Saskatoon North Congregation – Beginning This Fall!
We are in the process of discerning a more specific vision for our North Site. Details are below.
We are also looking for people who might be interested in being part of the leadership team for our North Site. If you are interested in discerning with us whether you might be a good fit for the leadership team, please click HERE for more information about the process.
Our pastoral search team has been reviewing resumes and are in dialogue with applicants. We hope to have a recommendation to Staff and Council some time in November.
North Site Emerging Vision
We are developing a vision for what ministry at our North Site might look like. This will be in process for a while but some general components and implications are below. People interested in the leadership team should have a good understanding of this vision and be able to commit to it.
We anticipate that the focus of mission (outreach) for the North Site will be two-fold.
- The Silverwood Heights neighbourhood – this is a very large and quite affluent neighbourhood. People living there include long time Saskatoon residents, recently or soon to be retired people, an immigrant population and others. The overall income is quite high ($110,000 plus per household) and there are quite a few people who are nearing retirement age. There are schools in this neighbourhood but very few churches. Our North Site is located on a main road in this area of the city and has high visibility.
- The North Industrial Area – this is a place where thousands of Saskatoon residents work. We recognize that they do not necessarily live in the Silverwood Heights neighbourhood but we also recognize that they are willing to drive to work so driving to be part of community of faith would not be a barrier.
Initial implications for this two-fold focus will be related to evaluation of effectiveness of the North Site. In other words, we will evaluate regularly based on whether we are accomplishing the two objectives above. These areas of focus will impact how the North Site is unique as compared to Attridge and Broadway.
Some of the methodology that has been identified already:
- We anticipate that the North Site leadership team (10-15 people) and core launch team (20-30 people) will spend significant time learning to understand the two areas of focus above. This takes both time and presence. Because of this, we anticipate that Sunday Gathering may not happen until June 2017 or even later. We want to focus energy on discerning the community and being “present” realizing that Sunday gathering takes a lot of energy and can hinder that initial discerning process. There may be non-Sunday activity in the building, but this has not been discerned yet.
- We hope that part of outreach to the North Industrial area will be to offer chaplain services to businesses, have lunch time “Alpha” type opportunities in businesses, or other intentional connecting with both the pastoral leadership as well as lay leaders in the North Site. We envision this as “missionary” kind of work that will require training and time availability. We would like to have 3 or 4 people, in addition to the site pastor, who are trained and involved in chaplain ministry.
- We intentionally value “slow fruit,” especially as related to the Silverwood Heights neighbourhood. We are not looking for quick growth. We want the North Site congregation to be present in the neighbourhood, learn to initiate and maintain spiritual conversations, and use the North Site facility to meet needs of the community and of individuals. The focus of this site will not be to recruit people who are currently part of another community of faith, but to connect with people who are not part of any church. This means we won’t necessarily expect them to join with Sunday gathering, at least initially. Outreach will happen through relationships rather than by invitation to a gathering. This implies that members of this congregation will most likely need training/equipping on how to establish and maintain spiritual conversations and relationships.
- Because we want our North Site leadership team and launch team to give significant time to the above three points, when Sunday Gathering begins, the emphasis will be on simplicity. We don’t want our people to have Sunday involvement that is so demanding that they find it difficult to maintain the focus on building relationships outside of Sundays. We want to value what the church looks like when scattered as much as when gathered. This will impact Sunday approaches to music, teaching, and other general programming. They will be simple.
- The North Site leadership team will meet regularly for prayer and further discernment of this vision, beginning in January 2017. These meetings will include the Site Pastor, Executive Pastor and possibly others as requested. During this time, the leadership team will continue to gather with our Attridge and Broadway congregations on Sundays.