CONVERSATION

A Call to Prayer and Fasting

Join us in taking time to pray and fast as we seek God’s will and direction for One88. On Friday, November 3 there is a meeting at Eastview in which the church will decide whether or not to sell the building at 188 Princess St. We want to be faithful in following God’s leading, knowing that he has started building a church community at One88.

Below are some points to pray through as you spend time with God. Fasting creates space in our days for God to speak into and work in our lives. At the end of this article, there are some guidelines for fasting. Feel free to pray and fast as you feel led throughout the next while. Join us in fasting on Friday as we come to the meeting.

POINTS TO PRAY AND THINK ABOUT IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS & WEEKS

1. Jesus has a heart for the poor, disenfranchised, marginalized. That is where he spent his time.

Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Scripture tells us that there is an intrinsic connection between worship of God and care for the poor (Deut 26.10-19). In fact, Scripture says when we encounter God when we encounter the poor/marginalized (Matt 25.31-46). As part of Jesus’ body (church), we need to reflect that heart; the church reflects the nature of God in the world.

2. Jesus’ prayer is that the church be one, be unified (John 17)

For sake of church’s witness in the world important that there is willingness to work through this difficult time with grace and integrity, even in midst of disagreement.

3. Eastview (our mother church) has to deal with a deficit

The church has been running a deficit for a number of years. The recommendation from Eastview leadership is to sell property at 188 Princess and re-evaluate what ministry looks like as a way of dealing with that deficit.

4. One88 represents a real community of people who are seeking after Jesus together, that is, a church.

While the immediate issue may be “bricks and mortar,” One88 is a community of people. It’s a church. Real needs are being met and its loss represents a gap in this community. Our desire is first and foremost the wellbeing of this community.

5. The potential for what One88 can still become is great.

As community grows and takes shape, it is positioned to have profound impact – both socially and spiritually. It is in the coming together of these social and spiritual realities that people begin to discover transformation.

a. Socially positioned to help find solutions to issues that plague downtowns. One88 takes a holistic approach: not just food/water, not just housing, not just ‘preaching’ but working with the whole of a person. The social network around us is starting to recognize that.

b. Spiritually positioned in the sense that churches realize charity only goes so far. Charity It is friendship that helps change live—on both sides of the friendship. We are looking at opportunities to work together with a variety of others in order to make impact. There are others looking in to support and be part of the work taking place here. Eastview gave birth to One88 but over 5 years, it has become larger than just Eastview.

GUIDELINES FOR FASTING

  • Consider fasting for 24 hours. If you have never fasted, consider a juice fast (only fruit juices) or fasting from supper to supper. You can also fast from snacks and use that time for prayer instead. Don’t let the idea be intimidating.
  • Only fast more than 24 hours if you are familiar with this discipline.
  • In fasting, you are creating space that you normally use to satisfy bodily needs to talk with and listen to God. In doing so, you let go of personal desires and seek after God’s will. Scripture is a good way to listen to God as is spending time in focused prayer. Use the Scripture passages listed above to guide your reading. The book of Ephesians can be added to your reading as well.

One88er’s share thoughts on church

In a day when people ask “Why church?,” people from the One88 community share their thoughts on why the church community is an important part of their spiritual journey.

Creating Safe Space (Stories from One88)

Many people come through the door at One 88 and you can see they are comfortable here. You can see it in their body language, the way they remove their packs, and the way they relax. They tell us with their smile and by their gratitude for a quick chat or light lunch. Not everyone can articulate what having this safe haven means to them, but this was not true for J. As she shared her story of abuse at the hands of her ex-husband and how she had to flee from where she lived and come to a place where she knew no one, tears welled up in her eyes. She was so thankful to Dave and Greg for being at One 88 and allowing people to come and just be. She asked me to make sure my church (Eastview) knew how important this place was. “If you’ve never been on the streets, it’s hard to understand how important a place like this is,” she said, “believe me this place saves lives.”

Its not about Us and Them (Stories from One88)

I thought for a long time this morning to come up with a story that told of someone in the 188 community whose life had been changed by the work being done there. The only person that really stands out for me is me.

The weeks we spent on talking about community and what that looks like were significant for me. I personally have never felt safe in community. There were many discussions on respect and non-judgement. I feel that 188 has become a place where people are not afraid to discuss their questions about God and their beliefs. The conversations never fail to be insightful. I never walk away without having something to think about in my own life. I often walk away thinking that the 188 community understands life a lot better than I do.

Recently we talked about how members of the 188 community are better able to give away possessions than many others of us from Eastview are. That they do not have the same attachment to things. It challenges me to think about that in my own life. There was a young man at 188 who had made a decision to give away all his things and try living on the street. I have thought of that often. How will I know if I have faith that God will provide for me if I have always had all the earthly possessions that I need. How does a person learn what is really important to have unless they have to start from nothing. How much energy do I spend just to protect the things I own.

For me it has not been about how much I can help the 188 community, it has been about how much the 188 community challenges me to learn and grow. It is not always pretty, and it can be uncomfortable at times, but somehow it feels like real life to me.

(submitted by Janine)

View from a Ladder (Stories from One88)

I was at the top of a step ladder in the hallway off of the main floor drop in area at One88 repairing a fluorescent light fixture recently when I witnessed something incredible. A young woman, one of the regulars at One88, walked passed my ladder totally engrossed in an intense telephone conversation. From what I could tell she was trying to have a heart to heart discussion with someone who wasn’t in a very good place. She was telling the individual that they needed to get clean, that carrying on with their current lifestyle wasn’t safe. The person must have asked where she was because she said that she was at One88. She was then likely asked what One88 was because she next responded that it was ‘ sorta like a church, Dave and Greg the pastors here saved my life, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be clean or alive right now’. At this point I was no longer working and was totally engrossed in her passionate appeal to this individual to come to One88 to get help. I had gathered that the friend she was talking to was a guy and that she had likely woken him up because she acknowledged that he was tired, that he wanted to go back to sleep and didn’t want to talk anymore. She agreed that he needed some more sleep but then she told him she was calling him back at 11:30 to continue the discussion! After she ended the call she finally noticed I was there; I told her I thought she was being a very good friend and she replied that her friend really need to come ‘here’ to get help.

The next thing I did was go to Greg and Dave and tell them what I had just witnessed and to let them know they are making a real difference in people’s lives. My ‘take away’ from this encounter is that I need to have just as much faith as that young woman that God can change lives through our ministry at One88. (submitted by Ron)

God wants the best for ALL of you…the church should want that too.

Sit in any church on any given Sunday and at numerous times throughout the service, you are asked to look at something in your bulletin/program or sing songs off the overhead screen or grab a Bible from the pew and turn to a particular passage. But what if you can’t read? What do you do then?

We often talk about God being interested in the whole person – not simply a person’s heart. God cares about what you fill your mind with, how you treat your body, and what you let your eyes focus on, etc. At One88, we try to take that seriously and so we spend time worshiping God with our body, heart, and mind but we also try to take care of how he has made us. One of the ways we do that is by encouraging people to learn to read, write, and generally move forward in their education. Many of us take for granted that we can fill out a form without too much problem, never mind read it. Or that we have the technological resources to type up and print out a resume. We see that God values the whole of a person and we think we should to.

This value of holistic ministry led us to start up a Wednesday evening study/mentor evening. Below is an article that our partner – the Canadian MB Conference – put together.  Come check it out Wednesdays at One88.

Follow this link: http://www.mennonitebrethren.ca/news/learning-and-growing-together-at-one88-in-winnipeg/

Responding to Tragedy with Ungrace

If you have been watching, following, listening to news media over the last couple days you will have heard of the tragedy in the life of the Rick Warren family. At first blush we might think that regardless of what you might think of Rick Warren, this is very sad and you would want to wish God’s grace on the family in this time. Unfortunately, there are those who do not think that way. The energy that Christians waste attacking each other is a tragedy in deed. Below is an article posted on Frank Viola’s blog. It makes me sad…

 

http://frankviola.org/2013/04/08/rickwarrentragedy/