ALL ABOUT COMMONS
ALL ABOUT COMMONS
At Commons we are completely fascinated with this complex and beautiful collection of texts we call the Bible–but we worship Jesus.
The scriptures lead us to the realization that Jesus is the only exact representation of the divine and that God has always looked like Jesus even when we didn’t see that clearly.
Because of that we have abandoned the idea of an angry, violent God in order to fully embrace the good news brought forward by Jesus.
We believe that Jesus came not to change God’s mind about us but to repair our imagination of God.
Realizing this and coming to understand that God is love we affirm surprising acceptance and scandalous grace as the way God chooses to heal all things.
We desire to participate in that renewal by following the way of Jesus, empowered by the Spirit, trusting that this good news is even better than we can imagine.
Parish is an old word for a neighbourhood church. Commons is a network of connected parish communities. That means each parish shares the central vision, mission and DNA of Commons but also has its unique features like leadership and teaching that is local to the neighbourhood. Currently we have parishes in Kensington and Inglewood.
If you're interested in the historical roots of our community read the article here.
If you're interested in the historical expressions of faith we affirm read the article here.
We are a centred set (vs bounded set) community, where what we hold together at the centre is more important to us than the distinctive elements that separate us from each other or other Christian expressions.
When new members join our church, they are asked some simple questions: “Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and commit to follow him as Lord?” and “Do you accept the Scriptures as the word of God and the rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct?”
That’s all. That is enough.
On another level, of course, the answer is a good deal more complex. While our Church and tradition do not require adherence to any written creed, we take our theology very seriously, and our history as well. We are a reformation church, a part of the Church universal, and an evangelical church. In that heritage, we share certain central beliefs, which draw us together in faith and fellowship and make possible a freedom among us on more widely ranging issues.
We believe that to truly honour our place in the story, while at the same time rooting ourselves in the tradition of the church, we must actively engage the ongoing dialogue of faith. For us, treating the Bible with dignity means doing the rigorous theological work of bringing the scriptures into conversation with our time and place. Hard questions, apparent paradox, and our essential inability to completely comprehend the divine are all part of the journey of faith.
We want to speak directly to those who are interested in Jesus but believe the church has retreated into an anti-intellectual posture. We want to embrace those who are interested in Jesus but believe the church has been too slow to adapt to changing social constructs. We want to welcome those who are interested in Jesus but are struggling to understand how to read, interpret and trust the Bible in honest ways.
We recognize a need to rediscover the beautiful, dangerous, compelling idea that a group of people surrendered to Christ as Lord, and living in community together, really can transform society. God does not want to save us from the world, but rather calls us into his world where the lonely are invited into family and the isolated brought into community.
We are always looking for ways for our lives to intersect grace. This can mean a multitude of things: hospitality, listening, serving, announcing the Kingdom, or simply pointing out where Jesus is present in our neighbourhoods— but it starts with the confidence that God is doing something in our place.
We embrace the pietist roots at the foundation of our tradition and celebrate the immediacy and intimacy of God as Spirit in our hearts and homes.
In Jesus, we see God most clearly. There is no deus absconditus (hidden God) that sits behind the incarnated word that walked through ancient Palestine. Therefore we embrace the peaceable way of Jesus as the starting point for our theological reflection and everything we read in Scripture we read thorugh the lens of Jesus.
This commitment to peace is not passive however, it is an active posture of following the way of Jesus as peacemakers in our thoughts and prayers—our relationships and neighbourhoods. Our careers and creativity, our families and our friendships, our resources and our talent–all of these–are part of how we join God in his renewal project. We believe that our work, our purchases, our politics and our conversations, must breathe with the peace of Christ.
“What if... God truly is completely Christlike? What if His love is more generous, his Cross more powerful, and his gospel more beautiful than we’ve dared to imagine? What if our clearest image of God is the self- giving, radically forgiving, co-suffering love revealed on the Cross? What if we had a more Christlike God?” – Brad Jersak
There are always new people coming through the doors of Commons for their first Sunday with us. Perhaps, that’s you. If so, we would love to get to know you, hear a bit of your story, and share a bit of ours with you. There are all kinds of informal ways to do this but one of the new initiatives we’ve added this year is called Second Sunday.
Second Sunday happens on the second Sunday of every month during the sermon at our Kensington parish or immediately following the service at our Inglewood parish. Come join us for worship and then meet with us after the coffee break. There, some of the team will introduce themselves, give you some basic information about Commons, and help you find the right next steps to get connected. We’d also love to hear a bit of your story as well.
You don't need to sign up for Second Sunday but if you do we'll know to expect you.
There are always things happening in and around the community that we need to update you about from time to time. To make that work we also have two community blogs. Commons News to update you on community details and the Liturgy Blog to give you access to service elements like worship lists.
You are welcome. As a community our greatest commitment is to hospitality and grace above all else. For a more detailed articulation of our posture please read the linked article here.
Kensington Commons Church is located near the corner of Kensington Rd and Crowchild Tr.
2404 Kensington Rd NW Calgary AB T2N 3S1
Inglewood Commons Church meets in the Inglewood Community Hall.
1740 24 Ave SE Calgary, AB T2G 1P9
Commons acknowledges Calgary as the traditional territory of the Blackfoot and the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Ĩyãħé Nakoda First Nations, including the Chiniki, Bearspaw and Wesley First Nations. Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.