On December 30, 2007 we hosted a community pre-New Year’s supper.
I watched as our volunteers arrived… 30 plus from two great churches. Both very different then each other. Fall River Baptist- a great established church who chose to set their own church Christmas supper aside in order to invest and serve at ours; Deep Water Church another church plant in Halifax’s Southend, who are striving to be missional. Both came to invest time, energy, resources and of course casseroles and desserts for us to host a community supper.
The idea was to put on a fun, relaxed, supper and party for many who live streetlevel in our northend community. Create a space for us to have conversations and for the community to get comfortable with what PAXnorth ‘looks like’ in our worship space- the Marquee Club. In order to do this we needed for our core team to be free from programming, planning and serving so they could just relax and interact with those who came.
Fall River Baptist and Deep Water Church were outstanding in cleaning up glass, setting up, serving, leading kids programs, security, bringing more food than we all could possibly eat, interacting with the community, and just doing anything that needed to be done!
SO what’s the results?
Here’s the beginnings of results from PAXnorth conversations (names have been removed to protect the innocent, mostly)
Yep, Sunday was so much fun! Are there plans in the works to do that kind of thing periodically? Hope so, we’d definitely be willing to help in any way with it!
The people we spoke with were really happy about the potluck; the amount, variety, and especially it being after Christmas when you don’t see that kind of thing often, made a great impression on them. Three street level friends I talked with had nice Christmases with their families. Could pray that jobs come along for them that use their skills; they seem like talented, able people.
It was cool how easily they shared their stories; the atmosphere, people, location, etc, were great – you could see God was there!! Great job!
I talked to a guy who was so full, it hurt, and so thankful. He said he knows he really needs to keep his life straight and the people from PAXnorth really help. He said he wants to keep coming to the church.
I don’t know what if any impact I had on two guys and a girl who spoke very little English but they seemed to really be enjoying the evening. We spoke about the church (PaxNorth) and I invited them to come and they said they would. I’m sorry I don’t know their names as a matter of fact I saw one of them at Brunswick Mission this morning and he saw the Dr who comes apparently every Wed. morning.
Loved the atmosphere of supper @the Marquee!
I was amazed by how long many of the people just wanted to hang around after everything was over. As I looked around I could see lots of people from PAXnorth and the other churches in little groups of people from our community, laughing, talking, and enjoying being here.
Can’t wait to read about the conversations others had at the supper.
My conversations were mostly just listening to people talk about their kids and family. I offered to pray for people and everyone seemed genuinely grateful for that offer.
I sat with a lady who thought that if she had to call me ‘DJ’ that it was only right that I referred to her as ‘EG’ for the evening:)
This lady considers herself an atheist and came only to the dinner because she thought it was just something the Marquee was hosting and had no idea it was with a “church group”. She was quite happy with the food however and seemed to be making a point to tune out any “religious talk” that happened throughout the evening. She shared with me her travels to over 20 different countries where she either worked or studied. She has 8 children to several different men, and is a proud grandmother even though she seems to have no real relationship with any of her children these days. She lives somewhere near the Marquee Club and told me she was “probably born somewhere in or near Halifax but not sure”. She was full of stories about her life and the adventures she’s had although none really seemed to connect. She seemed to come alive as she realized I was truly listening and enjoying what she had to say. God directed our conversation and she asked a few questions giving me brief opportunities to share with her a bit about Paxnorth and about His heart for the city. She was listening while trying hard to appear disinterested.
As she was walking away she came back for a few seconds to share a few pieces of advice about raising children. I can still see her huge smile as she said “Nice to meet you… and Thank you”. As I have thought about ‘EG’ and prayed for her these past few days God has impressed on my heart how deep His love for her and how He longs for her to know Him. I know He has revealed Himself to her. I know it was no ‘mistake’ that she came to a dinner by a ‘religious group’. I pray that she sees Him clearly and that He brings her back to His family whether it be ours at Paxnorth or another.
On a funny note she is apparently a rapper and composed and performed a rap about me over dinner. It was quite long and I wish I had it in writing to give you all a good laugh! What a great evening!
CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT GOD WILL DO WITH OUR FEEBLE EFFORTS!
Big thanks to everyone who particapated that night!
We have some video of the night that we will post on Facebook in the next week or so!
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