heaven on earth

On Thursday this coming week we officially open h e a v e n (coffee shop). We also get our hands dirty while we plant a food garden in the “space in-between” the steel railing and this sanctuary on the Longmarket Street side.

The aim of h e a v e n is to contribute to the hospitality offered through the Open Doors Ministry of CMM. To provide a space – a sacred space – where people can meet. It has already introduced many new people to each other and to this place. Someone said to me the other day that he has walked past this church for 19 years but he had never before entered through its doors.

My real hope is that we will be able to communicate the values of Jesus that this broken world so desperately needs to embody for its healing in fun and creative ways. In ways that do not rely on people being churchgoers or religious or even Christian, to engage with. [See below what will be on the coffee cup sleeves.] All the profits of the coffee shop will go towards the vulnerable poor of this city.

With the food garden we are offering this city a parable to engage with – a parable with many different interpretations to get people thinking about God’s dream for this world. Through the garden we will be reminded that God commanded that we do not harvest all our crops – but that we must leave enough for the widow, orphan and foreigner (vulnerable) of society. I hope others in the city will be inspired to grow food in their “in-between spaces” too. And may we all be reminded that food comes from the earth, and not from the shops. Now I know parables are risky – not everyone will “get it”. Some people have also said to me that the plants may just be stolen. Which is of course true – they may. But what a great witness it will be if they are not! And besides we don’t just want to harvest the produce but the principle that hunger is all our responsibility to address.

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 • breathe and smile • hunger is a weapon of mass destruction (disarmed by generosity) • 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 • you can’t have love without truth • start over often • God is not a possession of the church • love casts out fear • forgive again • the holy land is not a place to visit – it is every place to value • food comes from the earth and not from the shops • plant some seeds • seek silence • JC rode a donkey not a car • the gentle inherit the earth • humankind: be both • repeat out loud: “I am beautiful” • now tell someone else that they are beautiful • homeless people are people first • 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 • don’t worship your religion • you are forgiven – like completely forgiven • grace makes the world go round • go in peace • all profits go towards the vulnerable of this city • twitter @heavenscoffee

coffee conversation checklist
is it true? • is it kind? • is it necessary? • does it improve on the silence?

Peace, Alan