Minister's Message: Living With Emptiness

Living with Emptiness (and an empty fridge)


When I opened the door to the Self-Serve fridge/Libre Frigo yesterday, it was empty. It’s the very first time I saw people opening it to find nothing on its shelves.

We started this fridge as a way of sharing with community from our abundance. We hoped that others would bring and put into the fridge from their kitchens as well. It’s a great idea. But offering free food seems easier than educating about how we all contribute to the wider good.

Giving free food to a family in need is easier than having the conversation to actually listen to their needs, to sit across the table and hear their story. Converting to healthy choices is more difficult than accepting the status quo. What do we hear from an empty fridge? 

We affirm a vision of food for all and are grateful for all that we do. 

SouthWest is where:

-we offer a place of belonging and room at all our table gatherings
-we benefit from a professional cook and a team of volunteers in the kitchen
-we transform the donations we receive from Harvest Montréal ($19,000 in value in a year) into community meals on Wednesday and Messy Church
-we support the Mini Market as a sustainable access to fresh fruits and vegetables, at cost, for the community  

SouthWest is about community helping community. We welcome all, we offer what we can and invite all into a circle of grace, hope and love. We follow the example of Jesus in our radical hospitality. 

SouthWest is also accepting emptiness, accepting that our financial and human resources have limits. Our energies cannot be everywhere nor can we do everything. 

The empty fridge may be a gentle reminder to us that it is only in engaging in conversation our membership, adherents and those receiving our services that we will find the way forward. We need everyone contributing with monies, ideas, time, focus and a vision of a generous table. 

Let’s put what we can in the community fridge but stay focused on sustainability: building a transformative community is a costly enterprise. It needs both vison and the means to fund that vision. This is our present challenge and needs all of our help. 

In Mary's song of praise she sings:

My heart sings praises to the Lord//God has filled the hungry with good things//
God has kept the promises made to our ancestors//and showed mercy. 
(extracts from Luke 1: 46-55)

May we feel our hunger God, our emptiness, so you may fill us with good things! 

Rev. David