What is it like at your Sunday Morning Meetings?
We rent space from Temple B’nai Tikvah, a beautiful, newly renovated space that will be our Friends Church home. Our main meeting space is the sanctuary. Our student program meets in the social hall, and children’s program meets in various classrooms downstairs. Temple B’nai Tikvah is situated in a residential area easily accessible from Elbow Drive. We try to make the environment as comfortable as possible. When you walk in you will find fresh 15 Kilo coffee, hot chocolate or tea to enjoy We use stage lighting to make the environment inviting. We want to ensure that all of our guests feel welcome.
What time is your Sunday Morning Meeting?
Our regular Sunday Morning Meeting time is at 10:30am.
Where is your Sunday Morning Meeting?
900 47th Ave. SW Calgary, AB in the Temple B’nai Tikvah
How long is your Sunday Morning Meeting?
Our meeting is one hour long, or as close to an hour as we can get.
What happens at the Sunday Morning Meeting?
Guests begin to arrive with enough time to grab a Phil & Sebastian coffee or hot chocolate or tea and find a seat. The meeting begins at 10:30am, it starts with some non-mandatory singing (you won’t be asked to perform a solo; in fact, joining in is optional). This is usually followed by some announcements about what’s happening in the church, and then a member of our teaching team will deliver a message on any one of a wide range of relevant, everyday themes. After the meeting is over the building usually clears out by 12:00pm.
How many people attend on a Sunday morning?
We average about 250 people each Sunday morning, including kids and teens.
What do we value?
We value people being guided by God.
All throughout the Bible we read of God interacting with and guiding individuals from every walk and level of life. We see ourselves in a long line of generations taking part in the endless conversation between God and people. We don’t believe that God needs a “middle man” to communicate with individuals. So we continually challenge every person to consider how God may be guiding them at any given time.
We value being honest about what can or can’t be proven
We value stating our beliefs as beliefs, not as facts, no matter how deeply we hold them.
We respect each person’s unique spiritual journey.
We recognize that not everyone’s journey begins at the same point, with the same experiences or beliefs. In fact, we believe that no two people’s journeys were ever meant to look the same. This approach requires personal investment – we don’t believe we can define someone’s spiritual journey for them.
We value the Bible
We believe the Bible as the best of the best of our spiritual ancestor’s accounts about what they saw, felt, perceived and believed about God and spirituality. And we believe that their spiritual accounts can enrich our spirituality.
We value action-oriented Christianity
We see this “way of life” is making this world physically, emotionally and relationally a better place, making heaven on earth. We call this Taking Water
We value those things that create healthy lives
We are willing to explore (go) any place (part of our lives) to help you get there.
A non-exhaustive list of where we’ve already gone and probably will go again (e.g. being active, balance, holistic health, growing, relationships, attachment, training, the parts of our lives that we hide from the world, ego, authenticity, the real you, connectedness, unspiritual pieces, things that we don’t think belong in the church, consistency, congruity, happiness, fulfillment, alive, pain, hurt, sleep/rest, struggle, exercise, beaches, holidays, fun, celebration, self-awareness, mindfulness, sexual identity, gender identity, financial, racism, bias, equality, automatic negative thoughts, true self/false self, boundaries, self-acceptance, parenting, forgiveness, accepting help, masculine/feminine energies, etc.)
Are sermons those same boring Latin things that I remember?
People often describe our “sermons” as like TED talks. That’s high praise:) But we do see the similarities in style. We focus on presenting messages that are applicable and helpful; you will hear us speak about spirituality, biblical narratives, and all aspects of our lives – including sex, money relationships – with the intent of helping you on your spiritual journey. We use stories, music, movies, videos and anything else in our everyday lives that can help us. Our box of what we think is spiritual is very broad, we think almost everything in our lives can be spiritual. And we think almost everything in our lives can be used to challenge our spirituality.
What should I wear?
People wear pretty much whatever they like, although the trend is casual. We’re not going to ostracize you for dressing the way that you like; if you’re comfortable wearing an outfit out in public, then you will be comfortable wearing it here.
Will I get hounded by people trying to convert me to something?
No, absolutely not. Each person is on their own spiritual journey and we respect that. We’re here to answer your questions and to help you on your spiritual journey in any way that we can, but you are in control of each step.
Will I have to say anything, sign anything, or be singled out in any way as a guest?
Definitely not. Come and visit. Stand and sing, or sit and listen…your choice.
Who can participate in your church?
Anyone is welcome. And let me say that again so you hear what we are saying, ANYONE IS WELCOME. Just as you are right now. We don’t discriminate based on age, race, sex, sexual orientation, current or past life choices, beliefs or background. We don’t demand you fit into some box in order to be fully involved. (It’s sad that people have had such bad experiences with church, but they have, so to save you an email let me say, if you are part of the queer community, that’s great. So are we:) We don’t really care about your sexual orientation, identity, expression or anything else. And you can participate at every level of our community without changing anything. Really! We mean that! That said, if you still don’t believe us, send us an email and we will show you that we really don’t care about your sexual orientation, we just want to create a safe place for everyone to work on their spirituality).
Do you have community or connections events?
Yes. We have a number of events, including pub brunches, volunteering opportunities, small groups, and more. For more info, please contact email@example.com
Do I have to believe in God or Jesus Christ, or do I have to confess certain beliefs before I can attend Friends Church?
No. Many people who start attending Friends Church don’t believe in God or Jesus Christ, nor do they believe in the Bible. That’s ok with us; wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome at Friends Church.
Do I have to pay for this or will I be asked for money?
Our Sunday Morning Meeting is free. We do take an offering during the service, but it is only for our regular attendees, not our guests. This money covers the costs of the morning including the facility, the supplies for the programs and the staff.
Is Friends Church a Christian Church?
Yes, we are! That said, there is a fairly broad definition out there of what it means to be a Christian church. We say we are an honest Christian approach to God for people who don’t fit church. I don’t think anyone would describe us as fundamentalist or traditional and that’s fine because we don’t see ourselves as that at all. If you are looking for conservative church, we can definitely help you find another church, because you probably won’t love us. But if you are looking for something that’s more inclusive, and is open to helping you on your spiritual journey, no matter where you have been or where you are going, you will probably fit right in.
Do I need to come to a Sunday Morning Meeting to be a part of Friends Church?
No. It’s entirely up to you. We believe it will help you on your spiritual journey but the choice is yours. If you want to hear a message before you come, check out the Sunday Messages section to hear podcasts of past services.
How important is community at Friends Church?
We believe that the health of our relational lives greatly impacts our ability to make a positive impact in our world. When our relationships are healthy they are a great place to make a positive impact and can support us making a positive impact in the rest of our worlds. But when our relationships are unhealthy they seem to cause us to pull inwards and reduce our positive impact in our world. We believe in leading the adult community in creating sufficient, healthy relationships within our community, and between our community members and the people in their lives so that we can all make the greatest positive impact in our worlds.
What denomination are you?
We are a non-denominational church. What does that mean? Well, it means we are not affiliated with any denominational church (i.e. Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal etc.). At Friends Church – we consider ourselves Theological Minimalists. By that we mean, we don’t prescribe a set of theologies – a model(s) of God that everyone must hold. Instead we encourage every person to study and explore the theologies (models of God) that will help you connect with God. We are here to guide and help you along…but ultimately , this is your journey!
What is a pastor?
Think of a pastor as someone who helps you on your spiritual journey – a guide of sorts. Often pastors are called ministers, priests or teachers. We like to think of a pastor like a personal trainer – someone to help you, and challenge you in your Spiritual Gym.
Who do I talk to if I have a question?
That depends on the type of question. If you have a general question about the church, you can ask our hospitality team who are in the lobby before the service each Sunday. If it’s a question about the Sunday Morning Message, you can contact the teacher from that morning via our Contact Us tab below. If you have a general question, feel free to email us.
How does sharing space with the Jewish community work?
Bnai Tikvah holds services on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Friends Church holds services on Sunday mornings. Both communities have offices onsite for daily use. We feel pretty honored that we can share a space with the Jewish community.
What are the little hats that some Jews wear?
Kipah (plural: kipot, also called Yarmulkes or Skull caps) are worn to remind Jews that there is something above them, and to act accordingly. It is a reminder of the value of acting with civility and holiness toward other people.