This is the second of a series of posts regarding an update on our Visioning / Renewal initiative at Knox UC. In this post, we will update you on the other major theme areas: interfaith dialogue, deeper spiritual exploration / small group studies / adult religions education and community engagement.
We have had interactions over food and music with both the Turkish Muslim IDI group and with the folks at Temple Israel, Ottawa‘s Reform Jewish congregation over on Prince of Wales. We continue to look for projects in which we could cooperate with these groups.
We are exploring a possible dialogue with a Reconstructionist Jewish congregation here in Ottawa. Look for more detail as this project develops.
We have reached out and twinned with the Manilla central Church Gastambide church in the Philippines. We provide letters of support and comfort to a group that has been threatened and intimidated by its own territorial and federal governments.
Small Group Studies / Adult Education / Deeper Spiritual Journey
We are trying to put together an adult study where the parents of young families have an opportunity to watch the ‘The Bible’ video series at home and then to come with their children to the church and discuss the the spiritual meaning and content of the videos. Child care will be provided so the adults can concentrate on their discussions. We hope to initiate this series in March.
We are also trying to launch a small adult group study based on some of the videos by Michael Dowd. Dowd is a US-based minister who is keen on the linkages and interrelationships between contemporary science and religion.
Community Engagement -External an internal
We have delivered a personal finances planning seminar to students at Algonquin College under the auspices of Algonquin’ Chaplaincy Services.
Our Outreach Committee has been involved in stocking and manning the ‘Pause Table’ at Algonquin College which provides food and drink to students during the Fall / Christmas exam period . We will be doing this again in the Spring Term exam period at Algonquin.
We are planning on attending the mid March meeting of the nearby Manordale / Woodvale Community Association as it meets to reflect on the results of a study that they commissioned to find out what their membership wants the community to be like in the years ahead. We are interested to see if we might have a role to play in the community.
We are investigating what it might take to establish a community garden on church property.
We are investigating what it would take to hold a ‘messy church’ service, possibly in the April. This event might be similar to our ‘Family Day’ events which we held over the last several years around Christmas. This event would involve crafts, music, fellowship, a shared meal and a modest / modified church service. The idea would be to make the event open to our larger surrounding community to give people a taste of Knox and to share fellowship together. Presently, we are canvassing other churches who have held these ‘messy church’ events in the city to see what was involved.
And last, but not least, we are trying to generate interest in our ‘Friendly Visitor’ initiative to provide visits to shut ins and newcomers. There are also ‘lost souls’ out there in the community that were formerly members of Knox. We need to re-connect with them and help them feel part of the Knox family.
So you can see that collectively we have been busy in pushing forward the KUC renewal initiative on many fronts. Lots of work remains to be done, but there is plenty of excitement on the horizon. We welcome your input and participation.
If you have a Knox related project that you feel passionate about and that you would like to put some time and effort into, we would love to hear from you and see how we can help you make it happen.