Since the last update from the Project Oversight Committee, we have witnessed a lot of changes!
Last week, our 1023 and 1021 Nelson Street units were demolished. For 25 years, 1023 served as a dedicated space for our youth. Though originally named the Servants’ Quarters (SQ), it came to be called the “Youth House.” Along with 1045 (Rivendell), for many years, 1021 served the missional purpose of providing affordable housing for our neighbours.
It is anticipated that our 1025 Nelson Street unit will be demolished as early as this coming Monday. 1025, known as the “Hobbit House,” was birthed in the 1970s as a Drop-In Centre and Coffee House. It originated out of our church family’s desire and plan to go beyond the walls of the church. Over the years, 1025 housed various outreach activities such our coffee house program for street-involved youth, ESL classes for our internationals, and counselling.
It is important for us to acknowledge the deep sense of loss and grief over these changes. For some of you, these units are associated with some significant memories. However, at the same time, the changes we are going through are for the sake of God’s mission. As followers of Jesus, we are being swept into hope. We are being challenged to reimagine how the unchanging Gospel can be lived out in a rapidly changing culture. Our Good Shepherd is leading us and renewing us through these displacements—often challenging us to step out of our comfort zones. In the end, the “greater” work that is underway is not the demolition and construction of our new facilities, rather the “greater” work is the transformation and renewal of our lives as individuals and as a community.
Leslie J. Cummings, in narrating our first hundred years as a church, closes with these words:
“We should not stand with our backs to the future, looking steadfastly into the past, but stand facing the future, supported by the heritage of the past.”
As encouraged by our beloved brother, Leslie, who has now joined the great cloud of witnesses, we must give thanks for the past—God has been faithful to us through the years. We must also give thanks for all that is ahead!
Lord, renew us. Lord, teach us to follow you, humbly and boldly.