Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
- People gather and share how they are coming (Ex. I am coming frustrated and weary; expectant, hopeful, blah).
- There is a time to centre - either music is played or there is silence
- Scripture is read, followed by silence and the same passage is read again
- People are asked how the Music and/or the Passage spoke to them (This is done in order, and passing is always an option).
- After a time of silence people are invited to share how God spoke to them through other members in the group.
- Teaching (On prayer methods, Aspects of God, Bible, etc)
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
When I tell people that I do a lot of prayer walking throughout the South End I usually get one of two responses. The first is the look of scandal and sometimes even horror. As images of soap boxes and exorcisms race through peoples' minds all they can get out is, "You do what?" I guess they would not see such things as beneficial for an outreach ministry. I tend to agree.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
People often ask me what I do on a typical day in my ministry in the South End. I’m not always sure what to say, as I have not yet had a typical day. So, I’ll describe what today was like, and then add some tidbits at the end.
My day began with Morning Prayer at 8:00 am. I have a prayer corner set up in my apartment by a window that looks over the South and Eastern sections of the South End Peninsula. I feel a strong burden to pray for the people here. My prayer focuses especially on the elementary school, the Tannery Building that is now being erected, the Vineyard and St. John’s the Baptist Church and the Retirement home. I can see them all clearly from my little prayer corner.
Following my prayer time I walked up to Stone Church to check on a few things for youth group and to touch base with the gang in the office.
At 11:30 I was at the school with dozens of hyper elementary school students to walk them to St. John the Baptist Church for the Chicken Noodle Club. This was my third Chicken Noodle Club experience. It is proving to be exhilarating. I look forward to it every week.
I then walked back to Brunswick Square to meet with a local priest to discuss the prospect of shared ministry in the South End. I find such meetings daunting at times, but confident that God’s plans are perfect, and His will will be done.
Following this, I met briefly with David to discuss my progress thus far and to consider future activities - (people to contact, ways to enter more fully into the community, etc.) I then prepared for youth group which was held from 7-9 pm. Tonight, after we caught up with the youth, Sarah Ranson and I took them to the Lower South end to pray.
On other days, such as Fridays, I usually go to Germain St. Baptist to help with the Teen Lunch Program. There are other days when I speak at various groups to spread awareness of my ministry and the needs I discover in the South End and to request prayer and other forms of support such as partnership in ministry. The rest of my time is typically spent walking and praying through the South End, preparing sermons, setting up meetings with Christian leaders and others involved in the issues affecting those in the South End and working on the Diocesan Committees I am involved with.
I hope this sheds some light on what I am doing from day to day. I would appreciate your prayers for me and for the people of the Lower South End. It is my sincere desire that together we would recognize and receive God’s wonderful love more fully.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This past Wednesday I went to help out at the Chicken Noodle Club with Donnie Snook and the team. This is something that I hope to be a part of regularly from now on. Not only are people needed for this vital ministry, but it is also a good way of getting to know some of the local people in the Lower South End.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Well, I apologize for not keeping up with my blog. A week-long break followed by a wicked sinus cold and a busy schedule has kept me away from my laptop.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I was reminded of that sermon when came upon a Celtic Cross during a walk this past week. It is located on the corner between Water St. and Prince William St. My initial thought was, how beautiful it was and how it could serve as a natural meeting point for people to come together to pray. As I went closer I read the inscription and learned that this cross is a replica of the cross located on Partridge Island that was erected in memory of the 2000 or so Irish emigrants who came to New Brunswick and died. Being of Irish descent, I was disappointed- but for a different reason altogether. Instead of being a symbol of God's perfect and unending love - this cross was just a reminder of death. Such a mark just won't cut it; neither will graffiti for that matter.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Over the past few days I have been reflecting on two very different perspectives of ministry for the South End. The first focuses entirely on social issues and it stresses the need to advocate for the oppressed against dismissive powers (i.e. businesses and governments) that are failing to meet real needs. The second perspective stresses that for a community to change it must be the result of individual transformation. Poverty and injustice are problems of the heart. According to this perspective what is needed is transforming love through relationships.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I wonder what Samuel de Champlain would say if he saw his statue in the middle of Queen Square, which just so happens to be laid out in the pattern of the Union Jack. Would an experienced explorer such as himself be surprised? Or, would his adventurous journeys cause him to accept this bizarre honour quietly? After all, what kind of exploration would it be if the destination was already determined?
I have been living in the South End of Saint John for one month now. Like any true explorer I’m not sure what my destination is exactly. (Sammy would be proud). My mandate has been to discover what is happening in the Lower South End (The area South of Duke St) in terms of justice issues and anti-poverty initiatives. My aim is to discover what needs are being met now by churches and other groups, and how the Church may participate by either supporting these initiatives or by addressing needs that have yet to be met. God-willing, by the end of 2010 I'll be able to identify the needs of the Lower South End and have a proposed vision and strategy to address this need.
So far, I have met with a number of clergy and other people and groups in the area who are working to make the South End a better place to live. It has been an eye-opening experience and a humbling one as well. In fact, I am hesitant to record my thoughts at this point as I am certain that a few months down the road I will look back at my first blogs and realize how little I knew.
So far, through various discussions, I have identified one main need. That of an emergency shelter. Such a shelter is important not only for when the temperature drops, but also for people who want to be treated at the methadone clinic. As I understand, such persons must have a residence in order to obtain treatment. The question is: how can we meet this need?
My hope is to record my thoughts and reflections weekly. I would highly value any feed back you could offer. One thing that I would like to have established by the Spring is set Prayer-Walk-Routes throughout the Lower South End. My hope is that Christians from all over the city will sign up and pray for the families, individuals, schools, businesses and churches throughout the area.
Well, these are my thoughts so far. Please keep me and all of the residents of the Lower South End in prayer. God bless you all.
- Lower South End Area Minister -