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November 9, 2018 – Issue #7

Update from Sanctuary Coffee

A place to meet

Sanctuary Coffee has been steadily growing! On Friday, November 2nd, we had a record breaking sales day, and a very steady flow of customers. As mentioned before in previous newsletters, the customer base is growing because of social media promotion, material promotion in the way of signs, and, markedly, our current customer base bringing their friends, relatives, and coworkers. There has been an increase of meetings being held by local business people, which establishes the cafe as a place to gather and share ideas over coffee and tea. There also has been a trend of people staying within the church after the cafe has closed, which points to the space being a calm sanctuary for people to gather and connect, thus creating community.

Reminder: Sanctuary Coffee discount

Discount for Knox folks

Our new loyalty cards are here! Ask for the blue logo VIP cards the next time you’re in the shop: buy five coffee or tea beverages and get one free. Or, if you’re a Knox member/adherent, we have a pink logo holiday special card for you: get four coffee and tea beverages at 50% off until December 31, 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.


Learn more about Dirty Theology

An exploration for youth of the dirty and difficult parts of the Bible

Dirty Theology is a space for young adults to build connections, get real and dig deep into the nitty-gritty of what our faith means in our daily lives. It is a joint program of YYC Campus Ministry and the Regional Youth and Young Adult Ministry being hosted mostly at Sanctuary Coffee at Knox United Church. We are stoked to have Rev. Nick Coates from Red Deer Lake United Church helping to direct the conversation. 
This year, we are meeting to explore the theme of 'Mythbusting Sin.' For this second year of the program, we decided to spend time digging deep into one of the grittiest topics of the Christian Faith - Sin. Specifically, busting through some of the myths, guilt, and shame that often surround the word sin, and reclaiming how it might be helpful in today’s society.
Last year we loved delving into some of the Bible's most risque stories but found ourselves yearning for a bit more time to delve into how the Bible story or topic affected our daily lives. Instead, we spent a lot of time unpacking the bible story, and only a little chatting about how that story was also our story, as Rev. Nick Coates likes to stay. The bible is rich with stories about the messy lives of humans, muddling their way through life, falling down, trying again, and God meeting them there. The hope this year is to start from an overarching theme of Mythbusting Sin, flush it out to individual focus topics each month, and then bring in the Bible as it relates to what we're talking about. We already have many topics that emerged from last Sunday's discussion that I can't wait to dig into throughout the year. We will have a focus topic for each month under the broader theme of Mythbusting Sin such as racism or sex. These can be one-offs, so there is no pressure for young adults to show up every month, but will also have a flow and build upon one another.

We've already hosted one Dirty Theology at the amazing Sanctuary Coffee and had a very fruitful discussion that allowed young adults to really lean into their problems and thoughts around sin. The young adults loved having such a frank conversation about a very difficult topic in the setting of Knox grand sanctuary. It set the stage nicely when they arrived and allowed them to see that sanctuaries aren't just places for nice services on Sundays but also places for deep, hard, and meaningful conversations.
The next Dirty Theology at Sanctuary Coffee is on November 18 at 6 p.m. All young adults are more than welcome to join this engaging conversation.

Dates for January to June are still being worked out, so keep an eye out for them soon!

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!

The many faces of a move away from colonialism

An update from Dave

The Next 1100 Days actually has connections to a lot of different ministries and initiatives, particularly when we talk about our attempt to become a post-colonial church.  Moving away from colonialism means paying more attention to following Jesus than to maintaining the status quo, and here are some of the ways that is happening here at Knox:

  • Lois Szabo is part of a group called the Rainbow Elders Calgary, and is organizing a social event for LGBTQ2S+ seniors (called the Winter Festivus, November 24).  This isn’t a church event, but it’s very much in line with our mission to make connections and build community.  Thanks, Lois!
  • Edgar Ayala and Sharon Montgomery recently represented Knox at a weekend event with the United Church’s Living Into Right Relations Network.  This connects our church with the wider church’s efforts in the areas of reconciliation and right relations with indigenous peoples.  Sharon also participated in the weekend’s leadership!  Thanks, you two!
  • On November 10 was the annual Imam Hussain Day – a gathering organized by the Hussaini Muslim community here at which I have been a regular inter-faith speaker.  The Hussaini Muslim community (Imam Hadi spoke at our church a couple of years ago) has been a leader in interfaith connection and co-operation in the past few years.  Thanks to them, and we’re glad to be a partner in their work.  Recognizing God in the lives and faiths of others not like ourselves is an essential part of post-colonial Christianity. 
  • Finally for this quick report:  it’s Movember!  Movember is a month of moustache-growing all over the world in support of men’s health.  I am participating once again, and want to recognize that not all of the work of God happens through the church!   Men’s health (or lack thereof) is often a function of isolation:  men in our culture often get the impression that we’re supposed to go it on our own, don’t tell, don’t get checked, tough it out.  Our isolation contributes to a host of mental health issues.  Guys, we are made for community, and that means sharing our struggles and vulnerability, at least with a trusted few. 

Challenging colonialism means appreciating the work of the Spirit of God wherever we find it.  Thanks to these and many others, members of Knox and people outside, who are part of God’s work in the world to make connections:  with God, with each other, with our own deep selves, and with Creation. 

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


Jenn Herring has been promoting N1100D related content like a busy bee! Some examples of this content include promotion for Dirty Theology, advertisement for Opportunity Knox, announcement of our coworking space branding, and acknowledgement of the 20 year anniversary of  the United Church's apology to indigenous peoples. Jenn has also been promoting the cafe and its wares. If you would like to see more of what Jenn is up to, please visit our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts!

 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.

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