The Season of Miracles
The citizens of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania lead a happy fulfilling life each and every day. Each day, they thank God for their many blessings. However, Bethlehem was not always this way.
Ask anybody in town, who has lived there for more than twelve years, and they will tell you that their town began changing into the wonderful town it is today, in December, 1996. To this day, the people of Bethlehem refer to the Christmas season as the ‘Season of Miracles’.
To understand the story completely, you have to go back to 1995. That was the year that Bethlehem Steel Foundry closed its door after one hundred forty five years of operation.
The plant closing left many people out of work, and because jobs were scarce, many people lost their homes as well.
Over the next year and a half, the homeless population of Bethlehem increased tremendously. Most of the women and children found shelters to live in, but the men, especially the single ones lived on the streets, under bridges; anywhere they could find shelter.
In November of 1996, Clergy from all thirty churches in Bethlehem gathered, to discuss not only the growing homeless population, but also the lack of compassion from the city’s residents towards the homeless and towards each other.
The pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Pastor Rudolph King, suggested a rather extreme solution to their problem. At first, not many of the other clergy were enthusiastic about the plan.
Then, Reverend Father Joseph Snow from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church agreed with Pastor King’s plan, because the situation was getting worse every day.
Finally, when Father John Frost from St. Joseph Catholic Church threw in his support, the rest of the clergy agreed with the plan.