Lenten Almsgiving: What about City House?

Remember that almsgiving is one of the three traditional Lent practices.  Have you committed yourself to some lenten almsgiving?  Are you still looking for a worthwhile donation opportunity?

If you are a long time reader of this blog, you have heard me say that I sit on the  Board of Directors of a non-profit named City House, whose core mission is spiritual conversation with people on the margins – including those experiencing poverty, addiction, and imprisonment. Our 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.

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.

I hear often from people telling me how much they have benefitted from my posts and podcasts, and telling me about their positive experience from remotely participating 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 or in some other way monetize my site, 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, and if you have the financial ability to do so, I ask only that you please prayerfully consider making a donation to City House during this holy season of lent.   (I did make this same ask in 2015; if you contributed then I thank you.)

You can make a donation on-line or by check. If you prefer an on-line donation, you can do so here. (The page also lists the address if you wish to donate via mail.)

A donation of any size would make an enormous difference to the work we can do.

Continued blessings during this season of Lent.