Local churches step up to provide warming shelters

Without looking at the calendar, you'd think spring had come early. Temperatures in the 60s on Christmas Day are certainly not the norm. But as the old saying goes: If you don't like the weather in Southeast Missouri, just wait a day and it will change.

Most likely we'll see plenty of cold days before spring makes its official return. And with cold temperatures there's a need for warming shelters.

During the previous two winters, The People's Shelter through St. James AME Church has offered a place for those without a home to come inside and get warm. But it became increasingly more challenging to meet the needs, particularly in the early evening, for the volunteer-based ministry. So First Presbyterian Church at 235 Broadway stepped up to bridge the gap, offering their building as a shelter between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., allowing volunteers at The People's Shelter to catch their breath before taking over during the evening.

During the Christmas season we're reminded just how blessed we are with shelter, clothing and food. For some, however, these basic necessities are not a given. We're thankful that both St. James AME and First Presbyterian Churches have offered their facilities as warming centers. Thank you for showing God's love in such a tangible and affirming way.