Symons Valley United Church, Calgary

While the church began about 35 years ago, its current building is 10 years old, with a state of the art sanctuary, complete with theatre lighting & AV booth. There are no permanent religious symbols in the sanctuary, to allow it to be multi-purpose. As it is the only church in a new suburb that is also without a community hall, this has become the community’s building for various events. They have shared the space for 9 years with a Muslim community, with whom they have a strong partnership. The cross, made from a railway tie, is on wheels and wrapped at the base with the liturgical colour.

Worship is diverse and includes youth-led shadow play, skits, reader’s theatre and congregational testimonies of how God broke through their brokenness. The construction of the sanctuary allows for small tables to be set up for table talk. The congregation has a strong ethnic diversity, which I would name as multicultural, on its way to becoming intercultural.

This is what you see when you first enter–a strong welcome complete with an Affirming rainbow and smiling greeters! They try to find the right balance of welcoming newcomers without being overbearing, offering a place for everyone.

In a couple of days, we will finish our visit with Hillhurst United and will post. Then, the following Sunday we will be visiting Red Deer Lake United Church in Calgary https://reddeerlakeuc.com

Stay with us on the journey with us as we discover new places and ideas on how to help our churches thrive!

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