Antelope. Bumblebees. Penguins. Dinosaurs. Children dressed in their best animal costumes continue to stream in the doors of The Tapestry, a 10-year-old church plant located in Richmond, British Columbia, to play countless carnival games and pursue endless amounts of candy.
Noah’s Fest, a yearly event, attracts people from across the city, some entering church for the first time. Noah’s Fest is just one of The Tapestry’s ministries focused on engaging and welcoming non-churchgoing members of the community.
Part of the Tapestry’s mission statement is to “creatively engage our culture to meet the needs of our neighboring community.” Lead pastor, Albert Chu, mentions this as the explanation for the church’s success: “Hospitality is by far the number one reason why we have grown.”
And grown they have. In a decade, the congregation grew from one service with 10 active members to two services with over 300 members each. In addition, they have baptized about 120 new believers.
“We are trying to be a place that engages with the people around us in our community,” Chu elaborates.
One way the church works toward accomplishing this task is by meeting the needs of their neighborhood. Members of the congregation volunteer at residences of members with disabilities and building relationships with the staff and residents who live there.
Across the street from The Tapestry is an affordable housing facility for seniors and a home for women suffering with addiction. Residents from all these locations regularly attend this church.
However, Sunday services are not the church’s sole concern. Maintaining an external focus, The Tapestry prioritizes small groups as a vital aspect of their community. Over 60 percent of members attend a weekly small group.
Some groups are multi-generational and racially diverse, while others are exclusively for undergraduates, women, or seniors. All groups study from a unified curriculum developed by The Tapestry relating to the current sermon series.
The Tapestry’s ministry also reaches their local university, Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond, BC.
“We were recently approached by Kwantlen University, who asked us to partner with them in starting a Multi-Faith Centre on their campus,” says Chu.
The Tapestry agreed and currently pays the salaries for the chaplain and coordinator positions at the university, so the church can continue to can reach out to college students searching for faith.
Christian Reformed Home Missions partners with The Tapestry in supporting the Multi-Faith Centre, which reaches out to a student body richly textured in diversity.
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