May 24th 2015 is almost here!

If you’ve never felt like church was for you, or you’ve always had questions about God, then Sunday, May 24th might be your day.

The Grand Opening of the new central Connexus facility at 20 Mills Road happens THIS Sunday, May 24th at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Connexus is one church that meets in two locations. We’ve got a completely renewed Orillia campus open, and now we’re ready to throw the doors wide open at our brand new 20 Mills Road location in Barrie.

The real story isn’t what we’re doing, though. It’s why we’re doing it.

That’s a great question…why are we opening up a brand new church facility?

The big reason?

Because in Central Ontario, 353,354 people will not be in church this weekend.

If you’re reading this, chances are you might be one of them, because that’s about 96% of our community. 

Think about that.

96% Of People Believe This

96% of of the people who live in Central Ontario may not fully realize there’s a God who knows their name, loves them and actually forgives them in Jesus Christ.

What’s surprising is that most of the 96% are actually open to God. The majority believe in some kind of God.  And almost everyone is open to a community of hope, healing and practical help with faith and life.

For sure, there are some atheists and agnostics in the mix. But again, we’re a church we hope unchurched people will love to attend, and we’ve seen more than a few atheists and agnostics join us and even change their minds when it comes to God.

So what do the 96% have in common?

It’s simple: they just don’t think the church can help.

Some of the 96% went to church…and drifted away from a church that was boring, irrelevant, inauthentic or they just simply couldn’t connect with.

Some of the 96% didn’t grow up in church, and church never crosses their mind as a place that could help them in any way.

We’re out to help with that.

The church should be the safest place in the world to have the best—and the most difficult—conversations we face in life. A place to ask questions. To doubt. To believe. To hope. To forgive. To live life together in community. To discover all that Jesus is.

That’s why God gave us the gift of the church…as a place through which we experience this, together. The church wasn’t our idea….it was Jesus’ idea.

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That’s Why

That’s why we’re so excited to being moving into our new Mills Road location at 20 Mills Road Barrie and to be reopening our Orillia location at the Galaxy Cinemas.

it’s not about the building (as awesome as that might be), it’s about what’s going to happen through it as people meet God for themselves.

Just in case you’re wondering, should I come…or not…here are the answers to some questions you might be asking.

11 Frequently Asked Questions…Answered

1. Do I need to be a Christian to attend?

Not at all. Many people who are Christians attend Connexus church. But 60% of the people who walk through the door didn’t regularly attend church prior to Connexus.

You’ll feel right at home.

2. What should I wear?

Whatever you would normally wear heading to the mall. It’s that simple.

3. Do you have age specific programs for my kids?

You bet. We spend a lot of time and money investing in families.

We have great kids ministry programming from birth to grade 5 at our 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services.

We have Transit for kids in grade 6-8 during our 9 a.m. services. Inside Out for High School students runs Sunday nights at 7. Grade 6-12 students are welcome to attend the adult services Sunday morning as well. Chances are they won’t be bored.

4. When should I arrive?

Try to get there at least 15 minutes before services, especially if you have kids. That will give you plenty of time to check them into our secure children’s ministry environments and still find a seat in time.

5. Are the 9:00 and 10:30 services the same?

For adults, the experience is identical.

But our kids ministry and student ministry on Sundays is small group based. So for the sake of your kids, it’s best to pick a service and stick to it as much as you can from week to week. It guarantees them a small group leader who knows their name and their story and who can build into their lives.

6. How do I connect?

Drop by the New Here or Next Steps kiosks in our foyer on Sunday mornings.

The new here kiosks is for people who are new to Connexus. The Next Steps kiosk is designed to help you take a step beyond just attending on Sunday mornings.

7. What denomination are you?

We’re actually a non-denominational Christian church. That means we’re not part of any official denomination. We’re simply a Christian church.

That also means people of all denominational backgrounds and no denominational backgrounds feel comfortable here.

We’re also a strategic partner of North Point Community Church in Atlanta Georgia, and just under half of our teaching is from their Lead Pastor, Andy Stanley. Our lead pastor, Carey Nieuwhof, teaches the rest of the time. They’re a non-denominational Christian church too, in case you were wondering.

8. What are your services like?

Our services are about 65 minutes in length.

We sing some songs together with a great rock/pop style band leading us. Some weekends we baptize people. We always have a message based on the Bible that’s relevant, engaging and (we hope) extremely helpful.

Here’s a pic from a rehearsal service in our new facility at Mills Road.

Connexus Soft Launch Service

We also like to have fun…so you never quite know what to expect at Connexus. We want to create the kind of experience you and your friends want to come back to.

Above all, we want to help facilitate an authentic connection between God and the people he loves. That’s our greatest hope.

9. I’ve got faith questions. Who do I talk to?

Glad you asked.

We have a great environment for people starting out in their faith called Starting Point. You can learn more or even register here.

And hundreds of adults gather each week in community groups to talk about faith, life and more. You can register to be part of a community group here.

10. Can I bring my friends?

Absolutely. We’ve designed Connexus for you and your friends. Every Sunday is somebody’s first Sunday around here.

11. What if it takes me a long time to figure out whether I even believe?

That’s okay. We know everyone explores and discovers faith at their own pace.

Come explore..and we’ll give you as a much space or as a much help as you want.

So that’s the low down for Sunday…and a lot more!

Can’t wait to see you at 9 or 10:30! And yes, you’re invited.

- Carey

How to get to Mills Road Map

The Grand Opening for the new central facility at Connexus (which is also the new home for our Barrie campus) is THIS Sunday, May 24th.

Here are 5 things you need to know about the grand opening before Sunday:

IMG 32301. This is the time for you to bring a friend

Our grand opening is a great time to invite that friend you’ve always wanted to invite but just haven’t yet.

For whatever reason, people tend to say yes more frequently on special occasions. You can (and should) still invite all year long…it changes lives. But there’s not time like the present. So text, call, message and invite that friend you’ve been waiting to invite.

My wife Toni and I have personally invited 5 friends who don’t attend church to come with us this weekend.  In addition to that, we’ve invited city dignitaries and others to come.

You know how we’ve grown to over 1000 people on weekends? One invitation at a time. So extend one today… As we’ve said many times over the last few months, #EverbodyBringSomebody. We might change our cities if we did. So do it.

2. We’d love you to sit near the front (even in the Sweet Seats!)

Our new auditorium works best when we start our seating from the front. It just makes it a lot easier to fill up from the front when you’re seating people given the room design.

In addition, because it’s our video capture environment, it’s great for the band and communicators to have people in the front rows they can connect with.

So…we’re making the front two rows of the centre section the Sweet Seats for the next few weeks. Sit there and in each service someone in those front two rows will win a really delicious sweet treat.

And—if you’re wondering—when it comes to sound, there are no bad seats. Being near the front, the sound is pretty amazing and balanced. So help us out and grab a seat as close to the front as possible when you come in!

3. Our new service times are Sundays at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m.

These new service times will allow us to have two optimally attended services. And Transit, our grade 6-8 environment, is now offered at 9:00. Waumba Land (pre-school) and Upstreet (elementary) are offered at both services.

So pick a service time and join us!

4. The kids and student environments are amazing

If you haven’t seen the kids and student ministry environments, you’re in for a treat. We’ll post some pictures next week when they’re done (still putting on finishing touches this week).

But your kids are going to LOVE their new environments.

Waumba Land, our preschool environment, is based around God’s creation. UpStreet, our elementary environment, is designed like a street with shops and buildings.

The student ministry rooms are called The Foundry, which consists of a super cool theater, gathering space and small ground rooms all designed for Transit (grades 6-8) students who meet Sundays at 9:00 and Inside Out students (Grades 9-12) who meet Sunday nights.

We’ll post some pics next week when all the work is complete!

5. This is a start line…not a finish line

So our Orillia campus is re-launched (see some amazing pics here) and our Mills Road facility opens this weekend.

Nice finish line, right?

Not even close.

This isn’t a finish line, it’s a start line. We did all this with the prayer that God would use us to lead more people than ever before into a growing relationship with Jesus.

And the way we do this is by creating a church unchurched people love to attend. I LOVE it when I walk through our Orillia or Barrie locations now and people just say “WOW”. They never thought church could be like this.

God has always loved them. They just need a church community to help them foster a personal relationship with God through Christ.

I am so passionate about all of us reaching a whole new generation with the love of Christ. If you want to know why we’re doing this, watch this message.

This is a chance to literally reach hundreds of new families and impact thousands of lives.

And YOU play an integral role as you invite friends, service, give and do life together with them.

Isn’t it amazing to have our lives be caught up in something so much bigger than ourselves?

See You Sunday!

So whether you’ll be in Orillia Sunday or in Barrie, I can’t wait. It’s going to be an amazing thing to see what God does!

Thank you for being such a key part of it.

Oh…and here’s the map with directions below if you need it! Our new location is literally a 60 second drive from the Barrie Galaxy Cinemas, just off Bryne Drive.

 

-Carey

How to get to Mills Road Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been around at all in the last week, you know what an exceptional season it’s been. And there’s still more to come THIS weekend.

What’s Happening Right Now?

We re-opened our Orillia location on Sunday May 10th with a brand new look, new service times, new kids environments, new check in, a new video wall and with Sunday attendance that was higher than Easter. Wow!

Then Thursday night, May 14th, we held our first ever service in our new central facility on Mills Road in Barrie, which will also house our Barrie Campus.

And yesterday, Sunday May 17th, we held our soft launch for Mills Road, running our 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. weekend services for the first time. We haven’t even opened yet and we’ve already seen almost 1000 people through the doors.

THIS weekend—SundayMay 24th—is our Mills Road Grand Opening. Super exciting because that means both Orillia AND Barrie will be wide open for your friends and family.

Why Are We So Passionate?

Why are we doing this? Because we want to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus by creating the very best church unchurched people love to attend that we know how to do.

1 in 15 people who attend church in Central Ontario attend Connexus, which is awesome.

But 96% of people in Central Ontario won’t be in church this weekend.

You can help change that. This weekend, INVITE someone to attend with you. Bring them to either location for the 9:00 or 10:30 service and let them experience the love and hope of Christ for themselves.

Orillia Grand Re-Opening May 10th

Here are some great pics from our Orillia re-opening.

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Mills Road – First Service and Soft Launch Services

Just a few pics from the first three services at our new Mills Road location in Barrie. We’ll have more from the Grand Opening Sunday on May 24th. Stay tuned!

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Barrie Sunday
Barrie Thurday night
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So what’s next?
A HUGE weekend ahead. Invite your friends to Connexus Orillia or for the Grand Opening of Connexus Barrie at Mills Road. This Sunday, 9:00 or 10:30! It’s going to be amazing!

- Carey

Well, this is it! The days we’ve been praying for, working toward and sacrificing toward are finally here.

The Grand Re-Opening of our Orillia Campus happens THIS Sunday at Connexus Orillia. I’ve been praying for you Orillia as you invite friends and am so excited about this fresh new season of ministry we get to do together.

Why are we doing all this?

It’s simple. People give up on church long before they give up on God. We want to create a church unchurched people love to attend. A church you love inviting your friends into.

And we’re about to take that to a whole new level starting this weekend.

So, Orillia, we promised to refresh our environments at Connexus Orillia and here’s what you can expect:

New Service Times in Orillia:

  • NEW service times. Services now start at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.!
  • Transit will be offered at 9:00 a.m.
  • Waumba Land and Upstreet will be running at both services.
  • Inside Out remains the same (Sunday nights at 7 p.m!)

A New Look!

  • A brand new look for Connexus Church with a new logo, new colours and new feel!
  • A brand new foyer design that frees up far more square footage for conversations and connection, plus a huge new graphic wall that’s much more welcoming.
  • Brand new signage, and a bold new look for our trailers (you won’t believe how beautifully different they are).
  • Brand new coffee service systems to make your java even smoother.
  • A new front stage video wall in the main auditorium.
  • Improved and permanent lighting in the adult and kids environments.
  • Other design tweaks in our environments!

A Few Other Things!

  • I’ll be speaking live in Orillia for the Grand Re-Opening with a message called Restart: What Happens When You Believe (Again)
  • We’ll even do an official grand reopening ribbon cutting at 10:15 a.m. in the main foyer.

I know for many of us, seeing it will be more powerful than reading about it, so we’ll see you Sunday at 9:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.

Connexus Barrie

This Sunday at Connexus Barrie, it’s our LAST Sunday in the Galaxy Cinemas. Service times are still 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. for one last week.

Then starting this week we flip the switch at our new facility at 20 Mills Road with our services Thursday night (see below) and then our first soft-launch Sunday May 17th at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., followed by our Grand Opening Sunday May 24th at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Have You Got Your Free Tickets Yet For Our FIRST Service Thursday, May 14th at 7:00pm?

Our very first service at our new central facility happens next Thursday, May 14th at 7:00 p.m.

It’s a chance for Orillia folks and Barrie folks to come together to worship, give thanks and celebrate. It’s the closest thing we’ve got to a dedication service and it will be powerful…even as we learn the ropes of our new technology and building.

So…get your free tickets today to reserve a space for this historic night!

Child care is provided through Grade 5.

Getting to Mills Road

Wondering where our new facility is? Here’s a nifty map to help. It’s actually within a one minute drive of the Barrie Galaxy Cinemas…so it’s super close!

How to get to mills rd

Well, that’s a lot of news.

Thanks for being part of a mission that’s far bigger than all of us!

Carey

Oh…and WHO are you inviting Sunday? We’ve been praying for them for months…so be bold and bring some friends!

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1. Today (Friday, April 24th) is Wear Your Shirt to Work Day!

See those awesome T-Shirts people are sporting every weekend at Connexus? FRIDAY we want everyone to wear their shirt to work OR school and you could WIN!

It’s easy.

Simply take a photo in your t-shirt and post it on facebook with hashtag: #joinme and you’ll be entered to WIN!

At 5pm, a winner from each campus will be chosen to win:

  • FREE lunch for the whole office or classroom, compliments of the delicious Avoco Bar!
  • FREE Connexus mugs for everyone!

2. We Need Your Help @ Mills Rd! We’re looking for behind-the-scenes cleaners!

The final days of construction are on at our new Mills Road Facility. Every day, we need 6-8 people who can help clean up the site. It’s as simple as grabbing a broom, a mop or some windex for a few hours to get the place cleaned up. Can you help? Any time you can give is helpful and valuable.

Just email Sarah at and she’ll get you connected!

3. Your Best Intentions Aren’t Enough

At both locations this weekend, Andy Stanley is teaching in an awesome series called Destinations. Andy very helpfully points out that while good intentions are great, they don’t determine our destination. Then he points out what does. It’s a powerful series and we’d love you to bring some friends. 8:30 & 10am at the Galaxy Theatre in Barrie or Orillia!

 

Barrie Campus

Destinations — Part 2 — Looking Ahead | Andy Stanley

We’ve all ended up places we never meant to be–where life was complicated and there were seemingly no good options. And looking back we saw the warning signs. We just chose to ignore them. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By looking back at an old wisdom saying we’ll learn to look ahead and avoid the danger the lies in wait for us down the road.

8.30 and 10.00 am | Galaxy Cinemas, Barrie

Invite your friend to Barrie here.

Orillia Campus

Destinations — Part 1 — The Path Principle | Andy Stanley

Think about the last time you were traveling and got lost. You had your destination in mind. You had every intention of getting there. But you took the wrong path, and you didn’t end up where you wanted to be. A disconnect often occurs between the path you choose and where you want to end up. This is the principle of the path and we’ll discover how it impacts every area of your life.

8.30 and 10.00 am | Galaxy Cinemas, Orillia