Finding Steadfast Love In Seattle
Stories of Faith in Action 2009
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"I feel really close to the members of the church of Steadfast Love, and the church has really changed me,” says Anthony Ulibarri, a Steadfast Love member and resident at the Men’s Transitional Housing Program of Seattle’s Compass Center. The center is a Lutheran social ministry
that provides transitional and emergency services to the homeless.
Anthony Ulibarri (center) and Steadfast Love members and residents.
The congregation includes Compass Center residents and former residents, some of whom travel an hour by bus to attend services. The congregation also attracts homeless and low-income people and groups from nearby congregations. Steadfast Love seeks to welcome people from all walks of life to create a stable, balanced congregation.
At Steadfast Love homeless people may find community for the first time. The Rev. Kristy Daniels, Steadfast Love’s pastor, says, “To have a place where you’re known and loved unconditionally, and where everybody understands what you’ve been through and where you are today is really why people keep coming.”
As a mission start, the congregation receives a portion of its funding from ELCA and synodical grants, but needs to become self-funding by mid-2010. Daniels says that Steadfast Love actively seeks partner congregations.
Pastor Daniels says, “I love this call. There’s so much hope every day. People are hungry to hear the Word. You can see it transforming their lives.” For example, Daniels says that Anthony “had a pretty rough life. He’s been in and out of bad situations.” Anthony volunteers at the Immanuel Lutheran Food Bank, a ministry of Immanuel Lutheran Church, a nearby ELCA congregation. He says,
“I like to help people. I like how volunteering makes me feel closer to Jesus. I really want to give. I want to have a stronger relationship with Jesus.”