ALL ABOUT COMMONS
ALL ABOUT COMMONS
We launched our new community in September 2014 out of the roots of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Calgary and the excitement of a new church plant here in the city. We chose the name Commons Church to indicate our commitment to the shared life of our neighbourhood. We believe God is invested in the renewal of all things therefore we want to live that "Good News" by being part of the rhythms of our city as good neighbours, good friends, and good citizens in the common life of Kensington.
If you're interested in the historical roots of our community 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, the Old and New Testaments, as the word of God and the rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct?” They are then asked if they intend to live as faithful followers of Christ and members of the church.
That’s all. That is enough.
But on another level, of course, the answer is a good deal more complex. While our Church and denomination does 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.
This commitment to peace is not passive however, it is an active posture of peacemaking in our thoughts and prayers—our relationships and neighbourhoods. This is grace most evident in the world. 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 God.
“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 upstairs in the offices during the sermon. 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.
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.