During the summer, CPC in The Hill brings a grill and homemade dishes, along with fruit, salads, and cookies, each Wednesday evening to a nearby park—and offers a meal to anyone who is there, or walking by, or the neighbors. A wide range of people are there: Families, single moms with their kids, a few dads with kids, too, teens (plenty of teens), and many people whose lives are broken, hurting, and struggling with addictions. There are a number of homeless as well, for whom this is their only meal for the day—for even a few days. So far (two Wednesdays) we’ve seen 60 to 80 join us each evening throughout the quick two hours.
The scripture text from Isaiah 66 is the theme for my park preaching this summer. The good people in the park help me out. I explain the verses, then I lift my arm and point to the sky, and I say:
If God’s throne is in . . . “heaven” (they yell out) and the earth is God’s . . . “footstool” (they announce), then God’s feet are firmly planted in the . . . “Hill” (they shout loudly). Our ministries in the community seek to show that God cares about The Hill and that our desire is to find ways to help our community to flourish.
One newcomer to our Park BBQ ministry, a 20something in dreads, this past Wed-evening told me, after I introduced myself as Pastor Chip, “You don't look like the pastor. You look like someone who belongs to this church.”
A former student of mine (when I taught at Prairie Bible College) commented when I mentioned this on Facebook. He said, "True shepherds smell like the sheep."
I can live with that.
Last evening at our second "In His Midst" this summer, I was asked how big is our church (I so dislike this question, but didn’t show it). I said,
Wasted Blogger, Chip M. Anderson
I am the pastor and church planter for Christ Presbyterian Church in The Hill; a flawed practitioner of Wasted Evangelism. I am learning about Wasted Evangelism through my experience in The Hill and through the good people of CPC in The Hill.