What’s up at the Seed?!

   We have a very urgent matter at hand people. It concerns a great deal of people, organizations as well as in my opinion, our very own little kingdom of heaven itself. You may have seen the postings on my blog as well as on Facebook about a greatly respected and dearly loved woman we call Maria. The Mustard Seed of Edmonton/Calgary, Alberta has “fired” her after more than 16 years of dedicated service. 
   Reasons behind this heinous act are vague and varied with every inquiry I’ve made in regards to this matter. The latest is that she hasn’t been fired at all, which I personally do not believe. It is said that she decided to quit, or even more likely, forced to quit. Word is from a source that spoke to her directly is that corporate has decided to take things in another direction. Well, with the Edmonton church drop-in branch at least.
   With that in mind I would say it is quite likely that perhaps she probably did quit if given the option to deal with it or leave. You see, I’ve heard on a number of occasions, that this wonderful woman of God has repeatedly bump heads with corporate when it came to the working conditions of volunteers. With only the best interests at heart of those who take up their cross weekly, as well as daily in order to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ. Or for the non-believers, those who just wanted to give out of the kindness of their own hearts. However, more and more it is becoming clear that she was fired. Upon numerous conversations with different people including staff members regarding my activities with the petition @*****, the Facebook page “Reinstate Maria” and posting flyers, nobody has tried to defuse any allegations that she was fired. 
   Even as I talk with staff members from other front-line organizations who’s heard already or not of what’s transpired, say they are disgusted with what corporate Seed heads have done. In addition, I overheard a conversation between two Mustard Seed employees discuss how upsetting a meeting was between staff and management… with much distaste towards management.  
[UPDATE: Mario, the new manager, has confirmed at the weekly volunteer meeting on Tues. morning that it was he who fired Maria.]
   OK now, here is where things may get just a bit sticky. Which is not entirely the intention but facts are facts. You see, in the past it was stated in the Mustard Seeds job description for street level staff that they were to mingle and speak with patrons in order to create an atmosphere of community and inclusion. You know… that family feeling which is so important within any communal gathering. Then last year, the employees were told not to speak to us any longer, but were simply to take up the primary role of observation… to keep an eye out for any sort of trouble or deviancy so to speak. One could say, these children of God who chose to help, serve, work with as well as learn from the poor and homeless. Had their roles transformed from community ambassadors, to security guards.  
   Now I could understand some of their concerns when it came to the safety of staff members. Some of them were getting injured and threatened within that a short period of time. We’re not sure why, it could be due to a myriad of reasons. But one thing is for sure… YOU DO NOT PUT OUT A FIRE WITH GASOLINE, am I right? Especially within a Christian organization which is supposed to demonstrate forgiveness, understanding and the ability not to fear the influences of evil. 
   I mean they could have simply hired a couple of big strong, God fearing boys who are experienced at dealing with people like us. Have them deal with the difficult and dangerous situations. Most times the simple presence of such back-up is enough to deter such altercations. There are other organizations around here which do that very thing. 
   Things have calmed down since, and are more lax. The employees still converse with the clientele and we do have a tree walking around the floor at street level who will be that proverbial whomping willow from the “Harry Potter” books if the need arises. But I don’t think it’s quite the same as it was before, not quite anyway.

    So as we carry on, story and rumor has been coming down and floating about as of late on how suits at the head office in Calgary has been seeking to cut every effort towards showing appreciation for the very volunteers who work the hardest at keeping this organization rockin’ and rollin’. 
   Here you can see me holding up a Mustard Seed emblem pin, which may not have even happened if not for the efforts of Paul Thorne, a volunteer coordinator with the Seed. Oh look… there he is emceeing in the background of said appreciation party. He personally told me it was a fight in order to convince corporate to give us that little morsel of self-respect and sense of accomplishment which comes from a pin, or a mere slip of paper with our name on it that says “Thank You”. 
   [UPDATE: I’m sure by now you’ve read my post entitled “Guess What” about how I was banned for two weeks from the Seed for exercising my right to freedom of speech/expression. You see, I showed Mr. Thorne the previous paragraph to see if he’d confirm that statement about fighting for those certificates of appreciation. He denied it and emphatically told me not to write this story, and that I’d just be hurting a lot of people if I did. As it goes he then speaks to Mario and the next thing I know, I’m barred from the building and only allowed to return if I speak to Mario first. Well I think we all know where that’s going.
   But thinking back and studying the situation, Paul seemed genuinely sincere in the belief that he did not make that statement to me. And if you can recall, I’ve mentioned before of how the Lord has blessed me with that little extra portion of discernment at times with certain matters. So I re-evaluated my memory of that day, studying hard and carefully in order to find if and where I may have gone wrong. It was then I remembered a conversation with two women who were taking registration for the certificates and gifts as well as handing out name-tags. I spoke with one of these lovely women in particular.
   Now I don’t want to intentionally get people in trouble or fired, I’m just after truth. And I’m not saying it was one of them who said that about the certificates either. What I am saying is that somebody at said party told me this very fact of which we speak. And that is a complete and utter FACT! As God as my witness, I would not make that up… And I’m not recanting this about Paul because I want to be allowed back in the Seed. I wouldn’t care about those bureaucratic bastards if they were the only source of food or shelter in the entire world. It’s as I said… All I care about is truth and justice for the little guy.  
   I would also like to mention that Paul attends the same church that my ex-landlord attends, the Shiloh Baptist on 107th and 114st. Shiloh is a prosperity preaching church for which is part of the focus of that long awaited story, “Do Not Worry”. And trust me… that is NOT a good thing {stay tuned}. I’m also starting to understand why the Lord has put the brakes on that one for me… and that is.]   
   So there you have it Paul you backstabbing cowardly sissy, hahahaha. I’m sure Maria appreciates the backbone you’ve shown through all of this by remaining in her corner. {Now… can I come back? Huh? Huh? Please oh Pleeeeeeease, let me back in to your prison of obedient lemmings and be-atches! Heh, heh}
   One more thing, if this statement wasn’t true for which I got banned for, then why is it… that is exactly what a new female volunteer co-ordinators said at the last meeting I attended? She states that if we as volunteers wish to have our hours and experience recorded, as well as any recognition by way of letters of recommendation for job placement or, “Certificates of Appreciation” in addition to being invited to the volunteer parties. We must join Their “Community Trainee Program” and sign waver after waver, submit to randomly and semimonthly drug tests, forced amount of hours, forced to work every aspect which makes up the Mustard Seed. Then on top of all of this… oh you’ll love this one… MANDATORY ATTENDANCE OF THEIR BIBLE STUDIES!!!! 
   Now what kind of fucked up and twisted religion pushing bastard came up with that idea! Have we reverted back to the dark ages! What happened to the “Love” of the game? What happened to free will? What happened to “COME AS YOU ARE!!!!?” 
   {Oh Jesus… please forgive them, because I am too darn weak and stiff-necked. And for their sake, I hope they know not what they do.} 
   When one of our volunteers heard this one he just got up, said something to the tune of what you folks are doing sounds ok, beneficial and all. But that‘s simply taking it too far. And then he walked out of the meeting. I apologise for the paraphrasing, but I myself happened to be taken aback at this new development and didn’t quite hear every word of his protest.
   Oh I can understand and appreciate the fact this is a Christian organization. Heck, I love Jesus probably more than many of you reading this right now. But to forced indoctrination is immoral, unethical, Un-Christ like and most of all, discriminatory to those who just want to give of themselves and may in the future come to know Christ. This just drives them away, which has historically and presently been shown over and over again. Freakin’ morons!
 Damn Maria, you have no idea how proud I am of you sister! ... God bless you.
   Well there is just so much more to this story and I wish I could go on but I promised I’d get this out to you today. My laptop keeps freezing on me and is probably about to die if I don’t have it checked out, which is partly why it has taken me so long to write this piece. Another is, as I’ve said, I had to wait for some facts on another aspect to this story but it has been discounted… so we’ll carry on. This is an ongoing affair so keep an eye out for the next installment.. If my laptop lasts, lol.


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