The Gibsons United Church congregation will be worshipping in their former church sanctuary this Sunday, for the first time since the building was sold in early 2017.
The building at Glassford and Trueman Roads is now High Beam Dreams, a performance space and event venue, as well as home to a daycare.
The United Church, meanwhile, has been leasing space at the Gibsons Public Market, but this weekend the room the congregation normally uses for Sunday services isn’t available.
Enter Vineet Miglani, owner of High Beam Dreams.
“Vineet has been very gracious and respectful to us in our transition when we were letting go of the building and he’s been just as gracious in having us return,” said Rev. Terri Scallon. “When we told him that the Gibsons Public Market was having an art show and that it was going to be taking the whole building and we needed to find another location to worship, he immediately offered his space – at no cost to us.”
Scallon said Miglani’s vision for the building and the subsequent upgrades and renovations have created the kind of space the church would have hoped to see if it had held onto the building.
She said for many in her congregation, this Sunday will be the first time they’re seeing High Beam Dreams.
“It will be emotional, because in some ways it’s the same and in other ways when you walk in it’s not the memory that you have of the place,” Scallon said.
“Part of our faith message is resurrection. We know that things never stay the same. We know that there’s always change. But we also always know that there’s new life and we can return to the same place and have new life. Hopefully that will be what our experience is when we’re there.”
One way the building is the same is the long blue window behind what is now the performance stage, which holds a special place in the memories of many long-time congregants.
“When it is worship time, between 10 and 11 in the morning, the sun passes by and it just shines right through that glass and it creates a beautiful effect that is just awe-inspiring,” said Scallon.
Scallon also said the United Church is hoping there will be other opportunities to hold services at High Beam Dreams down the road, but for now May 19 is the only confirmed date. “We invite the community and anybody who may have been missing joining us in that location to come out this Sunday at 10 o’clock for a worship service.”