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Prayers in the Park hosted at Glen Bruce Park

J. H. Osborne • Jun 25, 2020 at 8:00 AM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Homeless Ministry hosted its first-ever “Prayers in the Park” event on Wednesday at Glen Bruce Park in downtown Kingsport. The goal: bring attention to the city’s homeless population and show solidarity in addressing the issue of homelessness in the Model City.

Shades of Grace Pastor Will Shewey, a member of the ministry, asked those gathered to “ask ourselves who is my neighbor and I think you will be pleased that God will give you that answer. It all begins right here with each of us, we are God’s people. We are the body of Christ. And one part of the body cannot say to another part of the body ‘I have no need of you.’ I need you. You need me. We need one another. And we all need God.”

Shewey prayed, in part, “help us as people of faith, help us as members of your body, oh Lord, not labels but just people who love Jesus and people who love one another, and love even the least of these. Help us we pray, oh God, not only to pray, but to get out and act upon that which we talk about ... for faith without works is dead. So, Lord, give us the knowledge and ability and the wisdom and the discernment to do the right works, and to say the right words. And we know, oh God, that you will be with us. And we give you praise for now and forever more.”

Rev. Ronnie Collins read scripture from Proverbs 31:8-9. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all those who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and the needy.” 

Like many other communities across the country, Kingsport is trying to figure out the best way to manage its homeless population. It’s an issue that’s come to the forefront in recent months, with Kingsport and the United Way working together to create a comprehensive action plan to better manage the city’s homeless.

One of the main goals of the Kingsport Homeless Ministry is to create a shelter and day center in Kingsport, Shewey said.

The Kingsport Homeless Ministry would like to have similar events once a month for the foreseeable future.

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