I believe I can speak for the other band members in saying it was one of the most fulfilling events we have participated in during our 14 years together. The feeling of fellowship amongst your group and the joy of the children dancing there was very rewarding for us.
— Gerry Atwell, The Ministers of Cool
How best to mark the 10th anniversary of saint benedict’s table? That was the question put to a brainstorming team back in the early spring of this year. A celebratory liturgy and our anniversary book Become What You Receive were among the first ideas that received the thumbs up, to which we soon added an early September community retreat day at St Benedict’s Monastery. But Kalyn Falk insisted that she wanted to dance, and she assured us that she would certainly not be the only one…
And so a plan was put into motion. We needed a really great live band, and it was decided we should contact the Ministers of Cool to try to arrange a booking. The Ministers are made up of some of the best and most seasoned musicians in the city, and because they all have a number of other bands and commitments in their schedules it isn’t always the easiest thing to find a booking date. The weekend of November 14 turned out to be available, and so we began to search for the right venue. After a couple of false starts we landed on the Pyramid Cabaret, which at first raised a few eyebrows. It is great room for live music, but could we do this event in a bar? And what about the kids? We didn’t want to create an event that couldn’t involved the kids. We were assured, though, that so long as we booked the venue as a private event, children accompanied by a parent were welcome.
As things turned out, it was a great venue for us. With 145 ticket paid tickets (about 35 of which went to people who attended simply because they wanted to see the Ministers of Cool, and who were quite delighted that a church was presenting such an event!), another dozen or so volunteers and guests, and a small armful of kids – who didn’t require a ticket – we rather comfortably filled the place. And thanks to the band, the dance floor was pretty much full from start to finish.
You don’t often think of holding a church event in a bar, and in fact the staff at the Pyramid were all looking a bit incredulous when they were told that this was a church booking. In a real sense, though, we couldn’t have held this party in a better location. As one person remarked a few days later, churches so often tuck their celebrations away in the basement or the parish hall where no one but church members can even see it. In the case of this party, a whole lot of people – including the Pyramid staff and owner – got a glimpse of a celebrating church community at play, and that has to be a good thing.