First is the unavoidable issue that this church exists because of a ‘divorce’. Celebration’s origins are in a group of people that chose to leave Trinity Anglican mostly, as far as I can tell, over the issue of homosexuality.
I often compare the church to a large, sprawling, fractious, dysfunctional family. And like a large family she has her fair share of fights. As someone who is trying to find the common life of the church in Barrie, and to see what God is doing through the whole family in the city, it’s always painful to be witness to these splits, conflicts and divisions. No matter what the cause, the entire family is hurt when two members have a falling out.
The second impression is far more positive. Celebration may well be one of the most diverse congregations in the city. The 70 or so in attendance today represented a broad generational and ethnic mix. The style of worship drew on the Anglican tradition, spiced with elements of Pentecostalism. It was a reminder that the family of God is truly a broad and diverse one.
Celebration Church is meeting on the property of Inniswood Baptist church, a location that is rapidly becoming a multi-church ‘campus’. I think this could be a hopeful example of different congregations working together and complementing one another.
Once again after the service I got to share coffee and conversation with members of the church. I get the feeling that Celebration church is trying hard to move forward from her acrimonious origins, and genuinely determine what God’s calling is for the congregation and the area.
So, 10 churches down and at leas 60 more to go. Is yours on my list? Any suggestions as to where I should go next? I’d also like to start connecting with the various para-church ministries that exist in the city, to get an even broader picture of the spiritual life of Barrie. Please tell me if you think there are people or organizations I should be meeting!