December 4, 2020
Hello again, it's me Jodie for part 2 of how gatherings are looking these days. You can check out part 1 here...
Let's chat about gathering in person... A tricky thing for obvious reasons. It is important to acknowledge and honour that there is diversity in our capacities to gather based on life circumstances, not to mention the shifting provincial guidelines and restrictions. Nonetheless, here are some updates on meeting spaces.
The University of Calgary: Our long-time meeting place. The U of C has been our main gathering spot for yeeeears (like decades....). Humble beginnings meeting in a tiny meeting room (that no longer exists because of renovations) to various classrooms and lecture theatres throughout, UChurch has met on campus since 1991. It's no small thing to pick up our stakes move elsewhere.
The restrictions at the U of C would have made it impossible to continue gathering - especially as it pertained to kids' church. The smaller classrooms we used are not even available to rent in the foreseeable future.
This being said, even before the Covid-induced global pause, we as a church family had been asking the question of Father, "Should we still be meeting on campus?" (during times of intercession -- see this post).
While, I wouldn't say we heard a resounding "Yes!", there was definitely a sense that we may be on the move in the near future and together we began keeping our eyes and ears open for new possibilities.
And then, due to circumstances beyond our control (you know...pandemic), we are no longer even able to corporately gather. So now what?
The Village: Currently, there are no plans to gather corporately in person, however, we did take the opportunity to do 2 small 'open houses' at the Village in October.
Why The Village, you ask? Well, for the moment, I'll spare you the details of a very cool story - but suffice it to say that through a series of unexpected connections and conversations, the space has become available for us to use. A great relationship with the folks who run The Village and lots of flexible space make it a great option for in-person meetings (when they are able to happen).
The vision of The Village is to be a place that facilitates connection, for it to be a 'third place'. What is a third place.... well it's: a place in which in community building terms is the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home "first place" and the workplace "second place" (definition straight from Wikipedia so it must be true ;)
Looking forward to the day when we can meet in a third space again...
Gathering in Homes: Well, I'd have to say this is THE main thing for now! (well not 'now' now until some restrictions lift hopefully Dec 15, but you get it)
This it's what been happening - gather at your comfort level with one another. BE the church!
For those who may be asking - these are not "officially planned gatherings" Instead, they are just people who connect with one another and decide to get together at their own measure of comfort. You can also get your own Zoom membership (it's about $20/month) and host your own times of connection as you feel led. You don't even have to let us know.
The fact remains that we're not sure how things will play out in the months to come as restrictions are lifted and people feel more comfortable with gathering... but I thought it would be good to keep you in the loop!
I'm so glad that we have an amazing, loving God who actually does know what's up and He's leading us into the adventure. We're His kids. He's got us.
Feel free to email me if you have any further questions. We can't promise any answers, but a connection throughout this adventure is always fun!
Bye for now!