A challenge in working with homelessness is to make people beyond "the usual suspects" care. That is, to reach beyond our traditional churches and non-profits.
Since 2006, we have offered Back Yard Mission Days, in which we have groups tour Triune, visit the surrounding neighborhood, and talk to homeless or formerly homeless parishioners in an attempt to gain an understanding of the issues.
As another inroad, I introduced homelessness and homeless characters into a murder mystery series. Those characters, like housed characters, are a mix of good, bad and in between. But my hope is that people who've never visited us or come into contact with homelessness learn something. A publisher in England, Lion Hudson, picked up the series.
At the end of this month, the second installment, The Cover Story, will be available in bookstores and online.
If you read the first book, The Cantaloupe Thief, you've already met reporter Branigan Powers and her homeless friend, Malachi Ezekiel Martin. These two pair up again when two college students crash on a rural highway in northeast Georgia. It looks like a typical accident. But when the surviving girl wakens, she tells a curious story of a vehicle that forced them off the road – an old-fashioned, 1950s-style hearse.
Thus begins a mystery that has Branigan and Malachi bouncing between a college campus and the town’s homeless encampment, trying to make sense of the bizarre links between the two.
Early reviewer Susan Furlong, author of Peaches and Scream and the Novel Idea mysteries, writes: "This was an intelligently plotted mystery with well-drawn characters and a delightful setting. Reporter Branigan Powers is one of my new favorite sleuths. Highly recommended." Here's the cover:
And keep an eye out for your invitation to a launch party in July. Happy beach reading!
May at Triune: Worship and Bible studies (average attendance): Sun AM.... 266 Sun PM... 22 Sunday school ...11 Playback Cafe ... 62
Meals and Assistance Programs: Hot meals............................ 1,342 Grocery boxes....................... 114 households Pop-top groceries................... 74 individuals Laundry loads.......................... 66 Emergency clothes/blankets/kits. 72 Bikes ............................................. 1 People placed in rehab................. 9 Safe housing from sexual exploitation .. 2 Social worker consultations....... 170, including 32 Round Table participants Mental health sessions .................. 22 Blood pressures......................... 44 Vision screenings ...................... 11 Prescriptions filled ..................... 18 Volunteer hours..................... 821
Worship with us at Triune Chapel:
June 4, 11 AM -- Our old friend Rev. Jerry Hill will lead our Voices of Mercy in some rousing gospel songs, and Deb will preach on "Holy Honking Spirit." 6 PM -- Rev. Kathy Sharp will preach.
June 11, 11 AM -- Soloist Kim Johnson from Earle Street Baptist and flutist Jill Channer will join us, and Deb will preach on "Last Words." 6 PM -- Rev. Jerry Hill will preach his final Triune sermon before retiring. June 18, 11 AM -- Deb will preach on Father's Day. 6 PM -- Playback Cafe
June 25, 11 AM -- Associate Pastor Tandy Taylor will preach. 6 PM -- Becky Grisell will preach, and the Renewal Choir will sing.
Sunday School - Each Sunday at 10 AM. Bible Study at 4 PM Sunday.
Bottled water Peanut butter Pasta sauce Pasta Vienna sausage Raman noodles Canned meats Gas cards
Bethel Breakfast Ministry Pelham Road Baptist Buncombe Street UMC Prince of Peace Catholic First Baptist of Mauldin Reedy Fork Baptist First Presbyterian of Greer St. Giles Presbyterian Grace Covenant Presbyterian Triune Mercy Center Mauldin UMC Valley Brook Outreach Baptist
In honor of Jeni Kleckley - Robert and Kathy Lloyd In honor of Lucy Kuhne - Monday Book Club
In memory of Josh Allen – Baxter and Paula Wynn In memory of Sandra Berardinelli - Regula Egli In memory of Bill Brooks – Alvin and Sarah Drake In memory of Anne Crabtree - James and Cynthia Clanton In memory of William Houston – Sydna Wylie In memory of Katherine Johnson – Jamie Cloninger, Paula Lawrence
In memory of John M. Rubin – Ed and Donna Allen
In memory of Allen Terrel Jr. – Ann and Winston Lee
In memory of Cooper White – Duff and Margaret Bruce, Barbara Burns, Doris Clark, Linda and Bradley Huband, John Pittman, James Price, Victor and Suzanne Pyle, Alma Steading, Stella Watkins, Lynn and Janie Yeargin
In memory of Avery Wood – Ruby Batson, Dorothy Bryan, Campbell Tile Company, Craig, Gaulden and Davis, Inc., Gordon Sherard, Terrill Walters, Robert Yeargin
Anonymous Kim Bullard
Troy and Joyce Barton
Earle Street Baptist Church
Fourth Presbyterian Church
Paul and Jennifer Gasque
Mike and Trish Harrison
Cheryl and Don McMahan
Carey and Cathy Phelps
Quester SS Class, Aldersgate UMC
Bernard and Cindy Showman
Michael and Jane Wilson
Plus, thanks to all our faithful worshipers!
And thanks to: The South Carolina Conference of United Methodists for collecting bicycles for Triune.
And to Dave Alridge, Bethel UMC, Buncombe Street UMC, Cathy Kirby, Langston Middle School, Charles Madison, Gigi Mahoney, Sandra Richards, Rudolph Gordon Elementary School, Vedic Center of Greenville, and Zoar UMC for donations of clothing, eggs, food, bottled water, diapers, toiletries, snack bags, sandwiches and bicycles.