Magazines 2023 Jan - Feb Connecting over guitars and making music together

Connecting over guitars and making music together

31 December 2022

Kildonan Community Church's creative way to love neighbours is worth copying.

connecting over guitars

[email protected] brings together church and community for weekly jam sessions – a chance to practise and enjoy the music and connections. PHOTOS: KILDONAN COMMUNITY CHURCH

THE CHURCH

Kildonan Community Church, Winnipeg

THE CHALLENGE

Create a safe and creative space for local musicians to practise their music and create fellowship.

THE COST

No monetary cost. Just the space reserved in the church building.

Ron Fischer, Darlene and Ron Overby explain:

Opening our church to a group of guitar players gave us the chance to welcome people into our church for something that wasn’t churchy. The guitar group is sitting with a bunch of people and being able to play music from the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, usually rock ’n’ roll and country.

Guitar players love to play together and sing, but sometimes they don’t get the opportunity. Some of the people who come to the group played the guitar, but never had a chance to pull it out. They missed that connection with other people and that reason to play.

Our group started very small in 2017 and then grew by word of mouth. We announced it at church, and then more people started showing up. Most of the people came from different areas of the city, and they weren’t members of the church and hadn’t been in a church before. The group helped make that normal.

It’s not just playing the guitar. It’s the connections that are made. Two guys who met at the group and liked to play together now play at a seniors’ residence. They decided to get back into playing and that’s what they do. We also play as a group at fundraisers.

Some of the conversations we have around the guitar get pretty deep. We share about mental health, and people have said, "I never hear people talking about that." We support each other. It’s more than just playing the music. It feels like a family.

Start off with a couple of people who are interested in just jamming. Talk it up. Don’t be hung up on it being a Christian-themed activity. Part of Christian community is just community. Pick some good songs you get really comfortable with and look for opportunities to play for other people. People will talk about that.

It’s not just playing the guitar. It’s the connections that are made.

When people come in and they’re walking through the church, they start to have a better feeling about the building. Spiritual conversations do come up, but that takes time. The guitar group breaks down barriers. But, you aren’t trying to ram them into Christianity. You’re creating a safe space and making connections. Embrace the music.

Do you have a story to share about your church’s community outreach? Contact our editors at [email protected]. Read more stories at FaithToday.ca/CIC.

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