Interfaith Community Services currently maintains a program of distributing hot, vegetarian meals to homeless people on the streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. But if we look closer we see that this is a multilevel program.
On the first level, we're addressing a basic, immediate need - feeding hungry people.
On another level, the meal distribution program, gives us opportunities to meet and refer people to other supportive services like shelters, drug and alcohol rehab, medical care, and counseling.
On a third level, we're offering young people in this neighborhood opportunities to participate in community service by helping with the meal distribution.
We distribute hot, vegetarian meals to the homeless people at Tompkins Square Park every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:15 a.m.
In addition to feeding homeless people, Interfaith Community Services volunteers maintain a Retreat Guest-rooms Ministry, supports the production and distribution of religious literature and sponsors various Religious Graphic Arts projects and Religious Performing Arts projects.
Although the external form of our work may vary - from literature distribution to feeding the homeless, the constant, express purpose of all our endeavors is to inspire others in their faith and in their loving service to God.
We are operating under the premise that anyone who volunteers to help will naturally learn, and grow. The concept of directly engaging in service to God is absolutely essential for spiritual character development.
In our experience with youth ministries, we noticed that an exclusive focus on providing recreational activities sometimes unintentionally fosters a "gimmie" mentality: "Now what do I get? Now what else do I get?" The concept of "What service can I offer?" is sometimes absent.
In an attempt to facilitate the emergence of a higher nature, we’re gently shifting the focus from "Gimmie Gimmie" toward: "What can I do to serve the Lord?" and "How can I help to bring others into the Light of God's Love?"
We believe that activity in the service of God is natural and joyful. Anything that fosters an awareness of the fact that: “Each of us has the potential to benefit others" opens a door to new, unlimited horizons.
Anything that helps nourish a desire for increasing our loving service to God (through loving service to others) has a powerful, uplifting effect on our development as human beings.