The Faith Advocacy Impacting the Homeless (FAITH) Foundation is a non-profit working to help homeless people in New Jersey.
The foundation has had trouble finding headquarters. It’s been kicked out of buildings before, but founder Robin Reilly thought she was in luck when the First Reformed Church of Hackensack took in her organization.
That is until Christmas dinner last week.
Some of the 100 homeless people being served hadn’t eaten for over 24 hours.
So Reilly and her volunteers began to feed them.
Without praying first.
Or listening to the sermon.
Or singing Christmas carols.
That pissed off church officials enough to kick the group out two days later.
The Rev. Timonty Ippolito, pastor at Faith Reformed Church in Lodi, which holds Sunday worship services at the church, said the “itinerary” called for “worship, word and prayer” first, telling the food servers in the chow line to “drop” the utensils.
Ippolito said he would call the police if Reilly tried to interrupt the service.
While Ippolito delivered his sermon tempers flared in the back of the room when Reilly said, “This is not what I would call a Christian service.”
That riled the Rev. Leonard Masquelier, the pastor at the Hackensack church, who roared, “Robin, you’re out of here!”
Two days after the event, the church council sent Reilly an e-mail, telling her “effective immediately, your organization is no longer welcome in our church facilities.”
That is *totally* what Jesus would’ve done.
Yes, Reilly broke the church’s rules… but in the spirit of the season, shouldn’t the needs of the homeless have been met before the needs of the pastors?
First Reformed Church of Hackensack: Acting “Christian” every day of the year… except Christmas.
(via The Daily Profaner)