A Christian Response on Stress Street

An article this week in the Hamilton Spectator reminded readers that one particular tower block near our church has an average life expectancy of 57; in line with the 15 poorest performing countries in the entire world.  (https://projects.thespec.io/codered10)

I wrote on social media, “Yo Hamilton region Christians and those interested – here is an address I have preached on three times in the last year. From this week’s Spec Code Red update: “That would rank Vanier Towers among the 15 worst countries in the world for life expectancy, worse than Mali, the violent west African nation that is the second-poorest country of all.” What does it mean that there is a/are Christian Churches within 500m of this facility? Life expectancy of 57, among 15 worse countries in the world! 500m from where Christians worship and do things. Would love a conversation on what this truly means for us.”

I am told by people who live in the Towers, it is called <address #> Stress Street.

But I wonder for Central Presbyterian if God is calling us to more intentionally respond.  Some thoughts on it that have stayed with me are:

  • how relationships are important and part of the Christian witness;  and how we are all transformed in and through relationships
  • the importance of eating together with others
  • Central’s current HOOTC and Spring BBQ which are food based ministries in the neighbourhood
  • what would a cafe/hub look like at Central?
  • what would a weekly community dinner look like at Central?
  • what would having an open lunch every Sunday after church look like, and intentionally inviting friends from Vanier Towers?
  • what would a monthly potluck team look like, dropping off and eating lunch together in the shared space at Vanier Towers?
  • what would a longer conversations with the 10-15 people some of us already know and have relationships with from the Towers, reveal?
  • what it mean to focus more or most of our ministries in this direction?
  • what would it mean for our space?
  • what funds are available for application to ensure a sustained approach to this?
  • what would happen if I or others started popping over there once and while to meet more people?

OK – ideas.  Thank you for listening, praying and continuing the conversation.

Pastor – Greg Davidson