By Tiina Cote, Minister, Trinity United, Downtown Kitchener
While the world at large focuses on the dark ripples of violence bouncing from one nation to the next, there are equally powerful light-filled ripples uniting one people in the common spaces of the world. The Turkish Cooking School experience at Trinity United Church, downtown Kitchener was one such ripple through community building, cultural exchange and humanizing the unknown. With generosity of spirit and sustenance, with dedication of time and energy and with open hearts and hands, women gathered, prepared food and shared life. It was a ripple of light that changed one moment and space in our world.
Change was not only about one’s new knowledge of spices that flavour our sense of taste and smell. Change was not only the understanding of cooking techniques that influence this gift of food from our earth. Change was the emergence of wonder and a joy that simply emerged over meatballs and laughter.
Change too was the authenticity of the smile, of the helping hand, of the listening to a life shared.
Experiences create our individual and collective cultures. Experiences also add confidence to sharing one’s culture. Confidence opens the hands, connects the eyes and hears a heart of another human being. In that moment of true connection the light of hope comes forth into the world in yet another rippling journey. Community, culture and humanizing experiences eventually unleash even the deeply hidden and protected light source that is in each of us. No amount of violence can eliminate that potential, for its source and strength remains even beyond human death.
Cooking between cultures on one evening in downtown Kitchener in a faith community within a larger inter-faith and inter-cultural context started a ripple that has made a difference in our world. I give thanks to each who have formed that ripple and for the Universal Love that will sustain and transform it as needed for the next ripple and the next.