Street Church gets day in court
"How many are here to support Street Church," asked Pastor Art Pawlowski in the hallway outside a fifth floor Court of Queen’s Bench courtroom on March 1st as he awaited the hearing that would address the issues forc¬ing the church to move its ministry from a downtown Calgary park.
The 75 people present all acknowledged their support. "How many are here to cause a disruption? You can go home now," the pastor challenged many of the sup¬porters and street people present. "This is a court room. Please be quiet and respect the judge." The throng had just come inside from a brief rally on the steps of the courthouse where they sang 0 Canada and prayed amidst the falling snow; The City has refused to renew the church’s license to use Triangle Park across from the Drop-In Centre beside the Bow River.
During the proceedings the judge listened to argu- ments from both sides and promised to make a decision on the case within a few weeks. The main argument was regarding the amplified sound used by the church. The church has never once been ticketed for breaking City noise by-laws and continues to meet in the park until the case is settled.
Just as Pawlowski was finishing preaching at their Friday night service on March 9th, a lady came running up yelling, "Call 911, someone’s been stabbed!" Pawlowski and his brother David ran under a bridge to where two bloodied men lay – the aftermath of a drug deal gone bad. One man was already dead and the other was dying. ‘We spent half the night at the police station help¬ing provide information and we preached to many of the officers," the pastor noted. "We gave them a major lead in the case and now the police are looking at us differently."
In spite of all the horror at the riverside, four people accepted Christ that night.