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Some Good News for a Change
all the bad news we hear from around the world we forget that there is still
good news taking place all around us. The truth is that good news doesn't just happen,
it actually flows from those committed to the practiced.
When I think of good news I think of people learning to work together to care for others. Another example of good news is when families and friends focus on making a difference in their community. For some, good news begins with understanding how to love those around us and teaching our families to do likewise. This is the first step in the right direction and it's what it looks like when we get serious about living out good news together.
Did you know that there is a new family-friendly church in Laval? Last September a core group of people, tired of just the bad news, started getting serious about practicing and living out some good news right here in Laval. A new church committed to helping families and friends experience the power of good news is now taking root in Laval. The vision is simple: to love Jesus and to love like Jesus.
Being one of the largest cities in Quebec, Laval continues to experience increased growth which includes significant increases in families with young children. Yet, despite the excitement for the needed growing infrastructure for economic vitality, there remains fewer places for residents to learn about the Christian faith, process questions about suffering, faith in Jesus and a type of spirituality that makes sense in a digital world.
A study associated with the Canada Research Chair on Urban Heritage at Université du Québec à Montréal reported in one study that 160 churches in the province suffered “the tragic fate” of demolition since the beginning of the 20th century. Researcher Lyne Bernier expects more will fall, and with each one a piece of history is lost. This shift highlights the need for new church expressions that address spiritual questions in new ways and that help the next generation of Quebecers come to appreciate the positive aspects of their religious identity, and also learn from the challenging ones.
This new church community, excited about meeting the spiritual needs for Laval’s growing population, is called The One Eighty Church. The name says it all. A 180 or 'a turn' is at the heart of what the180 believes about faith. At its core, the church community celebrates that there is an approach to life that helps us see and believe that God can turn things around in our lives no matter how challenging or painful our stories might be.
Built upon the values of Faith, Support, Serving and Wholeness, we are strongly rooted in giving back to the community. As a new emerging church, we provide a worship experience that differs from conventional church services. For the past six months that the180 been in our community, they have seen tremendous growth with approximately 100+ attending the bi-monthly gatherings.
At present, gatherings are held in the Laval Industrial Park Centre and begin with a friendly welcome from our host team and musical praise songs led by the members of the church and a modern band with drums. The church space comprises of a relaxed set up with chairs in a warehouse which reflects the informality and welcoming vision of the church, welcoming all people including those with questions and doubts about religion.
The sermon consists of a 35-minute teaching time which feels more like a discussion. With a sensitive awareness for the diversity of different Christian denominations, I as the primary teacher with a PhD in the history of Christianity, help our church explore important faith ideas in a flexible, thought-provoking conversational style. There is also a thriving children’s program provided for children aged 2 and up, tying in the holistic approach to provide spiritual learning for the entire family.
Having grown up in Montreal, my family and I left a thriving church in Ontario last year to move back to Quebec to provide a leadership role for the new church. When people ask me about my passion for this new church I often say, the180 is for people tired of religion and feeling let down by church in general. It’s a place where people can just come together as a community and re-engage with Jesus. Quebec is ready for a rebirth focused on growing healthy families with a fresh attention on spiritual values as we connect with many from diverse religious backgrounds who are trying to understand how to grow spiritually in a 21st century world.
If you are in the Laval area and looking to focus on some good news, maybe a visit to check out the180 is just what you need. If you are tired of the bad news, become part of the good news.
OFFICIAL LAUNCH PARTY - SUNDAY SEPT 18th at 10:30 am
3190 rue Delaunay, Laval, QC, H7L 5E1.
During gatherings, the children’s program will be available for 2-11 year olds.
Visit the website for more details: www.theoneeighty.ca
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