Sacramental Mattresses

Just over a year ago, a few members of the staff and vestry began to reach out to what we call the All Angels’ Diaspora—a group of former All Angels’ members who, though they have moved away or found churches closer to home, are still deeply committed to our family and the mission God has called us to. In particular, we have highlighted Community Ministries as a way to stay connected. This Christmas, we put out a call to the AAC Diaspora to help us purchase new “sacramental mattresses,” as we knew the ones we had would only last through one more rough NYC winter!

Now that the weather has warmed, we are ready to do some Spring cleaning and toss out those old, duct taped mattresses we sleep on each week. We wrote a short update to the Diaspora to let them know of the role they are playing in our much needed shelter cleanup.

Read the update below and rejoice with us in God’s goodness as he continues to meet the needs of our community.

Dear All Angels’ Family,

You made it happen! This winter we put out an ask to our All Angels’ Diaspora to help us raise $5,000 to cover the cost of new mattresses for our Sunday night emergency shelter. I am pleased to report that we reached our goal with your help!

For those of you following the news about the state of homelessness in New York City, it will be no surprise that this past winter was one of the busiest seasons we have seen at our All Angels’ shelter in years. Homelessness is increasing around the nation and is overwhelming in New York City. The number of men, women, and children living in shelters and on the streets has increased by 25% in the last two years to at least 81,000 people. Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a “homelessness crisis” yet the city continues to lack in affordable housing. As one of the few churches in Manhattan actively committed to serving those struggling with homelessness, our privately run shelter continues to be a place where the street homeless come to find respite.

With the increasing need for shelter in our city, All Angels’ is in the process of discerning the long-term goals of our shelter program, including our capacity of care. In the meantime, we will be replacing our old cots and mattresses for the 13 women and 25 men who stay overnight on a regular basis.

Mattresses may seem mundane but they are nonetheless sacramental, “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” To provide a mattress is a concrete, tangible sign of that grace. 

Once we purchase our new mattresses this Spring, we will anoint and pray over them, that God will provide rest to the weary each Sunday night and the nights in between. We cherish the prayers you pray along with us.

Thank you for your love and generosity. May God’s grace abound to you so that you may abound in every good work.

—Chelsea Horvath, Director of Community Ministries

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