December 2010 • Off-Campus Community Event • By Deborah (Malacky) Belonick
"Tis the Season"...to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick that linger outside New York's Penn Station. During Advent, members of our seminary community have been making several charitable trips to the Big Apple in response to the Gospel's commandments (Matt 25:35–37).
Our seminarians, their spouses, teenagers of faculty members, and alumni continue to pack up warm clothing and make hot soup for needy city residents, making evening runs to New York to aid street folk that need a helping hand and a cheerful word. SVOTS community members cooperate with Emmaus House , an active, ecumenical, Christ-centered non-profit organization that has served the poor in Harlem and on the streets of Manhattan for over forty years. Founded and led by Father David Kirk, an Orthodox Christian priest, the organization has taken a unique approach to assisting those in need. It offers food and clothing to the neighborhood poor, approaching each person as created in the image and likeness of God.
Tanya Hoff, wife of student Jeffrey Hoff, commented on her "soup run" experience thus far: "As we prepare for the coming of our Lord at the approaching feast of the Nativity, our group from SVOTS has had the blessing to share in the fellowship of those who dedicate their time to Emmaus House, and in the fellowship with the poor that Emmaus House serves. With love, we prepared and served warm soup, and with love, our neighbors in Christ received it, as we shared time together outside of Penn Station."