Dr. Suess

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

Ah, Dr. Suess.

I thought about this quote when someone walked into the drop-in today and said, “is it true? Are we really leaving the building?”

To which I replied, “yes, it’s true. Please hear though, we are not CLOSING, we are MOVING.”

“To where?”

“We don’t know yet. We’ll move to the park if we have to though”.

“You’re determined aren’t you?”

“You bet. Let’s be determined together”.

“This is so crazy, it might just work”.

Yes, my friend- I think it will.

On the Move

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.

Post Script:

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…

Right Now

Right now:

I am a muddle of thoughts.

I am trying to not be worried about my Mom and admittedly not doing a very good job. Yesterday was a harder day for her. She remains in ICU. We covet your prayers and healing thoughts.

I am considering everything that needs to be done at PNC. It is a challenge to prioritize tasks when everything is important…we need the door, but the door can’t be hung without hinges, and the hinges need to be screwed into the wall and the wall needs to be repaired..whew!

I am thinking about Cate’s big Ice Show. Tonight and twice tomorrow she will don her figure skates and green outfit (her number is called “Seaweed”). I know one of the things she is most looking forward to is the Grand Finale, when all the skaters roam the ice and hope to have flowers tossed to them. Dion and I will have a bouquet in hand.

I am grateful for the way my almost four-year old nephew Oliver prayed for his Gran last night: “thank you and make Gran feel better. Thank you and give her medicine”.

I am continuously pondering what it means to be thankful in all things. And at the same time be willing to talk about what’s not right in the world and to seek after justice in a humble, merciful way.

I am preparing for a Community “Town Hall” Meeting at PNC on Monday after our lunch (if you are reading this know that you are welcome to join us! Lunch is at 1, the meeting will start shortly thereafter).  We are going to talk about the changes that PNC is facing and brainstorm together about our future. I am excited about the ideas that are brewing and being batted about already.

I am listening to Mumford and Sons and loving this lyric:

And there will come a time,
you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart,
but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see
what you find there,
With grace in your heart
and flowers in your hair.

I am recalling listening to Joni (pronounced John-ee) Eareckson-Tada speak at a conference years ago. Joni is a woman who, at a young age, dove into shallow water and broke her neck. She has lived in a wheelchair ever since. I have always been struck by the glow she has about her as she talks about her life, her faith and her hope. In fact, she reminds me of my Mom.

I am doing my best to lose the muddiness in my head and again choose to be in the moment.

Right now.