PNC is still wandering. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I think about it when I need to print something on a day that I don’t have access to one of our partners who actually HAS a printer. I think about it when I’m doing street outreach and need to find a washroom (just like so many of my friends on the street always do). I think about it when all of the dreams that are brewing for our community are slowed because of a very practical problem: it is winter and we don’t have a building of our own. There are many pros to being a church without walls. In fact, I think they outnumber the cons. Though some days admittedly feel more challenging than others.
I’ve also had the opportunity to see some of PNC’s former belongings being used in a different context. They are just things: tables, some chairs, a storage cabinet, however I feel a strange sensation rise up in me when I see them. I think it is because they serve as a reminder of what we had to give away. We gave away a lot. Our only possessions now are kitchen implements, a fridge and freezer, a keyboard, some percussion instruments, songbooks and our precious stole.
The dictionary definition of a stole is, “an ecclesiastical vestment consisting of a narrow strip of material worn over the shoulders or, by deacons, over the left shoulder only, and arranged to hang down in front to the knee or below”.
PNC’s stole is hand-woven and colourful and it sits on many shoulders. It is used as a talking stick: whoever has it slung around their shoulders deserves our full attention. It also signifies that we have a shared responsibility in this community. We acknowledge there are those who have been bestowed unique leadership while at the same time that PNC is made up of many.
If PNC were to have but one possession I would say the stole should be it. When I see it I am reminded that while we are under housed, we are actually not home-less. The sense of “home” is becoming more palpable wherever and whenever we gather.
Outside or in.