthens me
* I am grateful to live in a warm and lovely home in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
* I am grateful for my music and for all that share in the meaningful projects that heal and draw together community.
* I am grateful to have wellness, and to be so, so happy!
In remembering all the amazing gifts we have, please help me to help others find their way home.