I write to address concerns raised in a letter to the editor regarding the warming center being supported by the city of Lewiston at Calvary United Methodist Church, 59 Sabattus St. (Mark Wood, “Clarification needed on county expenditures for unhoused,” Jan. 21).

First, some general information about the City Mission Program at Calvary UMC.

Seeing a need for improved nutrition among neighborhood children and families, Calvary has operated a continuous, part-time feeding program for the last 20 years, administered by church and community volunteers, funded by the church.

In recent years Calvary has received “missional church” status from the United Methodist Conference of New England, which enables us to continue operating the City Mission Program. By unanimous vote, county commissioners allocated federal emergency funds for a city-run warming center, which operates from midnight to 8 a.m., seven nights a week, through March 31.

The city accepted Calvary’s offer of building space for its warming center, and the church in no way benefits from direct monies or services included in the county’s allocation.

Funding for the center will be administered by Community Concepts, and separate staffing, food and laundry services by the Immigrant Resource Center.

I hope this information will help dispel any notions of a “blurring” of the First Amendment tenet of separation of church and state.

 Nancy Craig, Lewiston, Calvary UMC City Mission coordinator

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