The Calgary Street Church, an outreach to the city’s homeless, meets four times a week with a vision to give everyone an opportunity to respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ
Aside from praying on the steps of City Hall, having barbeques and getting to know one another, Street Church holds a church service each Sunday morning in Needle Park.
Now that the City has outlawed the church’s use of amplified speakers, the group feels much more vulnerable. To some, these speakers produced unnecessary noise, but this audio equipment created a natural barrier between the church and people who may have caused a disturbance. If they didn’t want to hear the sound or be near it, the speakers simply caused them to stay further away.
Street Church pastor, Artur Pawlowski, wrote on the church’s website about a recent incident that occurred during a Monday night gathering.
Out of nowhere, a gang of 12 people came right up close to the group who were busy praying and singing. This gang was so disturbed that they started yelling at the group and mocking God. The church continued to praise God by singing the old hymn, There is Power in the Blood. The gang became furious and began overturning tables covered with food and drinks. Then, rocks began to fly through the air towards volunteers. Some of the group were physically attacked. Soon after, knives came out and the gang began to approach the group.
"I just started praying and asking God to show His power and authority," said Pawlowski.
All of a sudden, the gang turned around and ran away.
Pawlowski asked God to either deal with those people and remove them, or save them and bring them back. Since the incident, the gang has not been back.
People often ask Pawlowski why he doesn’t just give up due to the danger of gangs and the ongoing frustration with the City. His response is that "Jesus never quit. He went all the way to the cross."