Working Together For Community


Reading our volunteer profiles, you may get a sense of the diversity of experience that makes House of Friendship an interesting organization to be a part of.  Today I would like to share the first part of an ongoing series where we share about what inspires and drives the people who work at House of Friendship. Here is Michael Hackbusch.




Where do you work and what do you do?
As Chaplaincy Director my office is currently at the Charles Street Men’s Hostel but I work in the community: advocacy group, teaching students, preaching at local churches, interfaith partnerships, HOF event promoter, pastoral care, Leadership Team, Spirituality group leader with addictions programs. The work is certainly diverse but always returns to the basic task of promoting HOF’s vision of a healthy community where all can belong and thrive.

What keeps you motivated?

My faith inspires the work I do but in addition, as hinted to above, HOF’s Vision/Mission/Values keeps me motivated. More so, I suppose it’s seeing people of all faiths and walks of life appreciating that this vision and mission and these values are things that challenge and appeal to them too! When my Muslim friends gather at a city community centre for a HOF program being managed by a Jewish staff person, I smile. Here is a microcosm of what our world CAN be! Diversity to be sure but a diversity that encourages individual identity and working together for community!! What more can I say? It’s cool.

The work we do is not always easy. What book, movie or song (Blog or other online media) inspires or influences your work?

I’m a Christian so I’m inspired by the gospel, that is, the unconditional love and grace of God for all creation. I see this theme in various books and movies: Harry Potter: humble service to others but especially the ‘under-dog’;’ The Simpsons: Homer is a dufus and yet still abides his wife and provides as best he can; and the travel writer Bill Bryson (whose books are also available at the library as audio books!). One of Bryson’s books in particular, A Short History of Nearly Everything, has an incredibly inspirational introduction that celebrates you, the reader, your existence, your BEING. This book also instills in me a healthy respect and sense of awe for the world and universe in which we exist. These inspire the fact that each of us is worthy of love and dignity and respect and I like that.

Singing inspires me. Literally, the technical aspects of singing or playing a wind instrument, causes one to breathe deeply (literally to inspire) and control the exhale. Further to that, singing or playing in a choir or ensemble causes one to listen to the other, find our place in the group and bring our unique sound to the whole. Occasionally we sing out (solo or special part) but as a part of the whole. There is power in that, and there is deference for others in it as well. Plus, it’s fun!

If I could recommend something I suppose it would be to find what inspires one’s self and get into it. Reading, film, activity either on your own but also with others; anything that causes us go deeper inside our hearts and minds yet at the same time gets us out there with our neighbours in the community.

I hope you can find yours and share the insights.


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