Magazines 2022 May - Jun Visiting, sharing, bringing hope

Visiting, sharing, bringing hope

28 April 2022

Tapestry Church in Richmond, B.C., shows a creative way to love our neighbours

tapestry churchs flourish ministry means sharing time treats and presence

 

THE CHURCH

Tapestry Church, Richmond, B.C. www.TheTapestry.ca

THE CHALLENGE

How can a church come alongside a not-for-profit housing project?

THE IDEA

Flourish. A ministry to build relationships and share God’s love with people experiencing homelessness who are now living in temporary housing.

THE COST

Annual budget of approximately $3,500 for craft supplies, Christmas gifts and party, seasonal gifts, care packages and other small treats.

tapestry churchs flourish ministry means sharing time treats and presence

Team leader Akiko Holz explains:

This whole ministry is about coming alongside and listening. We invited the not-for-profit who was building housing in our community to come to our church to share what they were doing. We got to know them and asked what kind of support they might want. They welcomed our donations because they knew that the residents would appreciate them. So that’s how Flourish began.

We are the guest. We always respect we are visiting their space. I text the building manager first and ask permission. At the beginning we noticed there weren’t flowers or anything outside the building. We cleaned up outside, created gardens and dropped off goods from local bakeries. It was just very simple. In this housing complex residents receive dinner. Breakfast is whatever they have on hand. We started donating cereal and other food for them.

tapestry churchs flourish ministry means sharing time treats and presence

Tapestry Church’s Flourish ministry means sharing time, treats and presence with those experiencing homelessness. PHOTOS: TAPESTRY CHURCH

Eventually, we started to visit once a week. We do crafts and play games. One night we did karaoke. Not many people showed up, but we just kept on going. They started to know we would be there every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in the common room. We would take homemade cookies and the food attracted people. Some people would just grab a treat and go. Others would stay around.

The big thing is just listening to their stories, which builds trust. We want to build relationships. We just give them space. We believe it is important to be faithfully present. We all have stories, but their stories are very heavy. They want to talk to someone, but we have to be trustworthy. Ultimately, we want them to see it’s Jesus who is sending us and equipping us to visit, that there is hope and that they are loved.

Do you have a story to share about your church’s community outreach? Contact our editors at [email protected]. Read more stories at www.FaithToday.ca/CIC.

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