Missional Outreach Parish News

The Bowery Mission

Guest Author
Written by Guest Author


The following comes from our own Church of the Redeemer, Franklin. What is the Bowery Mission? Since1879, its served homeless, hungry, and poor New Yorkers by providing meals, shelter, and medical care that often leads to residential programs offering men and women the opportunity to transform their lives. Children get a positive first chance through summer camp, mentoring, and family support. The Bowery Mission has been a vital part of the Lower East Side of New York and now offers new hope to neighborhoods like Harlem and the South Bronx.

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After a tough winter, many people from Franklin, MA were headed to warmer climates for a week of relaxing spring break. Seven youth and adults from our congregation, however, joined forces with about the same number of participants from Young Life in Walpole, MA to serve poor, homeless and hungry New Yorkers at the Bowery Mission. For some this was a return trip. Over the course of six days, they served and shared God’s love with New Yorkers by preparing and serving some of the more than 1,000 Bowery-provided meals a day; joining Bowery Outreach, where the team went to the streets of NYC to provide a food pantry-like set up for those who could not come to the Bowery; painting murals; organizing and providing a full set of new clothes to those using the Bowery’s Clothing and Shower program; cleaning the Bowery; leading Chapel worship and praise music; and getting to know and love on those who were in the Bowery Residential program. These are only some of the experiences the team had in the week.

During this powerful time lives and hearts were changed. At each evening meeting students and leaders would go over the events of the day and answer three questions:
1. What was your highlight of the day?
2. How did God work in your heart?
3. How did you see God at work today?

At the end of the six days, the team was asked to answer the same three questions  but applied to the whole week. Here are some of their responses:

hUHGYOZzWzYpMYronjGSWniw0EJKO9TBeXy6qvGZHkc“I would have to say that my highlight was simply working with such an amazing and selfless group of people. Throughout the week we helped and watched each other grow, I was amazed by everything everybody did each day. Throughout the week I made a list of what I learned about God, and where I saw Christ each day. This list included men of the house, who do not have much, giving us gifts, and encouraging and appreciating what we were doing. This week really made me open up to the truth that what we think are small things are huge to other people. Since the Bowery opened in 1879, the Bowery Mission has been rebuilding lives and giving people second chances. God has been the reason that the mission has continued to strive the way it has. If it were any other store or organization, then it would not have made it through the fires and horrible economic times. Looking at the timeline and pictures of the countless volunteers of the Bowery Mission opened my eyes to the work God has done at the Bowery over the last century.”

– Church of the Redeemer Youth Team Member

VeN8oaMy-PlgchBBLgYtAPRl2giKtInAOa0qIhYqtHI“My highlight of the trip is watching a group of people that don’t know each other very well work together for a common goal. God worked on my heart by helping me to experience being a servant in an uncomfortable setting. It is easy to provide a meal for a friend at church after a surgery and visit with them at their home for a bit, buy diapers and wipes for the woman that sits next to you on Sunday, or send the neighbor whose dog died a caring note; but to clean up after filthy, drug addicted homeless men and love doing it is Jesus in my heart helping me do His work through me. I saw God at work in every one of those teens. They work tirelessly to clean, 
cook and provide for the homeless and less fortunate. God’s hands are truly working through them!”

– Church of the Redeemer Leader

“My highlight of the trip was getting to know everyone, from the people who came to volunteer, to the staff of the Bowery Mission, and the men that are residents of the Bowery. God worked on my heart in various ways, big and small. He showed me a little of what it means to do work to its fullest, and how each of my actions can influence the lives of those around me. I saw God at work in the lives of the men in the Bowery program, how their lives, whether through choice or ill-fortune, were left destitute but then redeemed by the work of God and the compassionate service of the people at the Bowery Mission.”

– Church of the Redeemer Youth Team Member


This year I felt His presence in everything I did, from sweeping the boiler rooms to singing in chapel. He was there and I truly felt Him. God worked within my heart in so many ways during this trip. For example, every morning God gave me the strength to wake up at 6:30 and serve His people. I also felt Him in my heart when I served on outreach, an event that took place on the streets of New York. One hundred plus homeless people in the community would lineup and basically shop out of crates filled with different kinds of foods. These crates are filled every morning at the Bowery and are then piled up in a car to be taken to some location in the city. I felt God in this situation, because I saw Him in each person that looked me in the eye and said, “Thank you”. Those two words filled my heart with joy, and the only person I have to thank is Christ. He is the one who got me to serve and He is part of the community in which I’m serving, and I couldn’t be more proud to do so . . . I also saw Christ in the other people there with me: the kids from Walpole, Father Dan, my mom, my friend Kate, my cousin Alexa, and all the other helpers.”

Church of the Redeemer Youth Team Member

. . . . .
We are grateful to Linda Hardin for this write-up about an amazing opportunity for youth in our diocese to experience first hand service and mission in the Spirit and Name of Jesus Christ.

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