The former Gospel Chapel has emerged with a new name that is said to promote the church’s movement into the future.
The name for the church, Emerge Church, was officially unveiled following the Sunday morning service on Aug. 25. Those present for the event included Sylvan Lake Mayor and the District Superintendent for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Gary Taitinger.
Taitinger said the community in Sylvan Lake has a lot to be thankful for. Everything from education to local government plays a part in creating a great community, he told the assembled group.
“What is missing in all that? Spiritual direction. What people need in the centre of their life is the big why for life, the reason for our being here, connection with our creator…” said Taitinger.
Lead Pastor at Emerge Church Todd Pratt said he loves being in a community that has a large ministerial which brings spiritual direction to Sylvan Lake.
The name change is a result of the time, he says, and isn’t a way to set themselves apart from the other churches in town.
“The name was actually changed to Gospel Chapel back in the 50s and is a result of that time,” Pratt said.
Church names are a product of their time, as a way to appeal to the masses. In the 1930s and 40s many churches went by tabernacle, in the 50s and 60s gospels and chapels were the way to go. When the 1990s rolled around many churches were named worship or fellowship centres.
For Pratt, it made sense to change the name from a chapel to church because it is most easily recognized as a place for Christian worship.
“When you think of a chapel you think of funeral chapel, or a wedding chapel, or a small country church. That is not the image we want,” Todd said, adding the word gospel is a word people know but can’t define past its association with religion.
Emerge was chosen for the church for a number of reasons.
Pratt says when a name change was brought to the table everyone agreed the name should have something to do with water.
“I was a fan of Hope Springs Church, but when emerge came to the table it just felt right.”
When examining the definition of the word: to rise from an obscure position or to rise from water, Pratt said everyone immediately knew it was right.
When the name was presented at the annual general meeting this year the congregation was in agreement.
“I think the new name shows us as a progressive, modern, forward moving church. We are rising up and moving forward,” he said.
A new name is the only thing changing with the former Gospel Chapel. Pratt says everything else will remain the same.
“We are still a member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, we still love our mission statement, we are still the same with just a new name.”
Emerge Church has been a part of Sylvan Lake, under other names, for nearly 80 years. The church is located at 4290 50 St.
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