Choralfest is on this week at Knox! During this time, Sanctuary Coffee has been operating in the Labyrinth. This "pop up" in the Labyrinth has proven to be a great way to showcase the different rooms of the church to the public, specifically to the attendees of high-traffic Choralfest. During Choralfest, our customer demographic range has expanded; some are parents of the performers, others the performers themselves, the rest includes our regular downtown community. Many people who have entered the church building this week have either never been to Sanctuary Coffee and didn't know that it existed, or have never been inside the church at all. Hosting this event in our church while operating Sanctuary Coffee has further solidified our social enterprise as a space to fight social isolation by congregating people from all walks of life!
Check out Choralfest's website to learn more about this fantastic event!
Elder Lead Council
Conversation and reconciliation in progress
The Elder-Led Trust-building and Reconciliation Process is drawing towards its close. The next gathering, to be held March 28, will widen the circle of conversation a bit as we are all inviting guests to join us.
The conversation has been fairly wide-ranging, from the telling of personal stories, to shared ceremony, to the discovery of common ground amongst our traditions to reflections on what needs to change and how that might happen. Sometimes it feels as if we are making no progress at all, but I think we can all sense future possibilities beginning to take shape.
It has been a privilege to work with the elders, to feel respect and trust growing amongst us, to be invited to learn from a tradition older than Christianity, and belonging to this place.
The final session will be held late in April, after which the program will need to be evaluated. I know we will have a better relational basis for future work, with both the elders and with our colleagues in the other churches. We also hope we will have some definite next steps which will involve congregations in this work and reflection.
This work is meant as a beginning, not an end, and we strive to continue this work toward reconciliation!
PAX continues this Sunday at noon.
This upcoming week, PAX will be featuring musician Jess Werner! PAX at Knox is explicitly designed to connect with adults age 25-54 who are not connected with a church community, or rethinking their connection to an existing community or church service. If you have friends or family in this target demo, please let them know. It will take time to build a new core community for this new service and word of mouth is an excellent way to promote this new ministry.
Read more about Jess Werner by clicking this link.
Jess Werner will be playing music this Sunday, March 17th
Listen to Jess' music by clicking the icons below!
Let's Grow Play
Knox's future accessible downtown childcare space
The Let’s Grow Play project at Knox United Church envisions a renovation of the annex gym to allow for the creation of an inclusive, indoor, natural playspace for infants, toddlers and preschool children who live in Calgary’s downtown core. We hope to build a place for young children and their parents that will provide fun and integral learning in safety. The Let’s Grow Play facility would be professionally designed by specialized architects to stimulate early development and to eliminate social play and nature deprivation for any child, with or without challenges. Let’s Grow Play will be all-inclusive, completely accessible, and affirming. There would be space for parents to meet, form community and to learn.
We anticipate that local child development specialists will provide essential advice on the design, features and business uses of Let’s Grow Play. Through this unique project Knox could fulfill its mission for creating dynamic community space for marginalized downtown families. Let’s Grow Play would have integrated and attractive play features for children of all situations and abilities that will encourage holistic child development and well-being, and will help to nurture their innate respect and love for each other. Let’s Grow Play would be a unique place to foster early learning and awareness of peer differences as special strengths: children and their parents could learn natural acceptance of diversity, advocacy for community, and empathy for everyone.
The Knox playspace committee hopes to build, own, and use Let’s Grow Play as a business to generate revenue to sustain itself and to provide free use for families in need. The business of Let’s Grow Play will provide a place for children with social, emotional, spiritual, and/or physical challenges to develop through healthy play and for their parents to receive support from professionals for positive parenting. We anticipate it will be a desired destination for birthday parties for families with young children because of its beauty, unique play features, and accessibility. Additionally, Knox will establish vital community partnerships with committed stakeholders that will encourage the use of the space. Dr. Shirley Leew, PhD, is leading the Let’s Grow Play project initiative. She has worked as a clinician, researcher and professor in early childhood special education for over 40 years, and has attended Knox United Church since the 1950’s.
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