Saturday, 17 April 2010

Difficulties at street church... or ???

11 April 2010
Woke up tired today! Hubby bought a package of disks of the first season of Beverly Hillbillies for $5 at Walmart… and we sat up till 11 pm last night laughing hilariously at the antics of Jed and family … and then I was up at 5 am to make cow patty cookies for street church breakfast. (Oh come on, cookies are good for breakfast – especially ones that have whole wheat flour, oatmeal, coconut, peanut butter, milk – and chocolate, which everyone knows is very good for you! What? Sugar? Well… hey, they’re 90% healthy, right? And oatmeal is breakfast food, isn’t it? Lol…)
This past week (weeks, at least a couple), have been difficult at street church. There have been several “incidents” – guys just acting “crazy” (at least one ending up in the psych ward at the local hospital), and Pastor P reacting – kind of over-reacting, compared to what I’ve seen before. Since a number of local church pastors offered to be a “board” for him, and recommended that he turn his personal street outreach into a non-profit “society,” I think he has been under a lot of pressure.
It seems like these “church-y” board members, who really are well-meaning, and excited about “reaching out” to a part of the local population which has not been “reached” by “churches” in the past, are laying demands on him that just are not in sync with what Father has led him to do: build relationships with street people and others who are “on the edges of society,” and live the Jesus-life with them – which has resulted in many of them coming to know and walk with Jesus themselves. I think the “pastors” on the “board” are pushing for more “structure” because that is what they “know.” They want to “help” and to “be involved” but it seems they cannot picture doing things outside the “structured approach” they are familiar with.
For example, in the past, “street church” or “church in the park” has really been that. But they think it would be “more effective” if it were “a mission” which seems to mean “held indoors” – and apparently that means preferably in a “church facility.” While it is nice, in really cold winter weather, to have an indoor space available – even the “street people” appreciate that – most of the street church guys and gals feel more comfortable outside in the park when the weather improves – and it certainly “reaches out” more effectively. So as the weather has improved significantly lately, with the arrival of spring, the street church folks were eager to get back to the park, and indeed, we had “Easter street church” back in the park, much to everyone’s delight. Everyone, that is, except the “board” and a number of “church people” who were quite perturbed, and wanted it back “indoors.” The “church” who generously shared their building over the cold winter months were quite disappointed, as they are happy to be “involved” in “outreach” by sharing their building. So today we were back at “the church” although we only used the indoors for the washrooms and for making coffee… everything else was outside on the “church lawn” …
Still, even though we weren’t where we’d really like to be, this morning there was a strong sense of joy and praise and freedom, and of the Spirit of God in our midst – and a bunch of people who haven’t come for some time turned up… so maybe Father is asking us to meet other parts of His church “in the middle” so to speak… Papa???
And even though I was (initially at least, a bit) disappointed at myself, kind of, because I just didn’t seem to have opportunities to really talk about Jesus – although a couple of us sat down at the piano and enjoyed singing “Amazing Grace” together (which we couldn’t have done in the park, lol… at least not the piano part…), and I did try a couple times to “steer” conversations a bit, but it just didn’t happen (well, obviously, because it wasn’t Your plan, eh! Oops!)… I even wanted to talk to M about my Bible study idea – but it just seemed like this was not Your plan, Your time.
On the other hand, all kinds of people were talking to Pastor P (and K, and some others) about “spiritual things,” and asking for prayers… Well, Father, I just think You didn’t mean for me to “preach” this morning, but to be a friend … and we surely did have lots of natural, friendly conversation… the kind of conversation You would have with friends, eh? Thank You!
Jesus, I really want to follow You. Love You. Believe in You. Live the Jesus life.
I want to study Your words. I want to really get into the gospels and hear You and see You. (And hear and see Father too – because You are His exact image, and there’s nothing You say or do or think that is not from Father – and I want to hear Your Holy Spirit too – because He is Your Spirit, God’s Spirit. Woooo!)

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