WHAT DOES A COMMUNITY (PIONEER) MINISTER ACTUALLY DO?
What is a minister without a church?
What does a minister do if they aren’t planning for Sunday services?
The Living Presence Ministry is a new form of ministry. There is no church building. There are no Sunday services. LPM is based on the idea that Jesus fully immersed himself in our world, in our place and neighbourhood, living among us. As our Community (Pioneer) Minister, Bri-anne’s goal is to be in, with and among the community, being of service wherever is needed by:
- building relationships with people as they are moving into the East Gwillimbury area, helping to catalyse groups
- orienting new residents to the various social services available within York Region
- making partnerships with community leaders and organizations; facilitating and supporting new and existing community initiatives
- fostering and advocating for healthy, sustainable community-life in the new developments
- raising up and building awareness of ethical questions within the community
- creating opportunities for meaningful discussions about Christianity, spirituality, and faith
- engaging established and new residents in activities
- creating and facilitating new networks to help people get to know each other
- developing ministries designed for commuters who want to explore/deepen their Christian faith and life
How all of this unfolds will depend on many things, including the wants and needs of the community as it emerges. Examples of some initiatives being discussed include:
- house concerts, open stages and singing circles
- community lunches and dinners
- a gardening club
- a weekly podcast for commuters
- a drop-in for young children and their caregivers with stories, music, and movement
- a Little Free Library
- a Good Food Box community hub
- book clubs
- contemplation group meetings
- after school homework help
- an ESL cafe
- individual counseling for those who are struggling, in transition or in crisis
The Community (Pioneer) Minister also works closely with our five partner congregations (Trinity United Church, Sharon-Hope United Church, Queensville-Holland Landing United Church, Ravenshoe United Church and Keswick United Church). For those interested in a more traditional expression of faith and worship, Bri-anne will help residents become oriented to what each congregation offers so that they might find a church community where they feel at home.
Although this is a ministry of the United Church of Canada, the Living Presence Ministry and the activities of the Community (Pioneer) Minister are meant for everybody in East Gwillimbury, regardless of faith affiliation, belief in God, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income status, etc. LPM is committed to being inclusive and open to everybody.
Bri-anne and her family will be moving to the Queensville development in summer 2017. She will be your neighbour right from the start! When the house is ready, it will be the centre for much of the LPM programming. Until then, Bri-anne is in the East Gwillimbury area three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday. Feel free to send her a note if you’d like to meet for coffee and find out more about the Living Presence Ministry. You can also find where Bri-anne is working from by following our Twitter account.