As we move closer to the official launch of Street Hope I have lots of opportunities to explain to people our vision. It would be simple to explain if it were a project rather than a community we were attempting. I almost always say “It is messy.” As I was trying to reduce the vision in a ‘business plan’ (you need these apparently) I realized that what we wanted to do was more of what we are (I told you it was messy). At Up Town we say “We are an honest accepting community of broken people who are: experiencing the Father’s love, finding wholeness in Jesus, and performing acts of kindness in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Street Hope Saint John will simply be a vehicle for going deeper and broader with this vision. I think we may add “and sobriety” after wholeness and maybe alter the last phrase to “partnering with others in the mission of God in the power of the Holy Spirit”
Our hope is to see our amazing little community grower deeper but also to grow broader spreading elsewhere. I remember, that as we were starting Up Town, someone suggested that it might grow like a strawberry plant, with runners shooting out and growing a new plant. I think this offhand remark is prophetic. Street Hope is the vehicle as a community of ‘the broken’ is fostered.
I was reading Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s latest book “Awakening Hope and came to this quote; “Far from utopia these messy gatherings of broken people inspire hope not because they are perfect, but because they point to the possibility that another way is possible.” ‘A messy community as a sign that another way is conceivable’, that describes our vision! The new way includes a new way of thinking and living that is different from our past ways but equally different from the ways of thinking and living in the World.
We are headed off to Deer Island this afternoon. There is a sense of anticipation about this that we have not had before (as great as past trips have been). We are expecting great things as we gather and live in community for the weekend. We will be having two baptisms in the chilly (a lesser man would say cold) Bay of Fundy and we are celebrating the Incarnation with ‘Christmas in August’. I have had less to do with the: fund raising, and the groceries and menu planning than ever before. The sense of ownership is shared and with this buy in there is a greater anticipation.
I look forward to reporting to you about our weekend next Friday. After Deer Island is always the easiest blog to write, of the year.