What is "church(ish)"?
church(ish) was born out of a desire to create an authentic spiritual experience beyond what most traditional religious services offer. Many people, present or past, have little or no religious affiliation, yet we seek to live lives that are spiritually connected with ourselves, with each other, and with something bigger than us - whether we call it God/Spirit/Earth or other names. The role of spirituality in our lives can be healing and meaningful - encouraging us in our unique identities and callings, and challenging us to live out what love looks like.
Who is this for?
Anyone! We hope to offer a space where no one has to 'fit in' but anyone can belong. Where we can talk and share, and where we don't have to know the rites and rituals before we come. This is not an attempt to be 'cool' or post-modern, rather it embodies our deep belief that people like us and many who are different from us, share the same desire to be personally connected and to transform our world for the better. While some elements like music, reflections, and cultural expressions, may be familiar, you don't need to be church-ey to attend! It's not really church, it's just church-ish. A gathering where we can be vulnerable, authentic, and committed to personal and community transformation.
What do we believe?
Our faith is rooted in the Christian tradition, with progressive and inclusive theology that honours the sacred identities we inhabit and seeks a world where justice, peace, and equality are central to our lives. We also find inspiration from other belief systems and sacred teachings, both ancient and modern.
What will it be like?
This is an evolving adventure, so we, along with those who come, will continue to craft the experience as we go. It will not be fancy, but will strive to be real. With space for arts, music, comedy, food, sacred rituals, and conversation, we invite anyone and everyone to join us in this new experience with open hearts and curiosity, knowing you are welcome and wanted. Whether you've been in church all of your life, you've never been to one before, or you are somewhere in between, there's a warm space for you at church(ish).
When is it and why only five dates?
We will gather on five Sunday evenings: February 4, March 11, April 1, May 6, June 3. We will have some light 'brunch at night' items and coffee and tea available at 6:30 p.m., with the service starting at 7 p.m. and lasting about 70-80 minutes. church(ish) is a pilot project, made possible by the Embracing the Spirit grant through The Edge Network of the United Church of Canada. If the journey takes us to a place where we can continue with church(ish) we hope to make it a continuous and consistent gathering!
Who is involved?
church(ish) is led by McDougall United Church's ministry staff, which includes Rev. Joanne Anquist and our Family and Spiritual Development Director, Pam Rocker. We will have music provided by local musician KP Smith. We will also have artists, storytellers, and other guests. This has long been a dream of ours to create this space, and we welcome you to come alongside us with your ideas and questions.