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New church hopes to take root in Pincher Creek

Sunday, 21 August 2016. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

New church hopes to take root in Pincher Creek

Chris Ney   Photo by Brad Quarin

 

New church hopes to take root in Pincher Creek

 

By Brad Quarin

In mid July, the staff of the newly established Vertical Church reached out to Pincher Creek families with an invitation for an evening night of coffee and desserts.

“Church used to be a vital part of every community,” says Pastor Chris Ney. “There’s a bigger support system that the church should be providing, that we really feel that’s part of what we’re called here to do.”

“What are the practical needs in our community? Is there a yard that needs to be raked? Does somebody need groceries? Do we know a family struggling that we can get some gas cards for?”

The group is already participating in missions around the world.

Twenty-five people attended the dessert night, including staff, and a few families joined Vertical Church as a result.

New members include “people who haven’t been going to church anywhere else and just felt like they were looking for a home,” he says. “Which is a large part of what we feel God’s called us out to do in this community.”

Chris says they seek to “reignite a passion” and create “a safe space where they’ll be welcome, encouraged, and feel like part of the family, without having to be perfect in the meantime.”

Response to the new church was positive. Some attendees asked what Vertical Church is about and how long the Ney family intends to stay in Pincher Creek.

“We’re here for the long haul,” Chris says. “Pincher Creek is home for us.”

Although the Neys only moved to town last August, it feels like longer because they now know many people here.

Chris gives credit to Salt ’n’ Pepper Café for being “phenomenal” in hosting the event. “Denise cooked us up a bunch of really delicious, high-end desserts, and they provided us coffee all night.”

Vertical Church is an autonomous Protestant church affiliated with the Mennonites.

“Fundamentally, we’re normal people that believe in the Bible,” Chris says.

The name Vertical Church reflects their idea that “everything points to Jesus, so everything’s pointing up.”

“It’s simple enough that it’s not intimidating,” he says.

Vertical Church is located next to Vista Village. It was built by a Mennonite organization 10 years ago before being given to the Coast 2 Coast network.

Chris has plans for the space. “I love the building being used for community,” he says. “I’d love to have this place hopping six, seven days a week.”

Vertical Church has already rented rooms to St. Michael’s School while its building undergoes modernization, and the Neys even plan to host a Starbucks shop open to the public.

The Vertical Church congregation only recently began meeting in the building. In January, the group started meeting in personal homes, moving to the church in June. Between 35 to 55 people attend, depending on the Sunday.

Services haven’t formally started. A “full public launch” is planned for Jan. 15 at the latest.

Chris wants everyone to feel welcome in the church and hopes to continue the fellowship with other churches in Pincher Creek.

He also hopes that as the church grows, kids camps, youth programs and community service projects can be offered.

 

 

 

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Read more in this week’s online edition here.

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From the August 17, 2016 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.

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