Six months ago we moved with our 3 year old son into a 96 unit apartment building in the inner city of Saint John. We’d been living in the rural outskirts of the city for 6 years but in the last year had felt an urgent call to move and change our lives completely.
If we had to pick a beginning point for this decision, it would be in our Seminaries’ mustard yellow hallways where we met. There were many influential people and places during those years in Toronto and they all seemed to flow from our connection to Wycliffe College. The result was that we ended up seeing the city differently and a spark of what true Christian Community could look like. Our thinking and reading on topics of poverty, abundance and community justice were brought to life at Sanctuary Ministries in Toronto. After a busy week of classes and early Sunday morning placements, we would often go to the Sunday evening gatherings where we would sit in a circle of 30 or 40 people. With the band on one side and a big wooden cross on the other, this was a place of freedom. We enjoyed worshiping and sharing life with people from all different backgrounds, living conditions and life experiences. We were bonded together in the sharing of bread and wine (or juice) and we learned the value of accepting and being accepted.
We’ve always longed to share what we had at Sanctuary with the communities we’ve belonged to in New Brunswick.We’ve longed for the Church to enact the Gospel beyond its four walls. We’ve longed to live among our neighbours, laughing and crying with them as we try to work out the rhythms of our lives. Since we’ve moved, we go out each day praying that we would have eyes to see and ears to hear where God is already at work. We’ve been amazed at the connections that have come together as we meet with community groups and organizations and as we get to know the people who line our streets and our lives. So at this new beginning, through God’s abundance, we’re seeing glimpses of our longings being realized. Urban dreams unfolding. We don’t know where this will lead us, but as you are bound to find in the city, there are many signs along the way.