Tag Archives: Patti Miller

Our favourite Faith Today stories in 2016

As a fun end-of-year exercise, we editors put our heads together and chose some of our favourite Faith Today stories from 2016. “Favourite” meaning they resonated with readers for some reason. Or favourite could mean that we just simply loved the end results of the writer’s hard work, or thought an interview subject said some really important things we all need to hear.

We started out the year with a love letter to the Church. See you in 2017!

So, here’s our list (in no particular order, and just for fun).

Artful Discipleship: how the arts can help in spiritual formation. We love this Carolyn Arends piece with the honour it gives to the arts, and of course, with its connection to our first ever, wildly popular colour it yourself Faith Today cover. This was so much fun to pull together and it was awesome to see readers respond and send in coloured covers from all across Canada.
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Montreal Church Serves Pokémon GO Crowds

by Patti Miller

We never saw it coming.

Saturday, July 16, we held an outdoor concert to celebrate our church’s 100th anniversary. The concert was in the park across the street, with free desserts and coffee for all who stopped by. Our banners waved in the breeze: “#InsideOutChurch: Do Good. Love Each Other. Reveal Jesus.”

Evangel Church in Montreal is reaching out to players of the Pokemon Go craze.
Evangel Church in Montreal is reaching out to players of the Pokémon GO craze.

We noticed we had a good crowd – better than expected.

And then we noticed that a significant number of them were looking at their phones. What on earth…?

Pokémon GO had launched, and as it turned out, the hottest Pokéstop in Montreal was right in front of our church. Hundreds of people were suddenly there, at all hours of the day, an oddly silent crowd, staring at their phones, moving en masse from time to time as an elusive rare find cropped up.

Right. In Front. Of Our Church.

Monday, we looked out the window and mused, “We should maybe do something.”

Tuesday, we made a plan.

Wednesday, we went shopping and made signs. By Wednesday evening, our entire front glass was painted and backlit, visible from a block away, and we were offering free water, granola bars and charging stations for the hundreds of Pokémon players that were already there, on our own property.

In just over 48 hours, we had served over 2,000. By Sunday, we had served 4,384. At last count, in nine days spread over less than two weeks, we’ve served 7,604 people, and have been spotlighted repeatedly by several news media and social media sources as a church that cares about its community.

Evangel Church is serving the Pokémon GO crowds gathering near their church.
Evangel Church is serving the Pokémon GO crowds gathering near their church.

We’ve never seen such a positive response. Over and over, we’ve been asked, “Who are you? Why are you doing this?” When we answer that Jesus said to love our neighbours (and we suddenly have a lot of neighbours!) we hear over and over, “I’ve never seen a church that cared about its neighbours like this.”

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The risky, messy, life-changing world of urban ministry

by Patti Miller

“I’ve been in urban ministry for over twenty years.”

It’s odd to hear a statement like that come out of my own mouth. I startle myself and wonder when I became that person, simultaneously aware that I’ve barely scratched the surface of understanding what urban ministry is.

Patti Miller is our FT Interview for March/April.
Patti Miller is our FT Interview for March/April.

What I do know is this:

Urban ministry is different

Urban ministry is not just different as a single category, it is different within as well. Each city, each neighbourhood in each city, is different. The labels don’t work. You have to figure out the community in which God has placed you. And once you do, it will change.
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Entrevue FT : Patti Miller

English version anglaise

Patti Miller. Photo by Will Lew for Faith Today.
Patti Miller. Photo par Will Lew pour Faith Today.

Patti Miller est pasteure principale récemment nommée à l’église Evangel Pentecostal Church de Montréal (www.evangel.qc.ca), la plus importante congrégation de langue anglaise au Québec. La signature de l’église est : Inside Out Church: Do good. Love each other. Reveal Jesus. [Une église entière : Faites le bien. Aimez-vous les uns les autres. Révélez Jésus.] C’est le thème principal de Patti depuis plusieurs années, elle qui a fait du ministère dans le secteur Jane-Finch du centre-ville de Toronto, ainsi qu’à Hamilton et maintenant, à Montréal. Elle a accordé une entrevue au magazine Faith Today sur les erreurs courantes commises dans le ministère urbain, les différences qu’elle voit à Montréal et les raisons pour lesquelles l’Église canadienne doit trouver « la plénitude de son cœur ».

Faith Today : Vous avez fait du ministère au centre-ville de Toronto, à Hamilton et depuis peu, vous êtes installée à Montréal. Dites-nous ce que vous avez appris au sujet du ministère urbain au Canada aujourd’hui.

Patti Miller : Je dirais que c’est désordonné. Les églises élaborent des programmes qui ne fonctionnent pas pour tout le monde. Beaucoup de gens qui vivent en ville et qui fréquentent une église urbaine sont en marge de la société, pour toutes sortes de raisons. Les programmes réguliers ne leur conviennent pas. Ils tombent un peu dans l’oubli et cela demande plus d’engagement. Vous devez quand même vous occuper des personnes, même si elles se trouvent dans des foules.

FT : Hamilton s’est acquise une certaine réputation pour ses églises qui travaillent ensemble. Comment voyez-vous cela opérer dans différents contextes ?

PM : On peut faire mieux. Oui, oui, oui. Je crois que nous devons vraiment passer des églises qui se font concurrence à des églises qui collaborent entre elles. Mais je dirais que cette collaboration doit reposer davantage sur les relations et être moins formelle. Ce n’est pas ce que j’ai vécu à Hamilton, car les églises savaient comment se réunir seulement pour faire une croisade ou tenir un événement ensemble. Ça tournait autour de la planification. Il y avait moins d’amitié, moins de « honorons-nous les uns les autres » et moins de pasteurs partageant des repas.

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