One of our weekly spiritual practices at COTW is a discussion group held before dinner at the soup kitchen.
As we sit around the circular table in the dimly lit basement, a group of unique individuals begins to gather. There are of course the chaplains, often a man who is a self-proclaimed atheists, another individual who is a life long Episcopalian, a few people from a Catholic upbringing, one or two who are more evangelical, and some who are spiritually wandering.
This summer the table transformed in another new way. Instead of the chaplains always leading the group, we had the great pleasure of mixing up the discussion leader. Volunteers such as board member, Paul Pintus lead the group several times and a community member also took a turn.
As a long time volunteer and supporter of COTW, Paul often joins us in our spiritual practices. One Tuesday evening after the London terrorists attacks, he had planned a discussion on “what Jesus looks like”. Paul brought in artistic interpretations of Jesus along with one that some scientist believe to be most accurate representation.
With the pictures displayed and discussion under way, one community member looking at the pictures as he walked by said, “Hey is that the terrorists?” To which everyone at the table vocalized, “No that’s Jesus.”
Voice, we all have it yet our voices can also be silenced. One community member found her voice as she lead the discussion group this summer. After taking on the responsibility of picking a reading, thinking of discussion questions and leading the group she stated, “that was so empowering, I feel I was able to reclaim some of my voice.”
The table is more than time to talk, it is an opportunity for people from all walks of life and all faith backgrounds to come together. This summer we found “a voice”. Who knows what this fall might bring. Thank you Paul and all our volunteers for empowering this community and for bring us together.
By Rev. Tina Walker-Morin,
Development Director & Chaplain