Lately, my energy has been low. I’m spread too thin. I’ve been judged harshly. My boundaries have been challenged. There are a lot of changes in life, but not enough of the kind of changes I really need. But at Leadership Academy, something shifted. I was able to breathe more deeply. To feel more connected to something greater. Just hearing the names of some of the new expressions of church was exciting: “coffee church” – a faith community for people not interested in traditional religious vocabulary or practices; a “not church” that inspires curiosity and gives encouragement for each person’s spiritual journey, whatever that looks like; dinner church through; and The Table: a Community for Spiritual Refugees.

I need to spend time with open-minded people who are willing to think outside the box, willing to build new boxes, in new shapes. Sugarbush Christian Church is the first place of worship I’ve attended that has an ethos of curiosity and learning, where questioning is expected. People are loved and encouraged. There are no worries about having to compartmentalize yourself or present a good image. The message is love. We break into discussion groups each week and share deeply. We feel known but change and growth are expected.

I so deeply value the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination. We don’t have very many Disciples of Christ congregations in Canada, so supporting each other can be challenging.

As a Canadian Disciple and layperson attending the Leadership Academy for the first time I thought, “This is the right place for me. The way I think, my passion… I fit here!” Curiosity is welcomed. Going deep is requested. This is an approach that I can live into, that can challenge me and help me to grow. And I don’t have to do it alone. Thanks be to God!

Wendelin Galatianos,
Sugarbush Church,
Guelph, Ontario, Canada

An excerpt of this blog post appeared in the November 2023 issue of the New Church Know-It-All.

One thought on “New church: a Canadian perspective

  1. Glad to have been part of LA this year. It was encouraging to see folks like yourself engaging and finding new ideas, and new energy.

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