Kitsilano – open dinner tuesday

Jeff & Angie are in their early thirties…a vibrant young couple that relocated last fall to Vancouver from Denver, Colorado (Mile high Vineyard) in hopes of living an authentic spirituality in this Urban setting. As Americans Jeff is taking some courses at Regent and working part-time at the school to stay in the country. They rented, with their roommate from the U.K., a condo just off West Broadway in Kitsilano, Vancouver. As Jeff and I had coffee last week I asked him how many people they have come to know by name in the neighborhood… He looked at me puzzled and then began to add it all up in his head..

“About a 100, he said”.

“How many of those relationships have you experienced some authentic moments…or God moments?”, I said.

“Over half”, he recalled.

To that I said… “And you wonder if you are doing well or the right thing?…dude, that is fantastic and unbelievable!”

A missional trajectory is such a different metric for spiritual community than it is to count numbers of people attending meetings. Let me leave you with a story (in their own words) from their journey in Kitsilano over the last 6 months.

Todd Rutkowski

Last month we celebrated Chinese New Year in style: our friend Alan (a Chinese American) cooked up a feast of authentic Chinese food, and we threw a Chinese New Year party for our friends and neighbors. We certainly had a mish-mash of people there with us: our friend Peter – an undergrad student at UBC (Univ. of Brit. Columbia) – invited and brought three of his fellow students to the party; a handful of friends from Regent joined us; one of our housemate neighbors joined the party as well. It was a fun opportunity to celebrate as well as extend the warmth and welcome of God’s Kingdom in a very practical way.

During the party I had an amazing conversation with one of Peter’s friends about Jesus. We talked about spirituality, light, life, and what it looks like to truly unify fragmented and decentralized people. When I am with new people I like to ask deeper questions that get to the heart of who that person is and how they tick: I like to ask what they’re about, what they’re passionate about, and the things they’d like to see happen in the world. I attempt (as best I can) to help them see Jesus through their responses, and long story short, this is what I attempted to do with Peter’s friend (let’s call him Jim).

I later asked Peter if there were any “spaces” besides a church service where Jim could learn more about what it means to become a follower of Jesus. While I believe in church services, I’ve found that most people need time and appropriate spaces to consider a life with Jesus; attending a church service is often (though not always) toward the end of that journey. Peter said he couldn’t think of anything (besides more parties!), so we came up with the idea of Open Dinner Tuesdays. Open Dinner Tuesdays (which, yes, is a horrible name and, yes, will soon be given another one) is simple: we make a cornucopia of good food, and then invite our neighbors to eat it with us. People can come if they want to eat and hang out, or they can come if they only have time for a quick bite. Either way, we want to make spaces where we can share a meal with neighbors and friends, hang out, and talk. We’ve found that life conversations often happen in those spaces.

If it sounds simple, that’s because it is: make good food to eat and invite your neighbors. So far it’s been a lot of fun. Last week we made a meal and hung out with Peter and Jim again (along with another couple who just moved to Vancouver).

Pray for us that, as we serve our friends and neighbors, that the love of Christ will capture them and given them a vision for something bigger and something tangible.

Jeff & Angie
Kitsilano, Vancouver

~ by blueporch on May 9, 2011.

One Response to “Kitsilano – open dinner tuesday”

  1. Jeff & Angie

    Sounds like you guys are getting to the heart of it. Keep going! We are all rooting for you!

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