Since 1911, the church at Fourth Avenue and St. Paul street has played an active role in the community of Kamloops, initially as Fourth Avenue Methodist and then as Kamloops United Church since 1925.
Kamloops institutions such as the Food Bank, the Farmer’s Market and R.A.F.T. (Refugees and Friends Together) are examples of community collaborations with origins involving members of the KUC community.
Currently, KUC is the host venue for P.I.T. Stop, where various community groups and individuals serve a weekly hot meal to more than 150 people. Each week several AA and NA meetings gather in a dedicated meeting space. Other community groups, including a number of choirs, also gather regularly in the KUC building. In a desire to create more housing downtown, the “429 Project“ developed 56 housing units built on church property and in 2016 homeowners moved in. Renovations included space for the KUC Thrift Shop and staff, also.
As our culture and world change, more and more people are seeking some form of spiritual grounding beyond organized religion. In an age of internet and virtual connections, the need for community and belonging is great. Frederick Buechner has said that God calls individuals and churches to that intersection where their gifts and strengths meet the needs of the community and world. The idea of being a Centre for Community and Spiritual Discovery arose after several groups, and then the KUC congregation as a whole, discerned its future path by engaging more deeply with the Kamloops community.
“Discovery Circle” has been mandated with visioning and implementing KUC as a centre: planning programs, ensuring hospitality, and overseeing the development of a Centre in the next few years.