On Hagar and Children in Need of Protection

by Meridith Owensby, Lydia’s House co-director I’ve been thinking a lot about parents this week, perhaps because Tiana became a mom on Thursday. On that day she knew great joy, the joy of having your child come into the world, and all the love that comes with that. Today Tiana has known the fear that only parenthood can provide, as she took little baby M to Children’s Hospital because she was having intestinal issues. In one week’s time she has known the greatest love and the greatest fear we can hold for another person on this earth. In today’s reading

Pentecost and Community

After months of quarantine restrictions, we were finally able to attend our first “communal” gathering. We had planned a Pentecost service for the date of the liturgical celebration – but there were more pressing things that needed to be done! The protests downtown were in full swing and we all felt it necessary that we let our voices be heard. BlackLivesMatter! Our first celebration of Pentecost 2020 was a call to be heard and understood, to join brothers and sisters across boundaries to communicate one message: Black lives should be cherished and honored, Black children protected, Black families celebrated. We

EASTER

This year Easter came at about the same time as Ohio was predicted to peak in the pandemic. Thankfully, social distancing efforts helped us avoid the worst predictions but kept churches and normal holiday celebrations closed. In the midst of upheaval, the core community of Lydia’s House was still able to observe our own, intimate version of Easter. On Wednesday of Holy Week, Mary Ellen prepared a beautiful Seder meal with the traditional Seder foods. From matzo, symbolizing the unleavened bread, to tender lamb– the traditional sacrifice, to parsley for new life and horseradish for bitterness and suffering. We thought

A Birthday Parade

In this new world of social distancing and ‘stay at home orders,’ Lydia’s House has reassessed how we can live out and create community. Specifically, we’re discovering new ways to offer positive memories and celebration to our current and former guests. At Virginia Coffey Place, as a 6 year old tenant’s birthday grew closer, it became clear that his hoped for party could not happen. Though it took a bit of creativity, we worked together with J’s mother to create a memory that he won’t forget anytime soon – a birthday parade! We gathered together folks from the Lydia’s House

RULES AND REGULATIONS

On March 22, 2020, Ohio declared “shelter in place” because of COVID-19. All non-essential organizations and businesses closed. As a family shelter we are considered to be essential, but our way of being together demanded reflection and change as a result of the mandate for social distancing. On the day of the governor’s order we had all four rooms filled with 4 adult guests, 4 children and 2 live in volunteers, all sharing meals and bathrooms and common space. We put all of our practices and norms under scrutiny. After many sleepless nights and a lot of behind the scenes