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October 26, 2018 – Issue #6

Keeping the doors open

When one door closes, there are at least two other doors

Recently, the front doors to the sanctuary were removed for refurbishment and the entrance blocked off until work on the doors is complete. To minimize the impact on business at Sanctuary Coffee, we ordered and placed signs in strategic positions to let patrons know the cafe is still open and how to access the building from other doors that provide entrance to the sanctuary. Customers repeatedly mention they enjoy our signs and that the signs are the main reason they try Sanctuary Coffee for the first time.

We're grateful that the downtown community keeps coming through the doors! On Friday, October 26, the cafe set a new daily sales record, exceeding the previous daily sales record by 25%. We expect sales to continue to grow in the weeks ahead.

Sanctuary Coffee also continues to welcome new volunteers from the community. These volunteers have discovered us through word of mouth, organizations like the YWCA, and advertisements on social media and Propellus. Our volunteers are learning both hard and soft skills that help them grow personally and professionally. As one of our volunteers recently exclaimed, "working at a cafe is much more than making coffee!" (We couldn't agree more.).

New Sanctuary Coffee promo

Discount for Knox folks

Sanctuary Coffee is becoming a go-to place for dowtown office workers for meetings and coffee and lunch breaks. But we’d love to serve YOU too! When you visit, tell our counter staff that you’re a Knox member/adherent and you'll receive 50% off your coffee or tea beverage. (Offer expires Nov. 30, 2018.)

Opportunity Knox?

Build teams, building our vision

Interested in a role that helps people grow and helps Knox accomplish its Next 1100 Days vision?

The Opportunity Knox team is looking for people to shape a creative and focused approach to volunteering at Knox. The purpose of the team is to inspire our congregation to serve on Knox's commissions and committees and to prepare them to succeed in this service.

Intrigued? Want to find out more about this team? You're invited to info sessions on Wednesday, November 28, 6:00-7:30PM (supper provided) and Thursday, November 29, 1:00-2:30PM (coffee and cookies provided at Sanctuary Coffee).    

Need more info? Please contact Janet Dargie.

Dirty Theology update

New season has kicked off

On Sunday, October 21, Sanctuary Coffee hosted YYC Campus Ministry for their first Dirty Theology session of the season. The topic of the night was sin (!!!), which springboarded a fascintating discussion led by Nick Coates (minister at Red Deer Lake United Church). The next Dirty Theology at Sanctuary Coffee is Sunday, November 25.

Dirty Theology is based out of three post-secondary institutions in Calgary, and is affirming and open to anyone who wants to explore spirituality in a safe place. If you'd like to learn more about this ministry, visit their website!

Coworking Update

Branding concept revealed

While we've been working on a membership agreement and terms and conditions for our coworking space, we've also been working on a branding concept with Arcade Studios. Last week, council reviewed and provided enthusiastic response to the first stage of this work. 


The logo created by Arcade taps into a growing interest in historic models of Christian community, which has recently inspired millennials to create intentional communities and adopt rules of life adapted from medieval monastic communities. The logo also provides strong imaging for making connections, which is our understanding of God's vision, and for Initiative 4 of the Next 1100 Days vision, which is to create community ministries in our historic building. As Arcade suggests,  

Abbey is a building occupied by a community of monks or nuns. Obviously, this space won’t have monks or nuns, but we liked that definition: “a building occupied by a community.”

Truth and Reconciliation 

Apology Anniversary

A note from Dave Holmes

October 28, 2018, marks the 20th anniversary of the United Church of Canada’s apology to indigenous peoples in Canada for our involvement in residential schools. Check out the text of this apology, delivered by Bill Phipps on the church’s behalf (it’s hanging in the hallway outside the sanctuary). 

When the United Church apologized for its involvement in residential schools, we acknowledged that we participated, willingly, in a profound wrong. Children as young as five or six years old were taken from their families (elders recount what it was like to be in a community without children–without laughter, the sounds of play). Can you imagine having your children taken away, against your will, to a place you knew would be abusive, to a place where they would be punished for speaking the only language they knew, where physical and sexual abuse was rampant, where their identity as indigenous people would be purposely taken from them? 

This was not an isolated “mistake.” The residential schools were part of a systematic national program of assimilation, land transfer, and racism. Though the residential schools are all closed, the system persists in laws such as the Indian Act, in practices such as inadequate pipeline consultations, in the differences between the way our justice system treats whites and non-whites.  

Acknowledging that we have done wrong is hard, particularly when the wrong is so significant. But acknowledging wrongdoing also opens us to healing, to new life, to the possibility of righting wrongs.  

Here at Knox, our Next 1100 Days vision includes the initiative of seeking to become a post-colonial church. We have begun in earnest to examine some very important questions: What is it in our attitudes and our theology that allowed our church to enter into a program like the Residential Schools? Where have we left the Way of Jesus and followed instead the dictates of empire, power, wealth and privilege? In the answers to these questions, I believe we will find both challenge and freedom. It will be hard to leave our familiar ways behind, but a new and enlivening faithfulness is waiting for us! This process of finding a post-colonial Christianity may well renew our life as a church and even help our society to deal with issues around consumerism and climate change. Yes, I think it’s that big!

In late October, we held our first session with the Elders in our “Elder-led Trust-building and Reconciliation Project.” There were five indigenous elders with us in this session (there are several more elders involved in the larger project, along with 18 church leaders from a variety of denominations). We told stories, shared our hopes for these sessions, and began to talk about specific goals and methods.  

The distinctive aspect of this program is that the leadership is in the hands of the elders/knowledge keepers. I was given good reason to be grateful for that! I experienced the elders’ leadership as a very fruitful combination of spiritual guide and leadership coach. They are always grounded, always patient, always gracious and aware of the Spirit. At the same time, they are skillful managers of group dynamics, and well-versed in tools for organizing, goal-setting, and motivation.  

It seems clear that we all want to do more than talk in this program. We want this process to be the beginning of real actions. Beyond guilt and blaming, beyond anger or defensiveness, by honouring our differences but even more by honouring our shared humanity, we hope to chart a shared path forward into right relations.  

Participants from Knox are Sharon Montgomery, Christina Conroy (who also represents Ambrose University) and me. We’ll keep you posted as the process proceeds, and we hope to engage the whole congregation in the conversation and next steps. 

The United Church of Canada has acknowledged the anniversary of its 1998 apology by providing a write up on its website.

Help build the vision!

Take advantage of our vision-driven newsletter and social media.

If you'd like to get the word out about your work on a Next 1100 Days initiative, please email Jenn Herring with details! We'd like to include the info in our newsletter and social media promotions.

Please check out Knox on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can also find Sanctuary Coffee on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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