On Saturday, May 4th, congregants of one of fastest-growing churches in the United States will step away from social media and modern comforts to sleep outside for a cause: To raise awareness and life-giving resources for the homeless population in New Jersey.
Liquid Church will donate $60 to New York City Relief (in celebration of the organization’s 30th Anniversary) for each person who sleeps out overnight in its “cardboard city” during their Homeless Church event. Each $60 donation will give New York City Relief the ability to provide an individual on the street with four servings of food and drink, two hygiene kits, and one Metro Card.
Homelessness has spiked in New Jersey. Today, more families, teens, and veterans are finding themselves without shelter and security. As of January 2019, nearly 10,000 people in the state experienced homelessness, which is a 9% increase since 2017 reports.
“Serving the poor and homeless is central to our ministry of compassion at Liquid Church. As Christians, we know it’s not enough to sympathize with the homeless…We must take action!” said Tim Lucas, lead pastor and founder of Liquid Church. “Several years back, I spent one night on the streets around Newark Penn Station in an attempt to understand, in a small way, the challenges of being homeless. This experience expanded my heart for our friends living on the streets, and it’s why today, Liquid Church is committed to serving alongside incredible organizations like New York City Relief.”
Liquid Church is expecting 500 guests to attend its two outreach event locations in Parsippany and Sayreville, NJ. All who participate must register in advance.
Upon check-in, participants will receive a cardboard box to set-up their sleeping space for the evening. New York City Relief will be present at the events to provide hot soup, hot cocoa, and bread to participants at Relief Bus mobile care stations, which the organization uses every week at their outreaches to create an intentional space that welcomes guests and invites conversation over a hot meal. The event will conclude Sunday, May 5th at 8:00 a.m. with a breakfast and special service at Liquid Church.
“At New York City Relief, we believe homelessness is a struggle, not a life sentence! That’s why our goal is to mobilize thousands of volunteers to compassionately serve those struggling with homelessness by providing hope and resources that lead towards life transformation,” said Juan Galloway, President & CEO of New York City Relief. “Since we were founded in 1989, we have served alongside so many churches who go the extra mile to love our brothers and sisters on the streets, and we look forward to continuing to partner with Liquid Church as they seek to catch God’s heart for the homeless on May 4th.”
Last year, Juan Galloway spent a week living “undercover” as a homeless person. Full story here.