“There is a dream in this community”

The following words were shared by the Rev. Amanda Currie at a public event within St. George’s Parish Hall in Saskatoon on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010. The occasion was a gathering of the Church Leaders of Saskatoon to sign a letter of support for the Good Food Junction grocery store at Station 20 West.

There is a dream in this community.

It’s a dream that there will one day be, in the heart of the neighbourhood, a full-service grocery store with healthy, affordable food.

For those who live in other parts of Saskatoon, who hop into our cars to shop at our favourite grocery store chains, wherever they may be located, it may come as a surprise that a grocery store is what is most desperately needed in the core neighbourhoods of our city.

When I first moved to Saskatoon, and my husband and I were considering where to buy a home, I remember several people recommending that we choose the East side. Avoid the problems and challenges of the innercity by staying well away.

What may come as a surprise to many people across Saskatoon is that many of the families and individuals who live in the core neighbourhoods are not dreaming that they’ll get to move to the East side. Their dream is the transformation of their own neighbourhoods. And that is a dream that can become a reality.

I am reminded of another dream. From the prophet Isaiah, we read about God’s dream for the people of Isaiah’s community in Jerusalem. And God said, “I am about to create a new heaven and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating… no more shall the sound of weeping be heard… or the cry of distress. No more shall there be… an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.” (Isaiah 65:17-21)

God’s dream for the transformation of Jerusalem and of the world is not so different from our dream for the transformation of this community.

As Christians, we believe that God sent Jesus Christ into the world to begin that transformation. Jesus proclaimed that the Reign of God was near, and he brought good news to the poor, to the captives, to the blind, and to the oppressed.

And we believe that, as Christians, we are called to follow in the way of Jesus and to join in his work and ministry. We are Christ’s body in the world, empowered to be his hands and feet and voice bringing help and hope to our communities and our world.

Today, the Church Leaders of Saskatoon are together to support a vital project – the Good Food Junction grocery store at Station 20 West. We are committing ourselves and our churches to support the Good Food Junction with our prayers, with practical assistance, and with fundraising to equip the store.

We pray that, by God’s grace, the dream of this community will be fulfilled, and that one day, God’s dream for each and every community and for the whole world will become a reality.