Feast of St. Lydia Worship Service

On Sunday January 26 our community celebrated our 3rd annual Feast of St. Lydia with an Episcopal Mass. This was the first year we celebrated this feast at Lydia’s House, choosing a more intimate gathering of around 40 beloved friends and supporters. The Mass included songs lead by Lydia’s House Pastoral Associate Grace Marshall and Floral House member Brianna Kelly and we were excited to welcome Dean Gail Greenwell from Christ Cathedral of Cincinnati to preside over the Mass. Dean Greenwell offered a homily reflecting on the hospitality of St. Lydia. She recognized that though not much is recounted on St. Lydia in scripture, her hospitality shown to Paul and other disciples is of great importance and an example that all of us can mimic as we seek to extend the hand of Jesus to those in need. This was such a sobering reminder as we worshiped together in our home of hospitality and hope. After the mass attendants were encouraged to cross the street to be among some of the first guests at the Jean Donovan House, currently under rehabilitation, to take a self-guided tour and write prayers on the walls for those who one day will call it home.

We were humbled to join with so many who share our vision of hospitality as we remembered the shining example of St. Lydia and look forward to the hope of the Donovan House.

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Fannie Lou Hamer

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lydia’s House was lucky to be able to attend a telling of “The Fannie Lou Hamer Story: A Struggle for Human Dignity and Freedom” at Bellarmine Chapel on Xavier University’s campus. A riveting performance by Mzuri Aimbaye was the highlight of the evening. Touchingly emotional, Aimbaye presented the humanity of Hamer through stories of struggle, injustice, and love. She brought to life the activist’s favorite gospel songs and engaged the audience, encouraging us to join in. Most impressively, she tied the injustices of Hamer’s life to the issues plaguing the black community today, and called for action on the part of everyone to end the oppression. Aimbaye reminded us how important it is to take advantage of the victories of those before us, especially prompting us to remember that voting is a right that was hard won for black people by dedicated individuals like Hamer.

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Courtesy: Civil Rights Documentation Project Verticle File
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Howard University

We at Lydia’s House honor Fannie Lou, MLK, and the men and women alive today who call for justice. Their work is to help build a better future for us all. We know that we can touch lives directly through our work at Lydia’s House, but it would be nothing without the courage of those who non-violently protest the structures that continue to oppress the women and children that come through our doors. Thank you!

Volunteer Spotlight: Jill Stoxen

Jill, along with her family, has been an integral part of the Lydia’s House community since its conception. The Stoxens have been faithful attendees at almost every Sunday dinner and worship service, the only exception being the Feast of St. Lydia in 2014. Jill debated coming to this event, but ultimately the labor leading up to the birth of her third child took precedence.

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Jill manages to spend time with us around a busy schedule of parenting three children and being very involved at Vineyard Central church, where her husband, Josh, shepherds the community. She coordinates children’s and women’s ministries and they consistently collaborate with organizations, families, and individuals in Norwood to practice being good neighbors. And they still have time to sit down to a weekly meal with us!

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What we love about Jill:

-She never ceases to quietly attract resources to Lydia’s House, spreading the mission to friends and family across the country. The extended Stoxen family, even those we haven’t met, have become dedicated supporters and donors!

-Jill doesn’t shy away from administrative duties, getting her hands dirty, or gathering the attention of a room full of guests.

-Her homemade bread is delicious.

-Her concern for guests goes above and beyond; her prayers and listening skills illustrate genuine care.

-As a member of the Board, Jill is actively involved in the future of Lydia’s House, and never fails to take meticulous minutes.

– Jill, Josh, and their children bring joy to our home, and they are definitively extended family of Lydia’s House.

THANK YOU, Stoxen family for all that you do!

A Beautiful Christmas

Enjoy these photos capturing some of our favorite moments of the Advent and Christmas seasons!

Christmas 2014

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