Church on Tap - update Oct09

Thursday, 1 October, 2009

Rob Hurkmans and Leslie Kennedy explain how Church on Tap came into being in a pub in Port Colborne, Ontario.

Duration: 2:50   | Download Download mp3


Introducer: When one Canadian congregation realised it was failing to reach those who found conventional church off-putting, church members found the perfect place to start a new Christian community – the local pub. Leslie Kennedy is on the church's worship committee.

Leslie Kennedy: The reason we decided to try this new ministry was because we thought there was an audience out there, a group of people that were not being reached through ordinary worship in the church, people who weren't comfortable coming to a church building with all of the traditions and rituals and things involved in that and we thought well why not try it in a pub.

Introducer:Rob Hurkmans is the rector of the congregation in Port Colborne that planted Church on Tap.

Rob Hurkmans: We came down to the Canalside Pub and Eatery and talked to Greg Poisson who is the owner, along with his wife Rosemary, and we just explained to them our idea and he thought it was fantastic. He has really got a good sense of what a pub is and how a pub is really this public meeting place for the exchange of ideas and for people to get together and chat and discuss and learn from each other, so he felt that kind of church and pub would fit quite well and so he basically decided to give us the pub on the last Sunday of every month.

[For this place where we can gather, for friends that we can gather with, and to the God who actually gathers us together, we say peace, and drink up.]

Leslie Kennedy: We have found that we do have several people who are coming up who have never really been connected with any church of any kind, be it Anglican or any other type of religion, it's sort of a new expression of faith for themselves.

Rob Hurkmans: A community of faith in perhaps the most liberal sense, where we might reach out to those who wouldn't step foot in a traditional church. Sometimes in a bar you get a real good banter going you know, people don't have a problem throwing out a point and then a counter-point back and forth, it's kind of our constant challenge to the congregation is that hey, if you don't feel comfortable bringing your friends on Sunday morning, then we're bending over backwards to kind of create a venue and an atmosphere that you should certainly feel comfortable bringing your friend to perhaps. And they've responded.

Introducer: Rob Hurkmans. And again more about that story on our website, which reminds we we're keen to hear about your fresh expressions of church, about ways in which you're trying to form new congregations for those who've either left church or have never belonged in the first place. If you want to tell us more then go to the stories section of the website and click on submit a story.

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