So we're still way behind on our Lenten challenge. Are you? Tomorrow being the fourth Sunday of Lent seems like the perfect time for us to remind of you of the "Week 2" challenge from 1JustCity! That's how we roll at Spirit Path! Take a look at this story and challenge from St. Matthews Maryland Ministry:


 

Week 2

“One reliable cup of coffee in a safe space in what is otherwise chaos.”

We have a young woman visiting St. Matthews Maryland Community Ministry (stmatthewsmaryland.ca) right now who is recovering from many traumas in her life and as a result also recovering from addictions. In the house she lives in many people use drugs, and St MM is a space for her to be safe - safe from temptation, safe from pressure to use, safe from the constant stress and chaos. It is also a place to access a little luxury: a good cup of coffee!

Now imagine one of your own worst days, when you couldn’t wait for that cup of coffee to bring calm. Now imagine there is no coffee, no sugar, no milk. We ask you to quit coffee for a day as a way to bring to mind the folks in our drop in. Calculate how much you spend in a week on coffee and make a donation so St. Matthews Maryland can keep serving coffee to those who need a good cup. Invite your friends and co-workers to share in the challenge.

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No Answers

Sometimes, as a minister, I really wish that I was a doctor. Or a medical researcher. Or a nurse. Someone who could do something more tangible than what I have in my repertoire, perhaps invent a miracle cure for whatever disease the person I'm sitting with is fighting against. That thought is usually fleeting, ...continue reading

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Spirit Path Stewardship Letter 2015

Greetings to our Spirit Path family. This experimentalScripture Quote 1 “church without walls” ministry of ours has been blessed with much to celebrate this past year. At the same time, there are challenges to face as we move into an unknown future. We send this letter as a means of sharing some of the joys of this past year, as well as to give you an opportunity to support our ongoing mission and help us grow this ministry into the future.

2015 Update – It’s been an exciting year for our non-traditional church! We gathered in homes and churches, community centers and pubs, back yards and playgrounds. We celebrated our first baptismal service in July. We completed our first successful year of “Messy Church” and started our second year in a new, bigger location. We partnered with some great organizations like 1JustCity and the Global Justice Film Festival as we worked at increasing the mission and outreach aspects of our ministry. We worshipped together, cared for one another, and had great conversations about faith and life. We celebrated together and also grieved together. Most importantly, we gathered as God’s children, we were led by the Spirit, and we tried our best to follow the ways of Jesus Christ.

The Good News – Past Funding! For those of you who may not know our history (or who have forgotten!), Spirit Path was initially funded by Winnipeg Presbytery from a fund that was created through a gift to the presbytery by Donnelly United Church when they closed in 2006. We are so thankful for this gift, yet another example of God surprising us with new life. We were also fortunate to receive some grants from the United Church’s New Ministries Formation Fund program, which helped us with expenses in 2012 and 2013. Even though experimental ministries like Spirit Path are exciting, there are still expenses each year. We are so grateful for the initial financial support of the United Church of Canada through the early years of Spirit Path.

More Good News – Present Funding! Near the very beginning of our journey, we began to develop partnerships with our friends in the Anglican and Lutheran churches. Those Scripture Quote 2relationships have continued to grow, and just this past year, we received funding from both the Mission Committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s MNO Synod and the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land. We continue to work at formalizing this partnership, and are so thankful for the generosity of our partners. These funds will enable us to continue on for the next few years as the ministry grows and we are better able to cover expenses with congregational givings and fundraising.

Hopeful News - Future Funding! As much as we appreciate the funding from the three denominations (appreciate doesn’t sound strong enough - we wouldn’t be here without it!), Spirit Path will only survive if congregational donations and Scripture Quote 3fundraising can replace the denominational funding over the next few years. We do receive donations at our house gatherings, and even some at Messy Church events. And we actually have three people/households donating through PAR (Pre-Authorized Remittance), which is fantastic! We’re so grateful for the generosity of those who have supported us so far. As the ministry grows, we hope that we can become a self-sustaining ministry which no longer needs to rely on grants from our sponsoring denominations. Those grants are meant to give us a good start for our first few years, not to sustain the ministry in the long term.

The Numbers – Our budget for 2015 was just under $100,000. That’s nowhere near the budget that congregations with actual church buildings need to raise each year, but it’s still a big number for our little church family. We hoped to raise $10,000 of that (or about 10%) through congregational donations this year. With just over a month left in 2015 we’re not there yet (in fact, we’re not quite halfway!) Can you help us get closer to our goal this year?

Our Future – We don’t know for sure what the future holds for Spirit Path, yet we have faith that God is with us. As traditional churches seem to be struggling and shrinking in numbers, we believe that God is calling us and others to experiment with being the church in a new way. We have seen God at work through our gatherings, through our worship, through our work with children and families, and through pastoral care. We believe that ministries like Spirit Path are pioneers of what God’s mission and God’s church will look like in the future.

Stewardship is what we do with all that God has given us, including our time, our talents, and our resources. We would love for you to consider offering:

your time – join us at our gatherings, our worship services, our special events;

your talents – share with us your gifts of music, leadership, vision, and more;

your resources – help support and grow our ministry, that we may continue the                                                  holy work God has given us to do.

Why this letter? – It might seem strange for a “non-traditional” ministry to write a fairly traditional stewardship letter (at least we’re not sending it by snail mail!) We wanted to ensure that we reached everyone we could – those who are already part of Spirit Path as well as those who are just hearing about us. So we’ve posted this on our website, provided links to it on Facebook and Twitter, and sent it to some by email. We believe strongly that this ministry is very valuable to those who have already joined us, and will become vital for many more people of faith who are looking for a fresh expression of church.

How to respond – If you feel called to support us with a financial donation, cheques can be made out to “Winnipeg Presbytery” (marked “Spirit Path”) and mailed to 1622-B St. Mary’s Rd, Winnipeg, MB, R2M 3W7. Donations received by December 21 will receive a tax receipt for the 2015 tax year. Donations made after that date will receive receipts for the 2016 year.

Thank You! for reading all the way to the end! Well done! We want you to know how much we appreciate your support, your thoughts, your prayers, your participation in whatever way you participate in Spirit Path. God bless you and yours as we approach this holy time of the year when Christ was born and all things were made possible.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Cole Grambo, B.A., M.Div.

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Too Much Religion?

I know I shouldn't read the comment section of some of the Facebook posts and some of the online articles and blogs that I read on occasion. Once in a while there will be something enlightening, or well thought out, or inspiring, or poignant, and I'll be glad that I dug a little deeper, to see what humanity has to say on a particular topic. But other times, ...continue reading

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Title: Global Justice Film Festival (GJFF)
Location: University of Winnipeg
Description: Check out some great documentary films, all with a social justice theme. Film will air Friday evening and all day Saturday at the University of Winnipeg. Spirit Path is helping out with some volunteer work at the GJFF this year, so if you'd like to help out with that, just let us know. (contact Cole at 204-807-1350, or email cole@spiritpathunited.ca.
Start Date: 2015-11-06
Start Time: 19:00
End Date: 2015-11-07
End Time: 21:00

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At our upcoming Sunday evening "House Gathering" we'll be discussing the theme "Invitation and Inclusion." The following is an article from Lovett Weems of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. Weems talks about the importance of relationship building and offering topics that actually interest and engage people (hmm ... who'd have thought!?!?!). So here's some food for thought as we prepare for this discussion. ...continue reading

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Title: Winnipeg Water Walk
Location: Manitoba Legislature (at the fountain)
Description: This is from the "Honour the Source" website: "After the early July campaign 10 Days for Shoal Lake concluded, planning got underway for the Winnipeg Water Walk, the goal of which is to continue shining the spotlight on the gross injustice facing Shoal Lake 40. The Walk will take place Saturday, September 12 at 12 noon, beginning at the Manitoba Legislative Building." Join us as we walk to help support the fight for justice for Shoal Lake 40. For more info, please visit the "Honour the Source" website.
Start Time: 12:00
Date: 2015-09-12

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