What a week we’ve had at Dunbar Ryerson.
Last Sunday we blessed and thanked the heritage Dunbar building. We offered our gratitude for the way it held and shaped us over the generations. Some tears were shed, and at the same time hopes for the future lifted our spirits.
Monday night the City held an Open House at Dunbar Ryerson for the community to see what our redevelopment proposal looks like, to ask questions and express opinions. If you didn’t get a chance to come please fill out a comment form that will be in the lobby on Sunday, or go on the City website and fill it out there. There was a record turn out – some 450 people attended. There were concerns expressed AND many enthusiastic and supportive comments. It was a good night. THANK YOU to the people who brought cookies and set up and served.
On Tuesday people of all ages enjoyed Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday pancakes, made brilliant masks, and then gathered for spiritual practices in the sanctuary. I sat by the sculpture station and closed my eyes and let the brilliant mix of hushed children’s voices and the poignant sound of Paul Westwick on the cello sink into my bones. It was a thin space, a blessed moment.
Wednesday saw the first Open House in the Dunbar Ryerson sanctuary. The Pneuma Voices and Richard Bott led us in worship and marking Ash Wednesday. Another sublime evening.
Today we moved from the mystical to the muscles – boxes and rugs and communion dishes and books, books, books were moved from the 24th site to our 45th site. Cathy and Richard are getting set up in their new offices, and Judy and Sheila are settling in to theirs. In the midst of all this upheaval grace has abounded, food has been plenty and a new congregational home is taking shape. Hallelujah and THANK YOU to all the labourers. Countless hours have been volunteered to fit two prior congregations into one building – it’s been nothing short of miraculous.
And now, here comes Sunday again. This Sunday is the first day of Lent. A season of reflecting on God’s gift to us in Jesus, and on our openness and availability to live in the Way of Christ. Some of the children and others at worship on Wednesday had suggestions for practices they might take up – make a new friend every day, have meals together, have a gracious and generous heart. As for me – I’m letting go of obsessing over every article about American politics. I’m going to ask that into that time that is freed up, God fills my heart with the capacity to be both attentive, resistant AND with a peaceful heart and a confidence in God’s solidarity. Pray for me please.
What about you? What daily activities fill up your mind and time and maybe make it a tight squeeze for the Spirit to get in? What practices do you have that keep you open to God’s will and Christ’s Way? May this be a season for you to take some deep breaths, sit quietly, and be acutely aware that you are beloved children of God, in the midst of it all.