These past few weeks at Act Five have centred on the idea of being faithful in our local context. The students set goals for the semester and as placements have begun and are underway, Arissa shares this story:
Last week we came home from a long weekend spent with Coldwater Canada. During this trip, we revamped our initial community covenant and talked about new goals and objectives that we are going to try and achieve this semester. Hospitality is one of the goals that we decided to focus on by bringing more people – and new people – into our house and into our lives here at Act Five.
Interestingly enough, hospitality has been a reoccurring theme in our lives since. But not regular hospitality. Not the kind where you invite people over for lunch on a Sunday after church. Instead we’ve been talking about radical hospitality, where you give all of yourself, not just your food to every person you connect with. And this radical hospitality also calls for offering this same connection to people who are different than us, who are living on the margins, or who have a different faith or traditional background than us.
Every Wednesday evening this semester, we will be having a storytelling evening as part of our class Stories of Faithfulness. Part of this includes hosting the storytellers for dinner, after which they sit with us, and tell their own stories of faithfulness. Last week, we were joined by Sue Carr, Executive Director of 541 Eatery and Exchange, who’s life basically revolves around showing hospitality to anyone who walks into the cafe. And now this week we read an article for class that talked about the necessity for Christian hospitality, as a way of showing recognition of the value of each and every individual. This past Wednesday, to go along with this article, we had the opportunity to host several Muslim guests for dinner, followed by a trip to Redeemer to listen to a talk about Christian hospitality towards Muslims and other immigrants coming to Canada.
As you can see, hospitality has become a big part of our lives all of a sudden. Which is why it is really cool that this weekend, an optional weekend home for us, we lent our space to some friends of ours to use. While some students were away, Two Strangers – a band that had played for us at our coffeehouse back in November came to host a small concert using our house as a venue. This is a really cool opportunity to give back to them for their kindness in playing for us back in the fall, but it also shows the power of hospitality. They helped us, and in return, we can help them. No money or anything else was involved, just generous and willing hearts open to helping.
I think that this is the true power of community. Sure, they may not live with us, but this couple has a story that has touched ours, and we’ve entered into the same community, and with that comes an obligation to welcome. It’s beautiful to see this concept of Christian hospitality and community lived out because it shows what a blessing it can be to host or be hosted, and the gifts and opportunities that can come out of that.
Arissa, Act Five ’20