We’re Grateful for Western Presbyterian Church

We’re Grateful for Western Presbyterian Church

I have always been proud – almost sinfully so – to pastor a church whose building houses Miriam’s Kitchen. This year my pride and gratitude have grown to a new level.

Here at Western Presbyterian Church, we believe the work of Miriam’s Kitchen is the most faithful use of our space we can imagine. MK does holy work at 24th and G Streets throughout the week: feeding hungry people, helping neighbors find housing and services, and creating a welcoming community where lives are changed; this year, that includes the plaza outside.

Food services that used to happen in the dining room are now in tents, and case management happens in smaller, socially distanced tents in the church courtyard. Given that guests can’t use the restrooms downstairs, a trailer of bathrooms sits across from our sanctuary entrance to increase hygiene and to ensure accessibility. We’ve worked to provide more electricity outdoors, in hopes of creating safe spaces.

Almost thirty years ago, as Western Church members fought to preserve their right to feed hungry people at 24th and G Streets as an expression of their religious faith, no one imagined the impact of a pandemic. If they had, knowing the gumption of that group, they would have advocated for a space with state-of-the-art ventilation where close to 200 people could sit down together for a meal while remaining six feet apart.

Western Church continues to support Miriam’s Kitchen by working to make it possible for MK to have space in Foggy Bottom. We hope to keep building costs for MK’s crucial services as low as possible, so that when our members, friends, or the greater community gives to Miriam’s Kitchen, the bulk of their contribution makes a direct impact on those who need it most.

Our church has committed to keeping our usage of the building to a minimum so that it remains as safe as possible for the staff and volunteers who remain committed to serve during the pandemic. During this time, church members may not use the building like we normally do, but we’re prouder than ever that Miriam’s Kitchen does.

I’m sure that the weeks and months ahead will provide new challenges, but I hope you will join me and the rest of Western Church in showing gratitude for Miriam’s Kitchen, and looking for new ways to support their crucial and holy work.

With thanksgiving, this month and always,

Laura Cunningham
Pastor, Western Presbyterian Church