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Launched!

“Lord, we bring to you our vulnerability, our wounds, our pain, and our growth. By the power of your forgiving love, help us to become wounded healers.”

This was a prayer from the prayer time at Threshold Ministries this morning. I wasn’t sure I wanted to take part because time was ticking by and I had only 37 words written but I knew that I should and I am glad I did! The above quote expresses the heart of what we long for as Street Hope Saint John.

Last Friday was a great opportunity to share that vision of brokenness and healing. We were really blessed to have a good number of folks join us for the launch of Street Hope. There was a beautiful mix of my Up Town/Street Hope community, friends and supporters from across the face of the Church in Saint John and a goodly fellowship of clergy.

M. who is a long-time member of Up Town met everyone at the door. Her gifts for meeting people and welcoming them are astonishing! It has been a blessing to see the transformation in her life over the last few years. It is inspiring to see her at work in ministry.

John and Cynthia have been friends and supporters in so many ways and they were absolutely brilliant, in a most humble way, as they led us in worship. This diverse congregation was unified in the simplicity of worship!

S. was to give his testimony. He was so nervous beforehand that I was not sure he could go on but D. another Street Hope friend powerfully prayed for him. S. told of his addictions but most of all told of his Saviour. He told me the main point he wanted to make was that no matter what we are ‘caught up in’ God loves us and that we do not have to clean up to come to Him. S. succeeded wonderfully. The genuineness of his message rang through his nerves and God used him as a wounded healer!

Councilman Donnie Snooke brought greetings from the Mayor and Council and shared an encouraging word about the hope we can have in Christ.

I then had an opportunity to share my heart about the ministry. I find it difficult to share in 30 second conversations what it is that we propose for Street Hope so I welcomed the chance to share verbally much of the same thing I write about weekly on this blog. At one point I asked folks who self-identify with street Hope to stand and approximately 20 people stood with me! It was humbling.

The time came for the clergy to gather around me and pray. This was an inexpressible joy! Logistics limited it to just clergy and I know many of my friends would have loved to join the gathering.

We retired to the hall where there were sandwiches made by the street Hope Community as well as a cake made by my great friend Di. It was a wonderful laugh filled time. After everyone left there was a hand full of Street Hope friends who put tables away, swept, and did dishes.

If you would like to see pictures or read more about the event you might like to scoot over to www.streethope.ca

Our first venture as Street Hope is to partner with my dear friend Catherine at Stone Church and put on a weekly ‘Saturday Morning Breakfast Drop In’. Folks from our community will be doing the inviting, cooking, clean up etc. for this event.

I will be speaking in on September 30 at a “Back to Church Sunday” service. While I am very much in favour of inviting friends I must admit some qualms about the title of this venture, though I think that it deserves an appropriate message. Next week I hope to share my thoughts for this occasion.

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