A number of friends were going to an “All You Can Eat” buffet yesterday. Some of them had skipped their previous two meals in order to get their money’s worth. I overheard two guys planning how best to stack their plates to maximize food consumption while minimizing trips to the buffet line.
This fall season is for many of us a virtual New Years. Things restart and new things are begun and we have something in common with my friends at the buffet. Our plates can get full!
Street Hope is no exception, though over the years I have learned the importance of balance. Too many won-tons or trips to the sundae bar can upset a delicate system. As our first year of work on Street Community Garden winds down we are freer to pick up new projects and plans. Below are some of the items on our Street Hope plate, this fall.
On Saturday Oct. 4th we will be hosting a banquet celebrating two years of ministry with Street Hope Saint John. The Street Hope gang will prepare a meal just like the one we serve monthly for the folks who gather at Out Flow. We will hear some testimony, a report on our finances and a report on the ministry in general. The meal is free and we will provide an opportunity to support Street Hope.
On Oct. 6th we serve our Harvest Meal at Out Flow. Rather than our usual Pasta Rustico we will be serving a stew which will include all the produce from our garden. A group from St. Martins is coming to serve a blueberry dessert from their harvest. We have been looking forward to this meal since last spring!
Some of our Street Hope friends saw the movie “Heaven is Real” this summer and urged me to show it some Friday night at our drop in. On Oct. 17th we will be doing just that. A few years ago a few of us painted a huge screen on the wall of stone Church Hall and this will give us another opportunity to put it to use. I suspect we will break out our popcorn machine as well. This is another free event. We are hoping that many of our friends and neighbours will come. Folks don’t often see newly released movies so this is a treat. As I viewed the movie myself I realized it never really addressed how one can be confident that they are going to Heaven so I plan to take an opportunity to fill in this gap.
Our chapel has been undergoing some renovation lately. Several guys with skills have been taking part in this reno. Our goal is to create a more functional space for: existing, planned, and dreamed of programs. On Oct. 7th we begin our fall version of an AA workshop. This is designed to teach or remind AA members of the spiritual nature of the program and how it was designed to work. This will be the third workshop we have put on and this has proven to be a most successful program.
Many readers will know that some months ago we decided to discontinue our Sunday evening “Up Town Church”. This was a difficult decision and even in making it we sensed that we would replace it with something again in future. On the first Sunday of each month we will be welcoming people to “Hopeful” This will be an informal interactive worship time. As the name reflects, we believe that out of a heart filled with hope should flow; praise, thanksgiving, and worship. On the third Sunday of the month we will be offering “Purposeful” which will be a class/Bible study time with an emphasis on ‘application’. We want our friends to “be doers of the word not hearers only.”
“Hopeful” begins Sunday Nov. 2nd and “Purposeful” will begin Sunday Nov. 19th. This leaves the other nights flexible for our friends to take advantage of Sunday evening programs at other venues and frees up the hall for Stone Church to use on these evenings.
At first glance this may look like the plate is too full but most new activity is replacing those activities we are letting go of. The season changes and the rhythms of our lives change as well. Please pray for us in this fresh season.