There’s a new church in town and this one has a bit of a twist for West Shore residents.
Glad Tidings (GT) Church is launching its Westhills campus with services starting this Sunday (Sept. 11) in the Belmont secondary school theatre.
Darren Abrahams, GT Westhills campus pastor, said they’ve had “a lot of connection with Belmont” and the school’s staff has been fantastic to work with while they are preparing to open for Sunday services.
Andy Moore, GT lead pastor, added, “we just think it’s a wonderful place to hold church.”
Moore noted that since the building functions as a school all week, they’ve been forced to be creative in finding ways to transform the space on Sundays while maintaining a presence in the West Shore community throughout the week. “Beyond that, we use local coffee shops as our offices and can meet with people in their homes.” He added that Parkway Dental has also provided them with office space, when needed, on Langford Parkway.
Making sure the church becomes an integral part of the community as a welcoming space for everyone has been their main goal during this process. Many people are hesitant to attend church services, Moore said, because they aren’t sure they will be welcome. “For us, we just want to make sure everyone knows we’re open to everyone.” He added, “there’s a place for you when you need a place; sometimes life gets really heavy.”
While GT operates a campus on Quadra Street, Moore said they made the move to open a West Shore location because “we just want to put ourselves in reach of people … Anyone who lives out there understands the daily grind of driving.”
The commute back into town Sunday morning can often be a deterrent for some, he added. “We just want to serve, that’s why we’re here … That same great experience people have downtown, they can have in their own neighbourhood.”
Abrahams said the West Shore residents he’s spoken with are thrilled to have another place to go, especially one closer to home.
“The response has been really good… Many people are looking forward to coming out.”
With space for roughly 300 people in the Belmont theatre, GT Westhills has decided to offer two services this Sunday because of that response. The first will start at 9:30 a.m. and the second at 11:00.
Moore reiterated that everyone, including children, are welcome to attend either service. “There’ll be a wonderful kids program for children (up to) Grade 5,” he said.
Added Abrahams: “The kids program is second to none.”
For more information go to GT.church.