GCF: At the Sanctuary with Thea

Title: GCF: At the Sanctuary with Thea
Location: CRC Campus Ministry Office, Wycliffe College (5 Hoskin Ave.)

Date: 2009-11-26

Dear friends,

Last week we had an intense (and at times, humorous!) conversation with Shannon and Mari about suffering.  We wrestled with questions about the meaning (or lack thereof) of suffering, about forgiving (or not forgiving) God, about helpful (and unhelpful) responses to people who are suffering.  Many heartfelt thanks to Shannon and Mari for their honesty, vulnerability, and significant work put in to preparing for that evening.

Shannon mentioned a particular community a few times when talking about friends who experience extreme pain and suffering: the Sanctuary.  This week we will be spending some time at the Sanctuary with Thea Prescod, a nurse who works there, and a member of the Wine Before Breakfast community.  I encourage you to spend some time learning a bit about the Sanctuary before coming Thursday: www.sanctuarytoronto.ca.

In case you don’t make it to the website, here’s a little introduction to what the Sanctuary is about, in its own words:

“Sanctuary is a Christian charitable organization that seeks to establish and develop holistic, inclusive and healthy community. We welcome people who have, for the most part, known only rejection and abuse. Our core community includes:

* people who are homeless and people who run their own businesses

* middle-aged, middle-class people and squeegee kids

* university students and hardened street people.

Sharing our lives and our resources, we reach out to a downtown neighborhood plagued with homelessness, drugs, prostitution, unemployment and AIDS. We offer dignity, support and direction to people who want to reclaim healthy, meaningful lives. Through drop-ins, street outreach and one-to-one relationships, we offer food, clothing and basic health care. Our staff help individual community members access welfare, housing, legal counsel, medical care, counseling, therapy or drug rehabilitation. Perhaps the most valuable thing we offer is simple friendship.”

This week we will spend some time in conversation with Thea about her experiences as a nurse at the Sanctuary.  What does it look like for her to walk alongside people who experience various types of pain-physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional?  How does Thea reflect on suffering in the context of health and illness at Sanctuary?  What has she learned about God, suffering, and hope through her work?

Please join us.

With hope,

Sara Gerritsma DeMoor

Associate chaplain

6:00pm: “Much Depends On Dinner” in the office (Wycliffe College basement, 5 Hoskin Ave); followed by “The Best Conversations Happen Over Dishes”

7:45pm: Walk over to Sanctuary with Thea; she’ll lead a bit of a street walk on the way

9:15pm: Conclude with prayer and head home (from Sanctuary)

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply