C!C in the local newspaper

The Old Ottawa East community, which is the neighbourhood surrounding where Celebration! Church Ottawa meets for our worship services, has a local newspaper called the Mainstreeter.

Here’s the inclusion from C!C in the upcoming issue:

 

In the Neighbourhood, Around the World

“We are a small group, but we’re not afraid to dream big.”  This comment from a leader at Celebration! Church Ottawa (C!C) when reflecting on plans for the rest of 2013 and beyond.  The start up church, whose original group consistent of almost entirely university students, has made a big splash in the Old Ottawa East neighbourhood as well as in other parts of our city as they’ve grown.  And with one of their core values being to “meaningfully connect with both campus and community”, they see that widespread impact continuing.

Some of these efforts are: the C!Station children’s booth at the Main Farmers’ Market, help with local events like the Main Event and neighbourhood BBQs, Easter Lily sale for FREEDOM, kids activities in Brantwood during the Summer, and of course, their weekly worship gathering (10:30am inside Saint Paul Univ.).  While other local initiatives are still being planned, one interesting area of involvement that is blossoming is anything but “local.”

C!C has begun exploring a partnership with a small people group in the mountains of Honduras called the Tolupan.  In working together with locals and other invested organizations, C!C hopes to bring food, education, better health care, and better farming practices to a very poor, isolated, and often maligned group of people.  Pastor Jason Byers, who spent a week with the Tolupan in February, explains, “The reality seems to be that no one is looking to help these people.  In many ways, they are either forgotten or ignored.  So we want to do what we can to increase their quality of life in a way that honours their native culture.  This involves a lot of listening, and in time, helping.  The help would take many forms: food, supplies, tips on their coffee production, dental services, English lessons, and more.  We are also open with them about the role that Christianity plays in our quality of life on earth and in our hope of life after death.  Many people are curious about the Christian worldview, and so we are sensitive to communicating this truth, so important to us, in a way that could enable an indigenous church.  The bottom line is that we are trying to help meet legitimate needs without creating a sense of dependency.”

When asked why a small church from Canada would go to such great lengths in Honduras, Pastor Jason replied, “It really stems from who we are at our core.  Being loved by God and having a love for Jesus motivates us to serve other people.  The Bible points to that having an expression locally as well as abroad.  When we came across the Tolupan of Honduras, they sort of captured our hearts . . . much like the neighbourhood around our church has.”  Then he smiled and added, “And who knows, we have a big dream of one day having our own coffee shop that serves as a kind of home-base for our ministries.  Maybe we will serve Tolupan coffee.”

Maybe they will.  But for sure, they’ll continue dreaming big while offering a helping hand in the neighbourhood and around the world.

 


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