Building A Healthy, Strong, Small Church

Today marks being one year as the priest-in-charge of the Church of  the Ascension.

It has been a wonderful year as we came together and witnessed a growing congregation prepared to act on their faith and do so within a loving and caring community.

I said this past Sunday while we may be a small church we have been building a spiritual cathedral at the Ascension. That is in our re-building of this parish we all seemed to be on the same page: “It is for the Glory of Almighty God.”

I think some of the unique building blocks we have acted upon are as follows:

This is God’s house and we are the guests – everyone is welcomed into this church and we must show radical hospitality to each and every person.

Worship is the most important thing that we do here. It is intimate, laughter filled, and friendly. While we respect the Anglican liturgical tradition we are open to change and innovative worship. At the heart of our worship is building a choral tradition unique to this community. Finally, we mark all the seasons and festivals through a richness of colours, symbolism, and themes.

As church is a communal place it is important that we care for one another. We care by encouraging each one of us to be a caregiver. We have developed a lay anointing program on the third Sunday of each month. People are  encouraged to visit one another to read, talk, and pray. Finally, we remember that Jesus cared through table fellowship. To that end we have been sharing a lot of meals with one another.

As part of our mission we start from the premise that the church should be in the community and the community should be in the church. Arts at the Ascension is a way to invite the community into our church through music, drama, and art. However, it is also a way to show others who we are as a faithful and loving community.

Finally, over the last year we have been doing a lot of stewardship. A lot of volunteer hours have been spent cleaning up the buildings, painting the hall and downstairs, and doing repairs. The great thing is that this work has allowed us to get to know one another better! We have to be grateful for the blessings of our church and its people. We want to share these blessings with our larger community so that they may know that God cares for them as well.

Together we are all contributing to building  a healthy, strong, and small church but it is a spiritual cathedral towering over our community and we build it to Glorify God.

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