Who We Are

One of the questions we get asked a lot is “So what’s the Pool all about?” It’s a fair question, but it’s a big question.  Listed below are a bunch of smaller questions (starting with the most popular) that, hopefully, answer what we’re “all about”. If you don’t see your personal wonderings here – or if you’re not digging the answers – feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to give you a helpful response.

What's the deal with your name?
Think of a time you were really thirsty and you were just desperate for something to drink. In ancient times, a pool was a place where a person could come to quench that thirst. We consider this church to be something very similar and, maybe more important – it is a place where people can quench what we call their “soul-thirst”.  Our name reminds us of the words of Jesus Christ when, standing next to the Siloam pool in Jerusalem, he said: “If anyone’s thirsty, come to me and drink.”

Who is this church for?
Our church is for anyone who longs to be honest and real about wherever they are at in life and with God. It is for those who have questions and want to actually get answers without fear of judgement or rejection. It is for those who want to learn, grow and work towards a loving and peaceful future.

The goal of our community is to create a safe and welcoming environment where you can explore a relationship with God and eventually discover a place and a people who can be called “home”.

What are the people in your community like?
If you were to look around the room during a service, you would see a group of individuals who come from all stages of understanding, all different life situations and all levels of experience with a relationship with God. Actually, if all you did was to look around the room, you might get the notion that these people are the well adjusted, “got it all together”, ever elusive “normal” people (the kind of normal that is always striven for but never fully attained).

The truth is that they are probably more like you than you think. Most of us come from the latch key or orphaned generation and have experienced any combination of hardship and dysfunction. Including:

Poor parental models that made you feel alone – or maybe even abandoned – and that you had to grow up to quickly,
Abuse (mental/physical/sexual) but with little resolution,
Witnessed many of your “heroes” (public/private) have a “fall”
Felt immense pressure to, on your own, live up to expectation that were ridiculously high and often brought on by comments like “follow your heart and you can do anything”.
As a result of these experiences, we are often left without a sense of stability, belonging, positive authority, trust and, of course, religion. It has been our experience at the Pool that a large majority of 20 & 30s relate strongly to this description (including most of us). 🙂

What is this church all about?
Here’s our whole mission statement

“Welcoming an orphaned generation
Into a biblical community,
Through an honest demonstration
Of a Jesus-filled life”

If you take a moment or two to reflect on this statement, you’ll get a pretty good sense of what we’re fundamentally about. We work hard a creating a loving and helpful community where people can feel included and where they feel it is safe to be brutally honest about their lives (yes, this can be a good thing!). We focus on developing as a complete person – allowing Jesus to help us to grow in every area of our lives (i.e. emotional, job, relationships, etc.) – and creating places and relationships that will facilitate that development. There is a strong emphasis on getting to know God through both learning about him and having tangible “hands-on” experiences with him. An important part of experiencing God, in our opinion, would be discovering how to have a practical prayer life and learning to “listen” to God. Finally, we try to help people discover the unique purposes that God designed them for.

Do you have a weekly service? What is it like?
We do have weekly service that takes place every Sunday that lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. It is a very casual atmosphere (people dress down, there’s coffee and tea) and there are no “rules” – so, if you aren’t used to “church” you don’t have to stress out about doing something wrong. On a typical morning we start with a brief welcome/announcement time,  and then move on to teaching, discussing and worshipping together. We’re trying something new and things might be a little different week to week, but you don’t need to feel out of place because it’s new for us as well. There is no pressure to do or not do anything and because people are interacting at many levels you won’t stand out. We should warn you; although it’s causal, most people walk away feeling like they have encountered God – this can be kind of freaky…but also pretty cool.

While we're on the topic of weekly activities, anything else goes on?
Every week we’ll have a chance to connect either Sunday afternoon or through the week in a small group. These small groups are a chance to build relationships, talk and learn together, and sort of dig into what we’re learning. Occasionally we have groups focused on a certain theme or topic as well. We think that is an excellent way to practically process your life and a good compliment to the Sunday service time. It’s also a good way to get know people from the community at a deeper level. We also make use of facebook groups to share prayer requests, life events and just stay connected.

What kind of church (or denomination) are you?

For some, this question is a polite way of asking, “Are you a cult?” The answer is no. If we were, we’d be a very bad cult since we encourage people to think for themselves, to ask questions, to challenge what is shared, to embrace individual expression and personal process, and we have never served kool-aid (although we do offer apple juice for the kids and, occasionally, even orange juice…)

For other people this question tends to be more about the church “brand” we might be connected with. We consider the Pool is first of all a Christian church that is based on the teachings of the Bible. We are also affiliated with the Mennonite Brethren churches of Canada. MBs (Mennonite Brethren) have traditionally been based in Western Canada – the place where most ethnic Mennonites settled – and are relatively new to Atlantic Canada. Some of the things that often make MBs unique are their focus on practical faith, their commitment to peace and reconciliation, their emphasis on the importance of the Bible, and their focus on community building both inside and outside of the Church. It is also worth noting that we at the Pool are not dogmatic about focusing only on our own denomination. We have a firm commitment to supporting and partnering with other Christian churches.

If you have more questions...
Because this was only meant to give you a “taste” of what the Pool is about, it’s very possible you might have more questions. If you do, please feel free to contact us by phone or by email, or come check out our Sunday morning  gathering. No question is stupid or “out-of-line” and all dialogue will be as confidential as you’d like it to be.

We hope this has been helpful and we’d appreciate any feedback you could give us.

A church for the thirsty.