Last week I presided over a memorial service for David. I must confess, coming up with a sermon was more difficult than normal because I didn’t really know David. I knew that he was playful and funny and that each week he came to share lunch he would pretend he couldn’t remember our names. I knew David’s name very well, since he received mail at the church. After he passed, I learned that David knew my name well too. In fact, the medical examiner informed me that on his contact information at the hospital he had listed my name on the line that said “home.”
While only four of us gathered to remember David’s life, we were joyful that David was not one of the hundreds of homeless individuals who die in San Francisco each year without anyone to remember them.
I often say that my most important job at the Welcome Ministry is to learn people’s names. After all, my journey to become a pastor began when God remembered my name and it was marked on my forehead with water.
The Welcome Ministry not only learns people’s names, we help them gain an identity. In the short term we help people get their state issued identification and birth certificates, but in the longer term we help them to improve their quality of life, to advocate for their needs and to gain the quality of life that all humans deserve.
Today, I invite you to support the vital work of the Welcome Ministry. I also hope that with your gift you will share the name of someone who has been important to your life, faith or identity. Whether you are able to give a lot or a little, remember that the little I was able to share with David was big enough to create a sense of home.
Rev. Megan Rohrer