Here’s a great article we’re reposting from CBWC Church Planter Jodi Spargur’s blog. Talk to us to find out about supporting God’s House of Many Faces.
The drum beat reverberated off of the ceiling and walls, it echoed through my body. This sound I have come to associate with our church gathered and it directs my attention to God’s presence among us. This afternoon though we are in a very atypical space for us and my heart is praying that this familiar sound is putting some at ease in what is otherwise an uneasy space.
Usually we gather outside on the grass and the drum echoes off the buildings around. Other times we gather in a small hall and the drum dominates because of the small space no other conversation is possible. Today we are gathered united in worship though diverse in our expressions, our ethnicities, our styles and our communities of faith. Today we are gathered with our neighbours, both friends and strangers to worship together and to look around the room, reminded of what the body of Christ looks like in our neighbourhood, at least somewhat.
One friend in the midst of conversation with me exclaims, “oh, I had no idea they were follower of Jesus” as a family from another congregation walks through the door. “We walk to school with them every day. My son will be so encouraged to know that he is not alone in his class.”
We are gathered in what is now known as Strathcona Church (funny since that is the name we chose for this blog 5 years ago). Up until a year ago it had been a Korean Foursquare Church with a mostly commuter congregation. Then, last spring it was purchased by a private family with a vision of stewarding this space for the use of various churches in a shared way. While conversation is still ongoing about who all will use the space on a regular basis this joint service was the first event held in the space. For almost a year pastors of incarnational churches in the neighbourhood have been gathering to pray and ask God if there are ways we could work together more intentionally.
God’s House has had a practice of inviting other churches to join us for Good Friday, Easter Sunrise and Christmas services. The Salvation Army had also been spearheading a month of prayer that we would all participate in, but we felt it was also time to gather collaboratively for worship and fellowship. Strathcona Church was a good venue for that and allowed us to all come into the space afresh. The service was organized by Strathcona Vineyard, Mosaic (Alliance), God’s House (Baptist) and we invited The Salvation Army 614, friends who live in the neighbourhood but are attending church outside of it. We also invited churches that are newly planted and anticipated or had just launched; Coastal (non-denominational) and Vancouver Foursquare Church.
On Good Friday we look forward to accepting the invitation from the Chinese churches in the neighbourhood (Mennonite and Church of Christ China) to expand our fellowship further, gathering again in the Strathcona Church space. Jesus prayed that we would be one.
While we all have distinctive contributions it is encouraging to move toward greater unity in these gatherings. In fact it was a goal when we set out at God’s House as a metric of health that we would see greater unity in the whole body of Christ. As with any sign of health, this is God’s doing as we try and lean in to his heart.