As we approach year-end, I am writing to ask for you support for a non-profit organization on whose Board of Directors I sit – City House. I wrote about this entity about sixteen months ago, but I do so again in the hope that some of you are still looking for charities to support at this time of year.
The core mission of City House is spiritual conversation with people on the margins – including those experiencing poverty, addiction, and imprisonment. Trained volunteer Spiritual Companions meet one-on-one or in groups with participants at social service agency sites where they live or are receiving services. City House also offers a spiritual friendship program and leadership development for people in the mainstream who want to deepen their relationship with those experiencing life at the margins.
As most of you know, I have been a spiritual director and a retreat leader for a number of years. I have seen the difference it makes in people’s lives – people of all faiths and people of no faith – to have someone to whom they can tell their story, someone who will listen fully to them without judgment and with an open heart.
All the more important is this encounter to the people served by City House. In the words of the director of one of the social service agencies with which we work, “The social service system sees our tenants in terms of their deficits; City House does not do that. City House sees them for what they have to offer, for their innate spirit and for what they can give back to society. Sometimes this is the first time someone has seen them like that.” City House brings non-judgmental, compassionate listening to those who are feeling their brokenness, transmits wisdom across boundaries of culture and economic disparity, and connects people in the mainstream and margin. Among other things, this makes it part of the solution in a culture of polarized viewpoints and demographic segregation.
City House relies on volunteers for much of its work – including the service by its board members, who receive no compensation for our time. But running it does require funds for paying it small staff, conducting training of its listeners, and paying various costs associated with City House operation and the programs it sponsors.
Many of you have been reading my blog for a number of years and have written to me telling me how much you have benefitted from my posts and podcasts. Many of you have remotely participated in retreats I’ve given, using the prayer material and podcasts I freely make available. Despite repeated suggestions by friends and others that I offer online retreats for a fee, I have never and will never ask for anything for myself in connection with what I offer here and on my website. But, if you have benefitted from anything I’ve posted here, please prayerfully consider making a donation to City House.
You can make a donation on-line or by check. If you prefer an on-line donation, please visit the City House website and click on the Donate button at the bottom of the home page. Alternatively, you can send a check payable to City House and mail it to City House at 1730 New Brighton Blvd #253, Minneapolis MN 55413-1248. A donation in any size would make an enormous difference to the work we can do.
Thank you for considering this.