Every church has a story. It’s important to tell our stories before the details are forgotten and nobody remains to tell them. What we are today is shaped by what we were before. And every church has a great story to tell. Heaven will be a place where the churches can tell their story as tributes to their struggles and victories as God gathers his people together.
Some stories are so different that to hear it told is very exciting. We are excited about Streetlight’s story. Though Streetlight has existed for only 22 years we will very soon, the Lord willing, look back on a part of a story that will soon seem nostalgic and distant. The city of Hamilton has recently approved our request to demolish this building and build a new one. We still have hurdles to overcome, but they are minor in comparison to the long road we have traveled so far. We are excited about the future.
And we’re becoming more reflective about our past.
In 1927, a synagogue was built on 82 Ferguson Avenue North. Over the years it was sold to different organizations and had undergone at least three significant renovations. Nearly 20 years ago, it became our ministry centre. The building is fragmented and impossible to renovate and for a very long time has presented problems for the ministry of the gospel. But Streetlight Church was born here. Here we learned to walk and grew and began to mature.
In this old building, Streetlight became known as a sort of revival centre. Those early years were exciting because people came from all over the downtown to worship. Every Sunday we had new people. Our guests were strong characters and deeply affected the shape of worship.
Streetlight remained Reformed and committed to the believers whom the Lord gave us. While we longed to honour the good things of the early years, we also wanted a stable worshipping community that would grow in the gospel and reflect the light of grace onto the streets of our city.
Soon the earlier stories will be a distant memory because Streetlight is moving forward. That is good. But we have a lot of work to do to fill the pages with the new story and to accomplish the things that our new facilities will allow us to do.
The story of Streetlight is an exciting one, but the foundational details are the very same as yours: the gospel is preached every Sunday, God’s grace is celebrated as often as we can in the sacraments, and a community of people that belongs to the Lord is growing. Our failures are being transformed into victories, and disappointments yield to new opportunities we hadn’t imagined.
We are looking forward to telling our story in that city to which God calls all his people.
And to hearing yours.
By Pastor Paul Aasman