So, what is a Fresh Expression of Church, anyway?
Take a look at what we are offering as Fresh Expressions here at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beaver Bank, N.S. We've included the videos to help give you a sense about what these gatherings are all about and how much people enjoy them.
Fresh Expressions that we already offer include:
U2 Eucharist (U2charist)
We have held two U2 Eucharists: one to support Beacon House and another to support Adsum House on Saturday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Stay tuned for information on our next U2charist, which will take place in 2016, with youth leadership of the music and service.
Here is a video about a U2charist (in a much larger setting then ours, but you will see what it's all about). We apologize for the poor video quality; as is from YouTube!
CHURCH ON TAP (WITH A GOOD SHEPHERD TWIST)
Our first Church on Tap was held during Lent 2014. We loved the experience so much that it is now a regular feature of our Church year.
Our Church on Tap is a little different from what you will see in the video below (we didn't have the bar set up as an altar and we didn't use a video screen). We do have fantastic discussions which came out of our studies of the book.
OUR NEXT BOOK STUDY: Begins Ash Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
OUR CHOSEN BOOK FOR LENT 2017: Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
We'll begin our study at the church on Ash Wednesday, following our service of Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes. At that time, we will choose a weeknight that works best for the majority of those present for the rest of our book study gatherings.
Our study concludes on Good Friday with a movie about Jesus's Passion that we watch together in the morning, followed by a fish chowder lunch and our Good Friday worship service with Meditations on the Cross of Jesus, beginning at Noon.
If this sounds like an experience you'd like to have on your faith journey, feel free to join us - We would be happy to have you and hear what you think.
The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community by Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens and Dwight J. Friesen
Since our last book study, we've begun an enormous mission project, completing our own internal visioning process, which lead us beyond our four walls to a deeper engagement with the leaders of our community. So, in 2016 we chose to study a book to help us go deeper into our understanding of just exactly what mission is as we reach out to develop new partnerships within our community to meet the needs of our community. And, WOW, are we having fun so far!
Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road? by Brian McLaren
Since religion is now at the forefront of the global stage, we decided to engage this book as a source of conversation about what it means to be Christian in a world with so many religious differences that often lead to bullying, conflict, division and war.
These conversations served as a platform that has informed our parish vision and how we feel God is calling us to serve the world through our mission in Beaver Bank and beyond.
The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan
While the book was about the last week of the life of Jesus and about what he was truly passionate about in his life and ministry, we often went off topic, where no question was considered stupid or irrelevant. It was a truly amazing experience that took us to many unexpected and fulfilling places of conversation.
Here is a great video of a Fresh Expression Church on Tap for an Anglican Church in Ontario:
MESSY Church, Coming 2016!
We will be offering our first MESSY Church event in Lent 2016. Just like Church on Tap, we will be inviting people to come and check it out to see if it is a valuable addition to our community life. The best thing about it is that it gives the cook at home a night off from preparing supper! The timing will be late afternoon around the supper hour, with a craft activity for families of all sizes (from singles to parents and children, to grandparents and single seniors!) After the craft activity we will offer an informal kid-friendly Eucharist, using our Children's Labyrinth in our newly renovated Parish Hall.
Here is an official MESSY Church promo video: