Monthly Archives: October 2014

Home is where the heart is


Erinn and I have noticed a distinct increase in concerns surrounding housing recently. A couple of people are fearing eviction because of bed bugs. Others are hoping for a more stable living situation, or just any living situation for a few months over the winter. The changing of the seasons is definitely contributing to the sense of urgency to find a place to call home.

But, as we all know, there’s a big difference between a house and a home. Erinn wrote a great article about this in our fall newsletter, which you can read here:

While The Dale doesn’t have walls of it’s own, we are becoming, by the grace of God, a community that acts as home.

We find ourselves at home when we cook together.

We find ourselves at home when we pick tomatoes from our garden and swap stories about our favourite recipes.

We find ourselves at home when we work on a crossword together.

We find ourselves at home when we study the Bible together and grapple with tough of questions.

We find ourselves at home when we remind each other to take out the garbage.

We find ourselves at home when we share our dearest dreams with one another, and accept comfort when our plans fall through.

We find ourselves at home when we know each other’s quirks, and pick up each other’s mannerisms.

We find ourselves at home when we come together to praise and pray to the One who knows us, loves us, and draws us into the eternal home of divine love.

Please join us in praying as we seek affordable, clean spaces in which our friends can live (which is becoming increasingly difficult as Parkdale gentrifies), and as we continue to make home in our relationships with God  and each other.

home is where the heart is

The beauty of shooting the breeze


I just got home from outreach in Parkdale. It was a cold, rainy night, so not many people were out and about. We ended up spending the majority of our time in Tim Horton’s, chatting with friends from the community who had joined us on our walk, and friends that we happened upon at Tim’s. This felt like the loveliest and most natural thing to do. We drank coffee, shot the breeze, tried to crack a “super fiendish” sudoku (with no success), and had a nice time.

Partway through, a middle-aged Tibetan man sitting at the next table leaned over and said to me, “Excuse me… Who are you? Are you a social worker?” I explained that I work at The Dale, and described our community. We chatted for a while, and I learned a bit about his life. He asked me more questions about The Dale, and my role there. He still seemed a little confused, and I could tell that he was trying to make sense of what he was seeing–  Erinn and I sitting around, chatting with (what happened to be, in this moment) a group of six somewhat tough-looking older guys… Our friends.

I love that this what I get to do with my time. I love that shooting the breeze with my friends is an important part of my role, because it represents a mutual investment in our relationship. And it’s in the context of relationship that beautiful things can happen.

Like conversations at Bible study last night about the meaning of “fear”, what we fear most, and what it means for Jesus to tell us to fear God in one verse (Matt 10:28), and then not to fear at all, because He knows and loves us deeply, three verses later (Matt 10:31).

Like making phone calls to landlords, and working together to secure housing for a friend earlier today.

Like being told by a friend that she’s starting to knit a head band for me, to keep me warm while I bike in the winter.

It’s only in relationship that these things get to happen. And Jesus showed us by example that it’s by investing time in one another that relationships form. I’m glad that my new Tibetan friend from Tim Horton’s got to see that this is what we’re about, and I hope that I get to shoot the breeze with him in the future too.