Gathering Church, The (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

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Jim Loepp Thiessen and Catherine Gitzel in from the the church's offices. Canadian Mennonite photo.

The Gathering Church (also known as "The Gathering") was established on 30 January 2005 in the Laurentian Hills West area of Kitchener, Ontario as a place welcoming to persons uncomfortable with traditional "church." The goal was to explore questions of faith in a safe, non-threatening environment. Their mission statement was "Making Jesus real to people, inviting them to follow." The Gathering was accepted as an emerging congregation in Mennonite Church Eastern Canada on 29 April 2006 and became a full member congregation in April 2010.

Since its inception the congregation has met for worship at the W. T. Townshend School in Kitchener. In fall 2010 the congregation rented space for an office and other activities in a strip mall located near the school. The Gathering Church has provided a variety of activities to bless and serve the community around them, including neighborhood parties, and after school games for kids. They have also partnered with the local community center to provide youth programming for area youth. The church has also offered English as Second Language (ESL) conversation classes and a Mom's and Tot's drop-in.

The founding pastor was Jim Loepp Thiessen, who continued as lead minister in 2015. Attendance is about 120 on Sundays, including 55 children.


"The Gathering Church." Canadian Mennonite 14 (20 September 2010): 29.

Rogalsky, Dave. "The Gathering Church celebrates ten years." Canadian Mennonite 19 (6 July 2015): 16.

Additional Information

Meeting Address: W. T. Townshend Public School, 245 Activa Ave., Kitchener, ON N2E 4A3

Office Address: 192 Activa Ave. Unit 8, Kitchener, ON N2E 4K5

Phone>: 519-576-6776

Website: The Gathering Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Church Canada

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

The Gathering Church Pastoral Leaders

Name Years of Service
Jim Loepp Thiessen 2005-2015
Catherine Gitzel 2010-present
Randall Schwartzentruber (Youth) 2008-2013
Rachel Brnjas
(Children's Pastor)
Craig Stephens
(Youth Pastor)
Clare Lebold
(Interim Pastor)
January 2016-July 2017
Steve Cox August 2017-present

The Gathering Church Membership

Year Members
2011 35
2015 35


Map:Gathering Church, The (Kitchener, Ontario)

Author(s) Sam Steiner
Date Published July 2015

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Sam. "Gathering Church, The (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2015. Web. 13 Jun 2021.,_The_(Kitchener,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=154212.

APA style

Steiner, Sam. (July 2015). Gathering Church, The (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 June 2021, from,_The_(Kitchener,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=154212.

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