"We love because He first loved us” [1 John 4:19].
Common Ground Church and Christ Community Church collaborate to provide entertainment, children’s activities and barbeque lunch for over 200 walkers.
Good Shepherd Alliance
Call at 703-724-1555
GSA web site is @ http://www.goodshepherdalliance.org
Praise God for a purifying rainy day for the Good Shepherd Alliance (GSA) 7th Annual Homeless Walk for Shelter. The Walk for Shelter through historic Leesburg, Virginia took place on Saturday, September 19th and was hosted by GSA to raise funds to assist struggling families with shelter and other basic necessities. The 1.2 mile walk started at 10 AM at the Douglass School Pavilion on the corner of Sycolin Road and East Market Street.
The temperature was a chilly fifty-four degrees with ominous looking clouds during pre-registration and check-in. A light rain fell during the early hours but lessened later in the day as the morning warmed up. Two-hundred and nine vigilant and faithful men, women, students and babies attended the event and most chose to snake and stroll their way down the long avenues and then into the beautiful historic district on King Street. A great enthusiasm was felt by everyone as the inclement weather brought people closer together under umbrellas and in the tightly packed Douglass School Pavilion.
GSA Board Member James Trash provided the crowd with a pre-walk opening statement. James thanked the crowd for coming out and participating in the Walk. He acknowledged the importance of having everyone’s physical presence at the event. James explained how GSA has a passion for providing help and hope for the homeless and those in a time of greatest need. He believed that those walking with GSA shared that same passion.
James cited Ezekiel 22 and told the story about the Lord speaking through Ezekiel to the leaders, prophets, priests and people of the land. And at the end of verse 29-30, the Lord says He sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the breach before Him on behalf of the land that He should not destroy it-but He did not find one! This scripture made James think about our situation here on Saturday, as GSA is seeking people around Loudoun County willing to help. As he gazed out at the crowd, James stated that it appeared there was more than one willing to build that wall together. He concluded by discussing the importance of community relationships and believed that those who participated are now part of the GSA family and asked everyone to stay connected to GSA.
|Common Ground Church youth group "Fusion" were out walking in full force and proudly carried the GSA banner throughtout the 1.2 mile trek. Other walkers displayed signs reflecting statistics advocating the need to support the Loudoun County homeless and indigent population. Photo courtesy/ Lisa Gunderman.|
The event was highlighted by the networking of resources from two churches, Common Ground Church with Pastor Sal D'Agostino (Leesburg) and Christ Community Church with Pastor Jeff Good (Ashburn). This year, families from these two churches teamed together to provide a hearty lunch in support of the Walk for Shelter. The churches coordinated to serve beef brisket, pork barbeque, baked beans, hot dogs, cole slaw, potato salad, and all the trimmings. Hundreds of home-baked cookies and desserts, along with a variety of chips, rounded off the meal. The teams served cold lemonade and iced tea, water, and fruit juice to compliment the lunch to over two hundred GSA Walkers.
Common Ground Church transported and installed the moon bounces, sound system, face painting tent, managed traffic control, facilitated t-shirt ordering, made balloon arches and provided music and program oversight. Both congregations were an indescribable asset and will ensure the success of this ever growing fundraiser event.
Many grandparents, parents and children walked with GSA board members and staff. Parents said that the walk provided an educational experience that raised awareness about homelessness. The youth especially gained appreciation for the many blessings provided by their own families. Jennifer Wexton, candidate for Loudoun Commonwealth Attorney; Randy Minchew, candidate for the new 10th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates; and Bob Ohneiser, GSA vice Chair and Broad Run School Board Representative participated in the walk.
GSA is proud of its cooperative relationship with the Leesburg Town Government. GSA is grateful to the Leesburg Town Council, Leesburg Police and Parks and Recreation for their cooperation and coordination of this event.
Special thanks goes to Terri Lightle, Director of Administration and Community Relations, and her team for their hard work in getting the registrations together and organizing the volunteers and staff that was of tremendous help.
GSA needs the continuous support from our dynamic business community to supply much needed materials, services and funding to maintain and upgrade our facilities. GSA strongly believes that assisting those less fortunate with their most basic needs fosters hope and goodwill among our diverse and fast growing community.
We encourage and welcome the Loudoun Community to please come out and walk with us next September. Together we can build that wall!
|Walkers break for a photo opportunity to petition the Loudoun Times Mirror (oldest continously operating newspaper in the state, established 1798). The walkers believed that each participant might be a voice for those whose voices are rarely heard. A great enthusiasm was felt by everyone as the inclement weather brought people closer together under umbrellas along the walk and in the tightly packed Douglass School Pavilion. Photo courtesy/ Lisa Gunderman.|