Why you should give to Connections Community Church
In the early hours of a Sunday morning in March, there was a fire in London, Ontario. It tore through walls, ripped apart doorways, and sank its teeth into the newly laid carpet of our church’s ministry centre. Instead of waking up with thoughts of his morning sermon, our pastor woke up to discover the remnants of his hopes, dreams and work, a pile of rubble on the edge of town. Every time I think about it, I start to cry.
It took a long time for my husband and I to find a church we liked as newlyweds. The biggest thing for us was a sense of community. We wanted to find a place where we could fit in. Connections Church was just starting out, and so were we. Our volunteer efforts were genuinely appreciated and truly made a difference. The young pastor and his wife were enthusiastic, and we made fast friends. Over and over again, we met people that we just clicked with. Friendly faces filled the seats during our services—not pews, but cushy, comfy, movie theatre seats.
You see, one of the best things about Connections Church is that it meets in a movie theatre. You might think it’s weird, but consider this: the church isn’t a building. The church is the people.
It’s the people who come together to help each other move, take meals over when there’s a death in the family, and throw baby showers for one another. It’s the people who offer you a ride, stop by to say hi, and make sure you know someone is praying for you. Not having a building means that we have to work harder to be a community at Connections Church—and that work paid off. I’ve never felt more like a part of something important.
Maybe it’s because we worked so hard at becoming a community that the ministry centre meant so much. Our pastor needed an office. The band needed somewhere to practice. We needed a place for meetings, retreats, a church library, counseling sessions, and potluck dinners. We raised $15,000 to renovate an industrial space in Hyde Park. In retrospect, it was a pretty tiny amount of money considering how much we accomplished. Everyone pitched in. Our congregation had a retired electrician who did the wiring, a professional painter, volunteer contractors who framed and built walls, and self-professed decorating gurus like me who fought over colour schemes. At first it seemed like an insurmountable task, but slowly the space took shape. Just last week it was finally finished. Our pastor’s wife took photos of all the hard work that everyone had put into the place and put them up on Facebook. We all commented on how great it looked. On Friday night, a group of women had a retreat at the centre and spent the night. It was a celebration of success.
But Sunday morning, that all ended. Ignited from a pair of diesel trucks, the inferno tore through the complex where our ministry centre was housed. The church library went up in smoke—putting this librarian out of a job—as did the scavenged couches and desks, the carefully painted French doors, the computers, the kitchen, our pastor’s treasured Bible that he’d had since seminary school. Everything was gone.
Everything was gone.
But sometimes losing everything can be good. That sounds crazy, but let me explain. When you lose everything, you see what is really important. We’ve all had it happen to us. If your house gets robbed, you treasure the things left behind. When tragedy hits your neighbours, you hold your loved ones closer. And when a loved one dies, you might appreciate life a little more. It takes the terrible things in this world to make us see the good things.
When it all burns down to it, my church is amazing.
So, why should you give to Connections Community Church? I’ll tell you why. It’s because our church isn’t a building. It’s a community of people. It’s a place that shows people love, even when the rest of society rejects them. It’s a congregation struggling to make a difference. It’s the only church I’ve walked into where I haven’t felt condemned from the get go. It’s a church that deserves a second chance, just like they have given to so many people looking for answers. It’s a place of love in a world that is so full of hate.
Maybe you aren’t a Christian reading this. Maybe you’re one of my Facebook friends or Twitter followers who just felt obliged, and this all sounds like poppycock. Maybe you saw the fire in the paper, and you were curious. If you don’t believe in God, why should you give to a church? There are plenty of other, more important causes. Even our pastor would tell you that. If you asked him, he’d probably tell you to give your money somewhere else.
And that is exactly why you should give.
Go here to donate online: http://connectionschurch.ca/ministrycentre/
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