Something happens when people eat together. And walls fall when people pray together for our police officers. We had a weekend full of both as part of the National Faith & Blue Weekend, October 9-12, which found Breadcoin really engaged in conversations, gatherings, celebrations, and happenings around town.
We loved being part of an event where folks were listening to music together on the corner of Benning Road & 19th Streets, NE last Friday night as outreach officers from the Metropolitan Police Department’s 5th District handed out Breadcoins for folks to use at area restaurants including Royal Rooster, Langston Bar & Grille, and Wings ‘N More Wings in exchange for “spinning the wheel” and answering trivia questions. Police Chief Peter Newsham was in attendance as he made his rounds throughout the city for multiple events as part of that special weekend.
We had started the week helping out at the National Law Enforcement Museum, stuffing packets of gifts of health and wellness for unsheltered DC folks, items that were handed out by outreach officers throughout the city.
We gathered with MPD’s 4D, outreach led by Derek Staten, at an event where pastors from Emory Fellowship (Pastor Joe Daniels), Nativity Catholic (Father Pawel Sass) and Harvest Life Fellowship (our own Pastor William Spence) shared words and prayers, celebrating partnerships that are growing beyond normal denominational boundaries, partnerships that include meaningful engagement with Staten’s team on the streets of the Georgia Avenue corridor. Cary Umhau on our team read a passage from her spiritual memoir, Burning Down the Fireproof Hotel, about the role of simply being present to the pain of the world.
Monday midday found us back at the National Law Enforcement Museum and Memorial grounds for what we call a “flash table,” a beautifully set banquet where people can relax, meet each other and eat, in this case a fabulous barbecue lunch from one of our vendors, BBQBusDC. Officers from 1D joined folks from the streets and from churches including Grace Capital City, St. Brendan’s in the City, and Harvest Life Fellowship.
The inaugural Faith & Blue weekend was a chance to take steps, no matter how small, towards one another, beyond the boundaries that we know, feel and that have been so real this summer. A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. Or one shared meal.