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A new church in downtown St. John’s is putting a modern twist on religion and spirituality with a young pastor who found God after battling his own demons. 

Local Church St. John’s is part of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland and Labrador, which was looking for new ways to relate to those who may see traditional church as outdated.

‘The church has the choice to either stay in the past and die or learn to just be normal people and move forward.’
– Jason Normore

To get that idea going, the assemblies recruited Jason Normore, who moved back to Newfoundland with his wife in September after studying theology in Toronto.

Normore, who’s from Gander, said he spent years trying to make it as a musician, abusing substances and going through what he calls “bad experiences,” before regrounding himself with God.

Local Church St. John's logos

The Local Church St. John’s is just an idea right now. The new long-haired pastor and his wife are looking for community input to move it forward. (Facebook/Local Church St. John’s)

He said he felt a responsibility to help others like himself — those who perhaps long for a greater sense of community but felt they didn’t have a place in a traditional church.

“The streets are full of people who love the city. They love its heritage and they’re deeply concerned about its future,” he told the St. John’s Morning Show.

“I don’t think that’s very far from who God is. God has often been painted as this person whose one concern is getting all of us to just leave Earth, go to Heaven and just forget about this place.”

Community oriented

Normore said many of the Bible’s teachings are actually focused on making your own community and the Earth in general a better place.

“If you read the whole narrative, God is deeply concerned with renewing the Earth,” he said.

Right now, Local Church St. John’s is just an idea. Normore is looking for input from anyone who’s interested. He and his wife are hosting a brunch on Saturday, Jan 27 as a first step.

While it remains to be seen what the church will look like as it evolves, Normore hopes to tap into a desire for real community and relationships that might be missing in many people’s 21st Century lives.

“I think culture is at an interesting point in time, where unfortunately the church has the choice to either stay in the past and die or learn to just be normal people and move forward,” he said.

“I think all my friends and all of the people we’ve met downtown are really over the facade of social media and second-hand living through TV or internet — and we’re really just looking at what it actually means to be alive.”



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Edmonton /ˈɛdməntən/ (About this sound listen) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Alberta’s central region. The city anchors the north end of what Statistics Canada defines as the “Calgary–Edmonton Corridor”.

The city had a population of 932,546 in 2016, making it Alberta’s second-largest city and Canada’s fifth-largest municipality.[5] Also in 2016, Edmonton had a metropolitan population of 1,321,426, making it the sixth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. Edmonton is North America’s northernmost city that has a metropolitan population over one million. A resident of Edmonton is known as an Edmontonian.

Edmonton’s historic growth has been facilitated through the absorption of five adjacent urban municipalities (Strathcona, North Edmonton, West Edmonton, Beverly and Jasper Place) and a series of annexations ending in 1982.[ Known as the “Gateway to the North”, the city is a staging point for large-scale oil sands projects occurring in northern Alberta and large-scale diamond mining operations in the Northwest Territories.

Edmonton is a cultural, governmental and educational centre. It hosts a year-round slate of festivals, reflected in the nickname “Canada’s Festival City”. It is home to North America’s largest mall, West Edmonton Mall (the world’s largest mall from 1981 until 2004), and Fort Edmonton Park, Canada’s largest living history museum.

History
Further information: History of Edmonton and Timeline of Edmonton history

The earliest known inhabitants settled in the area that is now Edmonton around 3,000 BC and perhaps as early as 12,000 BC, when an ice-free corridor opened as the last glacial period ended and timber, water, and wildlife became available in the region.[20]

In 1754, Anthony Henday, an explorer for the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), may have been the first European to enter the Edmonton area. His expeditions across the Canadian Prairies were mainly to seek contact with the aboriginal population for establishing the fur trade, as competition was fierce between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company. By 1795, Fort Edmonton was established on the river’s north bank as a major trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. The new fort’s name was suggested by John Peter Pruden after Edmonton, London, the home town of both the HBC deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake, and Pruden.

In 1876, Treaty 6, which includes what is now Edmonton, was signed between the Aboriginal peoples in Canada (or First Nations) and Queen Victoria as Queen of Canada, as part of the Numbered Treaties of Canada. The agreement includes the Plains and Woods Cree, Assiniboine, and other band governments of First Nations at Fort Carlton, Fort Pitt and Battle River. The area covered by the treaty represents most of the central area of the current provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to southern Alberta in 1885 helped the Edmonton economy, and the 1891 building of the Calgary and Edmonton (C&E) Railway resulted in the emergence of a railway townsite (South Edmonton/Strathcona) on the river’s south side, across from Edmonton. The arrival of the CPR and the C&E Railway helped bring settlers and entrepreneurs from eastern Canada, Europe, U.S. and other parts of the world. The Edmonton area’s fertile soil and cheap land attracted settlers, further establishing Edmonton as a major regional commercial and agricultural centre. Some people participating in the Klondike Gold Rush passed through South Edmonton/Strathcona in 1897. Strathcona was North America’s northernmost railway point, but travel to the Klondike was still very difficult for the “Klondikers”, and a majority of them took a steamship north to the Yukon from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Jasper Avenue, ca. 1907

Incorporated as a town in 1892 with a population of 700 and then as a city in 1904 with a population of 8,350, Edmonton became the capital of Alberta when the province was formed a year later, on September 1, 1905. In November 1905, the Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) arrived in Edmonton, accelerating growth.

During the early 1900s, Edmonton’s rapid growth led to speculation in real estate. In 1912, Edmonton amalgamated with the City of Strathcona, south of the North Saskatchewan River; as a result, the city extended south of the North Saskatchewan River for the first time.

Just prior to World War I, the boom ended, and the city’s population declined from more than 72,000 in 1914 to less than 54,000 only two years later. Many impoverished families moved to subsistence farms outside the city, while others fled to greener pastures in other provinces. Recruitment to the Canadian army during the war also contributed to the drop in population. Afterwards, the city slowly recovered in population and economy during the 1920s and 1930s and took off again during and after World War II.

The Edmonton City Centre Airport opened in 1929,[33] becoming Canada’s first licensed airfield.Originally named Blatchford Field in honour of former mayor Kenny Blatchford, pioneering aviators such as Wilfrid R. “Wop” May and Max Ward used Blatchford Field as a major base for distributing mail, food, and medicine to Northern Canada; hence Edmonton’s emergence as the “Gateway to the North”. World War II saw Edmonton become a major base for the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Northwest Staging Route.

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Originally posted 2018-01-11 10:37:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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