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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Lord of the harvest

'Rejoice that your names are written in heaven' Luke 10:20b

In a powerful sermon in the Anglican cathedral in Toronto, David Brinton told how, the previous Thursday, police evicted the drug addicts, prostitutes and other homeless people from the park next to the church. Prior to the eviction, the priest said those gathered in the cathedral for morning prayers had often heard through the walls the incoherent mantras of a park resident as a sort of accompaniment to their petitions.

Several church members had tried valiantly to help those who slept in the park to "clean up their places" so neighborhood parents and passers-by would not be frightened or angered. A few of the park sleepers had tried.

Parishioners and police also had worked diligently to find a resolution for the conflicts between their needs and those of the park residents and the safety concerns of the neighborhood. Nonetheless, the eviction took place, and as one expelled resident commented, "It seemed that everybody was right and everybody was wrong."

At first I wondered what Brinton would do with his poignant story about the eviction. Was he merely going to make us all feel guilty?


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