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Meet the Church: Royal View
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Christian churches have often been accused of being exclusive and withdrawn, almost like country clubs. With its emphasis on foreign and domestic missions and church planting, Royal View has a long tradition of dispelling this charge. Judging by a couple of their current ministries the church is still going strong in reaching the un-churched.

Dru Fess is the pastor of Royal View’s downtown church plant, City View Church. City View meets in the Wolf Performance Hall at the Central Library on Sundays, and the location was intentional.

"We chose the downtown of London because we thought there was a uniqueness to the area," says Fess. "There are some really excellent churches in the area already, and we felt there was room for a younger, Gospel centered work." This vision for the church, which is about a year and a half old, has been borne out in their current demographic.

"About ninety percent of the congregation is under thirty-five years old, with around a third being children," says Fess. "At this age people are often transient, as students and young families graduate or get jobs and move, but we have a growing sense of permanence."

City View Church sees its future with community groups rather than simply being a Sunday morning church. Families meet together in homes during the week, sharing a meal, teaching, and fellowship. "We want people to know that we are a community of young people who worship and follow Jesus together."

Pastor Jennifer Dungo is the Family Ministry, Kids, and Youth pastor at Royal View’s main campus on Clarke Road. As her title would lead you to believe she and the rest of the church are quite busy, and much of it relates to reaching out beyond the walls of the church.

Tuesday there is an after school program for children up to sixth grade, with the overt emphasis being on tutoring. This tutoring is a true community effort with two staff members, parents, church members, and high school students helping children with their studies. After the tutoring program a youth group called Kid Zone goes until 7:30. Many kids stay for both, and many of those started through the tutoring.

"Once a month we do a community meal where we invite the entire families of the children we are working with," says Dungo. "Many of the children are not from church families, so we go over the theme we’ve been emphasising, such as wise choices, and let the parents know that their children are a part of a community. We let them know they are loved."

On Wednesdays the after school program caters to youth grades six to twelve. It opens at 2:30 pm for those wanting to hang out a while, but officially starts at 4 pm. This program is less about tutoring and is more interactive, driven by the interests of the youth. At this point in the year the group is participating in the Christmas production. As with the tutoring there is a youth group after with many kids staying for both.

"We have a more difficult time reaching the parents of these kids. Many of the parents think it's okay if their children are 'religious,'" says Dungo, "but they don’t want to have anything to do with it. Nonetheless, we have 3-4 families in the church who were led to Christ by children who were in this program."

"We want those in the community to know that there is a place where we love their kids and their families. We want people to know that it is a privilege and an honor to work with their kids and to see the impact that Jesus has on people's lives."

If you are looking to be a part of a vibrant Christian community that reaches out to people both in London and around the world give Royal View visit. You can go to www.royalview.org for more information, or give them a call at 519-451-2170.