Greatest Commandment: Lived Religion in a Small Canadian Non-denominational Church

Title: Greatest Commandment: Lived Religion in a Small Canadian Non-denominational Church
Authors: Myhill, Carol
Date: 2012
Abstract: Canada has distinct contemporary faith communities that differ from western and European counterparts. Unfortunately statistics tracking denominational allegiances give little insight into the daily intricacies of collective religious practice. The purpose of this study is to contribute towards filling a gap within scholarly research on the lived culture and experiences of contemporary religious communities within Canada. This study examines the pattern of culture-sharing within a non-denominational faith community as lived and practiced in Ottawa. Through autoethnography, this study asks why members attend and how members view the use of popular culture video clips within church. Individual and collective religious identities are constructed through observations, interviews and material artifacts gleaned through participant observation from January 2011 to December 2011. The results show that within the church, a community of practice is built around shared parenthood and spiritual journey. Members place importance on children, on providing support of all kinds for one another, and on keeping religion relevant. Reasons for attending are echoes of the patterns of culture-sharing: members enjoy the feeling of community, the support, the friendships, the play dates. Participants view popular culture video clips played within church as one aspect of an overall importance placed upon relevance. Mutuality of engagement results in members experiencing their lives as meaningful, it validates their worth through belonging, and it creates personal histories of becoming within the context of a community of practice. Future research recommendations include further study of other contemporary faith communities within Canada, with investigation into the possibility that communities of practice may be what the churched and unchurched are seeking.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -