Today, after the drop-in lunch at PNC we held a community meeting.
As I sat looking at the faces of my friends, about to open my mouth to start the meeting, my stomach did a little turn. I have anxiously been waiting for the opportunity to share some very important news. The news is this: we have given notice to our landlords at 201 Cowan Avenue and are on the move as of July 1st, though we don’t yet know where. Some mouths understandably hung open.
On flip chart paper I wrote 5 points that I hoped we would all leave remembering:
1. We will move to another location.
2. We will continue as a community.
3. We will assess what is working and what needs to change/grow.
4. We will continue our drop-in.
5. We will plan for the future.
PNC is a community that exists outside of a building. That’s just a fact. We will gather, eat, love, learn and worship in a park if we have to. The harsh reality is that we do not have the money to stay in our current space. I am actively looking for an alternate space in the neighbourhood that will allow us to continue our drop-in for free or a nominal charge. There are some real possibilities already in the works. We also plan to be highly visible through street outreach. The folks at Sketch have graciously offered me a desk in their administrative office just blocks east of our current location. This time of “Reboot” (that’s what we’re calling it) is opening up opportunity to create new partnerships, new plans and new structure.
After the initial shock of the announcement began to wear off, we proceeded to talk about what we need to do. We are going to have a Moving Team, one that helps with cleaning, packing, moving and “fueling” (that’s making this work FUN! Preparing food to share, music to pack/dance to…); a Working Group Team, one that helps facilitate the process of community discernment; and a Street Outreach Team. If you are someone who would like to be involved in some of this, please do let me know.
As we got talking, so many ideas began to percolate. The energy was good. Some suggested buildings we should look into, others offered to sell tie dye shirts and baking in order to raise money, some came up with ideas about communicating the move to the neighbourhood. Everyone said that, “together we can do this”.
After we closed the meeting, someone came over to me and expressed her elation at the invitation to be involved. While she will miss the space, she is relieved that all this change is happening at once, that in many ways this feels like a new day for PNC. My stomach did a little turn again, though this time not out of anxiety but excited hope.
We WILL continue as a community.
I know that many of you are wondering about my Mom. She remains in ICU. She is on antibiotics for pneumonia and an infection in her blood. We wait for the medication to do its work. She is steadily becoming more alert and is understandably very tired. Please keep praying…