Ascension, Silver Spring Loving Their Neighbors

by | Mar 26, 2024

“For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

This quote from Jeremiah is placed in every bag of supplies that we hand out to the local unhoused six times during the month. This ministry of Ascension, Sligo Parish in Silver Spring, Maryland started in the early days of the pandemic. With so many quarranting, there were only a few people out on the streets around Ascension early each Sunday morning, which made those sleeping outside all the more noticeable. In our baptismal vows we promise to respect the dignity of every human being. Driving by without stopping would mean failing that vow.

Thus, Ascension’s homeless ministry was born.

It takes a village… and the village of Ascension, Silver Spring was more than happy to get to work. Each Sunday morning and two Wednesday nights a month, a team of 12 of our disciples meets with people on the street. We talk with them, ask how we can pray for them and give them a small bag of supplies, including water, hand warmers in the winter, a granola bar and a $10 gift card to a grocery store or to a local fast-food restaurant. We are not ending homelessness or solving food insecurity. We are simply trying to give them the dignity of being able to go into a store and purchase something like anyone else, without having to beg or look for coins in the dirt.

On February 28, Interfaith Works and the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships recognized this work with a community service award. While I may have been the recipient named on the award, this honor belongs to the whole team at Ascension Sligo Parish in Silver Spring… it does take a village.

The Rev. Terri Murphy, Deacon
Ascension, Silver Spring