I am with great hope that the thousands of professed Christians (and Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Bahai's) and dozens of faith leaders in Brookings-Harbor will answer the call of the vicar at St Timothy's Church to "step up to the altar" (to twist a phrase) and shoulder some of the burden that the parish seems to be carrying nearly alone. To engage in rhetorical gymnastics about the "nature" or "characteristics" of the unhoused people in our community ("they're not from Brookings," or "they're dirty and they are scaring the kids") is nothing less than twisting the words of spiritual teachers from down through the ages.

"God has created all, and all return to God. Therefore, love humanity with all your heart and soul. If you meet a poor man, assist him; if you see the sick, heal him; reassure the affrighted one, render the cowardly noble and courageous, educate the ignorant, associate with the stranger...You must treat people in accordance with the divine precepts...this is the greatest attainment possible for the world of humanity."

--Abdu'l-Baha (Baha'i)

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

--Hebrews13:2

“The alien has not lodged outside,

For I have opened my doors to the traveler."

--Job31:32

"Thus is it incumbent upon us, when we direct our gaze toward other people, to see where they excel, not where they fail. Praise be to God, thy goal is to promote the well-being of humankind and to help the souls to overcome their faults. This good intention will produce laudable results."

--'Abdu'l-Baha

"Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, ..... [but] gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler…

--Al-Baqarah 2:177 (Quran)

Mike Clark-Alonso

Brookings

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