“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Mathew 25:34-41
Every Sunday at 2:00 pm, 52 weeks a year, outdoors in almost every sort of weather — the service was only canceled once since 2008 during a blizzard — behind the church, or in front when the rain makes the Green too soggy, Trinity offers a short Eucharist service followed by a simple lunch. Led by Trinity or visiting Clergy, a congregation “of all comers” — between 50 to 150 people — show up weekly to sing, offer prayers, celebrate a simple Eucharist and partake of a meal. Special services are offered in a foot washing clinic, handing out socks and clothing, a moving memorial to the homeless who have died the past year, and the popular Fourth of July grill/picnic. Click on the image to see a video explaining the purpose and history of Chapel on the Green.
We use grape juice to stand in solidarity with those who do not drink alcohol. We believe this is God’s table and all are welcome to receive Communion.
The Push Cart Altar
One item is of particular importance — the portable, or push cart altar. Constructed by former Warden Warner Marshal, who wrote, “The top is made from old oak pews from the main floor of the church, and the sides and front frame are made of old pine pew seats from the balconies, where the blacks and less-fortunate once sat, so that they are combined into one altar for all (along with some scrap lumber from around here, as you say). The shopping cart handle just seemed like a modern badge of the homeless.”
Every Sunday at 2:00 in all sorts of weather it is rolled out onto the Green, then back again, waiting in the wings of the church.
But every Sunday extra hands are most welcome to ensure a great experience of prayer and service. An hour of your time can do a world of good for others and for yourself. Help is always needed. Anyone of any faith is welcome to help and very appreciated. If you want to help, or your regional church or volunteer or organization wants to support this ever more necessary ministry, contact Samantha Butler.
Click on the picture for a New Haven Register feature article on November 4, 2012, titled “New Haven church without walls serves homeless”, By Mary E. O’Leary