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Early Morning Breakfast Program

A number of years ago, a group of local Pastors who had committed to serving their city together instead of apart (a group we now refer to as “One Church”) invited Mayor Chris Friel to a lunch meeting.  They had one main question on their mind. They wanted to know if he could pick something that he’d like them, and their congregations, to take on as an en masse project. They weren’t really sure what his answer would be. Friel began to talk about his passion for elementary school kids and expressed a desire that none go to school hungry.    This began an a renewed initiative over the last few years to increase “One Church’s” purposeful involvement in school breakfast programs.  Breakfast programs in schools across the city take on different forms, some being autonomous initiatives while others partner with great organizations like Brant Food for Thought.   At Freedom House, we took the plunge into the early morning school breakfast world this year, partnering with another local chu

Christmas Eve Thoughts ~ "That's My King"

The Christmas season is always a lighting-rod for strong opinions; how to celebrate properly, how to greet properly, how give properly.  The truth is, that Jesus didn't put much weight on the variables.  I'd say He'd roll his eyes at our silliness, but He was too wonderful to do that.  He'd likely simply be thankful that we care enough to care.  Paul tried to push people higher in 1 Corinthians 8 when the followers of Christ were arguing about eating food sacrificed to idols.  He used that situation to force us to chill out about the stuff that doesn't mean much and look higher; to not put disproportionate value on the variables and disposables.   This season... like every season is about Christ.  His birth messed... things... up for the world as it wanted to be.  It jumbled systems.  It turned the history of the world on it's head. Make no mistake, the Christmas story RIPPED open every sector of society.  Today, even the most vigilant attempts to do so,

"We really like your baby" ~ The Living Nativity 2015

“ We really like your baby. ” This has become a classic line in Freedom House ’s ‘ The Living Nativity ’ that annually fills Harmony Square with Christmas revelers. It’s a funny, off the cuff, line delivered by Freedom House Pastor Brian Beattie who (dressed as a shepherd) has come to see the newly born Christ child… in Harmony Square of course. The line has it’s roots in the origins of The Living Nativity itself. When Beattie was proposing that this show be done in Harmony Square, he was asked by Parks and Rec’s Lori Dawn Cavin, “What’s the Living Nativity?” Beattie replied, “ Well it’s the traditional Christmas story. Mary and Joseph ride a donkey and have a baby. Then Shepherds come and say, ‘We really like your baby’ then we sing some songs and go home. ” It became such an endearing exchange between the two that often they still sign emails between one another, “WRLYB” for “We really like your baby.” And the line is still used in our play today. But it’s a power

Freedom Gate Apartments ~ The least "Sexy" project we have

Tweet The biggest “Kindness Project” Project that we have, is one we rarely speak about.  It’s not a very “sexy” project, it’s results are not always clear-cut, and it’s a tough one to have a "rah rah" rally about it.  Freedom House’s low rental housing project Freedom Gate Apartments has taken more time, work, effort and financial faith than anything else Freedom House has ever done in our nearly 13 years. By a LONG SHOT.  And what was it all for?  15 affordable-living apartments for people to live in. And it's been worth it.   178 Market Street is the spot many will remember as the home of The Rainforest restaurant.  It was a blue bar when we purchased it 13 years ago.  Still looking like a nightclub, this was the setting for the early years of Freedom House. I have fond memories of our humble beginnings in it.  But the more folks we met trapped in destructive cycles of poverty and addiction on that part of Market Street, the more we reali

Baptism In The Square ~ August 16th

August 16th you’ll have a chance to witness or participate in one of the more … let’s say unique events that happens annually in Brantford.  Freedom House joins together with a number of other churches to present the annual “ Baptism in the Square .”  You know why it’s called that?  It’s because it’s baptisms; in Harmony Square.  Clever name eh? This will be the 4th summer of hosting this experience publicly with the open invitation for all to come.  In the three years, roughly 300 people have come and participated in this 2000 year old tradition and we expect to see another hundred or more this summer as well.   It’s a safe statement to say that “Baptism in the Square” has created a lot of “chatter” around town. First of all, you’ll notice that the ad for this event includes a coupon for One Free Baptism.   That’s certainly not the everyday approach to this process.  But it’s simply a tool to garner a further dialog in for individuals internally or externally between on-a

I Believe

I believe in guttural rock n' roll love songs, sung full-on from the midsection. I believe you should be suspicious of men who shave everyday. I believe that we shouldn't depend the government to take care of people. I believe that cream and sugar cheapen God's gift of the coffee bean in scalding water. I believe that baseball is the most perfect pastime that humans have come up with. I believe in staring silently into space. I believe in musty rooms with old leather chairs. I believe in sucking it up. I believe in thinking about your wife during business meetings with an unseen ferociousness. I believe in men who sacrifice themselves, wishing it didn't have to be so, but knowing it must be done. I believe in leaving some blood and that strip of fat on your steak. I believe in putting others above yourself. I believe that shoes don't make the man. I believe that being kind is like a superpower. I believe that flowers are beautiful. I believe that