Reverberate 2021

Check your feed. Odds are that if I ask you to find something supporting unity and love you’d have to scroll through a good deal of negativity before you found something relevant. During a time when our country has been overwhelmed with division, fear, worry, hate and exhaustion – especially with all things pandemic – ensuring an event happened in person this year was more important than ever.

The Lord tells us that where two or three are gathered in His name that He is there (Matt. 18:20) and we know that God inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalms 22:3) Therefore, we knew that if we planned it and invited people that God would do the rest. We know that God wants there to be unity among His people. He also deserves and desires worship, glory, honor and praise- when we come together to do that as one body of Christ then the Lord will certainly show up.

With all this in mind we aimed to pull Lancaster County together again – united in worship across denominations, worship styles, ages, races, and ethnicities at the 3rd Annual Reverberate event which took place on Tuesday, September 14th in Long’s Park. Believers from across the county gathered in Long’s Park to praise God, and celebrate how He moved in churches and through individuals over the last year.

More than 1,000 people came to hear testimonies of neighborly love from around the community and to worship with the diverse set of worship bands represented that evening. Four worship bands, the Worship Center, Journey Church, Community United Methodist and Ministerios Peniel Internacional, played music filled with words of joy, hope and gratitude for all the Lord has done and for His love for His children.

This year the evening’s theme focused on loving one’s neighbor. In between worship groups the crowd heard from three individuals from the community who shared personal stories of how loving their neighbor impacted others, their community and themselves.

Stories of the body of Christ coming together – bit by bit to make a big difference – brought life and encouragement to the evening. Among the worshippers one could find all ages, races, and worship styles from flags flying and dancing to those sitting relaxing and humming along.

It was a welcoming environment to all that passed by – some who even decided to stay and join in. That night, a large family heard the music, stopped by and decided to hang out. They hadn’t gone to church in quite some time but felt like God had renewed something in them and they decided to try going to one of the churches represented there that night.

A few of the churches playing said how much being a part of the event rejuvenated their worship team and how grateful they were to be included this year. Many other families and attendees of the event shared how life-giving and encouraging the evening was for them.

Water Street Mission and its fellow presenters, look forward to having the event at Long’s Park again next year!


An Update from Jack 5/4/2020


Dear Friends,

Throughout this season, we have encountered a number of challenges in operating our shelter safely. Thankfully we have been blessed to see no community spread among our guests. This is due not only to the work of our team, but also the ways that upgrades to our facilities came at just the right time.

For example, Providence Shelter, which opened in November 2019, provides additional spacing and a top-tier air filtration system. We have also been able to implement the same air filtration standards in our dining hall prior to the most recent wave of COVID.

Because a high percentage of our guests have preexisting health conditions, we have had to be diligent in our safety protocols, doing our best to ensure their safety. For us that has included implanting all CDC disinfecting, masking and social distancing from the very beginning. This has led to major changes in roles and responsibilities of staff. Staff have taken over disinfecting in shifts all over campus. They have also delivered much of our support services and programs through zoom, hosting counseling sessions and classes virtually and meeting in-person with plexi-glass dividers only when necessary.

For meals, we’ve changed preparation and delivery to help minimize interaction of guests who live in different facilities. At times that has meant delivering meals to certain Residential Floors so we can keep smaller groups in the dining hall. We have also had to restrict guests’ travel on and off campus to only essential trips such as going to work, the doctors, shopping etc., in order to minimize unnecessary exposure.

Another change in this season has been how we do intakes. Currently, the intake process requires new guests to be tested for COVID-19. They await their test results in a separate temporary shelter we have set up, before entering Providence Emergency Shelter.

All of these changes have been made while severely limiting the number of volunteers on campus. At one point, all volunteering was completely put on hold. Now, we are running with a third of our normal volunteers.

And it’s been tiring, for both staff and guests. We have had times where many staff were working remotely due to their own health risks. Other times where staff or guests have been quarantined due to exposures. But even with all of the schedule changes, increased overtime, and cross-shift working, our team has done an amazing job persevering through all of the challenges.

What to Expect This Winter Typically we have over 200 total guests on campus, over 100 in our Residential Programs over and 100 in our Emergency Shelters. Although our Residential capacity remains about the same, we have had to reduce the available beds in Providence Shelter to ensure safe spacing overnight from about 75 to 55.

Winter always presents its own challenges, so we anticipate this year will be no different. Women in our Providence Shelter have moved over to the shelter at St. Mary’s across the street, run by the Lancaster Food Hub. During their stay there they have full access to all of our services, including showers, food and staff support. Not only does having women shift to St. Mary’s enable us to free up additional beds for men, it will help us keep the shelter populations separate and limit the risk of spread.

Thank You We have been so encouraged by the support we have received this year. Without a community coming around us and our guests, we would not be able to keep our guests safe and continue to guide them in their restoration journeys. We truly couldn’t do what we do without you.

Jack Crowley