Two churches in Scarborough are hosting an Amazing Race-type event to bring local Anglicans together and to raise funds for outreach.
The Scarborough Steeplechase, as it’s called, will be held Sept. 21 and all the Anglican churches in Scarborough Deanery are invited to participate. The deanery, which comprises 15 parishes, stretches from Lake Ontario to Steeles Avenue, and from Victoria Park Avenue to the border of Pickering.
“Rather than battening down the hatches, this is a way for our churches to open their doors and say this is who we are, we like to have fun and to celebrate,” says Denise Byard, the child, youth and family outreach coordinator at Holy Trinity, Guildwood. Ms. Byard is organizing the event along with Alice Stewart, the pastor of outreach and mission at Grace Church, Scarborough.
Churches are being asked to send teams of two to four people, hopefully wearing t-shirts or something to identify which parish they’re from. The top three teams will win prizes, although everyone will be feted at a reception at the end. Bishop Kevin Robertson, the area bishop of York-Scarborough, will be on hand to give out the prizes.
The race will begin at Holy Trinity, Guildwood, where teams will be given a list of participating churches and their addresses. The objective is for each team to visit all the churches on the list, except their own, and finish at Grace Church. The first team to make it to Grace Church wins.
To avoid everyone going to the same church at the beginning, the teams will be told which church to visit first. After that, they’re on their own. They can go to whichever church they want, however they want.
When a team arrives at a church, they’ll be asked to participate in a simple activity. It could be anything from a hymn-sing to a short tour of the building – whatever the hosting church decides. Then the team is off to the next church on the list.
During the race, each team will be asked to create of short video of their experience. The clips will be put into a longer, deanery-wide promotional video. If no one on the team has the ability to make a video, the organizers will help.
The registration fee for each team is $25, which will be donated to the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.
Ms. Stewart says the race is a light-hearted way for Anglicans to get to know people from other parishes and the buildings where they worship. “The clergy in our deanery get along with each other and work well together, and we thought it would be fabulous if we can expand that out to congregants as well,” she says.
Ms. Byard and Ms. Stewart are hoping that at least 11 churches sign up to participate, and several have already expressed interest.