- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

LYME, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire church pastor is camping outside in the cold this week to draw attention to homelessness and hunger.

Stephen Gehlert has put a small tent on the lawn of the Lyme Congregational Church.

The 64-year-old Gehlert, an experienced winter camper who had sleeping pads and two sleeping bags rated for 20 degrees, told the congregation of his plan Sunday.

On Wednesday, he returned to the parsonage down the road for a shower and warm breakfast after waking up.

“For other people, that’s not a sure thing,” he said. “It’s hopefully raising awareness and getting people thinking about those with no place to go.”

He tells the Valley News (https://bit.ly/1eEiGw4) he intentionally timed the project to start on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. He said King’s message was about creating a society where the less fortunate were treated with dignity and respect.

In conjunction with Gehlert’s project, Laura Perez, volunteer coordinator with the Upper Valley Haven, was invited to speak before the congregation last Sunday to share volunteer opportunities. The Haven, in White River Junction, Vt., runs two shelters, a food pantry, clothes closet, children’s programs and is working to open a warming shelter.


Information from: Lebanon Valley News, https://www.vnews.com

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