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So Much To Be Thankful For

The 2012 shelter season has just started and there is already so much to be thankful for. Here are just some highlights:
  • Thanks to the support of Christ Episcopal Church we have been housing about 35-40 guests each night this month.
  • Thanks to the hard work of volunteers doing wash this summer, our guests are sleeping on clean bedding.
  • Thanks is due to all the volunteers who have prepared meals or donated food for dinners and breakfasts.
  • Thanks is due to the staff. With so many new and returning staff, the shelter is running a smoothly as it can be.
  • Thanks is due to all those who have supported the ministry finacially, spiritually and through their time as volunteers.

The list could go on and we appologise for those that we have missed. The fact is that we are truly thankful for what each and every person does to support this mission.

Probably what we are most thankful for is the diversity and committment of this community of support. The body has many parts, because all are needed.

Looking for a (another) way to help? Consider the needs below.

Needs List:

*Pillows

*Pillowcases

* Flat Sheets

* Fitted Sheets (twin size XL if possible)

* Hand Towels

* Wash Clothes

* Sweats - Large Sizes

* Boots

* Bathroom tissue,

* Paper Towels,

* Hot Cups (we are trying to not use Styrofoam),

* Plastic Spoons, Forks, and napkins

* Adult Diapers

* Disposable Razors

*Contractor Trash Bags

Click HERE for the full update.

Ministry Notes:

Fundraising Opportunities Page

Tie Dyed Scripture T's

We have begun to sell Wise Dyes T Shirts in cooperative support for the MAIN St Shelter.

Click HERE to see them and place your orders online.

We need your Redner's Market Tapes!!

Did you know,.. we collect Redners Market Tapes in support of Shelter operations?

When you use your Redner's Card, Ministries at MAIN St will receive a percentage of your total register tape. Please send us your Redners Tapes and they will provide us 1% of the totals to support homeless initiatives here in our shelter locations.

Send them to: The Ministries at MAIN St Shelter

256 S Hanover St, Pottstown, PA 19465-7022

We are a member of Upromise!

Shop at hundreds of stores online (Ebay, Kohls.com, Target.com, etc) and we will earn a percentage of your order. Here's your personal Upromise Guest Shopping link:

http://www.upromise.com/guest/2446052348

Feel free to contact us with questions about how it works or for more ways you can help us raise money through Upromise!

Please CLICK HERE to Donate to MAIN St Ministries.

This ministry is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization under the Group Exempt Roster of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Inc. Your contributions are Tax Deductable

MAIN Street Quick News

Voice of A Volunteer

Why Am I Serving With "Ministries At Main Street?" To be honest, my involvement is minimal and has not been consistent. It is a whole new world to me. It is quite troubling to see and to share first-hand the impossible life of being homeless. I believe that God must be weeping great tears. Surely, I should be spending more time and passion and money with this overwhelming mission in our town.

Click Here to read more

There are now lots of ways to contribute to our Shelter Initiatives--things everyone can do!

Click HERE to read about the ways you could help.

What do you want to be updated about?

We want to keep you informed about what you would like to hear about. Let us know your thoughts at:

Info Email Address

Visit us at:

www.MinistriesAtMainStreet.org to find our shelter locations each month, to volunteer, donate, or to refer folks who you might be trying to help come in out of the cold.
 
Thanks for your help!
God's peace be with you,

Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters

Still Waters Church &

Ministries at MAIN St

256 South Hanover Street
Pottstown, PA 19465
610-970-2444


 

Find us on Facebook Causes too.

Click HERE to join our FB Cause. Pssssssst... Don't forget to "Like" us too!

Did You Know...?

You can also download bulletins and flyers for your church, organization or public bulletin boards

Time to Move Again...
March has flown by... April is almost here, and another moving day is upon us. 
 
I am writing this newsletter in the middle of the night, in silence, among those sleeping safely. Tonight, we have taken in our 100th person seeking shelter this season. Since our last newsletter, we have endured ridiculous snowstorms, completely unseasonal heat, and the loving support of the one Body of Christ in, and around Pottstown! We began the shelter season, this year, full of wonder, anticipating this little community's needs; with the hope that we would be capable, of showing folks (our guests, as well as our church partners) the love of God.
 
I don't know if we were able to bless our host church families, since we overtake their facilities, giving them 25 to 40 new family members each night, but I do know that they have surely bless us!
 
Walking through the doors of these churches night-after-night, you become very "at home," mostly because of the love, care and attention that these selfless church members freely offer our guests, and our volunteers. We could take this comfort for granted, since it is offered so freely, but as I read through the scriptures, I am able to find our story within its pages, and can almost hear a "well done good and faithful servants," from our LORD to the Church of Pottstown. Through their actions, I am reminded that this comfort is of the LORD, and not to be taken lightly.
 
We began this season at Zion's UCC, who took such good care of us, moved to St Paul's UCC, who endured our unique needs, sometimes around the clock during our record three snow storms, blessing us with relief and extraordinary grace, and now we are preparing to leave Trinity Reformed UCC, for our next location at Christ Episcopal, who are all very dear to us.
 
Pondering these things tonight, I am acutely aware that we owe at dept of gratitude to our friends here, at Trinity. They do so much for our community. They truly are used by God in so many ways, from taking on so much responsibility of the public meals, to our distinctive partnership in sheltering our friends with little to offer. The homeless community around us, recognizes the gift of this church to them, and so do I.
 
I love these families of faith that show me Christ, moving among us; The Body of Christ in Pottstown.
Ministry Notes:
We need your Redner's Market Tapes!!
When you use your Redner's Card, Ministries at MAIN St will receive a percentage of your total register tape.
Click
HERE and scroll down to the Save-A-Tape Program for more information.
 
We would like to thank some new partners and welcome them to the MAIN St Shelter family:
 
Shepherd of the Hills UCC Church in Bechtelsville, PA,
 
New Hanover United Methodist Church
in Gilbertsville, PA., and
 
Venus Bath And Spa
. Please visit their website, where you can "Do Good While Feeling Good." A percentage of there sales support our shelter work.  
 
Please visit us at
www.MinistriesAtMainStreet.org to find our shelter locations each month, to volunteer, donate, or to refer folks who you might be trying to help come in out of the cold.
 
You can also download bulletins and flyers for your church, organization or public bulletin boards HERE: or should you wish to contribute financially to this work online, please click HERE.
MAIN Street Quick News
 
Thursday April 1, 2010 the MAIN ST Mobile Shelter will move to our new Host Church for the Month:
Christ Episcopal Church
316 High St, Pottstown
 
For this month, transportation will not be provided due to Christ Church's close proximity, located in the downtown area.  
 
All first time guests should initially come to The MAIN St Intake Center at 75 E Main St, Pottstown PA between 9:00 and 10:00 pm for some administrative housekeeping, and to receive bedding, and other shelter supplies needed to make their stay with us more comfortable.
 
Remember: This shelter season will draw to a close on April 30th, and LORD willing, is scheduled to reopen in November should support allow.
 
We are prayerfully hoping to manage the 2010/2011 shelter season as a 6 month program, but we cannot without your support.
 
Please consider being part of this vital work through the links provided below.
Thanks for your help!
 
God's peace be with you,
Kork
Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters

Still Waters Church  

Ministries at MAIN St

256 South Hanover Street
Pottstown, PA 19465
610-970-2444


Please CLICK HERE to Donate to this Cause.

 

This ministry is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization under the Group Exempt Roster of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Inc. Your contributions are Tax Deductable.

 
The Beginning of the New 2010 MAIN Street Shelter Season
Beginning January 4th, the MAIN St Mobile Shelter will begin again with our first Host Church, our friends at Zion's United Church of Christ. 
 
As many of you know, we tried to increase the number of months that we operate the MAIN St Shelter Program. That didn't work out as we had hoped. So, we begin again from a humbled position.
 
We are beginning the new year of sheltering our local homeless friends with Zion's UCC, during the month of January.  We do begin with mixed emotions though.  We are excited to renew all the wonderful memories that we share with this very good church, but do wonder what this particular shelter season will hold for our little community of need. This economy, the political struggles around us, health concerns, and the personal struggles of helpers to those with little, has impacted our ability to provide certain elements of care.
 
We've begun some new ways of doing things, that we hope, will help us to see people's needs more clearly, and care for them more attentively. This includes the beginning of a new Intake Center and the development of some useful web-tools at
www.MinistriesAtMainStreet.org for supporting agencies, and the public, when they refer folks to the MAIN St Shelter.
 
Please visit the site to find our shelter locations each month, to volunteer, and to help those who you might be trying to help come out of the cold.
 
Our Shelter Team often talks about how each of our host congregations are different--having a kind of personality all their own.  And what a fitting expression of Christ, that we are diverse, and truly do complete each other.  We are thankful that we have a very blessed seat to see our church partners from -- a very special perspective, and see vividly, how Christ has built His body here amongst us.  I know of no better picture of Jesus, than this -- completely reflecting the purity of the early Church.

In keeping with this sentiment, please remember to pray for St. John's UCC, Zion's UCC, St. Paul's UCC, Trinity Reformed UCC, Christ Episcopal, St John Lutheran, North Coventry Unitarian Universalists, Shenkel UCC, and Still Waters churches.
 
Also, please feel free to contact the North Coventry Township Supervisors, who are politically and legally blocking the NorCo Churches from doing God's commanded will, in taking care of the homeless; expressing support for the shelter and reminding them that this work is constitutionally protected under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000.  Encourage them to remember their moral position under God, to do good and not harm, as well as following the Federal Law, prohibiting their interference in Church matters. Please keep them (and us) in your prayers as we move forward in the shelter ministry. 
 
Thanks for your support, personal involvement, and all of the many ways you have contributed to our endeavourers, here at The Ministries at MAIN Street Outreach and Homeless Shelter.  You are giving hope to others who need us.
 
On behalf of our poor and homeless community in Pottstown, thank you again for all of your help!
 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The MAIN Street Shelter will Begin the New Year
Monday Jan. 4, 2010 at

Zion's United Church of Christ Hanover & Chestnut Sts, Pottstown
 
For this month, vans will only picking up handicapped guests (if we should have them) in front of the Peer Resource Center, 249 High Street, between 9:45 & 10:00 pm. 
 
Due to the close proximity of Zion's, guests will be walk-in, to spare gas resources, but doors will not be open before 10:00 pm, to facilitate nightly preparation.
 
All first time guests should initially come to The MAIN St Intake Center at 75 E Main St, Pottstown PA between 9:00 and 10:00 pm for some administrative housekeeping, and to receive bedding, and other shelter supplies needed to make their stay with us more comfortable.
 
Remember: This shelter season is scheduled to operate from January 2010 through April 2010, or as long as support allows.
Thanks for your help!
 
God's peace be with you,
Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters

Still Waters Church  

Ministries at MAIN St

256 South Hanover Street
Pottstown, PA 19465
610-970-2444


Please CLICK HERE to Donate to this Cause.

 

This ministry is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization under the Group Exempt Roster of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Inc. Your contributions are Tax Deductable.

You can also download bulletins and flyers for your church, organization or public bulletin boards
HERE: or should you wish to contribute financially to this work online, please click HERE.

Redner’s Warehouse Market Save-A-Tape Program

The Ministries at Main Street is now collecting Redner’s receipts. 1% of your store purchase (excluding items controlled by the government such as tax, milk and tobacco products) will go to our homeless shelters. If you don’t already have a Save-A-Tape card, stop at the store office or Customer Service area to get one. Have your card scanned at the cash register when you pay for your groceries.
You can give your cash register receipts to any member of MAM or leave it in one of collection jars at any of these local merchants. Thanks for your support!

MIKES BRICK OVEN PIZZA, 601 N CHARLOTTE ST, POTTSTOWN
SHERIDANS NEWS, 24 S HANOVER ST, POTTSTOWN
USED TO BE AT POTTSTOWN FLEA MARKET, 310 HIGH ST, POTTSTOWN
COLES TOBACCO INC, 215 E HIGH ST, POTTSTOWN
POSITIVELY PASTA,  115 E HIGH ST, POTTSTOWN
THE VERY BEST WEINER SHOP, 252 E HIGH ST, POTTSTOWN
PAT’S BEVERAGE, 1432 E HIGH ST, POTTSTOWN
FAMOUS FAT FREDDIE’S PIZZA, 1432 E HIGH ST, POTTSTOWN
BENTLEY’S BOUTIQUE, 219 E HIGH ST, POTTSTOWN
AVJ NATURAL CAT, 6 N HANOVER ST, POTTSTOWN

_______________________________________________________________________________

 

Summer 2009 News

A Difficult Summer…

We have been very active in preparing for our 2009/2010 Shelter Season.  We found ourselves needing to address different challenges in how to better care for our guests, care for our hosts, spread the word, fund the ministry, and hone policy issues. Meanwhile, we have been recovering from last season’s activities, from laundry to ongoing struggles to keep our friends safe during our hiatus; all very challenging.

 

No Longer a Code Blue Shelter

Code Blue is an emergency plan during periods of extreme, life-threatening weather, defined as a wind-chill factor of 20F or below. There are many public agencies and private health/social organizations that offer expanded services for those without adequate shelter, including the chronically homeless and homeless families with children during Code Blue. The goal of the Code Blue plan is to provide access to temporary shelter, food and clothing to those in need, when temperatures dip below freezing.

 

The MAIN St Shelter accepts those who come to us without exception whether it is Code Blue or not. As a Church Ministry, we welcome the stranger, the foreigner and the poor, as a normal part of our ministry, throughout the shelter season.  But, out of a growing feeling of responsibility to our guests and the host churches, we have changed some things to consider the occasional individual that might make it unsafe for the other guests. As a Code Blue Shelter (and without funding to augment the shelter’s staffing needs during these times), we will be sending those individuals to the appropriate agencies that are qualified and funded to help this minority of Pottstown’s homeless population.

 

MAIN St Intake Center

We have been working to create a central Intake Center at St John’s Parish House, 75 E MAIN St, in N Coventry, for processing new guests out side of the host churches.  Doing “off-site” intakes will assist us in being attentive to those coming into MAIN St for the first time, giving them bedding, doing interviews and paperwork, and slowly acclimating them to our shelter. We hope this also helps us to attend more fully, to the guests as they come in nightly; to feed them, and settle them for an evening’s rest.

 

We will not be allowing guests to “store” anything at the host churches through the day, as well as throughout the evenings.  The only storage will be mattresses and one bedding bag per guest.

 

During the days, we hope to encourage people to connect with case workers, look for employment opportunities, keep medical appointments, etc., without the need to return to the host churches since they will not have anything stored there.  

 

The Bigger Picture

Sometimes people just need to be told that they are allowed.  It’s true within Christ’s Church too.

 

[Christ] handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teachers to train Christ's followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ. Eph. 4 .11-13

 

Our work together has been noticed outside of our area. There are a number of churches, from Bucks County, PA, to Washington DC, to Nairobi Kenya, that our work is seen as a gift, and the cooperative sheltering model is beginning in other places. It is the Church of Pottstown that is truly calling to the world with a Reformation of Christ’s Care and Ongoing Ministry in the world.

 

Fundraising, Laundry & Webtools

We are actively engaging our community, inviting them into caring for our least, through fundraising opportunities, raffles, and Ministry representatives at local events.

 

We are slowly finishing our laundry duties and finishing work on the Intake Center, but we could use help this month as a final push through to the 2009/2010 season.

 

You can help with new guest intake through our new Referral WebTool. You can confidentially sign people up for shelter at MAIN St through your PC. Visit www.MinistriesAtMainStreet.org and click on the “MAIN St Online Intake Form” link.

4th of July in the Park
January 31, 2009
MAIN Street's February 2009 Shelter Location
February 2nd through March 2nd, the MAIN Street Mobile Shelter will be Hosted by our friends at St. Paul's United Church of Christ.
 
We had an energetic month with our host church-Zion' UCC.  For a lot of our friends, this is home base because of the intimate atmosphere we encounter there.  The people we share ministry with from this church are connected to the homeless community year-round, and are part of their lives, understanding the "stories" of their journey.
 
It is again, painful leaving them, after being the recipients of such loving care.  We need to thank Pastor Peter Nichols, Tina, Vicki, Kim, and all of those who blessed our stay with their selflessness, midnight discussions, and such an example of Christ's love.
 
We are now located at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, on North Franklin and Grace Streets, in Pottstown's North-End. Again, there is such an atmosphere of family and caring with our partners at St. Paul's that for our staff and some of our "regulars," it is a comforting return home.
 
Since we have moved, St. Paul's has allowed us to host a Homeless Coalition Forum through the Tri-County Community Network, and various other organizations and churches, in their building.  We held this forum in the room where we will have around 30 guests nightly, and we conclude with some real solutions (and a lot of work ahead) to begin addressing the unique challenges of homelessness in our area.
 
We are already well above the numbers of homeless individuals, that we have seen in previous years, and we are struggling with challenges that are emerging along with a "new face" of homelessness today.  This past month, our guests raged from a young mother with her two year-old, to folks who never would have thought they would be here.  I have not only had spiritual conversations with economically disadvantaged people asking "why" at 3:00 in the morning, but I have had discussions with folks about domestic problems over money, who never would have imagined themselves in this situation; discussions with very young adults, to older folks on topics of where the best golf is each year in Myrtle Beach for vacationing. All of them end (or begin) with, "why has this happened to me?"
 
It is heartbreaking to listen to, but it is my joy to share the answer too.  It is very easy to point folks to the Christ who loves them, especially when his people are modeling that love in such vivid ways, in these UCC churches that are rescuing them profoundly and graciously. 
 
I thank God for the gift of them to us!
 
Please pray for us as we seek to continue caring for our most unfortunate here in the Greater Pottstown area. You can keep informed about the shelter at www.MinistriesAtMainStreet.org .
 
You can also download bulletins and flyers for your church, organization or public bulletin boards here: http://www.ministriesatmainstreet.org/downloads.html  or should you wish to contribute financially to this work online, please visit: http://www.ministriesatmainstreet.org/donate.html
 
Thanks for your support and personal involvement, and all of the many ways you have contributed to our endeavourers, here at Ministries at MAIN Street outreach and homeless shelter.  You are giving hope to others who need us.
 
On behalf of our poor and homeless community in Pottstown, thank you again for all of your help!

February 2009 The MAIN Street Shelter is Hosted by St Paul's United Church of Christ

Grace & N. Franklin Sts, in Pottstown's North-End 
 
For this month, vans will be picking up guests nightly, in front of the Peer Resource Center, 249 High Street, between 9:45 & 10:00 pm. 
 
Due to the distance of St. Paul's from downtown, we are providing transportation.
 
We are also still in need of volunteers and donations to sustain this work. Please visit our website to find out more.
 
Perhaps you are the solution to someone's challenges
 
Remember: This shelter season is scheduled to operate from December 1, 2008 through April 2009, or as long as support allows.
Thanks for your help!
 
God's peace be with you,

Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters
256 South Hanover Street
Pottstown, PA 19465
610-970-2444
January 24, 2009
A Special Evening to Support Shenkel UCC's Homeless Litigation Fund
 
Learn more about Bryan at his website, www.sirchio.com.

A free will offering will be received at this concert to benefit
Shenkel UCC's
Homeless Ministry Litigation Fund.
Still Waters Church
256 South Hanover Street
Pottstown, PA 19465
610-970-2444
Our friends at Shenkel UCC have been trying to host our MAIN Street Mobile Shelter for two years now.  Their efforts have been blocked by North Coventry Township as being unlawful, leading them to the expense of litigation.
 
This is a great church that has stuggled to follow Christ's call to "welcome strangers among us," in the face of this governmental opposition.
 
Please try to join us for this evening of music, encouragement, and in support of this vital ministry.
Thanks for your support!
 
God's peace be with you,

Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters

January 15, 2009

Homelessness Looms as Potential Outcome of Recession

Recessions mean more homelessness. Increasing numbers of unemployed people are unable to afford rent, and charities and local governments are unable to keep up. Based on estimates of the depth likely to be reached by the current recession, 1.5 million additional Americans are likely to experience homelessness over the next two years, over and above the number who usually become homeless. However, the worst increases in homelessness can be prevented by providing emergency assistance to help stabilize or rehouse people experiencing a housing crisis.

The National Aliance to End Homelessness has issued this important summary.

Click here to download this important Article. (pdf)

December 31, 2008 
MAIN Street's January 2009 Shelter Location
Beginning Tomorrow, January 1st through the 31st, the MAIN Street Mobile Shelter will be Hosted by our friends at Zion's United Church of Christ.
 
Whewwww...  We made it through the month of December with the love and support of our December Host Church, St. John's UCC.  They had to accommodate a lot, while hosting a month which has such a busy Church calendar.  We are so appreciative to them while they made our guests feel so at home, and made a very special Christmas morning for us all.  Thank you all for extending the love of Christ, especially as we celebrated Christmas, the incarnation.  It was profound, finding Him embodied in this church.
 
We would also like to thank the staff from Oaks Elementary School, who were unbelievably gracious in providing personal Christmas presents to everyone!  We are so very thankful to them as they overwhelmed us with their selflessness.  Again, such an act of love toward us, we could hardly find the words and our guest found the grace of God in your expression toward them. We will have pictures up on the website soon.
 
It was a truly blessed Christmas this year!!
 
Now, we begin a new year, and beginning the first day of 2009 at our beloved Zion's UCC.  Whenever we move, it is with very mixed emotions.  We are heartbroken to leave the loving care of St. John's, but excited to renew all the memories that warm us, with our friends at Zion's.
 
We (the shelter team), talk about how each congregation is different-having a kind of personality all their own.  And what a fitting expression of Christ, that we are diverse, and truly do complete each other.  We are thankful that we have a very blessed seat to view our church partners from a very special perspective, and see vividly, how Christ has built His body here amongst us.  I know of no better picture of Jesus than this-completely reflecting the purity of the early Church.
 
In keeping with this sentiment, please remember to pray for St. John's UCC, Zion's UCC, St. Paul's UCC, St John Lutheran, Still Waters, North Coventry Township, and Shenkel UCC (who is hoping for a positive decision by mid-January, whether they can host the shelter for a month), and please feel free to contact the township, expressing support for the shelter and reminding them that this work is constitutionally protected under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, and encouraging them to follow the Federal Law, prohibiting their interference in Church matters.
 
Please keep them (and us) in your prayers as we move forward in the Shelter ministry.  You can keep informed about the shelter at
www.MinistriesAtMainStreet.org.
 
You can also download bulletins and flyers for your church, organization or public bulletin boards here:
http://www.ministriesatmainstreet.org/downloads.html or should you wish to contribute financially to this work online, please visit: http://www.ministriesatmainstreet.org/donate.html
 
Thanks for your support and personal involvement, and all of the many ways you have contributed to our endeavourers, here at Ministries at MAIN Street outreach and homeless shelter.  You are giving hope to others who need us.
 
On behalf of our poor and homeless community in Pottstown, thank you again for all of your help and Happy New Year!

The MAIN Street Shelter will Begin the New Year

Thursday Jan. 1, 2009 at

Zion's United Church of Christ

Hanover & Chestnut Sts, Pottstown
 
For this month, vans will only picking up handicapped guests (if we should have them) in front of the Peer Resource Center, 249 High Street, between 9:45 & 10:00 pm.  Due to the close location of Zion's, guests will be walk-in, to spare gas resources, but doors will not be open before 10:00 pm, to facilitate nightly preparation.
 
Remember: This shelter season is scheduled to operate from December 1, 2008 through April 2009, or as long as support allows.
Thanks for your support!
 

God's peace be with you,
Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters

 

December 1, 2008 

Update & Sheltering Season08/09

Tonight we begin another season of the MAIN Street Mobile Shelter.

 

Believe it or not, we are still working through the legal challenges posed by North Coventry Township over hosting our local homeless friends, sheltering them seasonally in St John Lutheran's Parish House. We are still assured that we are constitutionally protected under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, but this board of Supervisors have governmentally defined Church and its ministries for us.  Another local church (Shenkel UCC) has been denied even hosting our mobile shelter and there are appeals forthcoming on their behalf as well. To hear more about their struggle, click HERE


We are Federally protected from this type of governmental overreaching into historic Church ministry-in fact dictating Church ministry-and we are still forced to stand our ground, and prove this through court rulings, should the Township continue to ignore the Federal law. 
 
None of this would be necessary if NorCo would read this law for themselves (which we have provided to them) and come to an understanding that they are violating the Constitutional 1st Amendment's "separation of Church & State" that this law fortifies, and back off from their position.
 
Until these matters are resolved, we begin again the tiring work of the "Mobile Shelter."
 
Our good friends at St John's UCC are donating their space again, beginning tonight (December 1, 2008) for the purpose of protecting people from the elements.  They have been such a blessing in the past, and it is just like "going home" again to be working with them in Christ's ministry to the least among us.

 

Please keep them (and us) in your prayers as we move forward in the Shelter ministry.  You can keep informed about the shelter at www.MinistriesAtMainStreet.org.

 

You can also download bulletins and flyers for your church, organization or public bulletin boards here: http://www.ministriesatmainstreet.org/downloads.html or should you wish to contribute financially to this work online, please visit: http://www.ministriesatmainstreet.org/donate.html

 

Thanks for your support and personal involvement, and all of the many ways you have contributed to our endeavourers, here at The Ministries at MAIN Street outreach and homeless shelter.  You are giving hope to others who need us.

 

On behalf of our poor and homeless community in Pottstown, thank you again for all of your help to this vulnerable population!  You are very appreciated!

The MAIN Street Shelter Begins Tonight

Monday Dec. 1, 2008 at

St John's United Church of Christ

High & Price Sts,
Pottstown
 
Vans will be picking up guests in front of the Peer Resource Center, 249 High Street, between 9:45 & 10:00 pm, nightly. 
 
The shelter is scheduled to operate from December 1, 2008 through April 2009 (as long as support allows).
Thanks for your support!
 
God's peace be with you,

Kork Moyer, Pastor
Still Waters
75 East Main Street
Pottstown, PA 19465
610-326-1120

Still Waters Church
256 South Hanover Street
Pottstown, PA 19465
610-970-2444

January 2008

 

Here is the latest from the Township Supervisors’ lawyer…

 

The short version is that they want to force us to subdivide the church property into two different parcels. Afterward, the church building would stay an assembly for church activities, and the parish house would be a boarding house.  This would make the church landlords.  The parish house would cease to be a place for ministry and worship, affectively becoming a residence.

 

This is simply unacceptable.

 

Please contact the North Coventry Township Supervisors Board, voicing your concern, and urging them to do what is right for those who have the least among us.  It is sad enough that these folks have nowhere to sleep, without dashing all of their hope for the smallest amount of dignity.  It is also a shame that our local leaders seek the lowest politically expedient levels of catering to a very few, rather than finding righteous paths to care for the least.  It is a shame that “politics as usual” can shelf the good works of the Church, forcing us to focus on this kind of stuff, rather than the good work of the ministry.

 

Please pray for this effort with an open ear.  God usually answers our prayers by using us on His behalf.  A humble servant who serves on behalf of the least, responds to God’s grace with “Here I am LORD… send me…”

 

Here is the applicable contact information for the “powers” that currently hinder our work, and/or could ultimately help us…

 

Please Contact the North Coventry Supervisors:

Township Office Building  610-323-1694

Kevin Hennessey, Township Manager 610-323-1694  twpmgr@northcoventry.us

Andrew J. Paravis, Chairman 610-327-8508  aparavis@northcoventry.us

Erwin B. Jenschke, Jr (Bud), Vice Chairman 610-469-3819  budjens@northcoventry.us

E. Kent High

Harvey F. Greenawalt, Jrhgreenawalt@northcoventry.us

Jim Marks 610-705-4014  jimmarks@northcoventry.us

Deborah Russo,  Code Enforcement Office  610-323-1694  drusso@northcoventry.us

Ron Comtois, Fire Marshall  610-323-8360  fm17@northcoventry.us

 

Please Consider Contacting our State Representatives:

State Senator 6th District Jim Gerlach  610-458-8010

State Senator 44th District John Rafferty 610-469-8390

State Rep. 26th District Tim Hennessey  610-326-2626

 

 

“Ministries at Main Street” calls the church to BE THE CHURCH, caring for the poor as Jesus Christ has instructed us.  We the “Ministries at Main Street,” have been called and sent to be the light of the world on behalf of Jesus Christ.  We shine that light in the direction of all who are without permanent places to live, inviting them to come and be fed and offered a bed.

 

Questions asked of us by our neighbors in and around Main Street, along with our responses:

 

Points of Concern and Questions

 

1. The close proximity of the middle/high school and elementary school bus stops in relation to the shelter's front doors, as well as the fact that the middle school students board the bus in semi-dark conditions for a portion of the school year. Will the residents be kept inside during the times the students are loading and unloading?

A.      Yes. Until 8:00 am, when they are transported into town. Some, however, do walk.

2. The Coventry Little League fields that operate for more than half the year and the amount of children involved in activities there. (Safety issues)

A.      The fields are used approximately 3 months out of the year. They are supervised by coaches and parents while there. No one going inside is screened, meaning if there is someone intent on criminal activity, there are no barriers or monitors to them currently. Those attending the shelter are monitored, and very strictly. Having a shelter actually increases protection for a community, when they work closely with law enforcement, which we intend to do, as we did before.

3. There are several elderly residents that do not drive and have to walk to tend to their day-to-day errands. (Safety issues)

A.      Same as above.

4. There is a daycare center within a block and 1/2 of the shelter. (West Main Street)

A.      Same as above, and to the best of our knowledge, daycares are required by law to be locked.

5. There are approximately 24 children under the age of 14 that belong to just the East Main Street side that have free play of the neighborhood. Will there safety be jeopardized at any time?

A.      No. The shelter operates from 10:00 pm through 8:00 am. Children are under a 10:00 curfew in North Coventry and are not permitted to be out without adult supervision. 8:00 am Children at the bus stop are currently monitored by parents.

6. There is a dead end with thick woods at the end of East Main Street. (Just a concern)

The shelter changes nothing here, and contributes no impact to the neighborhood.

7. Why have the residents not been notified via a letter or meeting (aside from the paper) as to the proposal for a permanent shelter or given any other information regarding it?

A.      A neighborhood picnic was planned to discuss our intent with the neighbors. However, there were those within local government that thought that we should just deal with things if complaints should arise, on an individual basis. We relied on their expertise in this judgment. We apologize.

8. What is going to be the criteria and guidelines followed for processing each person into the shelter?

A.      We mirror what is currently in use by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and freely share information, to and from them, as well as Chester, and Berks Counties. We also work very closely with Health and Social Service agencies locally.

9. What issues will the residents have? (Drug/Alcohol addictions, criminal records, mental illnesses).

A.      The people who stay at the shelter, are not residents—they are guests. Some do suffer from addictions and/or mental illness, and are in our neighborhoods now. Should someone with criminal behavior in their past seek shelter, we are able to obtain this information as they are checked through our intake process; through our shared information with the counties, and anyone who poses any kind of a threat is redirected to qualified shelters/programs/law enforcement/etc. It is also fair to note that our guests included a Physiologist, an historian, local war heroes, business owners, people who are very well read, the handicapped, law-abiding, religious, and many of whom are employed.

10. Will there be any sex offenders permitted to reside at the shelter and if so will they be registered under Megan's law?

A.      On a case by case basis. Also, we have no control over the Megan’s Law registry, just as our neighbors do not have the ability to block a new neighbor.

11. What times will the residents be allowed into the shelter and at what time each day must they leave?

A.      10:00 pm till 8:00 am.

12. How long (ex. 1 month, 2 months) are they allowed to reside in the shelter?

A.      As long as they need Christian ministry and help.

13. What will be the maximum amount of people allowed in the shelter at anyone time?

A.      We are prepared for a maximum of 30, but will not turn away those finding themselves in emergency situations.

14. How many people will be supervising the residents during each time frame? (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Overnight)

A.      Overnight staff is a total of three.

15. What qualifications will these supervisors have in regards to dealing with persons with special circumstances or addictions? Degrees, experience?

A.      Please see question 8, and know that staff is trained, accordingly, in support of our mission.

16. Will the shelter be locked down during certain hours (particularly overnight from dusk till dawn) to maintain the safety of those at the shelter as well as the neighborhood residents?

A.      Yes. There is a curfew of 12:00 midnight, with allowances made through staff pre-approval for working conditions, such as backshift, or early morning start times.

17. If there are problems that should arise, who can homeowners/renters contact? (Aside from the church officials)

A.      Neighbors always have the emergency numbers for local governance, but a more direct answer can be provided by the Church office. (610) 326-1120.

18. Is the Parish House zoned for this type of use?

A.      We are working with the Township.

19. Is the building within codes to house many people and are there drills and enough exits to get the residents out should a fire or flood occur?

A.      The building is currently undergoing work to make it safe for our guests, including fire safety and emergency evacuation procedures.

20. Where will the residents be from? Are they all local within the Pottstown area?

A.      Yes, the guests are from our area.

21. How will the residents be getting to and from the shelter each day?

A.      We provide transportation from two local spots in Pottstown. Others walk.

22. Will the establishment of the shelter affect our property value or the chance for resale of our homes?

A.      Not to our knowledge.

23. Have any other more rural locations been considered as an alternate to this location?

A.      Yes, other locations were considered. The cost of running a shelter is formidable, and the additional cost of buying and renovating a building makes it impossible to establish—particularly when people are in need now. St John’s owns their property, eliminating this cost. And most importantly, this is the historic, and religious work of the Church for 2000 years.

24. Will state agencies as well as the Board of Health be involved in the daily operations of the shelter?

A.      As mentioned earlier, we work closely with County officials.

 

 

Journaling the Ride...

 

There has been a lot of help getting this far, from our township, to local businesses, to local churches.

 

Thank you for your help!!

 

We would like to acknowledge the helpful congregations from St John's UCC on Price St for all of their help this winter and for the ongoing dialog in partnering as we move forward, and to our friends from First Presbyterian Church, on North Evens St, for their generosity in helping us to provide a shower facility for our guests.

 

Thanks You!!

 

Also, The Pottstown HOME DEPOT has blessed us with tons of paint and landscaping for our Home Base of Operations, and sleeping quarters for our guests when hosting.

 

Thank You TEAM DEPOT!!

 

And certainly a huge Thank You to the many selfless individuals who help in preparing for winter!! (Please check out the pictures below.)

 

THANK YOU!!!

 

Blessings to all of you,

The Ministries at MAIN Street

 

 



~ Copyright 2007-2017 The Ministries at Main Street Welcome Center * 60 N Hanover St * Pottstown * PA * 19464 ~