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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?"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hope

I have been somewhat encouraged lately about the church in Canada East.  I might even go so far as to say I have allowed myself to become just a little bit hopeful.  I am encouraged because a few congregations seem to be "getting it", that church is about serv-ice, and not about serve-us.  The following are a few examples that give me hope.

Brydges Street Community of Christ in London has been reaching out to their neighbourhood through regular community dinners.  These and other events are designed to bring them into dialogue with their neighbours so they can be of service to them.  They feed the hungry, both those who hunger for food and those who hunger for human contact.  They provided the school across the street with support in the form of playground resources for the children which they paid for but gave away for free.  That brought them into contact with the parent-teacher group and they partnered with them as a way to serve, again for free.  They work with other churches to provide support for needy families, and that is just the beginning.   After years of being in the area, they have now become part of the community.  The community knows they are there and the neighbourhood is paying attention. A few are even attending church, being baptized and and joining the church in joyfully doing mission.  This congregation has learned to love serving.  Praise God!

Last Sunday I spent the day with Cambridge Community of Christ in a What Matters Most workshop.  This congregation does not own a building but rents space in a neighbourhood filled with rental housing.  There are literally hundreds of families with children and seniors withing a three block radius.  Somehow the Spirit seems to have been whispering and the congregation has been paying attention.  In response, they have decided to become servants to their neighbours.  They began with a community barbeque to which twenty people came.  It was fun, and they met some new folks.  Now they are planning to cook a spaghetti dinner for their neighbours.  This congregation is on the verge of discovering the joy of service, and a hunger seems to be growing inside them to do more of it.  Halleluiah!

Hamilton Community of Christ, like many churches, has grown quite small over the past few years, but that hasn't stopped them from having some big ideas!  Those few member know that they have something of value and importance in their fellowship, something other people long for.  They have meaning in their lives!  What if their little church on Upper Sherman could become "The Meaning Place" for their community?  They are just beginning this journey, but stay tuned, folks, I think you are going to hear a lot more from this faithful, inspired, and caring little community of Jesus followers.

So yes, I am encouraged today and have even begun to have hope.  In fact, there are moments when I allow myself to feel downright excited.  These congregations have rediscovered their purpose!  When we do that, and follow the leading of the Spirit in God's generous love and grace, there is no telling what might happen. 

For more on servant ministry, you might be interested in this post called Saints Wear Aprons (not bibs) from achurchforstarvingartists.  If you want still more, you can follow the links to the original article posted on MountainWings.com.

Posted by Carman

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