The Gubbio Project is a thousand strong. We are the 200+ people who come seeking rest and shelter each weekday on the hard pews in the beautiful, dry, safe, and warm-ish sanctuary of St. Boniface Church and St. John the Evangelist. We are the 100 more who daily come to use the clean and drug-free bathrooms, to get a razor, toothbrush, or a blanket, or to find out where they can store their stuff or get a shower. We are the 12 staff members who hold the sacred space in the church, keep it clean, outreach to the community, and share our vision of a church that is radically inclusive and walks with those who are down-trodden.
We are the 70+ volunteers who come every month to share a meal they have prepared, to assemble toiletry kits, to buy the cleaning supplies, to provide a listening ear to those in the community who are in need. We are the 11 Board members who gather monthly to reflect on what it might mean for church to be sanctuary, to figure out how to embody the belief that there is that of the divine in each person, and to strategize how to pay the bills and continue the work. We are all those who hold this Project in their hearts and pray for us. We are the thousand men, women, and children who have donated supplies and finances to the Project this past year. We are the parishioners from the 5 Catholic churches (and the students from the parish schools) that collected toiletries during Lent. We are the parishioners from the 6 churches that opened their doors to have Gubbio staff share at their masses, and their wallets to share what the Spirit lead them to give. We are the people in the church in Los Angeles who collected money for 35 sleeping bags because a teen there gave his away to someone in need. We are the people who read the Chronicle article, were moved by the story, and wanted to be part of providing "sacred sleep" for our unhoused neighbors.
We are the people in our partnering organizations who go out of their way to make the cafeteria available for breakfasts, who respond to our security needs free of cost, who share their worship space with us.
It is not the case of "we could not have done it without you" but more "we are doing this work - all of us." Each person who donates a pair of socks, brings OJ to the Friday morning breakfast, sleeps on the pew, or donates $2 makes the Project what it is. You, who are reading this newsletter, have, and are now participating in the work of keeping the doors of the church open, of walking with our brothers and sisters without homes, of declaring that yes, to be a sanctuary for those on the margins is a good and right use of church space.