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I have an addiction. I can’t resist the printed word. If there is text available I read it.
It doesn’t have to be something that I am interested in either. I just have to feed my compulsion to read.
When I was much younger the local newspapers only published evening editions. That meant I had nothing to read at the breakfast table because I had already read the paper. So I read the box my cereal came in. I pretty much had the box memorized because I would the same thing each morning. That’s where I learned words like niacin and riboflavin, which I have never before had opportunity to use in a sentence. (My parents didn’t allow me to bring a book to the table; that’s not polite.)
This addiction is mostly harmless. I usually have a book with me everywhere I go, just in case some spare time breaks out and I have opportunity to read. It can be frustrating too though. I get so annoyed at people who have words tattooed in various places on their bodies and then wear clothing that covers up some of the words. Maybe they wouldn’t be offended if I asked. The tattoos are meant to be seen, or I would assume so since they aren’t placed in a more discrete location, but I was brought up not to stare and not to talk to strangers.
All of this explains why I was reading the posters on the bulletin board at the back of St. Joseph’s Church recently. I was at a cello concert, the first time I had been in that downtown Ottawa church in about 40 years. (Yes, I know you are amazed that I am so cultured that I would attend a classical music concert, but I have broad tastes.)
The poster was advertising an event that I had heard about last year for the first time: a downtown church crawl for students from the University of Ottawa. It’s happening tonight and I think this is the fourth year for the event. It’s like a pub crawl, except instead of going from bar to bar you travel from church to church.
It’s the first week of school at most Canadian universities. Returning students are back into their routine, freshmen are still dealing with the orientation process. It is a time of new beginnings, the true New Year in Canada, forget that cold day in January.
To me the crawl is a refreshing idea. Let the students, who are predisposed to trying new things with the New Year, sample what you have to offer. Let them discover churches in the area. U of O has a downtown, urban campus. There are lots of urban churches. Makes sense to reach out to the students. Makes even more sense for the churches to coordinate that outreach, to plan for the same night. It’s not a competition after all, everyone has the same goals, just a different denominational flavour.
More than 20 churches are taking part in the crawl tonight. I’m a little hazy on exactly what happens, but I gather from the Facebook page that people can take part as individuals or in teams and that there are prizes to be won. And food to be consumed. Probably some friends to be made.
Sounds like a lot of fun. Makes me want to be a student again.