I hope you do not become dumber for entertaining my questions.I've got some questions, and they are probably really dumb. I hope you do not become dumber for entertaining my questions. But first some basic background...
During the summer I work with an organization called Young Neighbors in Action. It's kind of a Catholic version of Group Work Camps if you've heard of them. Anyhow, because of the job I get to see a lot of places in Chicago that normally I wouldn't. The job has put me in contact with a number of congregations that work with the poor, hungry, hurting and vunerable. As I came to each congregation I'd get to talk with the pastor or director of the outreach program. One question I always asked was what is the make up of the congregation? It was interesting to me that none of the congregations included the poor they were serving. Even when the congregation was poor itself there seemed to be a line drawn between those serving and those served. And I guess I don't understand why.
Is there some practical reason?- Are the poor too transient? Is it too hard to organize? (Dusty your sociology background may offer something here)
Is it just that one group doesn't want to include the other.
Wouldn't the poor and vulnerable be better off if we welcomed them as full and equal members of our congregations rather than just have them as our outreach projects? Are there any instances you know of where the homeless have been fully incorporated? Even the most amazing organizations I've encountered or heard stories of don't seem to do this, and it seems like a suppression of the person's dignity to me. On top of being invited to the soup kitchen, shouldn't the person be welcomed into the worship service? Am I wrong in thinking that way? Am I ignorant of some obvious answer? Is this post too long in the same way all my posts seem too long?