In his song “It’s A Jungle Out There” Randy Newman sings “I might be wrong … but I don’t think so.” I have been thinking a lot about this because I have had an uneasy relationship with the denomination I have been raised and nurtured in for many years. That ‘unease’ has grown over the years until very recently my wife and I decided we no longer could comfortably remain. I have unwavering respect for those who feel differently. People of good will can disagree. We have decided to leave the denomination that we have long belonged to and have begun attending a Baptist church in our neighbourhood. We were drawn to this church because it is deeply embedded in our neighbourhood and has a history of reaching out in love with the clear Gospel of Jesus.
I was tempted to begin this announcement with the words “it is with a heavy heart…” but as I saw these words displayed I realised that they were not true. I rather have a sense of relief after years of agonising over differences we had with our former denomination.
I say all this to announce that in the coming weeks Linda and I look forward to being baptized. One of our several areas of tension with the Anglican Church has been around ‘believers’ baptism’. Again, I have no quarrel with those who believe otherwise, but we believe this is important.
Our various ministries will be unaffected by this decision. They are though, deeply affected by the pandemic! We do not know when or how our Drop In will start again. Playing board and card games in close proximity will not be ‘on’ for the foreseeable future. We could rejig our Drop In showing videos and having discussions, but this would be so radical a change as to be a completely different ministry.
We look to have an outdoor event at Threshold House to mark the launch of that aspect of our ministry. We have resumed some of our recovery meetings and I hope to add some more workshops and studies in the Fall.
We are now responsible for Street Hope’s share of the expenses of upkeep, maintenance, and renovations of the building. Our opportunities for fundraising have been particularly hampered by covid but we are trusting God and his people.
I have been doing Bible Studies three times a week on Facebook, and where I used to get one or two guys out to my studies I now have a range of 50 – 80 viewers of the online study. These are just those who see it on the sites I control I know of several others who share or repost them. This has been a positive and surprising result of the pandemic. If and when things return to ‘normal’ I may continue these and add in person studies.
Many were praying for me when I was appointed Interim Director and I am happy to report that I am no longer needed in that capacity. I had asked people to pray that it would be a brief and uneventful tenure and it was, for the most part. Thank you.