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St. Stephen's Anglican Church, diocese of Saskatoon Saskatchewan.

ST. STEPHEN'S ANGLICAN Church describes itself as seeking "to be a Christ-centred, Holy Spirit-led, outward focussed, caring community." The church hosts a diverse range of groups, including a bridge club, English learning class, Alcoholics Anonymous, a cooking group, residents of local seniors' homes and a youth group--the latter of which includes both young Anglicans and those with no connection to the parish.

St. Stephen's also recently started celebrating the Eucharist forward from the altar--the step of which previously posed a potential tripping hazard for older members of the congregation--and changed the format of vestry meetings to include Bible study.

"Instead of coming together and discussing the sometimes mundane business of vestry... we actually have Bible study before we have the meeting;" rector's warden Chris Wood says. "If we have the meeting, great, and if we don't, we don't. But it's more about the Bible study."

Since then, the number of people wanting to be on vestry has jumped from 8 to about 15. "People are being energized by just a different way of interpreting how things should be done; Wood says.

Outreach to the community, he says, has helped lead to growth for the parish. Wood estimates that between 2016 and 2019, the number of families attending worship in the parish rose from 100 to 120.

"I think it's being... a place that lets them know that the church is there, that the church is... a presence to the neighbourhood, and just allowing the doors to be open and allowing groups to come in;" he says.

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Publication:Anglican Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2020
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