More than 60 pastors, religious leaders, lay members, community partners, STM faculty and staff gathered at Seattle University on Monday April 23 to launch the Faith & Family Homelessness Project. Rabbi Jessica Kessler Marshall from Temple Beth Or in Everett, Reverend George Davenport of Peoples Institutional Baptist in Seattle and Imam Abdulah Polovina from the Islamic Center in Shoreline shared opening reflections around the topic, “Why God calls us to this work.” Dean Mark Markuly, one of the visionary leaders who conceptualized the project, described how the mission of STM is lived out through the Faith & Family Homelessness project.
Over dinner, lively conversation centered around the scriptural and theological underpinnings for the project from Christian, Muslim and Jewish perspectives. Each guest shared the values that inform their call to justice from their faith tradition perspective. Representatives also learned more about the grant requirements and the state of family homelessness in the region.
Perhaps the most important outcome of the evening is the promise of new relationships and joint efforts among faith community leaders, resulting in a more concentrated and coordinated effort to end family homelessness. The deep commitment of the selected sites was reflected in the committment to work together to end family homelessness. Thank you to all who participated!