Dear Brothers and Sisters at St. Matthew,
We have sad news to share: Last week, Lutheran Social Ministry of NJ announced that New Visions Day Shelter will close at the end of June.
The immediacy of the closing is due to the inability to ensure a safe environment for patrons and volunteers due to lack of human and financial resources and a recent increase in occasions of violence, including a very serious incident this spring. The Board decided that the safest thing to do was to close the facility.
Three efforts have begun:
- Pastor Ingrid is collaborating with clergy colleagues on a letter (and possible visit in the fall) to the LSM Board to encourage the Board to consider beginning another program in Camden that would help address the ongoing need for shelter and food there.
- Clergy colleagues will meet in July to discern how we might continue or begin another effort in Camden among congregations
- Deacon Bill will follow up with Beth Gebhart, on LSMNJ staff, who is pulling together a list of other agencies & organizations that would be interested in receiving our sandwiches
This means that we plan to continue making sandwiches! Over the next few weeks, we hope to discover another organization and support their needs in providing food to hungry people.
Thanking God for your ministry,
Pastor Ingrid & Deacon Bill