Canadian Fresh Expressions List

Posted by on Jul 4, 2008 in Fresh Expressions Stories | 22 Comments

Below you will find a list of known Fresh Expressions of Church in Canada.  For more information on what Fresh Expressions of Church are all about, click here.

What is a fresh expression of church?

“A fresh expression of church is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church.  It will come into being through principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and making disciples.   It will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the church and for its cultural context.”  – From Fresh Expressions, UK

If you are involved in what might be considered a “fresh expression of church”, please fill in the form below.  When you do, enter the name of your fresh expression instead of your own name.  If you have a web site, please enter it.  Then please use the comment field to tell us about your church.

This page is only for listing Canadian Fresh Expressions of Church.  If you have more general comments about fresh expressions, please enter them here instead.

Fresh Expressions are popping up around the country!

[mappress]

22 Comments

  1. Saint Benedict's Table, Winnipeg, MB
    July 4, 2008

    Whenever we try to describe saint benedict’s table, terms like “alternative,” “post-modern” and “emergent church” manage to creep in to the conversation. The problem with these sorts of terms is two-fold: either people have no idea what we are talking about, or they jump to a whole series of conclusions based on what they assume such catch-words mean. Either way we manage to communicate little of what we are actually about, so in the interest of saying something useful here, this page is officially declared free of that particular jargon.

    So what are we? Lifting quite happily from the English writer Kenneth Leech, the following list of descriptors should give a sense of what we are about.

    saint benedict’s table is first and foremost a eucharistic worshipping community. Not only do we share each Sunday night in the bread and wine of communion, we are eucharistic in the sense that we are defined by our common life in the Body of Christ.
    saint benedict’s table strives to be a baptismal community, meaning that not only do we practice baptism but also that we understand ourselves to be called to live out the life of a transformed and alternative people.
    saint benedict’s table understands itself to be a biblical community, in which scripture is prayed and digested.
    saint benedict’s table is a community of rational inquiry; a zone in which truth is sought and heard, and in which dissent and dialogue are embraced as part of the process of discernment.
    saint benedict’s table is going to need to find ways to rise to the challenge to be an inclusive community, always asking ourselves, “who is left out?”
    saint benedict’s table is discerning a call to becoming a community of expectation, restlessness, and vision – of “messy spirituality,” as Mike Yaconelli phrased it. We experience ourselves as community of Advent spirituality: always on the hinge between the old and the new, the known and the unknown to which God is drawing us.

    We are positioned within the Anglican tradition, which for us is less about denominational labels or institutional jurisdiction – though we do exist as a part of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land – and more about being rooted in rich spiritual, liturgical and theological soil. This is the same soil that nurtured C.S. Lewis and T.S. Eliot, John Donne and George Herbert, Dorothy Sayers and Madeleine L’Engle and Desmond Tutu and countless others. Theologians and poets, musicians and novelists, reformers and rebels… all somehow linked through a tradition of breadth and depth and search and even the occasional controversy. It is good soil; the kind that gets embedded right into the skin on your hands as you work in it. (From web site)

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  2. Emerge, Montreal, QC
    July 4, 2008

    maybe church is more about who & whose we are, than it is about where we go at a certain time, on a certain day of the week. maybe it’s an idea that isn’t limited by time or space but only by our imagination…

    mission: to be a vital Christian community 24/7 that effectively engages people in the 18 to 35 age group working/studying/living/playing in contemporary downtown Montreal with the good news of Jesus Christ

    values: intimacy, participation, friendship, belonging, action, and authenticity are all valued by this generation and the church

    vision: to see a growing community of Christians in the 18-35 group effectively cooperating with God’s mission, with the freedom to pursue the leading of the holy spirit in diverse ways, and being an authentic expression of the church, that is both biblically informed and culturally sensitive

    Official Site: http://emerge2.homestead.com/
    Youtube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjuSOuwghEI

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  3. Church on Tap, Port Colborne, ON
    July 4, 2008

    Who says you have to do church in a church? On Sunday, October 28 th , the Parish of St. James & St. Brendan Church in Port Colborne held its inaugural “Church On Tap” in association with the Canalside Pub and Eatery on West Street. The worship committee under the leadership of Rev. Robert Hurkmans had worked hard to plan and promote the event, but leading up to the event we weren’t sure what to expect. Some people who had heard about the event phoned to find out more, while others who had seen our advertising had voiced their displeasure, complaining that the idea of holding church in a pub was “offensive” and “disgusting”. We would soon discover the outcome.

    Official Site: http://www.portcolborneanglican.org/cot.html
    Newspaper Article: http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news/business/article/129542

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  4. Messy Church, St. John’s, NL
    July 4, 2008

    The Parish St. Michael & All Angels has taken the initiative in reaching out to those who, for whatever reason, find it difficult to be a part of the traditional Sunday morning faith community by funding a mission project we call saturday@st.michaels.

    Official Site: http://www.wix.com/saturdaysam/welcome
    Newspaper Article: http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=119419&sc=79
    Video: http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=keI_aVoY07M

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  5. Phoenix Community Ministry
    July 11, 2008

    Check out Phoenix Community Ministry, Verdun, QC at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01gDI3yqu_M

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  6. Hochma
    July 12, 2008

    Hochma LogoWe are a community of seekers and Christians in the East end of Montreal, traditionally very poor, very francophone and very allergic to church. Most of our dozen families live on the same street and we care for each other and a large circle of neighbours. We are learning how to be the expression of Jesus and address the extreme relational poverty that characterizes our friends and neighbours. We have a lot of fun! This week another pastor of an artists’ church is coming to help us build a sacred space in an abandoned lot called a guerilla labrynth. We are trying to tap into the spiritual interest that is latent and draw people towards God.
    Hochma is a play on words of the neighbourhood called Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and the Hebrew word for wisdom.
    Soon our web site will be bilingual!

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  7. The Freeway Church Community
    July 18, 2008

    The Freeway is a holistic church community, committed to living missionally together in our neighbourhood in Hamilton, Ontario.

    As a community, we have several initiatives/projects which we are involved in:

    We have worship gatherings, think tanks, house parties, spiritual retreats, etc. which help us to form spiritually and to learn from and inspire each other, etc.

    We have an innovative, fair trade coffee house which acts as a non-religious cultural hub, an art and music space, a place for community [third place], and an environment for the exploration of local and global justice.
    We host a learning party [called Cultivate Gathering] twice a year for church planters and those interested in creating mission-shaped churches.
    We host an Allelon Training Centre – providing practical, affordable and flexible training for all church leaders. We also offer a Summer Institute in conjunction with the training centre.

    We have a collaborative gardening project.

    We are friends with people from all over Canada and are actively involved in four networks/tribes which seek to inspire people to live missionally for Jesus in a changing culture: The Salvation Army, Resonate, Allelon, and True City.

    Official Web Site: http://frwy.ca/church/

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  8. Church on the Rock
    July 18, 2008

    Who are we? Church on the Rock is a gathering of believers who want to experience God and make a difference in this world. We exist to turn non-Christians into fully developed followers of Christ.

    Values
    XL Faith. We take risks, we pray hard and see God do his specialty… the impossible. Pray large or go home.

    God’s Word, Daily. We believe that unless you unplug from the world’s noise and plug into the Bible daily that you will not experience all that God has for you.

    Official Web Site: http://www.churchontherock.ca/
    Serve in Your Groove. Every believer has some thing beautiful to give away. We help you discover your gift and calling and let you experience the joy of serving others.

    Stretch ourselves to Reach. None of us are still on this planet for ourselves. All believers are charged with the responsibility of reaching a friend, our community and a part of the world with the words and works of Jesus. We are about those outside our walls.

    Next Generation. The next generation is in the time of their lives making key decisions on career, marriage partner, and faith. We want to be in the most significant time of people’s lives, so we influence this next generation.

    Strong Families. Nothing influences the next generation as well as strong families. Our job is to equip families to excel in their first ministry, their family Transforming Life Events. How do we know if we are winning as a church? If we hear stories of a constantly increasing number of life transformations, then we are winning. This is the great adventure, seeing Christ formed in every child of God.

    Connected. We are a church of relationships. Whether is it through a small group, mentoring pairing, or a service team, we want everyone to be as committed to each other as Christ is committed to us.

    Innovation, Excellence and Passion. These are the crossroads of our services. We will keep fresh with innovation, be the best for the King through excellence and be real enough to show our passion for Him.

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  9. Messy Church in Oshawa
    July 23, 2008

    Messy Church

    So what’s Messy Church? It’s an alternative to Sunday morning worship, geared particularly for parents and their kids under the age of 6.

    Why offer it? Because young parents told us openly that Sunday worship doesn’t work for them or their kids. Here’s why:
    (1) They are leaving their kids at daycare all week long and don’t feel right leaving them in the nursery on Sundays too.
    (2) If they keep their kids with them in church they can’t attend to worship because they’re worried about their kids disturbing other people.

    So what do we do at Messy Church? We meet for an hour of games, songs, crafts, cartoons, flannelgraphs, stories & puppets, that focus on teaching one story from the Bible. We’ve got a pot of coffee on, and parents and kids can come as they are. Parents join in all the activities with their kids. We start with singing, and after crafts, games, and the story told through various media, we end with a blessing said to actions. It is a crazy, hectic, and often messy hour in which we have a lot of fun while we worship through music, prayer and the learning of Scripture.

    Anyone can attend, and families often bring babies and older children, although the games and crafts are particularly geared to kids age 2 to 6.

    Our first Messy Church was attended by 33 people. 8 of the 11 families attending were very peripherally connected to Christ Church. All of these families attended our second Messy Church, and three of them brought friends and their kids.

    What have parents told us they like about ‘messy church’? They can:
    (1) be with their kids instead of leaving them in the nursery, (2) learn,
    and help their kids learn, the stories of the bible, (3) meet other young
    couples with kids, (4) come as they are and have a coffee too, and (4) let their
    kids be kids, while still being at church.

    Why go to all the work and preparation required for Messy Church? We feel called to do whatever it takes to help people know, love, and serve God. And if that means offering worship that is alternative to Sunday morning we’re happy to do that.

    We’re not treating this ministry as a stepping stone into ‘real Sunday morning church’. Rather, our hope is to build a community of faith among these young parents and their kids so that they can become deeply involved in what God is doing in this world.

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  10. God at the Pub
    September 3, 2008

    This fall, we are running the “Jesus Who” course at “God at the Pub”

    God at the Pub is an opportunity to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed, laid back environment — The Yellow Griffin Pub!

    Jesus Who is an exploration into the life and person of Jesus.

    Please check out our renewed website, http://www.GodAtThePub.com for more information and our new promo video!

    Reply
  11. Capital City Bikers' Church
    September 8, 2008

    CCBC is a “real” church where you can come and enjoy working out your spiritual journey in the company of “fellow travelers”. Our desire is to provide a laid back atmosphere where we can be comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, where we enjoy lots of laughter and good times.

    See http://www.bikerschurch.com for more information.

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  12. Route 1-8 & The Bridge
    February 17, 2009

    The Goal of ROUTE 1-8 is to make disciples in…

    Jesus’ lasts word to his disciples recorded in Matthew and incarnated in Acts were to ‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you’. A complimentary passage is found in Acts, where Jesus is quoted as saying, ‘you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’.

    Route 1-8 was recently approved for funding by the Diocese of Toronto (and thus this is just beginning). The Rev’d Tim Haughton is leading and developing this ministry which will be…

    …fostering a missional environment – This initiative is an extension of our long term vision at St. Paul’s, Bloor Street, Toronto to be a distinctly missional Church. This requires a culture change we are committed to as a ministry team through leadership, preaching, teaching, praying, and worship.

    This will also be achieved through intentionally discipling missional disciples in the local context. This is a commitment of all ministry staff through the vehicles of One-to-one and small group discipleship. These transformed disciples will be our “missionaries” amongst their un-churched and open de-churched friends.

    THE BRIDGE – a continued and deepening commitment to connect the gospel of Jesus Christ relevantly to our culture through this ongoing ‘traditional fresh-expression’ of church. The bridge service and community at St Paul’s utilizes a focused Eucharistic Sunday worship, with excellence in Child care, Children’s ministry and Preaching with concomitant intentional fostering of healthy community. Over the last year this community has doubled in size, growing primarily amongst the open-dechurched. Beginning in 2009 our goal is to move this community into spiritual depth. A year of intentional discipleship through preaching, teaching, cell church (see below), and mission activity will lay the foundation for a fresh expression amongst other open de-churched and unchurched communities.

    The ‘bridge’ to Route 1-8…

    Cell Church – We will continue to develop a missionally focused small group ministry that will form the basis of a cluster / cell model of fresh-expressions . This would offer a range of groups that are targeted toward the un-churched, and to discipling missional disciples. Each small group is contextual and connected to a particular group – like St. Paul becoming “a Jew to the Jew “– a greek to the greek…” To put it another way, we want to emulate Archbishop William Temple’s famous dictum, ‘The Church is the only institution that exists primarily for its non-members’.

    For the unchurched these communities would prayerfully become genuine and integral fresh-expressions of church – not simply a means to join the main services of St. Paul’s Bloor Street. New Christians in the cells would be connected with a cell sponsor who would spend a minimum of a year intentionally discipling the individual.

    Each cell regardless of its context will be ordered around four core movements

    1. Welcome – fostering authentic community
    2. Worship – connecting with the living God
    3. Word – engaging the life-transforming word of God
    4. Witness – moving out into mission in word and deed – small groups would form the backbone of our mission to our neighbourhood and beyond.

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  13. Jeremiah House and Village, St. Anne's Gladstone
    February 17, 2009

    Logo
    We are a diverse circle of people who share a common vision for a city that welcomes the stranger, seeks justice for every person, and builds peace and harmony between neighbours.

    Here are a few things we would say about us:

    a.. We are people who are hungry to find an authentic expression of Christian spirituality.
    b.. We are people who love this city and are concerned for its future.
    c.. We are people who are inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth
    d.. We seek to follow in Jesus’ steps of putting the needs of those who are ‘the least, the last, and the lost’ in the eyes of society before our own.
    e.. We are people who cherish the freedom that a life of simplicity offers, and who struggle against the captivity of our culture to consumerism and materialism.
    f.. We are people who value meaningful relationships and seek community in the concrete and bustle of the city.

    The project is funded by the Anglican Diocese (area) of Toronto, and is located in the historic parish of St. Anne’s, in the Dundas St W. neighborhood of Toronto.

    Our work and play, growth and vitality moves in 5 ways:

    a.. Passionate spirituality
    b.. Intentional community
    c.. Spiritual growth
    d.. Radical giving
    e.. Neighbourhood SERVICE networks

    About the Jeremiah Community (now forming):
    At the heart of the Jeremiah Project is an “urban new-monastic” community.

    In an age shaped by radical individualism, the Jeremiah Project is about reclaiming the radical notion of deep community. This counter-cultural practice is challenging but also deeply rewarding. In community we discover deeper love and forgiveness, and the surprising joy of living more simply by sharing what we have in common. We hope, by inviting people to try intentional community living with us, we can build stronger relationships between neighbors in our city. The Jeremiah Community has a ‘rhythm of life’ which we share so that we can be accountable to each other as we seek to recover the ancient practices of simplicity, hospitality (welcoming the stranger) and pilgrimage, prayer and meditation, justice-seeking, peace-making, outreach, and learning in our daily lives.

    We’re developing a model of intentional community that embraces people living in both ‘the village’ of the neighbourhood, as well as in shared community houses within the neighbourhood.

    To have a conversation… to get involved… Contact us:

    Lance Dixon – Team Leader
    lance@jeremiahproject.ca

    Rob Crosby-Shearer – Director of Community Formation
    rob@jeremiahproject.ca

    The Jeremiah Project
    c/o St. Anne’s Church
    270 Gladstone Avenue
    Toronto, ON M6J 3L6
    416-536-3160

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  14. Contemplative Fire
    February 17, 2009

    Contemplative FireStillness, silence, and sacrament.
    Living in the present moment.
    Being, Knowing and Doing.
    Creating a Community of Christ at the Edge

    Contemplative Fire is an intentional and dispersed community of people who seek to follow Jesus through contemplative practices and a rhythm of life. Taking the traditional Christian contemplative prayer practices and making them accessible and available for the 21st century, our community seeks to offer a place of spacious stillness in which people can come to know Christ, to slow down their lives, learn to listen to God and then follow Jesus from the depth of their inner being.

    Our worship is creative. Our monthly services are Eucharistic and based on the lectionary readings, but each is different engaging the worshippers on many sensory levels. Our small groups vary in size and focus and timing but all are contemplative as they meet for deep listening, respectful study, or creative wonder.
    Our rhythm of life is based on prayer/study/action or being/knowing/doing.
    We don’t own buildings or manage property. We meet in homes, some churches, and hopefully soon many attractive surroundings, even out of doors.

    Contemplative Fire originated in the UK in 2003 as a fresh expression of the Diocese of Oxford, founded and led by The Revd Philip Roderick who also founded The Quiet Garden Trust. The Canadian community, led by The Revd Anne Crosthwait and sponsored by Diocese of Toronto is also part of the global community of Contemplative Fire.

    Contact us at info@contemplativefire.ca or 416-834-3400. For more information see http://www.contemplativefire.org. The Canadian website can be found at http://www.contemplativefire.ca Don’t hesitate to call us with questions. Perhaps you hear God inviting you to slow down and listen more deeply to what he wants to say to you.

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  15. The Carrying Place
    February 17, 2009

    This is a dispersed monastic community in the Northumbria tradition. “The Northumbria Community was established to provide companionship on that journey and to outline a way of living centred in our Rule of Life of Availability and Vulnerability. The Rule along with our Daily Office (Celtic Daily Prayer) reflects the influence of the monastic tradition in the development of Community ethos.”
    Each member is a sort of monk / nun praying daily in the cell of the heart and home and then gathering together as monastary in the cenobitic way.

    The renewal of the church will come from a new type of monasticism which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time men and women banded together to do this’
    [Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a letter to his brother, Karl-Friedrick, 14 Jan.
    1935]

    At the Toronto Carrying Place God carries us and where we carry each other in prayer and personal support, including praying for church planting, Fresh Expressions and missional efforts by this Diocese. The Carrying Place is also one of the earliest names of Toronto.

    Usually a modest dozen of us in gather monthly in each others homes for food, discussion, and worship using the Celtic Daily Prayer and other resources. Another group meets at Wycliffie College Toronto for Contemplative Compline. A related course in Celtic Spirituality is being offered (Lent ’09) at the Church of the Resurrection, Toronto.

    If you want your dream to be, build it slowly and surely.
    Small beginnings, greater ends.
    Heartfelt work grows purely.

    Reply
  16. Café church in Waterloo, ON
    February 17, 2009

    Just stumbled across this website today and wanted to tell you about Fresh Expressions at All Saints’ Waterloo, Ontario. We meet for a cafe church on Saturday a month. We’ve been running it for 3.5 years now. Good coffee, folk music, conversation and instead of a ‘message’ I interview someone about their faith journey. We’ve hosted singer-songwriters and had an iconographer talk about his craft and faith journey. We also explore different worship styles. We’ve done spirituals, Quaker styles, African hand drums, and in the Spring we’ll be having worship inspired by the 60s (Bob Dylan and Bruce Cockburn) We try to keep it experimental while ordering the service around the eucharist and liturgy.

    We’ve had our ups and downs but we have an average attendance of 20-35 people. It’s a chance to build community, enjoy casual worship and hear each others journeys. it’s great to hear about what others are doing around Canada.

    Peace

    – Dale Nikkel (Coordinator)

    Reply
  17. Messy Church in Fort Saskatchewan
    March 27, 2009

    The Rev’d David Lehmann is rector of St. George’s Anglican Church in Fort Saskatchewan. Over the past few months, he and members of his congregation have begun sharing with their community a Fresh Expression of Church called “Messy Church.”

    Click here to read more.

    Reply
  18. Families for Faith Fun Food
    October 5, 2009

    The Parish of St. John’s Anglican Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is venturing into the Fresh Expressions fray with its “Families for Faith Fun Food” (aka 4F). This form of “messy church” is to begin with its inaugeral event on Saturday, October 24 2009, at a local urban community centre with hope that it will grow and continue with, at the least, monthly gatherings. Other forms of Fresh expressions are being explored with plans unfolding for their launch in the future. The parish moved out of its traditional church building in March 2007 and, since, has worshipped at a local junior high school library and now finds itself holding regular worship in the chapel of the new local funeral home. The people of the parish have lived out the church as the people of God, regardless of where they gather, doing the good works of God and offering worship and praise to the Almighty.

    Reply
  19. Messy Church in Georgetown, ON
    April 17, 2010

    Messy Church at St. George’s Georgetown gathers the second Wednesday of each month beginning at 5pm. Messy Church provides an opportunity for families to explore creativity, experience worship, enjoy fellowship, share a meal and have fun within a Christian community. Now in its third year, contact Rev. Nancy Rowe at St. George’s for more information.

    Reply
  20. Fresh Expressions
    May 5, 2010

    Skater Church, Perth Ontario

    St. James Anglican Church’s new ministry ‘Skater Church’ meets twice weekly in the church hall with over 60 participants comprising children and youth. Check out the new video here!

    Reply
  21. Cameron House in Peterborough Ontario
    June 29, 2010

    A Fresh Expression of Church at Cameron House, a women’s shelter in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada in partnership with the Rural Outreach Committee and FaithWorks, the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.

    Reply
  22. TransforNations
    October 13, 2010

    My ministry to start up a “fresh expressions of church” started up in Burnaby, BC, about 2 months ago. I have recently talked to Ron Weeks on Vancouver Island; we may get together to help each other. I compose a “Fresh Voice” daily devotion that I send to anyone on my contact list; please send me your email address if you wish to receive it. I launched a web site, TransforNations at the beginning of October. The aim with TransforNations is to encourage what I call “fresh spiritual expression” in the Internet community, with the ultimate purpose to attract people in the local community on the Lower Mainland who wish to get together outside a formal, established church. Please contact me if you have a similar interest and can lend support in any way. God willing, I hope there is a response by those who have a needy, searching heart in their relationship/journey with God. May my service be pleasing in the name of Jesus. May the power of the Holy Spirit be increasingly known to all. May all glory go to God’s Dominion.
    –Ian Branston, Burnaby, BC, October 13, 2010

    Reply

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