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Common Cathedral, a church for the homeless, has met for 21 years at Brewers fountain on the Boston Common. On the weekend of April 27 - 29, and then again on May 11 - 13, some of AHCC’s high schoolers joined fi ve or six other youth groups to serve between 200 and 250 homeless people. AHCC youth attended worship on Sunday as a culminating event. Using the Church Cathedral of St. Paul, just off the Common, our youth group’s job was to provide hospitality and offer assistance or direction as the homeless entered and received food, sorted through and chose clothing. On Sunday, we joined Common Cathedral for their open air service on Boston Common, where we helped serve lunch, gathered prayer requests, served communion, and participated in the church service with our new friends. Some highlights of our weekend were:

Walking around the streets of Boston on Friday night, with a trusted formerly or currently homeless person, during which they shared their perspectives on life on the very streets that they or their friends lived.

• Forming genuine friendships with homeless persons, whether it was collecting smiles on a meal ticket, listening to stories, playing music, laughing around a game of cards, or shedding a tear as we listened to the struggles of becoming sober and finding housing.

• Seeing the value the Common Cathedral ministers and staff placed upon the stories and opinions of their congregation. Sorrows, joys, progress, and loss, all were important, not because the stories were from the homeless, but because the stories were from friends, made in God’s image.

Some of our students and volunteers are already considering returning during the peak months of need in the winter, and some have come to further realize that there are potential friendshere, in Hartford whom we can help.