Monday, October 18, 2010

Change Brewing in the Church Basement

Mustard Seeds tend to germinate very well in Church Basements.  As an animator, the Church basement or Church hall is my element.  I love everything about them, even the occasional smell.

Last Friday I was in a church basement that actually smelled amazing.  The RYVM at St. Patrick's Parish on McCaul St. in Toronto hosted "Brewing For Change", a social justice coffeehouse.  This photo is a shot of the doorway down.  The place was filled with the aroma of espresso and cheesecake provided by Fr. Santo Arrigo and his team (many thanks for your wonderful ministry!).  My opening gambit, "Would you ever take a big bite out of a raw onion?" caught people's attention (now you are wondering too right?) and the presentation on D&P was well received, including our water campaign cartoon.  I had several good conversations with interested folks and gave a prayer to the Holy Spirit afterward as a few more seeds were sown.

Of course, my presentation paled in comparison with the performances of my son, Jacob 7, and daughter Amy 5, who came with me.  They whistled and hummed renditions of K'naan's "when I get older" to the delight of those gathered.  It was a bit of a late night for them although I told myself, "it's Friday." Plus, they both walked away with treasures from the Good Shepherd Sisters Sharing Fair, who had a table at the event.  Jacob is now sporting his tri-colour rosary to school each day.

Why are Church Basements so precious? Because they are spaces the Church has seen fit to create where we can strengthen the bonds we share in the Eucharist and give others a glimpse into the life of the beloved community.  There are no glitzy marketing schemes here.  Everything instead is simple: simple kitchens to feed people, simple tables to gather around and simple words and music to rejoice.