Closing heaven

Three years ago we opened the doors of Heaven Coffee Shop. This past week we sadly had to close them. It was simply not covering its costs. The purpose was never about making money, but we had hoped that it would at least cover its running expenses.

Those of you who only come to CMM on a Sunday may not realise how much we are going to miss Heaven. The Sanctuary has felt quite dead this past week without it. I have bumped into a few regulars and they have told me how they miss Heaven already and Ken who has been the barista for the past three years. (Ryan would temp when Ken was not around.)

The purpose of Heaven was to remind everyone of the good news that Heaven really is open to all – that anyone can “get in” – that no one is rejected – as Jesus lived and taught.

Our challenge remains to be a radically welcoming place of sanctuary in the city. May we constantly seek ways to give people an experience of joyful welcome and a comforting place to rest a while. May we never underestimate the desire for silence amidst the city noise and beauty amongst the city grime. And perhaps most importantly, a place where people can find encouragement by the lighting of a candle and the offering of a prayer.

We spoke a while ago about opening up the sanctuary at night during the very cold spells of winter to offer shelter to the most vulnerable of the city. We are ready to begin this now on a small scale. We will pilot by offering shelter to 20 of the most vulnerable people and see how it goes. Our prayers and participation in this ministry are greatly coveted.

Grace and peace, Alan

things to remember on earth as it is in heaven

you are born in love by love and for love • you are beautiful • your enemy is also beautiful • the stranger is actually a member of your family – in fact everyone is family – all 7 billion of us • all violence is family violence • forgive • the real heroes are those who wrestle with addiction in truth and grace • widows orphans foreigners are the holy trinity • hunger is a weapon of mass destruction (disarmed by generosity) • you can’t have love without truth • seek silence • love casts out fear • God is not a possession of the church • start over often • food comes from the earth and not from the shops • the holy land is not a place to visit – it is every place to value • forgive again • plant some seeds • breathe and smile • JC rode a donkey not a car • the gentle inherit the earth • repeat out loud: “I am beautiful” • now tell someone else that they are beautiful • homeless people are people first • humankind: be both • we own nothing – everything is a gift • when you throw rubbish away, ask yourself where away is • forgive yourself • to listen is to love • explore the mystery of prayer • to say that some people are saved and others are not is hate speech • walk back to your office the long way round • make time for music • difference is divine • it is difficult for the rich to enter the Kin-dom of God – affording to pay for this coffee means you are rich – uncomfortable? now you know why JC was crucified • don’t worship your religion • grace makes the world go round • touch the earth lightly • you – yes you – are the light of the world • there are no ordinary people • cry • God enjoys you • you are forgiven – like completely forgiven • go in peace …  [The above is printed on the Heaven Coffee sleeves.]

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