As you may know, we are exploring the idea of starting a second service. After a few years of being on the back burner, we now sense we’ve got a green light to explore what a second gathering could look. However there’s a large gap between having a green light, and knowing exactly what we’ll do. That’s the purpose of this letter and accompanying survey. We have some clear ideas and vision for a 2nd Service, but we’d also like to hear from you. Please take the time to read this letter and then complete the online survey via the link provided at the bottom of this letter. We particularly invite you to join us in prayer in this matter. We’re excited, but there’s a lot of work to be done and we want to continue to have God’s green light.
Start with “why?”
There are three primary reasons why we’re looking at adding an additional gathering time for WCV. 1) Making room for, and responding to, GROWTH. 2) Exploring DIVERSITY. 3) And lastly, making space for LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT.
We have grown in exciting ways this past year. Sunday morning attendance has grown to the point where it is difficult to find a place to sit if you are late. Kid’s church reflects this growth trend keenly. Our assessment is that we’re postured for growth in other ways too. The Outer Circle process is one primary structure that has and will encourage growth in depth. We love both ways we are growing and we want to encourage both kinds of growth. When a plant is healthy, it grows. The biblical record suggests the same is true for congregations (Acts 2).
Church growth wisdom that says if any group’s gathering space is over 80% full, people will not join because it feels like there’s no room for them. This is true of us right now.
There is a beautiful array of people who call WCV home. For the past 17 years we’ve managed to hold true to what God’s called us to and make space for a diversity of expressions in our worship, teaching and gatherings. Part of our heritage is a spirit of experimentation and risk taking.
We feel that now is a time to experiment with other ways of being WCV. We recognize that some like it loud and others crave quiet. Some hear the Word through our style of preaching and others are itching for more interaction. There is also diversity in culture, age, and intellectual acuteness. We’d like to explore what it could look like to have another completely “WCV” expression of Sunday morning Gathering without losing what we already have and what God’s given us – which is unique and precious. A second gathering would be a venue for this exploration. The fist gathering would continue to be the same.
3) Leadership Development
A third primary reason is to create a space for new leaders to grow into their gifting. We are for multiplication in many ways, which includes seeing new leaders emerge. Sunday gatherings are one venue (of many) for leadership to be exercised. We’d love to see a team emerge that would significantly shape the 2nd Service. The pastoral staff would be involved in a direct way with one pastoral point person leading the 2nd Service Leadership team.
Two Concurrent Services
We’d like to experiment with two services happening at exactly the same time. The first would remain in the Main Gathering area and would remain consistent. The other would be in the 3rd Floor Flatlander’s Studio. There are a few reasons for two concurrent services.
1) Kid’s church
Currently, we have a great Kid’s church program with lots of people volunteering their time and giving their hearts to the next generations. At this time we do not feel it would be wise or reasonable to attempt to duplicate this tremendous effort. We want the 2nd Service to be available for families with children. If both services happened concurrently, Kid’s church could be shared (we are making plans to expand the Kid’s church area to accommodate for growth).
2) Utilize space
WCV is in a unique situation with a very unique building. We’ve got the opportunity to use various parts of the building at the same time. We envision the 2nd Service happening in the Flatlanders Studio on the 3rd floor.
3) Pastoral leadership
Nobody on the pastoral team feels like they have the freedom to pursue an evening service option at this time. However, this does not rule out the possibility of an evening service in the future.
4) Maintain Connections
Experimenting with 2 concurrent services will give people options on any given Sunday morning. It would minimize the separation anxiety that often occurs when churches begin a 2nd service. There could still be a common coffee time after both services. People could still have connection at the many scheduled lunch events that happen directly after the current service.
While we feel the time is right, this does not indicate that we have the whole thing planned out without any room for experimenting. In fact, we believe now is the time for a team to come together and experiment with different ideas, see what seems to have life and evaluate at the end of this period. This gives room for ideas to develop, get tested, gain traction, get tweaked or be set aside.
· Now until end of March: Vision-cast & Feedback via Survey
· Now until end of April: Build Leadership team
· End of April – end of June: Leadership team meets to pray, plan andy experiment together
· Sept: Begin 2nd Service experiment
· Dec: Evaluate
We want to hear from you. Certainly you can email, phone or get together for coffee with any of us. Bear in mind that whatever develops will have all the biblical hallmarks of what should happen when Christians gather together (teaching the Word, worshipping Jesus, celebrating communion, caring for each other, etc.) and will stay true to WCV’s DNA – what God’s called and specifically gifted WCV to do.
Please take 5 minutes to complete the online survey. We will also have physical copies at the info table that you can complete if needed.
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Every Thursday there is a unique art drop-in called "Raill Arts Drop-in". It happens right during the regular drop-in from 10 - 12noon. Check out the new site - complete with pictures! It's also on facebook.
Some places seem to echo with the pain of their past.
Sutherland and King, one block off Main Street, is a place like that. There has been death: several dozen murders, still unsolved, were carried out brutally on women who, most of them at one time or another, have stood on this corner. The signs of addiction to heart-numbing substances are there too: needles, bottles, discarded condoms. The graffiti above the corner, perennially re-tagged, shouts despair to the women selling their bodies below. And the echoes of this pain go back further than the tragedies enacted on this corner. They carry with them memories of residential schools and the attendant beatings and abuse carried out there, the sadnesses of families broken up, and the need to numb the horror of those years for many of their children.
Here are some pics some of you may find interesting. They are of the "Radford Wright" fire that destroyed the builing directly south of 782 Main st back in the day. This is the space that is currently our Green Space.
And 99 years later it looks like this! The wall is iterally built on the foundation of the old building: