So Now That We’re in Canada, What Will We Do For Church?

A creative take on “The Last Supper” at the Canada Institute of Language building on the TWU campus.

 

Someone recently wrote on my blog’s fb wall :

So…seriously. How did you start your home church and how does it work? I’m so sick of church.

 

And then I replied with something insightful and inspirational.

 

Or not.

 

You see, in Georgia when we finally, painstakingly, reached the point where we were ready to leave the institutional church,  we were fairly embedded in community already.  We had made connections and friendships for years in the area so we already knew a handful of people who were interested in a similar journey.   So it was really very simple, once we got up the nerve.  Pour box of organic gathering mix in bowl, just add holy water, stir and: POOF.  You’ve got yourself an easy bake church.

 

But this time?  Um, we don’t now anybody.  We’re on a Christian campus surrounded with traditional church suggestions.  Googling “house churches” in our immediate area has proved fruitless.  So what to do?  Do we simply “unchurch” like several people, whom I respect and who are full of grace, have sought to do?  Which, in my limited understanding, involves seeking the community and encouragement of whomever God naturally places in your day to day life, typically without an “organized” religion aspect to life at all but with a deep centeredness around God’s word and seeking his Spirit in your life.

 

Or do we dare to dip our toe into institutionalized waters again?  To be sure, if we had stayed in south Georgia it would be unlikely that we would have sought traditional church again considering the what we knew of the religious culture.  However, starting over in a place so far away,  where the people are much more diverse, and the religious climate seemingly much more open-minded … we sit unsure.

 

I do desire community, but seeking an institution still brings instant flutters of uncomfortable butterflies in my stomach.  We’ve been burned.  More than once.  And we’re like a wounded animal, ever wary of the consequences of our past encounters.  So no, I don’t feel inherent peace about seeking out a traditional church setting. But we haven’t ruled it out entirely yet.

 

One of the many hesitancy’s I feel revolves around suspecting that our motives are a bit out of place again.  Close to the very heart of our reasoning is that we will need literal, individual, financial support to seek work overseas one day.  And the most likely place to find that is finding us a big ole church to plunk ourselves down into.  However, that very obviously hasn’t worked for us in the past, so would this time be any different?  (This is the part where I start walking around in circles about how this isn’t the American Bible Belt anymore and maybe it will be different this time.)  And yet I remained unconvinced.

 

I suppose the expected conclusion to come to here is that we’ll “pray about it”.  So I reckon that’s what we’ll do.

 

 

-Jessica

Comments

  1. Llewsilla says:

    We’ve been there. We are still there. And moving to a new place without a “pool” to pull from is nearly impossible. It is very lonely… And then you feel like if you just join a church for a little while to find some others who feel the same you are being crafty or dishonest. Sigh! I don’t want to discourage you – just tell you we are SO there! In our lonliness (we are not anywhere that people gather or feel chummy or communal) we surf looking for anything that might even kinda sorta work…and then, like you said, I walk in the door or go to a class with one of my children and think “what am I doing here?” Do you think we are just in a unique time in the church? I became a christian at 19 and church and bible studies were all I’ve ever known. I just don’t know how to translate the experience for my children… I WILL pray for you.

  2. If you are anywhere near Langley, you might want to check out the Langley Vineyard. That would be my first choice if I was anywhere close. Bless you!

  3. I’m so excited! I inspired a blog entry! LOL! Jessica…just this past Sunday I think I finally may have found a church. I know exactly where you are. I have been so lonely for a community of believers for so long, but so incredibly frustrated with church. We’ve tried other churches, gone without church, looked for opportunity to home church, watched church on TV, I signed up for Koinonia Institute so I could at least feed myself, but it’s all been very lonely. I long for human connection with those who believe in Jesus. It is truly lonely when you are a believer in a world full of unbelievers. For me, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that no church is perfect (how could they be…they are full of humans) but most have good in them. This church is not perfect, but I’m willing to give it a consistent go. What sold me was the realness of the people and the fact that the pastor preaches the bible….so refreshing in Las Vegas. I know you and your family have been burned and institutionalized church is not perfect. I am convinced however that we are not to sojourn in this world alone. Perhaps start visiting some churches, sitting in the back row, not getting involved in a bunch of stuff – just sit and be still so that you guys can heal a bit? That’s kind of what we’ve been doing….and FINALLY, something is different about this church. Trying to listen to God on this, but I feel we are supposed to be here – at least for awhile.
    I will pray for you on this church journey. Jesus’ grace is sufficient my dear. Looking forward to seeing how He is going to grow you in this area. ;)

  4. Julie Williams says:

    I would encourage you and hubby to do your due diligence in seeking out a church. Go to a church for a month or more to see how it runs week to week. If there services are not being led by the Holy Spirit..GET OUT and dont go back!
    One day while driving down the road, I told God i needed more than milk in a church. He heard my cry and led us to a small church, we are all very close, spend time together on a regular basis( not just at church). We love it and only need to visit another church to realize how wonderful our church is!

    Julie

  5. Hi Jessica.
    Our family attends The Meeting House. It is a church made up of many Home Churches that meet during the week and come together (just those in Ontario) on Sundays in 13 regional sites. I know that there are Home Churches in BC, just not sure if they are near you. If you’re interested, you can check out the FB group for Distance Home Churches here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/105721852791857/

    A partial list of Distance Home Churches can also be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArNu3tMIYP4ddGtKanJxNXppRzhLbTMzejRjVWwxN0E&authkey=CMWdis8E&hl=en&authkey=CMWdis8E#gid=0

    We love being a part of this church… it doesn’t feel institutional at all… and the sense of community is very strong! :-)
    Aimee recently posted..Summer’s Here!My Profile

  6. crystal says:

    Jessica, where in Canada are you?

  7. crystal says:

    Never mind, I just saw your in Langley. I would check into this church:
    http://www.langleyvineyard.com/#/home

  8. Jessica,
    Praying is the best. May God lead you and guide you to discover the best way to worship Him and be in a community of fellow believers. We have changed churches through moves and discord but always found God faithful to put us exactly where we needed to be. “for such a time is this”. May you continue your search and find exactly where God wants you to be.
    Blessings,
    Jan
    Jan recently posted..HOW AND WHY DO WE CONSTRUCT COMMUNITY?My Profile

  9. I have no doubt that no matter what path you belong on you’re going to find it. :)
    Jenna recently posted..How to fuck with your dogMy Profile

  10. I know there are a few home churches in the Langley area.

  11. I’ll have to get the details, when I do I’ll pass it along.

  12. There are 2 in the area I have heard of, here is the info I have on one of them.

    We’d be happy to give you info on our house meetings – our new phone number is 604-882-1031

    Tamara & Todd

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