AT THE EDGE
As an organization ages, you don’t look to the centre for signs of new life, where the leaders are expending more and more energy trying to protect the old ways. You look to the edges. There the organization is still alive to its environment, still alert to new possibilities.
This weekend we hosted our annual Midtown Mosaic. This is one of our “edges” at St. Stephen’s. It is an enormous effort—a labour of love in particular for its creator, Ginny Binder. But it puts us in direct contact with the wider community—in this case, the arts community. At the same time, down in our lower hall, we connected with our book-buying neighbours through our used book sale.
Our recent renovations were all about supporting opportunities at the edges. Our large flexible worship space can double as an art gallery, a concert hall, or a meditation centre. Our creation space houses our Sunday School program, but also a community chess club for teens, a rehearsal space for choirs, and a meeting room for local condo associations.
One of the supporters of our renovations was the Anglican Foundation, whose Executive Director, Judy Rois, knows a thing or two about new life in the church. The Foundation exists to support churches doing innovative things, whether through bricks and mortar or through creative programming. We support the Foundation with an annual donation; and each year the Foundation supports dozens of innovative church projects across the country.
New life happens at the edges.