On a steamy hot afternoon this July, St. David’s volunteers prepped Trinity Center for our monthly liturgy and lunch, and I joined them for the first time. There was so much that was so moving about this ministry event.
In the kitchen, our volunteers were graciously putting meals together. Parents and their kids working in unison to get everything on the plates and improvising when we ran short. Other St. David’s volunteers were rushing to move tables and chairs quickly to prep for the liturgy. Given the heat, we wanted to open as early as possible so our unhoused neighbors could come inside, cool off, and have something to drink.
When the doors opened, you could feel the relief as our neighbors entered the coolness after being outside in the brutal heat.
Once everyone settled in, it was clear how meaningful Rev. Braun’s presence was to our neighbors. Several asked her to bless them and pray for them. She was so attentive to each person. They could see that her heart was open wide to them as she gave such special comfort that only our beloved clergy can provide.
It was touching to see how many of our unhoused neighbors participated in the service. Our neighbors volunteered for the readings, recited the prayers, and nearly every person wanted to receive the eucharist from Rev. Braun.
It seemed that, even in the chaos of downtown Austin, the ritual of the liturgy brought a calm and peace to a room full of people who too often don’t get to experience peace and calm.
St. David’s volunteers ensured that everyone got something to eat and as much to drink as possible on this unbearably hot day. Soon after, one of our unhoused neighbors sat at the piano and began to play so beautifully. Several of us teared up as we listened to him play. Perhaps it was the music itself that was so moving, or maybe it was understanding that our neighbors are more like us than we know, or just wishing we could do more.
The next Trinity Streets Liturgy & Lunch is Sunday, Aug. 20, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please consider joining us, as we need additional Trinity Center volunteers. If you can volunteer, please sign up here. If you have any questions, call Dianne Hardy-Garcia at 512-610-3500, ext. 169.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”