At the AbbeyChurch, we practice the teachings and ways of Jesus as best we can. We share hope, share meals, throw parties, care for our neighbours, and for God's creation.
We're all hungry in our own ways for a deeper sense of meaning, connection and spirituality.
We're at different places in our journey - but we share a guiding story as found in sacred scripture and outlined in ancient Christian creeds.
We share a willingness to honestly wrestle with God and with our questions and doubts.
We long to be truly diverse; old, young, rich, poor, orthodox, radical, liberal, single, married, 2SLGBTQIA+, straight, BIPOC, indigenous, settler, evangelical, progressive, overeducated, undereducated, certain, doubting, hurting, thriving (to name a few).
We believe that Christ's love binds our differences together in unity as we gather at Jesus' table of welcome.
We say we like keep church weird: which means we keep church open to the surprising, the creative, the mysterious, mystical and the authentic. We sometimes like to say that we're 'disorganized religion'.
It means too that each person is safe to grow and be themselves and contribute in ways that are uniquely theirs. There will also likely be something to offend just about everyone.
There is no cookie cutter religion here.
“We trust that everyone will be safe, but that no one will be comfortable.” [some of the above adapted from Rachel Held Evans - Searching for Sunday page 72]
Religion isn’t a crutch or a way to make life easy. We believe it is a means by which we might be learn to be the best version of ourselves in the context of community. Sometimes that might be uncomfortable but we all make sure that we are safe to grow in relationship and respect of each other.
We gather at the altar / table at the front of the church.
Musicians are seated at the front to help lead the singing.
Our worship is punctuated by song, silence, prayer, readings and reflection / sermon, all culminating in the sharing of bread (gluten-free) and wine or grape juice at communion.
We practice an open Eucharist (Eucharist means "thanksgiving") and all are welcome at Jesus’ table. You are welcomed to receive as you feel called to do so.
Most people dress pretty casually - but you can come casual or dress up as is your custom.
Although children are always welcome in worship, we also offer a children / tween ministry with opportunity for children to learn together during the sermon / teaching time.
Most weeks we stream online here:
We are located right in the neighbourhood where many of us live (focusing on, but not limited to: North Park, Fernwood and Oaklands.)
Unlike many church plants, we are not funded by big outside sources, though we do get some small and declining grants from our parent denominations – The Anglican and The United Church of Canada - as we evolve and grow.
We hope to be an organic, sustainable presence for the long-term and not dependent on large outside donations for staffing or building budgets.
We also brew beer and make non-alcoholic elixirs as a craft industry... But that's another story.
We accept all at Jesus' table of communion.
We intentionally welcome and are enriched by the full participation, leadership and inclusion of LGBTQ2IA+ folks in our community.
We seek to have 2SLGBTQIA+ and BIPOC folk regularly in our pulpits and serving at our table. Clergy from The AbbeyChuch officiate marriages and adult and infant baptisms for folks from all sexual orientations and gender identities.
The AbbeyChurch is a Christ-centred, Trinitarian ministry of the neo-monastic Emmaus Community which seeks to live out faith daily, not just on Sundays though commitments to prayer, presence and simplicity. As an intentional community Emmaus pray together most weekdays and seek to live lives of hospitality. Emmaus has a commitment to prayer, presence and simplicity. AbbeyChurch members are welcome to participate in the life of the Emmaus Community as they wish - but there is no expectation that they will.
As a witness to unity and diversity, The AbbeyChurch and The Emmaus Community are a shared ministry of the The Anglican Diocese of British Columbia (aka Diocese of Islands and Inlets) of The Anglican Church of Canada and the Pacific Mountain Region of The United Church of Canada.
The AbbeyChurch worships, serves & prays on the ancestral, traditional and stolen territories of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.
You'll sometimes hear us say these lands are 'unceded'. In doing so we recognize that though the flawed Douglas 'Treaties' do exist - but their content was filled in only after blank pages were by the Tribal Chiefs - and consent is uncertain at best.
We also recognize the reality that the Lək̓ʷəŋən peoples', these various Nations, are in a process of developing new treaties. Even as we've used the word unceded, we have been challenged that some peoples' rely on older documents to ensure their fishing rights - and thus we recognize the complexity of these realities.
What we do know is that colonialism was, and still is, a violent force that was genocidal and has had lasting negative impacts on generations of the first peoples' of these lands. We also know that the church was all too often a negative participant in the colonial project.
As a Christian community of faith who is affiliated with the 'of Canada' denominations, we who are settler-occupiers recognize our own complicity in historic and ongoing colonialism; including ongoing euro-centric ways and our past involvement in the genocidal Indian Residental 'School' (ie prison) system.
Together, we prayefully seek right-relationship, reparations and justice - and thus commit to action as called for by Indigenous leaders in the Churches and the TRC Calls to Action.
We support the development of the self-determining Indigenous Church within our denominations (Anglican and United) and seek to be evangelized (shown the 'good news') by the faith of Indigenous Christians.
For one more extended and person land-acknowledgment and history from one of our folks, please click here (land acknowledgment starts around 6:20).