05 May Ancaster Village Church: Day 3: Our Historical Prayer Walk
Here we are on our third day in Ancaster, Ontario and our trip continues to be meaningful. While the day is not done, it has been more than sufficiently significant for an entire post on here.
|Our group at the First Place building,
next to the original site of Palmer’s
Our day today has consisted of a historical tour of spiritually significant areas within both Ancaster and Hamilton with people from Ancaster Village Church that was led by Pastor Aaron Gerrard. After hearing some of the history at these different sites, we then spent time together in prayer for the city, the church and our own church and city as well.
Among our stops were a site in Hamilton where a preacher named Phoebe Palmer had preached at prayer meetings in the basement of a church building. Originally a one night meeting turned into a week of meetings where God’s Spirit continued to show up in unique and powerful ways and many people were drawn to see what was going on. This was believed by many to be the seeds of what became a huge global movement of God. We prayed together that God’s work of revival and awakening would not be done and that we would see Him come alive again in people and churches in Hamilton, Ancaster, Estevan, and across the world.
|The cross in Ancaster|
Another stop on our trip was at a cross that had been put up by the churches of Ancaster in the 90’s for the 200th anniversary of the city. The cross was in an out of the way place and had become largely ignored by the community. The grass around the cross wasn’t really cared for and the cross itself had become worn and dilapidated. Many cars drove by in our time there and very few people would notice the cross. Aaron told us that this is a picture of the church in Ancaster and all across Canada. The church is there but people mostly pass on by, not noticing its presence or knowing of its significance. This has been a picture and a motivation for AVC to continue to be involved in their community, present and visible in the life of their city, not for their own benefit but for the well being of their city and for the glory of God. We prayed that God would continue to make Himself known through the love of His people.
|Our tour group outside of AVC’s meeting place|
Our final stop was at the site where Ancaster Village Church currently meets, the parish hall of St. John’s, a local Anglican church. As we heard their heart and their story throughout the day, we clearly saw where God had moved in this community of people who together were passionate in their love of God and committed to their love for their city and the people in it.
If you look closely at the sign in the picture to the right, it doesn’t say that church happens or that the service starts at 5 pm it says that AVC “gathers here”. This is an intentional choice in their language. As a local body of Christ, we are always the church. As we work, as we play, as we eat, as we shop, we are the church. We are always representatives of God’s kingdom. We are not just the church when we are in our building on a Sunday morning. That is the certain time and place when we are gathered together. We are always God’s church in this world, whether we are gathered or dispersed. There is so much more than Sunday morning.
We continue to be blessed by this partnership and thankful for the part we can play in their story and they in ours.