Bishop John Keenan of Paisley is inviting people to join him this Sunday at a virtual luncheon involving a charitable kitchen in Lebanon, which provides 1,500 hot meals every day for refugees and the homeless. “The people there [in Lebanon] look for any light in their darkness,” Bishop Keenan said, “and one bright light is the SJMT,” — the St John the Merciful Table in Zahle, which for more than five years has provided meals for the poor, especially refugees from neighbouring Syria, in support of which Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is hosting the virtual event on Sunday March 21st at 1pm GMT.
Bishop Keenan described the importance of the SJMT, not only for Syrian refugees, but also for those affected by last August’s explosion in Beirut, which killed more than 200 people and left more than 300,000 others without homes. “1,000 people and families every day find food and friendship,” at SJMT, he said, “to give them encouragement for the day and hope for tomorrow.”
“Even in the pandemic,” Bishop Keenan went on to say, “the Table has kept going with takeaways and deliveries.”
Bishop Keenan noted that the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic make community-building and sustaining efforts even more important. “When we eat together,” he said, “we become companions, from the Latin ‘sharers of bread’. So eating together leads to sharing our lives together, with all their joys and hopes, sorrows and fears.”
“Sharing this meal with our brothers and sisters in Lebanon commits us to sharing their lives and crosses, and promising to stay with them on a shared journey.”
“Even in the pandemic,” Bishop Keenan went on to say, “the Table has kept going with takeaways and deliveries.” A donation of £1 provides one hot meal while £5 will feed a family of five for one day and £35 will feed a family of five for one week. Interested readers will find more at this link.