Tag Archives: Spirit Path

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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We Just Want Church!

The title of this blog post came from a conversation around our table at the recent Annual Meeting of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. We were discussing the Comprehensive Review document and all of the possible changes to our United Church of Canada's structure ...continue reading

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Three Quarters, Two Dimes, and a Nickel: A Stewardship Story

True Story: At one of our Spirit Path House Gatherings last month, we were graciously hosted by one of our young families. As I was settling into a chair and getting myself organized for the evening, ...continue reading

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What Should Church Look Like?  Is that the right question to ask members and prospective members of our churches? It could certainly open up an interesting conversation or two. For those who are quite content with the way church already is, it could also be deemed a dangerous question best left unasked. Personally, I think it's a great question. Of course it may mean hearing ideas and visions of church that don't match the way we have traditionally seen (or "done") church, or that, God forbid, don't match the way I like things done. But isn't that how we stretch and grow in the spirit? ...continue reading

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Just How Messy is Messy Church?

Someone asked me that very thing the other day. Good question! Since our very first Spirit Path Messy Church event is just around the corner (Wednesday, October 22, 2014), I wasn't exactly confident in my answer.

If the question has to do with glue and paint and marshmallows and sticky tack and ...continue reading

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Godspell Part II - We Can Build a Beautiful City

It seems like nonsense to talk about building a beautiful city when our world is so full of bad news every day. Russia and the Ukraine, Israel and Palestine, Syria, ISIS, Ebola, Tina Fontaine and Faron Hall ...  some days it can feel overwhelming.

Maybe that's why it's so important to keep sharing the good news whenever we can - because we need it so much in the face of all that is sad and tragic and horrific and unfair and unjust. ...continue reading

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Thanks to one of our Spirit Path house church members for sending me the following article from Canadian Mennonite magazine. Will Braun, senior writer for the publication tells a couple of stories from different contexts and provides a lot of food for thought for those of us who are journeying on this path. As I read through the article I noted many differences between Spirit Path and the house churches Braun talks about, but there are also some similarities. We, too, are concerned about those who ...continue reading

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