Local clergy volunteers celebrate World Habitat Day

Special to The Dorchester Banner/Nancy Andrew Clergy Build volunteers in Cambridge worked on the house at 501 Edgewood Ave., also known as the Dorchester County Ecumenical Build home. From left: Pastor Cesar Gonzeles, Pastor Steve Trice, Wayne Towers, Rev. Keith Cornish, John Burtman, Rev. Mary Farnell, Tom Wilson, Rev. Lucille Nichols and Rhodana Fields.

TRAPPE – In celebration of World Habitat Day, clergy from Dorchester and Talbot Counties spent a recent morning with Habitat Choptank volunteering their time and goodwill. Clergy leaders along with Habitat staff, Board members and volunteer construction crew chiefs worked on Habitat projects in Cambridge and Easton.

World Habitat Day is designated annually by the United Nations to call attention to the current global state of the human habitat and push toward adequate housing for all. As a day for grassroots action, people are united around the globe in their efforts to eradicate poverty housing.

The clergy work team in Cambridge installed kitchen cabinets and painted in the single family home being construction at 501 Edgewood Ave. in Cambridge. On Port Street in Easton where Habitat Choptank is building its second multi-family development, the volunteers framed interior walls for the two-home duplex.

At noon, the work teams joined together in Trappe over a hot lunch provided by Scott’s United Methodist Church in their fellowship hall. The day concluded with an interfaith service celebrating God’s call to service through the Habitat mission and ministry.

“Everyone can use the hammer as an instrument of God’s love,” explains Nancy Andrew, Habitat Choptank’s executive director. Habitat International’s late founder, Millard Fuller, called this the theology of the hammer. “Habitat provides a place for people of all faith to join together in common action to address the local need for affordable housing in partnership with those who need it.”

Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 64 households to date and currently has four homes in progress. Each future homebuyer is offered a “hand up” out of poverty housing. After completing “sweat equity” hours and pre-homeownership classes, these families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume responsibility for repaying an affordable mortgage.

To learn more about Habitat, to volunteer or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

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Special to The Dorchester Banner/Nancy Andrew Clergy volunteering at the Port Street build pause with Habitat volunteers and staff before raising an interior wall. From left: Pastor Eric Olson, Rev. Kevin Kinsey, Dick Weaver, Pastor Duke Dixon, Kim Cassady, Gordon Fronk, Rev. Kevin Cross, Steve Thomas and Mike Hiner.


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