Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
3745 Kimball Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38111
901 743 6421

The article is taken from THE TRACT, January 2020 issue



From the Desk of Rev. Tom Momberg





Jesus Christ, light of the world,

help me to work to bring hope, healing, and justice

to those who are suffering in my neighborhood and

in the neighborhood of the world. Amen.

~ a prayer from Scotland’s Iona Community


         In the last eighteen months, two movies have been released about the Presbyterian minister and child advocate, Fred Rogers. The first, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” was a documentary. The second, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starred Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers.


         What was it, I’ve wondered since seeing these movies, that made this mild-mannered man, whose ministry was all about children, so powerfully compelling? One reviewer put it this way: “His decency, and what we now might call his emotional intelligence, presented themselves with a serene consistency that could be a little unnerving.” A little unnerving, yes, but also, for those of us willing to suspend our disbelief, a great, big balm on our wounded society, including our neighborhoods.


         On the Saturday night before Christmas, a few of us went to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on Highland to see how they host a citywide ministry to the homeless called Room in the Inn. First offered in Nashville, the Memphis expression of Room in the Inn now has fifty participating congregations, spanning fifteen denominations and two faith traditions.


         Last year, Room in the Inn volunteers experienced more than 7,500 opportunities to share in holy hospitality with their guests. Thousands of warm meals shared around a table with listening ears and open hearts. Thousands of warm beds in a safe environment for those who would otherwise sleep on the street.  Thousands served in our neighborhoods.


         When Tricia Horton, Jim Gholson, and I were there that night, the members of St. Luke’s did not serve thousands. There were nine women who had been brought by the church’s bus from the streets of downtown Memphis to enjoy Christmas gifts, a good dinner, and a warm bed. We, too, were welcomed as guests. It was a beautiful night in the neighborhood.


         We at Holy Trinity have been invited to join St. Luke’s as hosts for their Room in the Inn guests on the 4th Saturday of every month. The next 4th Saturday is January 25th. I hope you can join us.