Beaches Presbyterian Church certainly doesn’t look like a church, however the moment that a person walks through its doors it certainly feels like home, a sacred space and a place where everyone is truly welcome, just as they are.
Beaches is just off the beaten track of Queen Street East, a hidden gem on the beautiful tree-lined Glen Manor Drive. Off the beaten track and doing things in a slightly different and creative way is exactly where this church and its people like to be. However, while we are off the beaten track, we have a long history of being exactly where we are needed to be, led by the Spirit of God and ready to serve.
These days, faith and spirituality are as vital and wonderful as ever. People’s lives are where faith and spirituality live and grow, nurture and nourish. But people are not the only gifts that today’s church does well to welcome. The Church must also welcome the hopes, doubts, fears, longings, joys and ambiguities of life itself. Far from being the salesman of certainty, the Church exists to be the “synagogue of dialogue” to quote Canadian theologian Douglas John Hall.
To be the Church today is not to take shelter from modernity and post-modernity, but rather to enter these things more fully and courageously – led always by the Spirit of God. For Christians, Jesus’ gospel (“good news”) was powerfully directed toward today, to “main street,” and especially to the poor and the suffering who longed for some sign of good news and God’s dream unfolding for all the world. Today Beaches strives to live by that sacred truth.
Beaches may not be big, but it is small. Beaches knows that the Church isn’t called to be the new empire and it isn’t called to be an ever-expanding business. The Church is called to be the body of Christ, to be faithful – and faith is as much lived out as it is internally felt. The people of Beaches care passionately about their community and their world. For a small church, we always look out to the world God still loves.
Just recently, we ensured that the church building would be fully accessible physically as well as spiritually.
Installing a ramp and designating ourselves as an LGBT positive space because abundant life for all (not just for some) is at the heart of Jesus’ good news, then and now.
Yes, Beaches has wonderful worship and liturgy, music, community and creativity. But this church knows that these things, as well as our very lives, are always offered to honour God and promote the welfare of our neighbours. In these days of casinos and condos, the Church has a prophetic message to share and that message is a community founded upon justice and well-being for one and all.
Beaches Presbyterian Church has been in the Beach since 1926 and it continues to live Jesus’ good news. Whoever you are and wherever you are on your journey, you are very welcome here.
Whatever faith tradition we embrace, may we all remember our common call to love one another as we have first been loved into being.
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