2014 Community Kitchen Memorial Day Barbequeby Christian Hoffman
On Memorial Day (May 26, 2014), Community Missions offered a barbeque for their Community Kitchen lunch. More than 120 individuals came to enjoy burgers and hot dogs, along with baked beans, pasta salad, corn on the cob, watermelon and pie or cake for dessert. The barbeque was held outside in the Mission's picnic pavilion.
Before the meal, Rev. Mark Breese, Agency Minister at Community Missions, offered a special prayer for Memorial Day (see below). "Each day before lunch, we try to offer a 'Thought for the Day.' For the past week the theme for the thought has been respect—respect for ourselves, respect for our neighbors, respect for the earth," Rev. Breese said. "So today it is only fitting that we offer our respect and gratitude for those who have given their lives in service to our country, and the hope that one day such sacrifice will no longer be needed."
Community Missions has provided the Niagara community with a wide range of vital services since 1925. In 2013, the Mission provided over 75,000 meals and nearly 11,000 nights of care within its crisis services programs. Additional agency programs serve adults and youth with psychiatric disabilities, parolees, at-risk youth and other underserved populations in both residential and recovery-oriented settings. For more information, please visit www.CommunityMissions.org.
Prayer for Memorial Day
Written by Rev. Mark Breese. The prayer was read at the start of the 2014 Community Kitchen Memorial Day Barbeque at Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, Inc.
O Holy Creator of the heavens and the earth,
on this day of remembrance
we ask that you give us wisdom to truly see
that we stand in freedom in this great nation
because so many have given their lives.
Today we lift up to you our sadness and grief
at lives cut short for our sake.
We lift up to you our respect for those we honor today
because they were willing to make that sacrifice for us—
people whom they had never even met.
We lift up to you our hope and urgent plea,
and the hope and plea of those we honor today,
that violence and war may pass from the face of the earth
and your divine justice and peace shall envelope all creation.
O Holy Creator, fill our minds with your wisdom
and our hearts with your love so that—
no matter our nationality or political views,
our clan or tribe,
our race or religion,
our gender or orientation,
our wealth or poverty—
so that today we can cease to see difference
as an excuse for hatred and violence
and that we might see all peoples as our sisters and brothers—
part of one human family.
Holy Creator, today as we remember and honor
those who gave their lives for us to be able to stand here in freedom and united in prayer,
we call on you to strengthen each one of us
so that this moment may be a beginning of living with
all our neighbors in compassion and love.
By The Numbers...
In 2016, Community Missions provided:
• 11,104 nights of shelter
• 89,366 meals
• 6,744 individuals with clothing
• 2,295 care days in Youth Services
• 46,888 care days in Recovery Services
• 73,994 care days in Housing Services
• 182 opportunities for Faith Development