The photo attached to this post, from @TayMoss, may be the best answer to that question that I’ve seen in a long time.
Toronto, Canada was hit with an ice storm this weekend, which has left thousands of people without power, probably through Christmas and beyond.
So, what does a church do? Shut everything down because people won’t be able to make it for your Christmas Eve services? Not if you’re the Church of the Messiah, you don’t.
Remembering that hospitality is a spiritual gift, Incumbent Tay Moss (their term for Rector or Pastor) has opened the doors of the church to meet the needs of the people in downtown Toronto. They’re offering their building as a “Warming Centre” where people can get out of the cold, grab a hot beverage, charge up their phones and log on to wifi.
The latest word is that a local theater company has heard about what they’re doing and will be crashing the place tonight to offer a free show.
Warm Always Trumps Cool
In the 1960s and 1970s, my dad pastored The Stone Church, about half a mile (less than 1 kilometer, for my Canadian readers) from Church of the Messiah.
My dad would come home on many days, especially in the winter, with stories of how they fed hot soup to the cold, hungry hippies who lived on the streets. For the most part, these were nothing more than scared, lonely teenagers who needed someone to look past their long hair and strange clothes to love them.
It’s been almost 40 years since I’ve lived in Toronto, so I don’t know much about Church of the Messiah. But I do know this. Even if they’re not cool, they’re warm and they’re real. And that’s always relevant – especially in Toronto today.
Yes, there are some cool churches that are also very warm churches. But, on its own, being cool is overrated. Being warm and real is always relevant.
It’s a cold world out there. It needs warm churches more than it needs cool ones.
So what do you think? Is your church seen as a warm place in your community?
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