D.C. church helps homeless couple marry but forgets the threshold

Posted: May 26, 2009 in Denominational Fun, OMG!, On Your Wall, The Obvious Files
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Everything is on the rise in this tumultuous economy – energy, food, clothes and school.

Even if a couple wants to tie the knot, they have to visit the local Justice of the Peace to make public (and legal) their vows of love, and also to save some major cheddar.

In the words of that sage, Danny DeVito, “Everyone needs money; that’s why they call it money.”

You priced out a wedding lately? The facilities, the officiant, the frilly decorations, the bad hotel food and the Valium you get upon the bill being printed.

That knowledge helps me relish this story, when despite the ills of life, true love has a place… if only Grace Episcopal Church in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood felt the same.

Living under the bridge over troubled water??

Living under the bridge over troubled water??

Meet the betrothed couple in question: Dante White & Nhiahni Chestnut – both in love, with each other, out of work and without a home. BUT, they got married.

“I was basically living from day to day, trying to survive, and I wound up meeting him,” Chestnut told AFP at the couple’s wedding, held in the tiny chapel of Grace Episcopal Church in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood.

Sweet, right? Hold that thought.

At a recent Bible study at the aformentioned church, White mentioned in passing the joy of being married, if only he had the cash.

“In good Grace church congregation fashion, everyone got behind the idea: one person managed flowers, I helped with the wedding rings, one woman made the cake, someone helped with the tux and someone else with the bride’s gown,” she [some chic who goes to the church] said.

So, sweet now? Not so much.

The church paid for the wedding, rented the threads, made the cake and even sent them on a honeymoon. Only one thing… THEY ARE STILL HOMELESS.

How about thinking ahead Grace Church? Let’s keep it classy.

Maybe a trip to Tahiti can wait for… oh, I don’t know… an efficiency apartment in the friggin’ city! Are you kidding me? No one considered these two that way?

Kinda thins the blood of the pulse of this ministry, eh?

Sure, “love will keep us together” but the streets will rip any couple apart. Simply unconsicousable. But if I may wax eloquent:

Who, being loved, is poor? ~ Oscar Wilde

My vote (and soon coming prayers) would be for this couple. Sigh.

  1. NazPas says:

    Thank you for the Blog!

    I pastor a church for the homeless and I’ve been asked by a couple if I could marry them. I’ve been agonizing over making a decision and what would be best for the couple. Your article and following discussions helped point me in a direction of what to do.

    Thanks again! It was a great help!!

    Please keep it in prayer.

    • It would be good to support them in other ways if it is possible. This will help them in their start. My husband and I met while we were homeless. Love is possible. and necessary. We should celebrate it.

  2. […] homeless couple marry but forgets the threshold by Joel Watts under Religious News Read the Wall: D.C. church helps homeless couple marry but forgets the threshold That knowledge helps me relish this story, when despite the ills of life, true love has a […]

  3. David says:

    I wish people could have dug a little deeper or maybe even contacted the church for more than just the initial story. I was present at the wedding. I was the photographer who shot the ceremony and the reception. I also ended up giving my tithe to the housing fund I knew they were putting together and found out that after the honeymoon . . . which was only a few nights stay at a nice hotel in DC they have been put up by the church in another hotel since then while they work the details out on an apartment closeby, which is in the works as i type this. This church has been trying to help this couple from the start, instead of criticizing, maybe a few of you could lend a hand in some way or keep all of them in your prayers. What are each of you doing about homelessness in your communities? just something to keep in mind.

    • hiscrivener says:

      Personally, I was homeless… so needless to say, I’m doing my feeble part. And as for digging, David, when you are reading this from the cheap seats, often a media story is all you have to go on. I appreciate your work for the Gospel and for stopping by on the Wall. Peace.

  4. […] 2009 May 27 tags: God, homelessness, poverty, religion by Polycarp Read the Wall: D.C. church helps homeless couple marry but forgets the threshold That knowledge helps me relish this story, when despite the ills of life, true love has a […]

  5. Aderevit says:

    Спасибо, пост действительно толково написан и по делу, есть что почерпнуть.

  6. Ann Brock says:

    In the news the church is working on getting housing for the couple.

    • hiscrivener says:

      @JJ (Hey, girl) No doubt being “urged” by the flack back the church is getting in the media because of their selfish, mental flub.

      @BWBTT (Really enjoy your work over there) I couldn’t agree more. Oftimes, church folk are so concerned with doing the visible (as in alms before men), they forget the tangible (as in setting this couple up for success in the future… and in this flippin’ economy).

  7. wickle says:

    There was some show I saw once in which a relatively-wealthy man drafted into the Korean war gave a box of very fancy chocolate bars to an orphanage. Later, he found a GI eating one of them.

    Irate, he demanded to know where the GI had gotten them, then went and confronted the priest who ran the orphanage …

    The priest thanked the man, but then said, “I could give each of the kids one bar of chocolate and they’d be happy for an hour. Or I could sell them on the black market and buy enough cabbage and rice for a month.”

    M*A*S*H, maybe? Anyway … That story seems to come to mind.

  8. Vaughn says:

    What? are you kidding me? Apartments before honeymoon? Get a grip those skreets are the bomb.

    Alright, I know I’m transparent, I agree with you 100%, all of those wedding planners, without a thought unto the most urgent priority?

    One of those things that make you say Hmmmmmmmmm

  9. Hi there!

    I read about this homeless couple and the church should be EMBARRASSED… they actually put up all of that money to have a party for these couple knowing that these people didn’t have a place to call their own?

    Meanwhile, the congregation went to THEIR OWN homes?

    They were sooo concerned about the couple being married that NO ONE offered to let them live in their own home?

    This story is disturbing on sooo many levels….

    • Naz says:

      This is kinda confusing. The story is about d.c. church, but the picture shown is a church from Waco, Texas. I don’t believe it’s ethical to be posting random pictures, because it may reflect badly on others. The couple in the picture did get married and an offering was taken up for their wedding gift from the church. And they do have a place of their own. They have been homeless before, but was provided help and are no longer homeless prior to this picture being taken. Whoever writing this story might want to post a picture of the d.c. church, so as not to mislead anyone. Are we reading facts or story here?

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