Monday, December 4, 2017

A Cambridge God Adventure 19) Some earnest plodding

For those who are interested (just skip if bored!) I attempt to pick up the Cambridge story again (last considered back in October). I must emphasize how alongside eye-catching events - like opening the church at Christmas- there was much earnest plodding.  You remember the Use of Premises Committee (set up by the Church Meeting in response to the rejection of the coffee shop idea)?  Well, all the time this group was praying and working away on basic questions about our regular mission presence on the main street.  How might God be calling us to throw open the doors on Mondays to Saturdays?

You remember too that monthly church meetings expected to hear about progress!  And, true enough, this committee brought a recommendation that we improve one of the rooms in our Lower Halls to become a friendlier meeting place.  Volunteers were needed to decorate and upgrade this dingy Victorian classroom but everyone knew that this was the easier part. The committee suggested the resulting space become a welcoming centre for giving hospitality to passers-by.  Perhaps we could begin opening three mornings a week?

It was pointed out that a minimum staff of two people would be required each day and others were needed to bake cakes etc.  The committee pointed out this meant around twenty-six people to be involved on one morning each month and that it was long-term.  Would enough of us be willing and able to give hospitality? What name would we give the new venture?   We had some fun asking for suggestions for naming this initiative.  I cannot remember now any of the ideas except the one that a later church meeting agreed - the Manna House.  Nourishment in the desert!

I titled this 'some earnest plodding' because when all this took off - and gloriously it did! - it represented a much longer term commitment to serve the city. Passers-by really valued our service. From Autumn onwards the Manna House formed a vital element of our weekly mission.

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