City 616: Why it is Vital & Necessary to You
Whether you live in Greensboro or Timbuktu
Why it is Worth your support
This is a long page. Lot's of information. As a matter of fact, I think it is the first time we have attempted to communicate ALL that we do here at City 616/Peculiar People in a single page. But just scroll through and get an idea of the wonderful things God has done.
For nine years we have labored and used our gifts to enhance our community and proclaim the Good News of God thru Christ. Or as we like to put it: we have sought to bring the Kingdom of God so close that people may touch it. We have gone outside the walls of the church and even outside traditional methods of evangelism to bring the unbeliever into the reality of God and His Christ.
We currently find ourselves at a crossroads;
Either raise the funds necessary to pay our monthly mortgage payments
AND hire a Director of Development
Sell our building and seek what God has for us next.
However, we are not yet ready to concede that selling the building is what God truly wants. We think that maybe He wants to include more Gospel partners who will give and volunteer their goods & services to this unique and wonderful endeavor .
R&D for the local church
We have a friend who is a ministry consultant. He marvels at what we are doing in Greensboro. He says that we should market ourselves as R&D (Research & Development) for the local church. He says that we are pushing the edges of the envelope on how to make Christ known. We all understand that in today's culture we must think outside the box when it comes to revealing Christ and His Gospel. That's what we are doing. That's where we are going.
Not your normal mission organization...
As you can imagine not many churches "get" what we are doing. We're not feeding hungry children in Africa. We're not preaching the Gospel in a hostile Arab country. We are not seeking half-clothed tribes in a jungle somewhere. We are not going overseas and we do not a tally of numbers of those who have come to Christ as a result of our ministry. But we are breaking down walls and barriers that have stood for years between the Christian community and the "unwashed."
So why should you support this ministry?
Through radical hospitality and bold inclusion we are allowing the unbeleiver a glimpse into the lovingkindness of God. We are finding new ways to draw in the skeptic, the disillutioned, the atheist, the wounded and the maginalized. This is why Christians from all over should support this endeavor... we are exploring new territory and new ways to bring those from far-off nearer and nearer to God and finally into His loving embrace. The Church could and should learn about what we are doing here.
A Glimpse of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
If you have heard about our ministry you have probably heard of the Greensboro Grub. There is one purpose; one agenda for the Greensboro Grub; that is to love lavishly. We welcome strangers into our home and love them. We invite them to participate in our life with God. We invite them to share their talents, their heart songs, poetry and life stories with us and reveal more of their hearts. It has been our determined intention to make the Grub an evening of diversity as well. Not only racial diversity but religious, economic, social status, age and political diversity. And God has seen fit to bless our efforts in this area.
The Grub has become a local phenomenom. We have been highlighted in the local newspaper, the 6 o' clock news, magazines and mentions in several books. The Grub has had poems and songs written about it.
A Typical Evening at the Grub...
Around 7pm our guests (55-70 people) start arriving. As they climb the stairs to our apartment they are treated to the smells of delicious food cooking. They get to the top of the stairs and are greeted by the hosts and ushered into the drink room where they may pick a libation for the evening. Once out of the drink room they are treated to a wonderful hors d'oeuvre specially created for the evening. Then the magic begins. As the guests turn the corner from the appetizers, they are bowled over by the 40 ft. table set and decorated by Ruth. Each month a different theme. Then in the hallway and in the various gathering places laughter and conversation builds as more & more people arrive. Sometimes the Chef (Charlie) takes them on a tour of the 115 year old building.
Prayer & Dinner is Served...
After 30-45 minutes of socializing the gang is called to the dinner table. Once seated the guests are told about the dishes prepared for them. (All Grubs served family-style.) Then we go to prayer to thank God. While the prayer changes a bit from month to month, we always ask God to come and perform a miracle; and that miracle being that "we would love the person across the table from us more than we love ourselves."
Then it's "Eatin' Time!" This is when the noise level rises several decibels as people begin to talk, laugh, share and discover one another.
Dessert & Interviews
Forty-five minutes into dinner Charlie gets everyone's attention and begins to pick random guests for an "interview." We find out where they are from, where they spent most of their childhood, what they do now and what they like about Greensboro. But it's never just THAT easy... Charlie will ask some real "pondering" type questions: "Besides your family, who has been the person who has impacted your life the most?" Or "If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would that be?" Or "Tell us about the time you were most afraid." Then a gourmet dessert made by Ruth is served.
If a Thing is Worth Doing...
Once dessert & coffee are consumed we all go into the Gathering Room for sharing and entertainment. We begin our talent time by quoting our favorite philospher, GK Chesterton, who has said, "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly!" This always gets a snicker, but the rest of the quote gives a deeper meaning. He goes on to say, "How many of us have banished drawing, painting, dancing, singing from our lives for fear of not doing it well? If a thing is worth doing it worth doing for the joy of it!"
Then after being encouraged to dare to do something for the joy of it, anyone who wishes comes to the stage to sing, share prose, peform spoken word, play an instrument, tell a story, dance or even show off their paintings. We often share one or two of our drama sketches as well. This "talent time" is like a kiss from God. It is true deep magic. Souls are united, spirits soar and moods are lifted to another realm. It is truly a remarkable time. The comment made most often by people who have been to the Grub, "There is no way I can describe what I experienced here tonight. People just have to come & see for themselves."