As a quite new member of Oak Bay United Church I am disappointed that our commitment to the neighbourhood is either unknown or not acknowledged.
The congregation has been “a neighbour” for more than 100 years, longer than any of us has lived in the neighbourhood. I expect the congregation to be here when all the incumbent residents, myself included, are dead (and forgotten).
During that time the congregation has provided a home in which to worship, grieve, and celebrate. The congregation has cared for the sick and dying, the destitute, and refugees. The congregation has provided child-care, help for parents, a basketball court and dance floor for children and teenagers, as well as a safe haven for abused women, and a gathering place for people with addictions.
No matter what shape and size a redevelopment may be, members of the congregation will be walking with their neighbours when the project is finished. We will be here and we will be caring about our relationship with our neighbours, even though they are more transient than the church is (insert smiley here).
I think of us as neighbours, not a developer.