We have a WHY. We had it before Simon Sinek said it was a thing.
We have a why, and at the end of this blog I will invite you into our why. It’s a why that is far bigger than you. It’s a why that is greater than your capacity. It’s a why that will take you to the edge of your normal life as a follower of Jesus.
Our deep conviction is that there are people in this city of Calgary who are loved by God, but exist at the margins of Christians’ love and attention. Our vision is a city where no one is left out of experiencing God’s restorative love. NO ONE. Encompass Partnerships’ mission is to create and coach partnerships among urban missionaries and their emerging endeavours, developing initiatives that address spiritual, social and economic gaps in Calgary. We have a ‘hub’ facility at 3851 54th Ave NE Calgary which is the base for our city-wide reach.
Visions, like rivers, are fed by many smaller streams; over time and distance, a vision is formed. That is the story of Encompass Partnerships.
In September 2010, I was tasked by my denomination to research and develop a plan to engage churches in welcoming new Canadians. We began dreaming of developing a New Canadian Ministry Centre, but realized that there were many other people in Calgary, not linguistically or culturally defined, who had been pushed into the margins when it came to gospel engagement. There are many in this city for whom the gospel of Jesus has never been expressed in any meaningful way and it’s unlikely they would ever show up to a church! They are our why, and we needed to GO to them, showing how Jesus meets them where they live. It’s a missionary/GO approach. I had worked internationally in 3 cross cultural environments and realized that we needed the same kind of missionary skills and perspectives applied here in Calgary.
Encompass Partnerships was formed in 2012, a name with dual meaning. First, it means that God’s love encompasses all humankind, where no one is ever left ignored at the margins. Second, it means that we embrace partnering as our ethos for reaching those experiencing marginalization. We knew there were people already engaged in reaching the marginalized, but they often work in silos. So we became a hub, a centre, a community and a launch point for people and organizations who engage with the vast array of languages, world-views, lifestyles and beliefs that exist in Calgary. Partnerships allow us to learn as a community and leverage resources in a way that enables everyone to ‘punch above their weight’.
In January 2013, we purchased our current location and after extensive renovations, opened our doors to like-minded partners in July 2014. We started with six partners and have grown to eleven with many more in our constellation of ministry relationships.
Perhaps you’d be interested in making our why your why?
I offer you three specific ways in which you can engage with our why:
1. Help us GENERATE more initiatives to bring the gospel to the marginalized. We want to find and develop more missionaries/apostles for this city who will risk and work to develop new ministry initiatives. Are you that person? Do you know that person? A great way to ‘kick the tires’ and learn about the process of beginning new initiatives is our How To Start a Ministry Start Up conference on Friday Nov 2nd.
2. Help us ADVOCATE with local churches, moving them to discover ways to truly go to the ends of the city with the gospel. One of the many ways we do this is teaching the Engaging Nieghbourhoods Seminar that guides a Christian community to deeply connect and engage with their surrounding fellow human beings in a way that demonstrates the Gospel of Jesus in everyday life.
3. Help us SUSTAIN this mission by becoming an intercessory or financial partner. You can email us for more information OR please accept this invitation to our Seed to Impact Fundraising event on Friday Nov 2nd from 7-9pm
If you would like further information on Encompass’ vision and strategy, please go to https://www.encompasspartnerships.org/.
Harv Matchullis, Executive Director