A Special Day ! 

What a great day we had Monday in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.! The march was great, the lunch and entertainment was fun, and the turnout was quite good. Several churches participated, and a good number of city leaders were present. As I look at the pictures I had this feeling that this is something of the beloved community that Dr. King talked about. Thank you for coming out and making it a special day! 
Today (Wed) a few of us met with the city planning department and reviewed the plans for our new kitchen. Very exciting! Progress is being made. Unfortunately, there are still those who are opposing us getting a kitchen and even continuing to operate. Even though the number is growing all over the state of people who are ending up homeless for multiple and varied reasons, there are people who actually believe that if there are homeless people in downtown Salinas, it is because of the United Methodist Church.
This is beginning to feel like a war on the poor generated by a deep seated prejudice. According to statistics, homeless people are less likely to commit violent crimes and are more likely to have violence committed against them. When a crime is committed by a homeless person, “homeless” is the way the perpetrator is described. How often do we learn from the news that a crime was committed by a man who is housed? 
In the spirit of Dr. King and the beloved community that he worked for, we will continue to serve the poor — housed or homeless. We will continue to advocate for those who struggle. And we will continue to work to make our neighborhood safe for everyone. Please pray for our ministry, the poor in our neighborhood, and for the safety of our neighborhood 

Meeting at the YMCA

This Friday night, there will be a neighborhood meeting at the YMCA. We hope to keep the focus on safety and how to make the neighborhood safer. Please pray for this meeting. If you can come, please do. If there is yelling and arguing, please avoid entering into it. Besides your ideas about safety, you are there to represent First United Methodist Church. You are there to share what you’ve seen and heard and experienced and why you are a part of this ministry. That is a very important witness to offer. If people are verbally attacking the church, do not attack back but if you can, say something like, “That is not my experience. My experience is…..” Share something of your own journey and how the ministry of the church has had a life changing impact on your life. Most important, as I said on Sunday, Let your light shine and be a distributor of God’s grace. Hope to see you there. 

Pastor Steve Lundin