Today I gathered a group of a Hamilton leaders for a working lunch where we discussed where we saw God at work in the city. It’s the first of a series of lunches we are calling “the view from here”. Each person got five minutes to share their perspective, after which the rest of us could ask questions.
As we munched on Indian Dahl and naan bread, several themes began to emerge. Here are some highlights.
– the key role of coffee shops as third spaces in the city, where relational connections amongst the body, and beyond the body, could occur. Freeway Cafe, Mulberry, Homegrown, the emergence of 541.
– people feeling the call of God to move to the city.
– a recognizance of the foundation laid by present and active collaborations, which makes it a fertile ground for new ministries and church plants to establish. A hospitable and supportive atmosphere.
– an increased practice of mission and prayer fused together.
– Christians actively involved in Neighbourhood hubs, being agents of shalom in their neighbourhoods.
– a proliferation of intentional community houses, and intentionality in community in tight knit neighbourhood groupings.
– a strong cohort of 20-30 something’s actively engaging in bringing shalom to the city, both Christian and not yet believers.
– greater awareness, prayer, and now increasingly collaborative action around the issues of trafficking and street level prostitution.
– a greater openness and hunger for different streams of the church to flow into one another and learn from one another.
– the appointment of Pope Francis bringing hope, life and vitality to the Catholic Church, and bringing hope and inspiration to Protestants.
There was lots more as well. It was so encouraging to get the view from different perspectives! We’re going to do it again in January with another cohort, and maybe Middle eastern food this time….