The Christ’s Hands homeless shelter received some help from members of the clergy Tuesday, as a group of 20 ministers came from Lexington to lend a hand.
Arch Deacon Bryant Kibler, who serves as the priest in charge at Christ Church in Harlan, said the reason behind the trip is twofold.
“One is to go ahead and be able to do something in the community that hopefully will be helpful to the communities and have the clergy be part of that and have them have that experience,” said Kibler. “The other reason is when the Bishop came in — and he’s only been Bishop for a little over a year and a half — as he began visiting some of our mountain congregations he realized there was a feeling often that the rest of the diocese didn’t have a good understanding of them and in some cases weren’t even aware of them.”
Kibler said the Bishop decided to send the ministers to the area to develop an understanding and to show they were aware of the people in this part of the state. The group’s work at Christ’s Hands on Tuesday was meant to help accomplish these goals along with giving assistance.
“What we’re doing here is they are sorting food to go into food packages for food baskets for people in need,” said Kibler. “We’ll be organizing some. There are some appliances they’ve got and items that are surplus and we’ll actually be taking some of those up to Estill and Lee counties to distribute.”
The group was only in Harlan on Tuesday.
“We’ve been in the communities for a long time,” said Kibler. “Often the people will help within the communities… this is an opportunity to get the clergy involved in that also. “
According to Kibler, this will likely become an annual trip for the clergy.
“We are strange to some people in that we dress like most people often think of us as Roman Catholics,” said Kibler. “The reality is our theology tends to be protestant. While some people get very concerned about all the ceremony and everything we do, it’s just a way in which we worship. What’s really significant is that we do this…because we believe we’re doing Christ’s work. That’s the whole reason why we’re here.”
Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 1161 or on Twitter #joe_hde