Toronto, the small town

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I love outreach. Erinn wrote a great post about outreach yesterday ( http://erinnoxford.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/reason-1001/ ), and last night I had another experience that I’d like to share.

I am part of a number of communities in Toronto outside The Dale, and these communities often overlap in a delightfully symbiotic way. One of these communities is Sanctuary, another church that is particularly welcoming to those on the margins. As I wrote in my “A bit of background” post, Sanctuary is where I got my start in street level ministry in Toronto, and it continues to be a very important community to me in a number of ways.

A large part of Sanctuary’s ministry, like The Dale’s, is outreach. Last night I joined a friend on late-night outreach downtown. It was super (SUPER!) cold, so we stopped in at all the 24-hour McDonalds stores along Yonge Street to warm up, and to check in with folks who were also taking refuge from the cold.

During one of these stops we chatted with a man whom I had met the night before, during outreach in Parkdale! I had to do a double-take, because it seemed a bit unlikely… But sure enough it was him!

On Wednesday night I had invited him to come for lunch on Monday with The Dale, and last night he told me that he planned to be there! He is someone who loves to cook, and told me that he planned to bring some food along to share with us. And he wanted to make sure that my Sanctuary outreach partner got to taste his curry too! He wasn’t satisfied until I committed to taking some of his food home, and delivering it to my friend on the other side of town. It was one of those moments when Toronto really felt like a small town, and the communities that I call home revealed themselves to be connected in a beautiful web.

Like I said, I love outreach!

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