“God has a grand divine plan for Edmonton,” said Victor Ko to those who had gathered to celebrate the various stages of six Edmonton, Alta., church plants—young congregations within the Christian Reformed Church. “And he will provide,” Ko continued. “Edmonton is ripe for the harvest.” The service of celebration was held on November 4 at the East campus of mosaicHouse Community CRC, where Ko is pastor. Pastor Bruce Gritter described the evening led by the praise and worship team of The River Community Church as “an historic epic worship experience.”
This particular church family tree started growing 15 years ago when Bethel Community CRC in Edmonton called Gritter to plant a church, resulting in the germination, in 2003, of The River. Five years later, The River planted mosaicHouse. Five years after that, mosaicHouse seeded Avenue Church, located in Edmonton’s inner city. Avenue is pastored by Aaron Au who, Ko reminded those celebrating, was “raised up” in mosaicHouse. The River, meanwhile, planted Neighbourhood Life, a community-based mission project of the CRC, supported in part by Resonate Global Mission, as are most newly planted CRC churches. Karen Wilk pastors Neighbourhood Life in Edmonton. “We are equipping everyday, ordinary believers to discover and join God in their neighborhoods by taking up incarnational practices right where they live,” Wilk said. “There are participants from about 20 neighborhoods in [the] Edmonton and Lacombe area now.”
The original mosaicHouse, located in south Edmonton, branched out into mosaicHouse East with an opportunity to obtain the building formerly owned by Ottewell CRC. The second campus held its first worship service in 2016. Ko is lead pastor of both campuses. Classis Alberta North, the regional group of CRC churches, is supportive of all this church growth, having committed in 2016 to see a new church planted every three years.
The newest branch on the family tree is Bridge Church in Fort Saskatchewan, 25 kilometres (about 15 miles) northeast of Edmonton. “Bridge Church started with one house church in February 2018,” explained pastor Ryan Pedde, and “multiplied into two in September 2018 with nearly 90 people attending now. God willing, we will multiply into more house churches in the new year, and will do our Sunday service launch in fall 2019. We are seeing God’s hand upon us as we share the Good News about him. We are seeing people of every stage of faith come along for the journey.” Pedde has been mentored by pastor Tom Baird of Bethel Community CRC, along with pastors Gritter and Ko. “This network of church planters has been very critical for our new church plant,” said Pedde.
This network, and those who came to celebrate with them, enjoyed cake together after the service.