Diaspora is a different kind of church plant in Guelph ON. “Diaspora” is greek for dispersion or scattering. The vision for Diaspora is that unlike a traditional church which gathers in a church building on Sunday morning, we meet scattered in multiple groups or communities in homes, recreational spaces, cafes and wherever life happens at various times throughout the week.
Church is not a building or a worship service. Church is a people and wherever they gather and whatever they are doing, they are still church.
Don’t let our unconventional vision confuse you. We are beginning as a core group of people from a traditional United Brethren church congregation who were sent to plant a new kind of church to reach new people with God’s love. Our beliefs are orthodox among Christian churches of the protestant family. Our lead Pastors, Jim and Bonnie Tice have worked and worshipped in a variety of churches including United, Mennonite Brethren, Presbyterian, non-denominational, Anglican and United Brethren. And we’re on good terms with all those folk and the whole range of Christian churches.
What is Diaspora about?
“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full”,
Jesus’ words in John 10:10
It is about helping people to connect with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. God shows through the Bible that He loves people and has gone to great lengths to bring people to Himself. Ultimately, He sent Jesus, His Son, to give His life as a sacrifice on the cross to take away our sins and bring people to God.
“ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
– Jesus as recorded in John 3:16-17
Jesus calls people to be his disciples (devoted followers) obeying Him by loving God with all our being and loving our neighbours as ourselves. In Diaspora we seek to grow as disciples and to invite others to join us as disciples of Jesus.
Read some of Jesus’ words recorded in
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.”
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’;
and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
Diaspora is intentionally small in size. We seek to be a multiplying movement of small disciplemaking communities rather than become a large group. We are an extended family on mission. Rather than church in the sanctuary or auditorium, we are church around the kitchen table or in the living room.
We don’t do programs. We do life together.
We don’t do perfect. We do participatory.
We are not an institution. We are organic, and relational.
But do we do the things other churches do like baptism, communion, weddings, funerals?
Yes we do. Bonnie and Jim are both licensed as pastors and we celebrate the Eucharist/Lord’s Supper/Communion one or more times a month. Baptisms are done whenever a believer makes a demonstration of their faith in being baptized. Weddings and funerals are done as the time arises.
We spend time worshipping God, eating great meals, serving others, studying and being taught from the Bible, going to movies, having fun, praying, connecting with other people, engaging in historic prayer practices to grow our faith, sharing in celebrations of life like birthdays, the accomplishments of our children and whatever other excuse we can find to party!