If you come to St. Barnabas for our Friday Communion at 9:00 on a Friday morning, you will find yourself worshiping with a large group of people from widely divergent backgrounds and histories — but all, at least in their current stage of life, find themselves in places of need. Some are ‘working poor.’ Others come off the streets.
At the end of Mass on Fridays, the parish distributes food vouchers redeemable at a local grocery store. But what is important is not the vouchers. What is important is the
realization of community across what, as we walk down the streets, seems almost impossible distances. Although of course the vouchers have made and continue to make this gathering possible, the true gift occurs when someone from a Beach Drive condo kneels at the altar beside someone who has spent the night in Stadacona Park, and they receive together the body and blood of Christ. Every week, in this moment, we are given a vision of truth: that in Christ all that holds us apart in the world dissolves, and in him we are equals. Truly, this ‘second’ congregation at St. Barnabas serves the Sunday congregation through its witness more than they are served by it through the vouchers.
The ‘coffee and conversation’ at the Emmaus Community following the Friday Communion is a wonderful time of conversation, relationship-building and refreshment attended by about 5 -15 people. We are grateful for the deepening relationships and for the opportunity to be face to face (or at times arm in arm) with those who are dealing with poverty, homelessness, disability, and First Nations issues.
A number of those who attend the Friday Communion also worship with us on Sunday, attend the Sunday lunch, and some attend Bible studies or participate in activities at Emmaus House.
Is God prompting you to be involved? You can contribute financially to the purchase of food vouchers. There is always a greater need than we are able to meet. Or you can attend the Friday mass (9 – 9:30am) and get to know others in a low-key way over coffee afterward. Your ‘ministry’ may be simply a smile and a hand-shake with a brother or sister whom you haven’t met before.
All are invited, so drop in anytime.