This is the report I recently wrote for The Church of St. Stephen (C of E) on the film club for homeless and vulnerable adults we run each Monday evening.
Jesus said, “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:13-14
The St. Stephen’s Film Club for the homeless and vulnerable met each Monday evening in 2013 except for the month of August and December 30th. Typically, we serve dinner to 65-85 guests each evening with the help of 10-15 volunteers. Our guests are a broad spectrum of vulnerable people from West London as we have those who are homeless, out of work, with mental health or addiction issues, struggling financially, or just lonely. Our work with Streetlytes continues as they provide the funds for the food and coordinate the cooks for each evening.
Typically, the volunteer cooks for the evening arrive about 3pm to beginning the process of preparing the evening meal. At 4pm volunteers up tables for the evening meal, the dinner is served at 6pm, movie is started at 6:15pm and final clean-up begins when the movie finishes about 8pm.
We continue to watch a number of action films but our volunteer responsible for the movies, Amy Shearing, has broadened our selection to include some comedy and drama.
Highlights of the year included an agreement with Hillsong Church to bring a medical van every other year, BBQ dinner cooked by an American high school team coordinated by New City Church and our Christmas dinner for over 100 guests and 25 volunteers on December 23rd. With the help of others, including Muslim Aid, we were able to give away many sleeping bags, clothes, and toiletries.
We have had our share of problems during the year but none which were beyond what would be expected when dealing with a broken and vulnerable population. There were a few arguments, instances of alcohol drinking and a few other times disorderly conduct.
Each week, I am amazed at how God is at work in the lives of those who come together for a meal and a movie. Through good conversations, prayer with those who are hurting, small items of assistance and a healthy, hot meal many people encounter the Lord Jesus week by week.
Film Club Coordinator and Pastor of New City IPC