March 15, 2020
In scholar Matthew Desmond’s powerful book “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” the quote “the rent eats first!” speaks volumes about the crisis of affordable housing in America. The work of the City Roots Community Land Trust seeks to change this. City Roots is a community-led organization whose work and advocacy brings hope in addressing the lack of housing availability and affordability for low-income families.
Based in Rochester, New York, City Roots is a collaborative of diverse homeowners, renters, youth, community allies and partners that work to establish, preserve and promote permanently affordable, quality housing for the benefit of low- and middle-income families through community-owned and managed land.
The Presbyterian Committee on the Self Development of people provided City Roots with a grant of $15,000 to further its mission in bridging socio-economic divides through its Land Trust Home Rehabilitation project. The project involves neighborhood rehabilitation of houses and the reselling of those homes at affordable rates, which ensures the permanent affordability of the property. City Roots also provides training and technical assistance to homeowners.
City Roots’ work is indicative of what it means to have hope in abundance in the face of crisis, which is also an attestation to the power of Christ’s resurrection and the Easter message — hope and new life amid crisis!
Today is Self-Development of People Sunday, and through our SDOP Sunday resource, we interpret and promote our work and help you to do the same in preparation for the collection of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering on Easter Sunday. SDOP is one of the recipients of this offering.
Offered yearly and used throughout the year, the SDOP Sunday resource lifts up stories of community building, self-reliance and hope — stories of God in action. It also provides hymns, sermons, liturgical suggestions and ways to access other free and helpful SDOP resources that are available to you and your congregation.
This year, SDOP will also be celebrating 50 years of engaging in anti-poverty ministry and promoting justice through community partnerships. Our celebration is themed “Journey to Justice: Where Do We Go From Here?” and will be held Sept. 18–19 in Rochester. We invite you to download our resource to learn more about this event and how SDOP lives the vision of Matthew 25 in its work of building stronger communities.
Alonzo Johnson, Coordinator for the Presbyterian Committee on the Self Development of People
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 15, 2020, the Third Sunday in Lent (Year A)
Today’s Focus: Self-Development of People Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray:
Sheltering God, we give you thanks for this opportunity once again to learn about justice and recognize you in the face of those who experience poverty and homelessness firsthand. We come to you again to regain the courage and strength to be disciples of hope through the joy of giving, the discipline of prayer and the power of your resurrection. Saving God, in Christ, let your love for the disinherited lead us to understand more fully your radically inclusive love and its purpose for our lives. In doing so, show us again how to create spaces for justice-love for all who hunger and thirst. Amen.