Date of lunch:
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Matt Adams is the Pastor of Youth, Mission and Outreach at St. Paul’s Bloor Street Anglican Church. I have never really been to church, minus the few times I slept at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. I thought I would learn a few things from this lunch. First of all, Matt is around the same age as me and I was just curious as to when and how he chose this path and secondly, I wanted to learn a bit about the church community and what it’s all about. I am not a religious person but am totally open-minded about other’s beliefs and was just interested in hearing from someone who obviously had strong convictions. This was also my first lunch with someone I didn’t know before – a mutual friend helped to put us in contact. So I guess the third thing I would learn was getting over my shyness about meeting someone new and not having a backup person to help me to get the conversation started.
We went to the Bishop and the Belcher at Bloor and Church for lunch. I had the Sante Fe Chicken sandwich with salad and Matt had the Buffalo Chicken Fingers with fries. I have eaten at the Bishop maybe 50 times because it’s so close to my work and the Sante Fe sandwich is my go-to meal so I thought it was great as usual. Matt seemed to enjoy his chicken fingers as well. Total bill was $25 with tax.
I met Matt at the church where he gave me a tour before we went for lunch. What an incredible building – it does look large from the outside but I was still surprised about how big it was once I got inside. There’s a full gymnasium in the basement, a small chapel, meeting rooms, the youth hang out room and tons more – a really great facility. After the tour we walked over to the pub and had a great conversation.
The first thing I wanted to ask Matt was whether he was “called” – how does someone at such a young age decide that they want to be a pastor? Matt explained to me how people are called to do this in many different ways. But for Matt he explained it’s a lot like any other job, you have to determine “Where’s your passion? Where’s your heart?” and to follow that. That really resonated with me as we do spend the majority of our adult waking hours working so it’s important to find a career that you are passionate about – whether in the church or in public relations. Matt said he started being more involved with the church and going on this path when he was 17 – I thought back to when I was 17, I think at the time I still wanted to be a pediatrician and be famous. I definitely didn’t know where I wanted to be or really where I wanted to go at that point.
Matt is also new in his role at St. Paul’s. He started in August and is beginning to apply to be ordained. Once that happens he will be able to perform wedding and funeral services, along with many other things. Matt is pretty excited to be able to be part of these important moments in people’s lives and be able to build relationships with people during these times. It seems that this is a big part of Matt’s job and what he enjoys most – especially building relationships with the kids at the church and helping people in a meaningful way.
With the youth ministry, Matt told me that they often discuss big questions and have great interactive conversations. Questions like “If there is a God, why is there evil in the world?”. No matter one’s beliefs, it is always great to have these conversations, question what you’re learning, discuss your questions and fears and come to your own conclusions and develop your own convictions.
All in all, it was a pretty deep lunch – lots of talks that really got me thinking. It was pretty weird to go back to work after and try to get my head into work mode and not this deep philosophical mode I had gotten into.