Careful what you ask for, the adage goes, because you just might get it.
Everywhere the church is praying for new life. At a United Church conference last week the same fears could be heard as at any Anglican gathering. The church is ageing, the young people aren’t coming, and the writing’s on the wall. We know how to wring our hands and shake our heads. But what happens when the new life we’re looking for suddenly whooshes into the room?
That’s what’s happening around here these days. On top of such enlivening programs as Follow Your Passion, the Midtown Mosaic, and Radio Nights, we enjoyed a shot of new life last Sunday when the Soul Food band backed an interpretive Eucharist that walked us through the shape—the soulful movement—of a typical worship service. The effect was electrifying.
The Soul Food band forms the core of our Soul Food events, gatherings where music, storytelling and meditation replace worship in the traditional sense. People who are not habitual church-goers have found a place to feel a soul connection through these events, and we have benefited from this contact with the wider community.
Now the band is being invited to take its lively music on the road with invitations from two other churches. The next Soul Food event at St. Stephen’s is a Christmas show, “Soul Food for the Winter Solstice”, on December 19. The Spirit is moving, new life is crackling in our midst. Are we ready for it?