Outreach and an Arby’s Beef and Cheedar

It has been a full day. Today is Wednesday and that means Arby’s for lunch after our Wednesday Morning Eucharist. It also means Lenten Justice Series. Today was a BIG day for the Arby’s Group. You see March Break may mean encumbered attendance for other thing in town or even a Sunday Morning but for the Arby’s Group it meant 20 people at church thanks to the attendance of the Shields Children. In fact, Connor even did the First Reading – and did an excellent job with it!  We had a raucous trip to Arby’s from the church with Rock and Roll rearing its head in the Relay van. At Arby’s we all had a great time as always. Arby’s means good food, good fun and great friendship as we break bread together each week.

I was curious about the history of Arby’s tonight, so I took a look at their web page. I was thrilled to see the commonalities with the church. There is a section about Arby’s Values. Among them is this one:

Dream Big
We believe in the unlimited potential that lies within all people and we are committed to providing opportunities for people to achieve their dreams

Now I was excited to read that among the others great values listed on the Arby’s Page. To read them all you can click here.  It is an appropriate value given that it is Wednesday and we tonight spent time reflecting on Outreach and Justice. Indeed, I would suggest that much of what we are learning as a people of God is that we need to make it possible for all people to realize what God is calling them to be.  Arby’s values also include the Golden Rule. For the Christians that means loving neighbor as self. It means reaching out to help others. It means hoping to make the best of life conditions of all people. We believe emphatically that we are God’s beloved. We believe that God is calling us all to love, to mutual respect, to a place of welcoming all people into the City of God.  I am glad that Arby’s too sees the need to make everyone’s lot better!

Tonight we were pleased to welcome Chris Atkinson from the PWRDF (Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund) He shared the details of the History of the organization, which is the outreach branch of the church. He explained the connection and distinction with the Huron Hunger Fund and the PWRDF. But most importantly he brought before us the need for us as a church to respond to the needs in this world. The most compelling information was really about the water injustice in this world. Interesting indeed to hear that Canada continues to refuse to sign on to a UN Declaration that Water is a basic human right. Interesting that the bottled water we buy in stores we pay 5000 times as much for that we do what comes out of our taps. In the meantime most bottled water comes from taps across North America. It is shocking that we have turned such a basic human right as water into a commodity. In any event we all had good fodder for thought and for prayer tonight and we thank Chris for making the journey from London to speak to us tonight.

It was a great day and I pray in Thanksgiving to God for the opportunities that this day has provided me to be with people who love the church and who love justice! I needed a good dose of compassion and community today – I got it!

If you shut off the music (up top to the left) you can play this funny Arby’s Advertisement)


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