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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Presence

From time to time in this blog, we like to share the good word about what is happening in our various congregations. This week I had a lovely telephone visit with Kathy DeCaluwe who is a Seventy and the pastor/planter of the Healing Water congregation in London, Ontario. In that conversation, we discussed many things, all of which were good, but the one I want to share with you today is about a sending/serving ministry this congregation has undertaken.

Previously, Kathy had sent me some information on a different matter which referred in passing to how the congregation had gotten started at “the coffee shop” or “coffee house”. That reference stuck in my mind, so during our telephone conversation, I asked her what that was about. It turns out that one evening each week, people from Healing Water congregation go to the local homeless shelter and spend time with those who gather there. They play cards with those who come, and are available to offer a listening ear if people want to talk. Sometimes they are able to share a prayer with the folks they meet. Sometimes they pray silently.

This is, of course, not a big deal, and not the only ministry the congregation undertakes. It is simply a small congregation being the presence of Jesus to some of God’s beloved and most vulnerable people. These folks leave their nice warm homes on a bitterly cold night to go downtown to share the warmth of a smile from a friendly face with people who know the cold of the city all too well. In doing so, they partner with others who do the same, and they are blessed. It is not a big deal, but I find it very moving. I am always grateful when a congregation understands that its mission is to the community where it is planted.

Healing Water is, of course, not the only congregation that is involved in serving the community. While there are many ways to do so, reaching out to serve others together is simply part of what a healthy congregation does. If more congregations did the same, I suspect that many people who have stopped attending and become "post-congregational" would find their ministry relevant and would be willing to participate.

Whether or not you are in a congregation, you may also be part of a sending/serving ministry where you are. If so, would you be willing to share your stories here? We would all be blessed by this “good word.”

Posted by Carman

3 comments:

  1. Many of our congregation travel several miles to worship with us but all of our members who live in the city are actively engaged in our outreach program which offers free meals and emergency accomodation to the poor.

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  2. Thank you Anonymous. Which congregation are you part of?

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  3. Carmen, I am from the Niagara Falls congregation. I would not be anonymous if I knew how to post a comment otherwise. I know Marion explained it to Carole but I didn't get it.

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