The Knox United Church congregation has a long history in Redvers – well over 100 years—predating the 1925 formation of the United Church of Canada. During that time, there have been many changes and evolutions, yet the Knox congregation itself was (and is) the constant. Like many congregations though, Knox has gotten smaller over the last 30 years, and that, in itself, has presented some challenges and opportunities. Working together with both the Manor United Church congregation and the Dannevirke Lutheran congregation of Redvers led to the formation of the Redvers Manor United Lutheran Shared Ministry in 2002. This agreement allowed all three congregations to share in the costs of a full-time minister while also growing together based on our similarities and strengths as a community of faith and fellowship. While things have evolved since then, the Lutheran and United congregations of Redvers have worshiped together for nearly 17 years with a monthly rotation of services between the two church buildings. Over that time, we have strengthened our relationship between the United and Lutheran congregations of Redvers and (at multiple times) have discussed the idea of becoming a Shared Ministry all under one roof—in a single church.
The reality of the Shared Ministry under a single church roof has begun. Earlier in 2019, the Knox United Church AGM attendees and church council voted to list the Knox United Church building for sale. Permission was granted from the United Church of Canada’s regional council to proceed and list the church for sale. Thus, it is currently for sale. It is certainly a difficult decision to say good-bye to the home of Knox United Church services for over 90 years. However, “the church is not the building – it is the people”, so the Knox United congregation will continue to be and meet weekly as we continue to evolve in our Shared Ministry. With the Knox congregation getting smaller in number (and older in age), we need to make the responsibilities of the congregation and the church council manageable for now and into the future. The financial obligation of maintaining a ministry and its properties is one that is a growing challenge with no remedy in sight. Thus, in 2018, the Knox United Church manse was sold and now we hope to sell the church building too. It will be a hard thing to do, but it is a course of action that we realize is prudent and necessary.
In March, we began our experimenting with what it would look like to hold a “traditional” United Church service while meeting at Dannevirke Lutheran Church. Through that we verified what we expected would be the case—seventeen years of worshiping together with the Dannevirke Lutheran congregation has made it so we have a large comfort level in both United and Lutheran church settings. And, yes, we can do a “traditional” United Church service in the Lutheran church. While things will continue to change, we have a good idea what it will look like when the Shared Ministry evolves to both denominations using one building each Sunday this fall. The Knox United congregation will continue worship into the future.
Sunday, September 29th will be the final church service at the Knox United Church building on Broadway Street in Redvers, and it will be decommissioned as the official place of worship for the Redvers Knox United congregation. As Pastor Marja Hordern is on medical leave, the September 29th service will be led by Rev. Rob Reed. The decommissioning service will be held at 3 pm at Knox with a program and potluck to follow. The September 29th event will be a day to reflect, grieve, and celebrate all things that the church building means to our lives and church community. We encourage people who may have pictures of the church and congregation to share them with us for the program. You may send pictures (preferably scanned and converted to digital images) to email@example.com Written and oral remembrances are also welcome.
With the exception of September 29th, Shared Ministry Church services in September, October and beyond will be held at Dannevirke Lutheran Church. October services will follow the United Church order of service while November will follow the Lutheran order of service. Each denomination will alternate using its order of service each month, so while all Sunday services will be held at Dannevirke, both the Lutheran and United Church styles of service will continue to be used and both congregations will continue their rich traditions as the Redvers United-Lutheran Shared Ministry continues to evolve since its formation in 2002.
Church services will remain at 10 a.m. each Sunday. All are welcome. For more information about the Shared Ministry check out the Redvers United-Lutheran Shared Ministry Facebook page or contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org