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'Homeless Jesus' arrives in GH

Below is an article from the April 10, 2014, edition of the Grand Haven Tribune about the ministry of our church.

The small group of St. John’s Episcopal Church staff and parishioners who gathered outside the church Wednesday stood in silence and commented quietly about the life-size bronze “Homeless Jesus” statue created by Timothy P. Schmalz.


Parishioners Doreen Wegener and Nancy Powell watched the statue being unveiled. Wegener said it’s something they wanted to be part of their church, and they’re looking forward to sharing it with Grand Haven residents and visitors.


“It’s a statement,” Powell added.


The 500-pound statue now sits in front of the church along Washington Avenue. The statue and accompanying plaque will be dedicated to the efforts started by the Rev. Henry Idema, who was the church’s 31st rector at the church.


It will be blessed following church services on Sunday, April 27.


Pope Francis blessed Schmalz’s original “Homeless Jesus” statue, as well as the list of places the statues would be placed. The Grand Haven statue is the only one that will appear in the area because the artist wants them to stand out in the few locations across the country, Cramer said.


Although Cramer saw the statue in pictures, he said he’s surprised by the power of the “vulnerable image” in person.


“This does more for me than 100 sermons ever could,” he said.


Cramer said the statue idea formed last fall when he delivered a sermon that included the quote, “How can we worship a homeless man on Sunday, then ignore one on Monday?”


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