Who are we?
What is Exchange Community Church? What does it stand for? What does it value? How does it function? These are just a few questions that might be going through your mind as you investigate us. We hope these thoughts might help you sort out some answers.
Traditional? We are traditional in the sense that we observe Holy Communion each Sunday. The observance, remembrance, celebration, of the death of Christ is central to our identity as a Christian gathering (church) in the historic sense. We believe in the Holy Trinity, and as such fall within the bounds of historic traditional Christianity.
Non traditional? We are non-traditional in our meeting time which is 4:30 pm, Sunday afternoon.
We are non-traditional in that we normally do not have hymn singing or “church” music. The first half-hour for most of our services is a chance to engage various artists from the community, to provide an opportunity to share their creativity, their paintings, poetry, music, etc. We regard artists as prophets of culture and it is our intention to listen to what they are saying and how they are experiencing life, and then as much as possible, to respond as appropriately. Some Sundays it might be quiet classical guitar, which provides an opportunity for quiet reflection, personal prayer, or just calmness. Another Sunday it might be a musician sharing songs personally written about their life experience, or an artist showing their works revealing the human condition. In all of this it is our intention to pay attention, to be hospitable, and to engage, for the welfare of our community and city and world.
Traditional? Each Sunday, there is a teaching time based on Holy Scripture, normally following the Biblical texts as set out in the lectionary. This is very traditional! But it is non-traditional in the sense that there is a teaching team of 4 people, who take turns, so that each Sunday there will be a different style of presentation. As teachers we are committed to the scriptures as the true word of God, our faithful guide for life and faith, and to wrestling with the texts as they apply to life today. Participation from the congregation is also encouraged so that times of lively discussion often take place.
Non-tradtional? We do not have pews, but usually sit around tables in a rather casual atmosphere. We have a room designated for infants and children but they are also welcome to be part of the service. We usually have a prayer time before services and all are welcome to participate and bring their prayer needs to the gathering. We also have a bi-weekly discussion group from time to time. Our congregation is generally a reflection of the community, with a wide range of socio-economic , age, and racial mix, usually around 20-30 people.
Non-traditional? We meet on the second floor of 75 Albert Street, an old office building built in 1904. The building was purchased in October, 2008 with the help of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (Canadian Midwest District) making the down payment. The top three floors of the building are rented out as studios, primarily to artists, and the ground floor is leased to various businesses. We endeavour to keep the rents affordable so as to support the arts community. The main hall is frequently rented out for various events such as art shows and is provided free of charge for various types of charity events. It is our sincere desire to serve the Exchange District community.
Traditional? We rely on offerings of generous supporters to sustain the work of the church. We are a registered charity and issue receipts for income tax purposes. Our pastoral staff is authorized to preform weddings. We are a church lead primarily through the leadership team/board of elders, and pastoral staff is dedicated to ministering to the community.