To Be a Light in Our City: Loving God and Loving Our Neighbours
Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God, is the centre, source and foundation of our life, faith and hope.
We become more like him as we follow him as individuals and as his body the church, by living in communion with him.
(Col. 1:15-20, 2:6-7; Eph. 1:22-23: John 15:5; Gal. 2:20)
The Holy Spirit has been poured into our lives to guide us and gift us to be co-creators with God for acts of justice, compassion, redemption and beauty in the everyday activities of life.
We seek to develop prayerful lives empowered by the Spirit to sustain us and work in us and through us.
(1 Cor. 12:4-7; John 14:26, Luke 4:18-19; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:26; Gal. 5:22-25)
God has beautifully created every human being uniquely in his image out of his infinite Love.
But we are broken image-bearers. Out of that beauty and brokenness our attitude and posture is one of humility and respect, offering dignity and graciousness to all people regardless of gender, race, social status, religion, or sexual orientation.
(Ps. 8:4-5, 139:14-18; Gen. 1:27; Matt. 25:37-40)
God the Father has called us to be a diverse spiritual family united in Christ, sent on mission with him.
We make the wisest decisions in community.
We grow in faith and character by resisting urban isolation and fragmentation, actively engaging in loving relationships of encouragement, hospitality, generosity and forgiveness.
(John 20:21; Acts 2:42-47; John 15:17; Heb. 10:24-25; 1 John 3:16-18; Eph. 4:31-32)
God took on human flesh and entered the joys and sorrows of the world he loves.
We are called to be with and be part of the challenges and joys of our neighbours, and to love and serve to those God has placed around us.
(John 1:14; Phil. 2:5-8; Mark 10:42-45; Matt. 5:13-15; Luke 10:25-37; Mark 12:31)
Our vision is to see prodigals come home and Christ followers formed in a community empowered for the flourishing of our city.
1. Mentorship in a diverse authentic multi-generational community
2. Initiatives and city-wide partnerships created for beauty, justice and compassion.
3. Leaders raised up, supported and developed and new community groups, networks and church expressions established
4. Living together for a thriving sustainable urban life while investing in the life of our neighbourhoods
FreeChurch Toronto was planted in January 2001 by Todd Cantelon and Gord Marriage as Freedomize Toronto. They felt called to plant a church “for our peers, by our peers.” Then meeting at St. Andrew’s on University and King, David McGhee was quickly added into leadership and served for eight years as a Pastor, an integral voice in the formation of our unique creative culture as a church.
As the years progressed, Cyril Guerette joined the team and eventually became Senior Pastor. We moved to St. Stephen-in-the-Fields in the Kensington neighbourhood in 2009, and began a second service in the morning to address the needs of the growing number of families with children in our congregation.
In 2011, FreeChurch Toronto was able to support Kevin Makins, who served as a Pastor in our community two years, in planting a new church in downtown Hamilton named Eucharist.
Jon Osmond joined the leadership team in 2013 as Community Chaplain and Planting Pastor to help implement the growing vision of FreeChurch taking spiritual responsibility for multiple neighbourhoods in the city of Toronto. We also entered into relationship with the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren as an Associate Member.
In January 2014, the new adventure began with FreeChurch Toronto now comprised of two expressions reaching both the Annex and University-Kensington neighbourhoods.