March 18, 2021: All Souls Outreach to Christ House

By Chuck Hunter

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’”  
          Matthew 25:40

In the mid-1980s, the faith and vision of a group of seven individuals (not affiliated with All Souls) dedicated to serving the poor and homeless in Washington, DC led to the establishment of Christ House, which welcomed its first patient on Christmas Eve 1985. How fitting a day to offer a place to those who had none! At the time, Christ House was the United States’ only 24/7 residential medical facility for homeless men; today it remains the sole institution of its kind in the DC metropolitan area. 
 
All Souls’ connection to Christ House dates to the early 1990s when the late Nancy Charlton felt called to volunteer there. By the middle of the decade, several others had followed her example. Eventually two All Souls groups were volunteering, each responsible for providing and preparing dinner once a month for the men living at Christ House’s building on Columbia Rd. NW. After Nancy was no longer able to volunteer, the “Friends of Nancy Charlton” continued fixing dinner for the residents on a regular basis.

In addition to the periodic dinners, All Souls’ involvement grew to include a group turning up every Wednesday morning at 7 to assist with cooking, serving, and cleaning up after breakfast (and sometimes helping prep ingredients for lunch at the same time). Not surprisingly, in-person volunteering went on indefinite hiatus in March 2020 with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christ, knowing the poor would always be with us, called his followers to embrace them generously. All Souls’ three-decade involvement with Christ House, including by raising $2,000 through this year’s stewardship campaign, has been a means for this parish to live into that commandment. There is deep fulfillment in looking into the eyes of a brother in Christ and putting a plate of hot, nutritious food into his hands.

Christ House, a haven of goodwill in All Souls’ back yard, continues to welcome both cash and in-kind donations (see Make a Donation - Christ House). Someday it will again accept the gift of All Souls volunteers’ time. Please consider prayerfully what support you may feel called to offer it, now and in the future.

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Last Published: March 21, 2021 8:18 PM
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