Everyone's story is important. The story of Red Deer Lake United Church is one of various faith communities coming together over the years to learn and practice what it means to be human and find in Jesus a new way of being alive in the world. The result is a special blend of old and new, traditional and contemporary, rural and urban, and a variety of thoughts on Christian faith and spirituality.
The story begins in the late 1800s. Red Deer Lake Church (named after the lake once occupying the area) started as a mission church with people traveling by horseback to meet in homes for worship and fellowship. In 1909, the chapel was opened, becoming the centre of the community and sometimes even a school house.
To make room for the 22X highway for the Olympics, the chapel was moved to its current site and the church has been growing ever since. In 2004, a beautiful new sanctuary – and a bright, spacious, lower hall, with space for many programs and events – was opened.
Beginning in 1980, Midlands United Church was a church with a different vision. The congregation worshiped in a gymnasium, a community hall, an elementary school, and a Catholic Church. The church spent most of its life getting ready for its next move.
In 1990, the Midlands United Church building was completed on the south ridge of beautiful Fish Creek Provincial Park. A very special feature of the new facility was the stain glass windows designed and created by David Boone. The church developed into an energetic and nurturing community. Change happened, and they again looked at moving.
After many months of planning, on January 1, 2008 the two churches amalgamated to become Red Deer Lake United Church within the Calgary Presbytery.
But it didn’t stop there . . .
As in the past, Red Deer Lake United Church is still growing and changing.
The Midlands congregation brought energy and contributions that made it possible to complete the Midlands Link. This spacious area, linking the old chapel and the new sanctuary, provides a wonderful view of the beautiful Memorial Gardens and the Rocky Mountains, and provides a spacious area for coffee time, fellowship and gatherings.
The Memorial Garden changes with the seasons, always providing special memories of those whose names are found on the bronze plaques on the stairway wall.
Many volunteers worked tirelessly to complete the Lower Hall, the Garden Room, the Kidz Zone preschool classroom, and the Multipurpose Room, and to paint the large Labyrinth.
The beautiful stained glass windows, brought from Midlands United Church, have been installed in feature areas of the church. The youth have their own space downstairs for meetings and games.
Members of the Wesley Congregational Church joined, bringing with them their treasured picture of John Wesley, which now hangs in the original chapel, as well as a beautiful organ. A special donation from them made it possible to build the Wesley Walk in the Memorial Gardens.
As Calgary expands to the south, and new people move into the rural areas nearby, many newcomers have come in, bringing their talents and ideas to enrich Red Deer Lake United Church.
Red Deer Lake United Church began its journey to becoming an affirming church in 2016, as it continues to celebrate the joys of families, the talents of youth, and the wisdom of age. It provides a “church family” that truly supports one other and offers opportunities for spiritual growth, fun, fellowship and, in true country tradition, great food! The doors are open and there’s a place for everyone!