For 30 years, we operated the Loaves & Fishes Coffee Shop. It originally started with parishioners catering for weddings and twenty first birthday parties. It then morphed for many years to serve a wider purpose of providing a cheap lunch for people, and as a social place for some people who found socialisation difficult. In 2007, the coffee shop started to falter. Days had already been reduced from 5 to 3, it was now to be reduced to 2. A meeting to close it was held. Instead out of that meeting, the Coffee Shop was “reinvented” in 2007 as the Time Out Cafe. It was a place where parents and caregivers, and the wider community could come for food and talk. At that stage we were the only place you could get a coffee and have your child safely play. McDonalds opened up literally next door with a shiny new children’s playground. The cafe patronage “dried up” within a matter of 3 months. Parishioners now started to attend to “keep it open.” It became clear that the purpose for which the cafe had existed, no longer existed. And at the end of 2011 conversations were held about what would happen in 2012. There was no energy to re-open it after the 2011 summer break. So rather than simply not opening, a Closing Liturgy and afternoon tea was held in the Selwyn Chapel on Thursday 16th February 2012 at 2:30pm.
Most of the liturgy comes from adaptions from ANZPB, pages 456-7, 466, 464-5. The idea from the closure prayers came from Liturgy for the Closing of a Church out of The United Church of Canada.
As a footnote. After the closure of this ministry, the call to hospitality did not diminish, and instead a community dinner was setup providing a hot dinner once a week to 60 – 120 people.
In the name of God, Creator, Redeemer and giver of Life.
Grace to you and peace from God our Creator, the love at our beginning and without end, in our midst and with us.
God is with us, here we find new life.
We have gathered together today, to give thanks for many years of food, coffee, tea and hospitality through the Loaves and Fishes Coffee Shop, the Time Out Cafe and the catering done. For many happy times, for sharing, for giving, for caring and learning.
For your inspiration O God
we give you thanks
We have gathered together to close this ministry
In joy for what has gone,
and in sadness for what will no-longer be,
we pray to you God.
The peace of God be with you all.
In God’s justice is our peace.
E te whanau /Brothers and sisters, Christ calls us to live in unity.
We seek to live in the Spirit of Christ.
We exchange a sign of peace.
Let us give thanks for the coming of God’s reign of justice and love.
Jesus Christ is good news for the poor,
release for the captives, recovery of sight for the blind
and liberty for those who are oppressed.
Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred…
Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. … 5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. … 11Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. … 38 whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 40 ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
We share some stories about our connection with the Loaves and Fishes Coffee Shop & Time Out Cafe
God of peace, let us your people know, that at the heart of turbulence there is an inner calm that comes from faith in you.
We rest in that peace
Jesus you showed us how to love our neighbour, and called us to do like wise.
We have done our best to faithfully follow this call.
Thank you for your inspiration that brought to birth the Loaves and Fishes Coffee Shop,
and the Time Out Cafe.
Thank you for your Spirit’s presence bringing life to the cafe.
We relinquish now the call to have a cafe.
Give us peace in our time of loss.
As our energy has waned,
we ask for rest.
Lord, this chapter of our ministry in Papakura is closed.
Even though the cafe is closed, God remains with us,
we now let go of this faith filled ministry
God remains with us,
and we now seek new ways of outreach.
God remains with us,
and we will serve in different ways.
God’s love remains with us,
God’s justice will continue to inspire us and call us to action.
God is for and with us.
Amen. Thanks be to God!
God, you have shaped our dreams.
We have put our trust in you
may your hopes and desires be ours.
We hold on to the call to hospitality.
Blessed are you, God of growth and discovery;
yours is the inspiration that has altered and changed our lives;
yours is the power that has brought us to new dangers and opportunities.
As we look beyond ourselves, help us to discover areas where you are at work.
Help us to discover people of peace, who are ready to receive us.
Keep us from being content with things as they are, may you give us a new creative compassion, a thirst for justice, and a willingness to give of ourselves in the spirit of Christ.
Praise to you, abundant God, for when we ask, you give; when we seek, you show the way. When we knock, you answer. Praise to you for your unfailing grace. Make us now your faithful people. Amen.
May we continue to put our trust in you the living God, risking disappointment, risking failure, working and waiting expectantly.
We are about to sing our last song for today. At the end of the song, there will be afternoon tea in the Welcome Centre.
As we take our leave, there is an opportunity to light a candle. Maybe this candle might be a prayer of thanks for the cafe, or a prayer of sadness for the closure, or a prayer for someone else, or maybe even a prayer for new vision. Whatever your prayer is, know that as you light it God has heard your prayer. And may you leave in peace.
God of Ruth the adventurer,
Be with us.
God of Jesus, fearless and faithful one,
Be with us.
Holy Spirit, forming and reforming faith community,
Be with us.
Go now to love and serve the Lord. Go in peace.
Amen. We go in the name of Christ.
Afternoon tea is now served in the Welcome Centre, please join us.