A Pause

If you are visiting this site to inquire about renting the Oakville facility, our Events and Rentals team is continuing without interruption – see the Resources section below for details. For all other inquiries, please continue below.

Why are we paused?

Both the beauty and pain of our church history continue to impact us in many ways, including in our relationships with key stakeholders such as insurers. Over the last few years, we have taken significant steps to address systemic risk and create a safe environment for staff, volunteers, and congregants. This work has received positive feedback from insurers and experts who believe our actions have been particularly rigorous and effective, and that our abuse prevention framework is now first rate among churches.

Even with these positive changes, we recently shared the disappointing news that in light of our history we have not been able to secure some elements of the insurance coverage that we require to operate normal ministry beyond June 30.

Our Transition Board, network leadership, staff, and volunteers with insurance expertise from our church have been working together to explore all avenues available to obtain the coverage we need.

Despite the tremendous effort of all involved, we have not been offered any options for Abuse Liability or Employment Practices Liability coverage in advance of our June 30 renewal date. We are able to renew all other types of insurance we require with our current insurer (e.g., property insurance, directors and officers insurance, etc.).

As a result, we are moving forward with our stated plan to pause all programmed ministry at The Meeting House, including Sunday and mid-week gatherings, kids and youth programming, pastoral counseling, and home church (online and in person) as of 12:01 AM, June 30.

This is another significant challenge for us to face together, and we grieve the need to pause ministry as a church. At the same time, we know that God is actively at work in our communities. There is a strong desire among our people to stay connected and pursue ways to be a church and do ministry together as soon as possible.

We have come so far together in the past year, owning our story, humbling ourselves before God, and discerning who He is calling us to be and become as a network of churches. Our community has prayerfully developed a Shared Covenant that clarifies our call to move forward as Jesus-centred, Spirit-led, peacemaking communities, on mission together. We have learned so much through this process that can be carried into the future.

And yet, we do not believe we have a safe and viable way to return to ministry within the current Meeting House structure. In the unlikely event we are able to obtain the necessary insurance coverage, we still sense that God is guiding us in a different direction.

What does this mean for our future?

The time seems right to move into exploring a new future together. But the new wine God is pouring requires us to consider new wineskins. This could involve a number of options that we are now beginning to actively explore in partnership with our local churches. There is tremendous hope in following the Spirit to where he is leading us next.

We want to direct our energy and resources towards shaping this new path forward, locally and collectively. This involves moving into a process of collaborating with pastors, local leaders, and our communities to create plans to do local ministry safely and sustainably in the near future, while at the same time developing our future structure and relationships as churches. This is the work we will be prioritizing and beginning immediately in July. 

Our churches need to be empowered to respond to what God is saying to us in our local contexts, and to our network as a whole. Whatever the outcome, we believe that doing this work in a coordinated way as a collective of churches with a spirit of unity will produce the best fruit – as we share prayer, research, learnings, encouragement, and use our collective financial and human resources to help fuel a way forward. Just as we have all benefited from working together throughout our shared history!  

Our Transition Board, with representation from almost all of our network churches, is recommending this path forward after careful discernment and processing in partnership with network leadership. These are important decisions that need to be processed collectively with our leaders and members in the weeks and months to come.

How will we move through this period of pause?

Through some beautiful collaboration from within our denominational family (Be In Christ Church of Canada), we have developed a way for our pastors and some core support staff to help lead us through this period of transition. This team will be able to communicate with the people in our network churches, facilitate planning next steps with local leaders, and continue to support essential functions of The Meeting House organization as future plans are developed. While pastors will not be able to lead services or organize group events, we’re pleased that this solution allows us all to stay engaged as we chart a course forward.

Our continued giving to The Meeting House through this pause will fund critical expenses, including our pastors and staff, and be directly invested in the development of our future plans. Your generosity will fuel our future. The Meeting House remains fully able to receive donations and issue tax receipts.

We are reminded and thankful that ‘the church’ is not an organization or a legal entity; it is a people gathered with a purpose, with Jesus at the centre. People within the community are able to connect with each other socially as private individuals during this pause. However, everyone involved needs to understand that these social activities will not be organized, sanctioned, endorsed, or insured by The Meeting House beginning June 30, until further notice.

Starting June 30, every Sunday at 10 AM, we will be providing curated teaching and worship through our YouTube channel for those who want to continue to engage in this way, as well as a mid-week devotional posted on our podcast channels (Apple, Spotify, etc) each week.

To help support families, we’ve also assembled a collection of lessons and resources for kids and youth that align with the weekly adult teaching themes.

We will no doubt have updates to share as we explore possibilities and plan next steps for our future in the coming weeks and through the summer. We plan to communicate as widely as possible with relevant updates in the month of July, including through our Pastors and Transition Board representatives to our local communities.

Join us in prayer...

This reality of a ministry pause creates a range of responses and emotions in all of us, as we process all that has led to this point and all that is happening in real time. In the midst of that, we share the bright hope and encouragement that God is faithful and with us every step of the way.

This beautiful prayer from a member of our church family is such a fitting call to trust in Jesus as we move forward together…

“Dear Lord, You know what is and what is to come. We’ve seen You move and we’ve experienced You moving us. Based on this, we know we can trust You. Even, and especially when we don’t understand currently why or how, we know we can trust You!”

Peace,
The Meeting House Transition Board and Network Leadership Team

Resources

During this time of pause, we want to ensure you are well equipped.

Rentals

Events and rentals at our 2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville location are continuing without interruption. Please visit www.tmhrentals.com or contact us at rentals@themeetinghouse.com for more information.

Make A Difference

Your giving makes a difference! Even as we pause, your giving helps to support whatever is next for our communities.

Online Teaching

Watch a selection of past teaching online, curated by our communications team, Sunday's at 10:00am EDT. 

Podcasts

All of our Sunday teaching in one place. We've also got The Common Room podcast where we chat about life with our staff, and special guests.

Kids & Youth Curriculum

Through our pause, you can still access weekly Kids and Youth curriculum below.