met·a·noi·a, n. a profound, transformative change of heart; especially: a spiritual conversion; a complete reversal of thinking both on a personal and societal level.
It is easy to ignore the homeless because we cannot see most of them. Many live under bridges, in alley ways, by railroad tracks, and in hidden camps. They live in third-world conditions right here in our hometown. For many, homelessness is not a choice. They are victims of illness and terrible circumstances, and there are many people who find themselves living on the streets. The exact number is difficult to determine given the invisible nature of this population. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) has estimated that there are as many as 4,000 people who are homeless in the Greater Cleveland Area.
Advent prepares and serves nourishing meals to as many as 85 guests on the first Sunday of every cold-weather month from mid-November through mid-April at the Hospitality Center located at St. Malachi's in Cleveland. Advent volunteers lead a time of spiritual nourishment for guests who choose to join in prayer, Bible readings, and devotions – a quiet time to reflect on the Good News of Jesus. We collect their prayer requests and carry out intercessory prayer on their behalf in the following 30 days.
Advent volunteers ages 10 to 80 fulfill our mission to bring the love of Jesus Christ to our brothers and sisters in a spirit of respect and dignity – where they can share community and experience a sense of their own self-worth. We are humbled by their gratitude; thankful for these opportunities to serve them; value them as individuals with their needs, interests, and joys; and are blessed by their ministering to us. Advent also provides financial support through the generosity of individual parishioners plus Advent’s allocation to Metanoia from our corporate Outreach Ministry budget.