This Sunday will be the last dinner at Credo
Café and on Tuesday will be the last lunch. I’m sad to hear that Credo
will be coming to an end after over twenty years. During my time at Urban Seed we often acknowledged the parable that says,
‘… unless a seed falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’ We would often question whether it was the time for a project to die and something new to grow. However this doesn’t make death any less sad or painful.
In the sadness and the pain, in what way will we continue on? My suggestion is that Credo continues in the practises we have learned at Credo. I’m encouraged by the idea that the group in the city will be returning back to the basic practises that Credo emerged from – inhabiting the streets and sharing hospitality at home with neighbours. I believe that the DNA of Credo has been written into each of us, and that each of us carries gifts from Credo that we can continue to nurture. I see those gifts being nurtured in places like Footscray Salvos, Cassidy’s Place, Indigenous Hospitality House, Gembrook Retreat, Gracetree, The Cave, People’s Pantry, The Longroom, St Matt’s Long Gully and a heap of other groups that have no need or desire for public profile.
Not everyone would use this language, and it is not language I currently use often but I could still sum up the practises that have been written into us as,
Knowing the Word
Taking the time to discern what is really going on in the places we inhabit. This involves paying attention to what is going on in our neighbourhoods, our broader society and the wider world, and bringing what we see into dialogue with what we know of history, scripture, community development, mysticism, visual art, poetry and other disciples.
Growing Home (through slow food)
Growing a sense of community together, particularly by setting aside more time than necessary, so that as we eat, walk, play, work, whatever we have time to share and listen with each other. Often the practises that have brought us together in community around Credo have been around the production, distribution and consumption of food, but I think other practises of necessity like art and sport have also provided this kind of space.
Going and Engaging
As we grow a sense of community together, as we discern the truth of what is going on in our worlds, we will be called to engage in our wider society beyond our little groups. This might mean engaging in conflict. It might mean walking the streets together on a Friday night and being open to others who are inhabiting public space. It might mean getting involved in political activism around issues such as homelessness or asylum seeker detention.
At the present time it is important that we make time to grieve well what is dying, to reminisce through stories and songs and shared food. But I also think it’s important to consider how we are continuing the practises we have learned through Credo, and I particularly look forward to hearing how the DNA of Credo is replicated and adapted in the city. I’m keen to hear from you what you have learned through your time at Credo, and how you might continue what you’ve learned.