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A Home For Veterans

A powerful way to begin the year.

I had the honor today of representing the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) at a ribbon cutting for a new building named the John and Jill Ker Conway Residence. This building provides housing for homeless veterans, and is part of the vision of ending veteran homelessness in Washington, DC.

This project, within view of the Capitol, took 8 years to complete. The level of collaboration that took place in order to build this beautiful building is extraordinary and complex.

And everyone did their part.

WIN’s part was to secure the land from the city with the promise of dedicating it towards producing permanent supportive housing.

The invocation I offered was inspired by the significant vision and collaborative action that required the will of so many to come to life. I think this kind of effort is a model that inspires us to trust that there are so many people among us doing good and bringing what may seem impossible, to life.

One of the speakers today was a resident, Mr. Clifford Rowe. He shared part of his story from his time in the military to his career as a musician who played with Elvis. Mr. Rowe, who was once homeless, says as a Conway resident, he now lives, “close to Heaven!”

Invocation for a building dedication:
Today we celebrate a place built on a foundation of dignity and justice —  a place caring for military veterans experiencing homelessness in our nation’s capital.

A piece of land, right in the middle of a luxury developers dream, was secured —  and both likely and unlikely collaborators purposefully connected to do the very hard and long haul work of raising up this beautiful place.

We take a moment and call upon the grace of a God who connects us through love for the work of community-making and justice, and in the spirit of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we ask God to bless this place.

May it be a model of a way that calls forth the best efforts of crucial collaborations to serve those who have served this nation with their very lives.

In uncertain days, may we be certain today that generosity, hard work, dignity and justice are parts of the foundation of a life together in America that is worthy of building upon over and over and over.

And finally, may the John and Jill Ker Conway residence, be home.


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