Ordination in a Laundromat

by | May 4, 2014 | Poverty: Analysis and Responses, Vincentian Family | 3 comments

laundry-loveReaching  out to the periphery – On April 28, Los Angeles-based deacon Scott Claassen received his ordination in the least likely place: A laundromat.

“Most of the ordinations I’ve been to have been in large cathedrals,” Claassen told  The Huffington Post. But his own was very different. Claassen serves in a street-focused Episcopalian community in Los Angeles called Thad’s, which refers to the often-forgotten disciple Thaddeus, Claassen said. He described the community as “not your grandmother’s Episcopal church,” which is not to say the church is radical, he said, but that it is “not what you’d expect from an Episcopal church… We prioritize seeking to make a love-spreading difference while living in authentic community with one another.”   In the spirit of community, Claassen chose to hold his ordination service at a local laundromat where Thad’s hosts monthly ‘Laundry Love’ events. ‘Laundry Love’ is a program in which homeless people or anyone in need may drop by to do their laundry for free — with quarters, soap and machines provided. “It’s laundry with an emphasis on love,” Claassen told HuffPost, reiterating the program’s motto. “People are opened up [at Laundry Love] in a way they often aren’t in religious settings or in their daily lives,” Claassen told HuffPost. “My ambitions as a deacon are to represent and inform people about God’s love for them, to serve those in need, to develop and serve the church, and to authentically engage life in each moment.” Full story and picturesShowing some love laundry style Other examples of Laundry ministry



  1. Eileen Streight

    Laundry love…what a great story and

    • John Freund, CM

      Struck me as capturing something of Pope Francis going to the periphery and St. Vincent about being creative unto infinity.

  2. Charlotte

    What a great story! I’m blown away that you linked to my Laundry Love post. Thank you. And wow, the pictures of this ordination on the HuffPost article brought tears to my eyes. I love it!

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