These projects are still in the planning and funding stages. With your help, these will become live events in 2017 and 2018.
Messy Church - Home Church Edition
As a mother of young twins, I know that getting everyone to church on time can be a near-impossible task. Messy Church, 'Home Church Edition', is our version of an open house with kid-focused activities and fellowship time.
Twice a month, we will open up our home to anyone who is looking for a worship and fellowship space in a kid-friendly and casual environment. We will incorporate the principles of the traditional Messy Church that 'you can't be late' (i.e. show up whenever), that noise is expected and encouraged, and that messes happen.
Messy Church, 'Home Church Edition' will incorporate contemporary Christian music and instruments for the kids, Christian crafts and games, and - if the chaos can be kept to a minimum - some study and fellowship time among the parents. (On especially noisy and cranky days, we might only dance and paint and shout. Go with the flow. Jesus loves you. No big deal.)
Curiosity, Respect, and Engagement (CRAE)
CRAE is something that has been running successfully in Ottawa, ON, and something that I would like to bring to Hamilton.
Each month, a panel of 4 speakers of different religious backgrounds will participate in a short discussion on how their faith affects some aspect of their life (marriage, raising children, etc.). The floor is then opened up for a general discussion among the participants. CRAE consistently attracts between 50 and 150 people per session in Ottawa.
The goal of CRAE is to get people to engage in deep and meaningful discussion around issues of faith and real life. This project is intended to foster fellowship and community, to encourage sharing and discussion, and to encourage people to enter into dialogue with people of different religious backgrounds with curiosity and respect.
Their is a real need among Christians for a deeper understanding of why we believe what we believe. The goal of Apologetics 101 is to prepare the average Christian to answer questions about their faith from friends, co-workers, family members, etc.
This will be a casual, community-run course that teaches the basics of Biblical Criticism, answering questions about the authorship of the Gospels, genres in the Bible, the historical evidence for Jesus Christ, etc. This is a very introductory level engagement with the material that aims to provide a rational foundation for many of the tenets of Christianity, and to introduce the average Christian to the intellectual challenges to our faith and what rational grounds we have for defense.