Monday, December 13, 2010

Broad Street Ministry: My Home Away from Home

One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas a Kempis who said something to the effect, practice now what you'll have to put into practice then.  There are few places that have really responded to this sort of Christian vocation in word and deed.  Broad Street Ministry is one of those places.  Over the past three years, I have been blessed by strong and beautiful relationships with the people of this urban faith community and those who have devoted all of their lives to practice resurrection with such a diverse and creative group of people in Center City, Philadelphia.  It has been said before that Broad Street Ministry is a place where biblical stories come to life.  This is certainly true.  At Broad Street, the rich and the poor, the young and the old, believers and doubters, skeptics and sinners, those who live on the streets, under the streets, across the streets, the unemployed and the overemployed, artists and poets, pastors and entrepreneurs all gather together as one of the more authentic portraits of the kingdom of God.

In Anne Rice's fictional novel, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, she tells the story of Jesus turning water into wine. After the miracle, Jesus is questioned about what is now to come. Jesus responds, "I will go on from surprise to surprise."  I suppose that if you asked any member of Broad Street Ministry about what they are up to in the days ahead, I am sure they would respond with similar words, we will press on, from surprise to surprise.  BSM is not afraid of mystery; instead, BSM embraces it.  The members of this ecclesial mosiac are confident that in mystery the Spirit unveils sacred surprises, glimpses of the life that is to come. 

I am grateful for Broad Street Ministry and their commitment to works of justice and peace, hospitality to the stranger, solidarity with the poor, love of neighbor, friendship with the marginalized, and provision of a church community for those whom church and faith have been cursed words and experiences.  I am also indebted to those of BSM who have embraced the students of Imago Dei Youth Ministry as though they were residents along the Avenue of the Arts. 

I hope and pray that you will watch the video below, check out their website, visit their community, and worship with my friends of Broad Street Ministry.  May we together be surprised over and again as God's people continue to support, fund, and participate in the kingdom activity of this place.

Broad Street Ministry End of Year Appeal Video from Colin Comstock on Vimeo.