Q: What do you mean by “inclusive”?
A: We mean that all are welcome to participate in our life together as a community. We do not believe race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religious background are an obstacle to following Jesus in our time and place, nor are they an obstacle to participation in our activities.
Q: What if I have beliefs that differ from yours or others in the community?
A: You are welcome at any point on your spiritual journey. While we believe that our tradition is life-giving and transformative, we expect that for most people belonging comes before believing. A central teaching of the branch of the Christian tradition that our club belongs to holds that before we could ever know or believe in God, God knows us and loves us no matter who we are or where we are at.
Not only that, but we value diversity in conversation and believe that all perspectives have something to contribute. They may even be the most important to listen to. We hope you find a sense of belonging with us, no matter where you might be at in your faith (or lack thereof).
Q: Do I have to be a Christian to be a member of the club or attend any of the events or meals?
A: No. Food & Faith is Christian in orientation and our conversations are guided and enriched by our tradition. One such element of that tradition is informed by Jesus words to “love your neighbor as yourself.” As such, we seek to be good neighbors by valuing the practice of hospitality and welcoming. While we are committed to the Christian story, we welcome people of all religious traditions (or no religious tradition) to participate in mutually respectful conversation as a community.
Q: What is your perspective on the Bible?
It is foundational as the central guiding story of our faith and life together as a community. Though foundational, it is interpreted alongside reason, tradition and experience. The Bible is a living word, not a fixed one, and must always be read with fresh eyes and a new perspective guided by the Spirit in the present day. We take the Bible seriously, not literally.
Q: Are you associated with a church or denomination?
A: Yes. We are associated with the United Church of Canada. The United Church is Canada’s largest Protestant Christian denomination and a union of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist churches in 1925.Though we are rooted in that tradition, the perspective of the club is more broadly Christian. Members of our club have varied in their background, Anglican, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Alliance Church, Presbyterian, and Non-Denominational. Often our club members have non-Christian religious backgrounds or no background at all.