I just finished watching a documentary called, “One Size Fits All?” on Fringe churches across Canada. I was really excited when I came across the DVD because it’s so rare to find a uniquely Canadian production on church.
Sometimes, to our detriment, churches in Canada tend to consume all the products, services, and stats, from the US. Although there is room to exchange information across the border, we still have look long and hard on how communities can be leaders in a uniquely Canadian context.
‘One Size Fits All?’ essentially looks at non-traditional church communities getting into the nitty gritty messy details of communities. Some really cool stories about leaders across the country taking a gospel message and making it known in their particular context. From theaters, to gardens, to coffee shops, almost every urban center in Canada has a form of ‘missional church’.
However, despite floating across the country, the producer skipped a province–ours.
Despite being a hub for free market enterprises, that is a favorable climate for entrepreneurs, there are few Christian leaders willing to risk stepping outside the comfortable customs of church.
The other reason I think is simply Alberta is the Bible-belt of Canada which means less acceptance of fringe groups; we tend to be much more conservative in this province than say Ontario or Quebec–heck even Manitoba.
Although this cultural deficit is a slight to Calgary in particular, things are changing in my opinion. Look at East Calgary. Although white middle/upper class church communities aren’t thinking about the diverse cultures emerging mostly in East Calgary (east of Deerfoot, north of Glenmore), we are definitely starting to kick the cowboy stereotype aside.
Calgary is also starting to get more active in the arts, hosting more festivals like the Fringe festival (which is huge itself in Edmonton.)
Culture progresses with or without the church. Christian church communities can wave their finger in disapproval while battening down the hatches from the onslaught of ‘sinful culture’, or they can engage in the wealth of new cultural expressions permeating our city.
One posture seeks to bring the redeeming message of the Gospel to a group of people in a language they can understand. The other bunkers down in the church building creating rules and making people conform to an implied standard of religiosity.
Calgary Church and its network would represent the former.
In fact, we’re totally interested in connecting with people who feel like they’ve been marginalized, pushed to the fringe, don’t quite belong or don’t quite comprehend the experience and rules of traditional church.
We’re looking for those who were connected into ‘church’ but then started to realise they didn’t quite fit in, yet still yearn to be connected into a movement that seeks to join God in his redemption plan for our city. We want to be a part of your plan to create your own community that maybe God is calling you to connect into.
We’re looking for those who yearn to be loved unconditionally. Those who want their soul to be connected into an eternal purpose.
If you don’t believe in those things, think you already have them, or are just uninterested, then you can just ignore our call.
By the way, the trailer for the 45 minute documentary is here:
[tags]one size fits all, calgary church[/tags]