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Sharing Space - October 2023
Enjoy these two stories of VMC churches who share their building space with multiple immigrant churches. The cost of rental space is sometimes prohibitive to new congregations and the experience of church planting can be lonely. For the host church, sharing space gives a bigger picture of the global church that opens their eyes to realities they may have not known before. It's a win-win.

If your church is ideally situated in a location where there are new churches who need a home OR if you're a new church looking for space, contact Mike Stone for further conversation.
Sharing Space:
Reflecting the International Flavour of Halifax
Grace Chapel, Halifax, NS

Earlier this summer, Grace Chapel in Halifax, NS hosted a multi-lingual worship service, including the four different congregations that use their building.

Grace Chapel.
Arabic Christian Church.
Rehoboth Ethiopian Church.
Fountain of Life Sudanese Church.

Shoukrey from the Arabic church led the call to worship. 
Bayssa from the Ethiopian church preached the sermon.
Yaboub from the Sudanese church prayed.
Ross from Grace Chapel hosted and welcomed, connecting people and facilitating a sense of community.

People felt at home as over 15 languages were spoken during the worship service.
There was a beautiful diversity of faces and languages and dress.
And at the same time, the common thread of the love of Jesus.
Christ as the Cornerstone was clear.
The leaders of the four congregations (Ross, Shoukrey, Bayssa, and Yaboub) wanted to join together in worship - as a sign of Christian unity, 
as practising the love they extend to one another, 
as a foretaste of heaven.

That joint church service was a taste of heaven - the many nations represented,
the many languages praising God, 
the unity of the body of God.

Ten years ago, Grace Chapel began to pray that they as a church body would reflect the international flavour of their city of Halifax.
They knew the danger of becoming isolated and they wanted to share their space well.
As Ross says, “It’s the Lord’s building.”

One of the elders at Grace, Darlene, began to lead English as an additional language classes.
Their circle began to grow.
Another elder, Sam, says people at Grace have prayed over the years with a special focus of reaching out to others - across the borders of culture and language.
That prayer was the bedrock for what was to come.
It was an answer to prayer when two women from Grace introduced the Ethiopian congregation to their space.
Thus began the tradition of sharing space.

Now, the Arabic Christian Church meets at Grace Chapel Saturday evenings.
Along with the Fountain of Life Sudanese congregation.
On Sundays, Grace Chapel worships in the morning and then the Rehoboth Ethiopian Church gathers in the afternoons.

Bayssa, the Ethiopian pastor, says the chapel feels like their own building.
They feel so at home and loved by Grace Chapel.
They also feel a sense of responsibility towards to the upkeep of the building.

Shoukrey, the Arabic pastor, also says that it feels like their own church.
They appreciate that they can use the building for free.
Rental space is so expensive in Halifax, that they recognize this as a real gift.

When I asked about division and racism, the pastors reflected on their experiences and were keen to point out that instead of prejudice and racism, it was their shared humanity which had been most emphasized over the years.
They also recognized the gift of each other - how they can learn from each other and grow in appreciation for their differences.
Instead of language and culture dividing them, their common focus on Jesus brings them together in a beautiful way.

As I listened to these four pastors from very different congregations talk about their shared space at Grace Chapel, the grace of God was evident.
There was mutual appreciation and an honouring of one another.
Sharing Space & Sense of Mission
Erindale Bible Chapel - Mississauga, ON

One of the challenges for new congregations is finding space.
Rental space is often expensive, especially in big cities.

So imagine the joy and relief when a church opens its doors to other congregations.
Erindale Bible Chapel in Mississauga, ON is currently extending hospitality to three different groups in some form.

First, Afghan pastor and leader Obed Rod from Jesus Network has an office there.

Then, an Eritrean congregation - Mount Zion Worship Centre - led by Yonatan Hiruy meets at Erindale Bible Chapel on Saturday evenings.

And just recently, Gord Martin connected Erindale Bible Chapel with a new Nigerian congregation (ECWA) that is just starting out.
The leaders, Peter and Deborah Johnson, are grateful for the space on Sunday afternoons.
In fact, the first Sunday that Peter and Deborah and their congregation met together, they joined Erindale Bible Chapel on the Sunday morning.
There was a proper introduction and a prayer of blessing - a sense that they were working together for the glory of God.
More than just space - they share a deep desire for others to know Jesus.

When I spoke to Michael Rix from Erindale Bible Chapel, I couldn’t help but notice a sense of responsibility to steward their building well, believing that it is a resource God has given them.
Believing that the church doesn’t belong to them means that they have to at least seriously consider the possibility of making room for others.
Michael also said that it’s more than an agreement about sharing space - it’s a bigger picture of the family of God. 
It’s having a big view of the church.
It’s easy to feel threatened or for a sense of competition to sneak in.
But remembering that we’re all in this together and want to support each other, amidst the differences is important.

Looking back, Michael recognized that Erindale has been blessed in the past in several ways.
They’ve always had a strong missions emphasis and over the years have supported ministry all around the world - eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Haiti, Malawi, and more.

There’s a culture of open-mindedness at Erindale - people desire to be practically helpful and can be flexible about some things.
Their congregation was primarily white back in 1961, which represented their neighbourhood.
Over the years, that has changed.
They started ESL classes a few years ago and their congregation has moved to a great mix of white, Chinese, Filipino, and other East Asian, South Asian, African and Caribbean and others which represents their current community.

One of Erindale’s elders is Doug Anderson - who served as a missionary in the Philippines and Africa.
Including a stint in Africa about 40 years ago with an ECWA congregation!
He’s been a strong advocate for their growth as a multi-ethnic church.

And then lastly, their new pastor David Hallett spent twenty years in China and so feels at home in a church with an international flavour.
So many ways that God has been guiding their congregation and forming them into the people they are now.

There’s much potential for mutual learning and spiritual encouragement - having these congregations sharing space together.
They look forward to what God is cultivating among them!
The New Christendom by Philip Jenkins

In this new and substantially expanded Third Edition, Philip Jenkins continues to illuminate the remarkable expansion of Christianity in the global South--in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Drawing upon the extensive new scholarship that has appeared on this topic in recent years, he asks how the new Christianity is likely to affect the poor, among whom it finds its most devoted adherents. How should we interpret the enormous success of prosperity churches across the Global South? Politically, what will be the impact of new Christian movements? Will Christianity contribute to liberating the poor, to give voices to the previously silent, or does it threaten only to bring new kinds of division and conflict? Does Christianity liberate women, or introduce new scriptural bases for subjection? (
Event Calendar
Thinking Shrewdly 2024
April 18 - 20, 2024
Save the date for VMC's national, in-person conference happening next April in Ontario!

Come join others from across Canada to celebrate, learn, connect and be encouraged together! There's lot of planning still to happen but we are thrilled that our featured presenter will be James K. A. Smith. You can learn more about the award-winning author, speaker and philosopher at

Watch for details at
VMC Storytelling
Every week, we share stories from across our network of churches that show how God is at work in and through His people.

Here are a few stories:

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Pray with Us
Please join us as we gather and pray together online each month for our VMC churches and leaders.
To sign up or request further information contact Henrietta at

The VMC prayer team gathers on the first Thursday of the month at the following times across the country:  1:00-2:00pm (Atlantic), Noon-1:00pm (Eastern), 11:00-Noon (Central), 10:00-11:00am (Mountain) and 9:00-10:00am (Pacific).