We are so grateful for your partnership with Associated Ministries this past year. During 2017 we experienced momentum on many fronts:
- Our Community Quarterly Meetings convened ever-larger crowds throughout the year; in total 187 people from 44 faith communities came together at four gatherings to be educated about homelessness and discuss potential projects and solutions.
- In November we hosted the largest group yet at our annual “Lead the Way Home” breakfast, and attendees responded with record generosity.
- During October we encouraged Pierce County faith communities to take part in the first “Standing United with Compassion” observance, which kicked off at a moving and memorable “interfaith Shabbat” service hosted by Temple Beth El.
- In September we staged an innovative new community event called “Amazing Quest to Understand Homelessness” in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.
- In March we were overwhelmed by the response to our first-ever Interfaith Women’s Conference as some 400 women gathered for a day of learning, inspiration and fellowship.
These are a few tangible examples of the growing commitment we sense throughout Pierce County to come together to address our communities’ most critical needs.
When it comes to one of those needs – homelessness – we all know we’re facing a crisis. But behind the scenes many of us are working hard to make fundamental shifts in our homeless response system. We must not grow weary in doing good, not when we are making progress towards our preferred future, one in which homelessness is a rare, brief, and one-time experience for those caught up in its terrible consequences.
Truth be told, there have been many challenges to navigate during 2017, including some discouraging – and even terrifying – situations playing out across our nation and world. And yet at AM we remain optimistic as we see people in our community coming together with new-found solidarity and resolve to make a difference. In trying times it is essential to know that we are here for each another.
No matter what happens in the year ahead, Associated Ministries will continue to press forward as we have for 48 years, bringing together people of faith and good will to create a more humane, compassionate and just community. To do that, WE NEED YOU; and more than ever our community needs you. Thank you for showing up and for reaching out!
Michael Yoder, Executive Director