Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lenten thanks 22

I missed Zac's last night as I was down here in Devon, and I do miss it. It's a very important part of my life.

It started off as 'pub in a church'. Sean and Lorraine, a local singer, used to run Sunday night gatherings in a Swansea pub, then a few years ago Exousia Trust, which was set up to support Sean in his ministry to bikers and the ragamuffins of society, was able to buy an old chapel, which now serves as the base. It's where we meet on Tuesday evenings for bible study (tribal gathering) and where coffee (and soup) bar happens on Thursday evenings for rough sleepers etc. A local charity working with the homeless also used the premises to provide breakfast each weekday morning.

Those are the regular events but lots of other things happen at Zac's Place too on an occasional basis like a health clinic, first aid classes for Big Issue sellers and music gigs.

But, although it serves a purpose, the building isn't Zac's as such. Zac's is so much more. It's a community of people, very different people, at different stages in their Christian life. Many view Zac's as their church; some have come from regular churches where they've been discouraged, cold-shouldered, told what to think or do or wear - or what not to. Or they've never been part of a church but are seeking something that they can't find anywhere else. Many are on the very edges of society.

It seems that everyone who comes to Zac's find the thing they are looking for, whatever that might be. Acceptance, understanding, tolerance, love. They won't find judgement or condemnation though, if they ask, they will hear truth.

Visitors have often said that there's just something that feels different and special about the place. It could be the atmosphere but I think it's the presence of God.


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Zac's sounds so wonderful, much as I had pictured my own ministry many years ago. My heart smiles at the thought of such a community!

NitWit1 said...

From your postings about Zac's, I believe you have it right.

stillers said...

And I know the Zac's community is deeply appreciative of your being part of it Liz, for which we also give thanks to God - it wouldn't be the same without you!

Suburbia said...

It sounds a wonderful place, no wonder you miss it.

Leslie: said...

I'd love to visit when Lorne and I come over. We're hoping to house swap with friends in Newport, maybe next year.

Liz said...

It is, nick.

I think so, nitwit.

Thank you, sean.

Yes, it is, suburbia.

Looking forward to seeing you and Lorne, leslie.