Why bother with Church?
That’s a fair question. There are a thousand and one things you could be doing on a Sunday morning (like sleeping in). Why bother coming to a meeting with people, most of whom you may not normally hang around during the week, singing songs you may not know?
Well, if that’s all there is to church, you’re probably better off catching up on your sleep.
But it isn’t.
Or at least, it shouldn’t be.
The Bible has many things to say about what a church is, but one of the helpful explanations is that a church is meant to be a family. To be more precise, a family of God. And like most families, a church is not perfect. Families can be messy. So can a church.
But when a family comes together and its members are able to love, support and encourage one another, it’s a wonderful place to be. The church is no different. In the same way, as members of the church, we strive to love, support and encourage one another in our journey of faith.
But that’s not all.
To the outside world, the church is also meant to be an embassy and each of its members an ambassador.
Like an embassy, which represents a country, the church is the visible representation of God here on earth.
When the world sees the church and its members, they should get a glimpse of the character of the God of the universe.
It is a wonderful privilege to belong to the family of God, and to be his representatives here on earth.
Who we are
We are Christ the King Anglican Church, Toronto.
Based in downtown Toronto, we are a warm, welcoming, Christ-centered, Bible-based fellowship in the evangelical Anglican tradition.
We are warm and welcoming because we think that’s what a family should be for one another – caring. We also believe it is what we, as good ambassadors, should be to people new to the church – inviting.
We are also Christ-centered and Bible-based. You will realize very quickly when you join us at one of our Sunday services that we take the Bible very seriously. We read it, we sing it, we preach from it and we pray it. Basically, we want to be a church that’s always learning from God’s Word. In addition, Jesus Christ is very much at the center of all we do. He is the reason why we meet each week; in fact, he makes it possible for us to gather together since he is the one who tore down the wall that separated people of different race, gender, and social status.
Finally, we are a church in the evangelical Anglican tradition. This spells out the beliefs we hold fast. It also guides us in our worship as the Anglican liturgy shapes our weekly communion service. More importantly, being evangelical and Anglican undergirds our passion for introducing people to God’s truth and helping them grow in maturity as God’s people.
Our aim is that we will epitomize well what “being the church in downtown Toronto” means – helping each other mature spiritually as brothers and sisters in God’s family, and representing God well to those who have yet to know him.
Our hope is that you will have an opportunity to visit us. Do come.
What we believe
Christ the King Anglican Church, Toronto is part of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), a diocese in the biblically faithful Anglican Church in North America. It is perhaps helpful to describe what we believe using the following three nouns.
Firstly, we are Christian.
We believe in one God who has revealed himself through his Son, Jesus Christ. In our sinful state, we must put our trust in his Son and his death for our sins in order to know and to be reconciled to God the Father. Drawing us to faith in Jesus Christ is the work of God the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to live holy lives for the glory of God.
Secondly, we are Evangelical.
To be evangelical means, first of all, that we hold the Bible alone to be our ultimate authority. It is the yardstick by which we measure all truth. Secondly, we believe salvation is possible only because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as a substitutionary atonement for our sins. Thirdly, to appropriate this salvation, we need to make a personal decision to follow Jesus by being born again through the Spirit; we need to repent and put our trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Fourthly, as evangelicals, we are doers. We believe we should live out our faith by living our lives for the good of others. An important aspect of this is the faithful proclamation of the Gospel by our lips and our lives.
Thirdly, we are Anglican.
We are part of the tradition of the Anglican Reformers of the 16th Century. As members of ANiC, we believe in:
The supreme authority of the teaching of Holy Scripture as understood within the doctrinal formularies of historical Anglicanism, specifically, the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty-nine Articles, the Ordinal and the Solemn Declaration of 1893.
The triune nature of the one God, and the personal divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The sinfulness of each and every person and the universal need of salvation.
The sinless life, atoning death, bodily resurrection and ascension, heavenly reign, and future return in glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The essential realities of salvation encompassing the forgiveness of sins through justification, regeneration, and adoption into the Father’s family, union and communion with Jesus Christ and the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the practice of holiness, moral transformation into the image of Christ, and the future resurrection of the body for eternal life.
The preaching of the Word of God, the fellowship of the church, the ministry of the sacraments, and personal prayer – as the principal means of God’s grace.
What to expect at our services
The moment you arrive at our church at 415 Spadina Avenue, you are likely to do a double take.
Wait a minute – this is a teashop, not a church. (And a very good teashop too, judging from all the accolades displayed in the window.)
You walk in and instead of pews, you find tree stumps.
And instead of icons of saints or well-known scenes of the Bible depicted on the wall, you see large portraits of nameless faces sketched in black and white.
Welcome to Christ the King Anglican Church!
We are just glad that the biblical meaning of the word “church” is not a building, but a gathering of people. Because where we meet is not what you would normally call a church building. It’s an amazing teashop called Crimson Teas that belongs to Phillip Chan, who has graciously allowed us to meet each Sunday.
But in every other way, we’d like to think we are fairly conventional.
Our Sunday morning services start at 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. and we have people from every age and from different nationalities.
Our dressing is casual, so feel free to come in whatever is comfortable.
Our form of service is considered liturgical with a good mix of hymns and contemporary praise songs. Communion is celebrated every week.
Our preaching is expositional and we usually preach through a book of the Bible.
If you have a chance to hear our sermons, you will have no doubt about the priority of God’s Word in our preaching.
We believe the church that eats together grows together. After the service, we continue our worship through fellowship over a meal together. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with one another over food. It’s not fancy fare but you can be assured it’s nutritious. If you’d like to, you will have an opportunity to make a contribution towards the cost of the meal.
A bit of our history
Christ the King Anglican Church, Toronto (CTK) started life in May 2009 as the “Toronto Centre Project,” an Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) church planting project under the care of St. George’s Anglican Church, Burlington. A multicultural group of 13 people, led by Claus and Heather Lenk, began in the Lenks’ living room for its first monthly meeting. It then transitioned to the board room of a business office in North York. Not too long after that, the meetings became bi-weekly in September 2009. A leadership team developed with Rev. Ray David Glenn (Rector of St George’s Anglican Church), Claus and Heather Lenk, Raymond Leung and Marion Karasiuk. Shortly after, Raymond Leung left, and Robin and Sandra Guinness joined the leadership team.
On September 26, 2010, Sunday services began in the afternoon at 4:00 p.m. at the premises of Blythwood Road Baptist Church. It was during this time that a new name was chosen for the church – the Toronto Centre Project became Christ the King Anglican Church, Toronto.
In January 2011, Rev. Robin Guinness became the Priest Associate appointed to oversee the church while a search was made for a rector. In September of that year, Rev. Jonathan Wong, from the Diocese of Singapore, became our rector in a part-time capacity. Jonathan had come to Toronto to work on his Ph.D. at Wycliffe College.
Hospitality has been and continues to be an important aspect of CTK right from the beginning. Every service was followed by a time of fellowship over refreshments, and parishioners stayed a good hour after service to catch up with one another. This helped form a sense of real community among the members. Any excuse for a party, BBQ, or reception with food was a good time to celebrate God’s goodness.
In the fall of 2013, CTK became incorporated, attained its charitable registration, and moved officially from plant to parish. The congregation then had a core attendance of about 22 parishioners. The following year, in June 2014, Rev. Jonathan Wong moved back to Singapore for family reasons.
Rev. Len Finn, who started attending CTK a year earlier and had been appointed the Assistant Pastor, took over the mantle from Jonathan and became our rector in March 2014. Like Jonathan, Len had started a Ph.D. programme at Wycliffe. In March 2015, Len left CTK to focus full-time on his doctoral studies, and Robin Guinness took over as the interim pastor.
A rector search committee ensued, and after much prayer and consideration, Rev. Keith Ganzer began as the first full-time rector of CTK in September 2015.
In April 2016, Marion Karasiuk initiated a discussion with members of Christ The Redeemer (an ANiC church plant in downtown Toronto) to come together in an experimental joint venture to hold services on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Toronto. Services began at Crimson Teas, a teashop run by Phillip Chan, who generously allowed the premises to be used for the joint venture.
Our first Sunday service at Crimson Teas was held on April 24, 2016. Initially, CTK continued to hold afternoon services at Blythwood. However, a decision was taken to discontinue the service at Blythwood in November 2016.
In January 2017, CTK and Christ The Redeemer were formally merged into one under the name Christ the King. Since then, weekly Sunday services have been held at 10:30 a.m. Under Keith’s leadership, the congregation has grown and in September 2017, CTK anticipates moving to two Sunday morning services at Crimson Teas.
More about Keith +
Keith’s primary passion in ministry is the study and preaching of the Bible, since it is his belief that the Word of God, by the Spirit, changes people. Simply put, God reaches the world by shaping the church through the preached Word.
Keith has been the rector of Christ the King since the fall of 2015. Prior to that, Keith’s journey began in his hometown of Harborcreek, Pennsylvania, where he became a follower of Jesus in high school. Keith studied at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, where he majored in ancient languages and completed a master’s degree in biblical exegesis. Keith then married Emily in Wheaton and they lived there for an additional year before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia, where they both studied at Regent College. After completing his master of divinity program, Keith was ordained in the Anglican Network in Canada and served on the pastoral staff of St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church for two years.
In 2011, Keith and Emily moved with their new daughter Clara to Montreal, where Keith was the rector of Emmaus Anglican Church for three years. Their second daughter, Elanor, was born in Montreal. Before accepting the call to come to Toronto, Keith and his family spent one year back in Keith’s hometown in Pennsylvania. Keith and Emily are now permanent residents of Canada and are excited to see all the Lord is doing in the life of Christ the King in downtown Toronto.
Besides languages and the Bible, Keith is interested in many kinds of music and at one time learned to play the pipe organ. He likes to read and hopes to one day take up running again (and maybe the pipe organ!). But for now, life as a dad joyfully fills his days.
More about Steven +
"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'" (Revelation 7:9-10)
Steven is the evangelist at Christ the King. He grew up in China, worked in Ethiopia for two years, and has been living in Canada to study and work as a sojourner for the past seven years. Over the years, Steven has been exposed to different languages and cultures which have shaped him into who he is now. He is always interested in languages and all kinds of literature especially poetry and fictional fantasy. Steven would like to travel across the world to different places and countries to encounter people as he believes we are all God’s unique creation.
Steven enjoys talking to people from different life journeys and listening to their stories. It is always his great delight to share the eternal hope and the most profound joy can only be found in our Lord Jesus. Steven was an ancestor worshipper and an atheist for quite a few years before he became a Christian. Come talk to Steven over a meal or coffee if you are interested in more of his life story and see how Jesus has changed his life!
Steven looks forward to seeing people from different nations, tribes, and languages coming to worship our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Rev. John McIllmurray
More about John +
John was born in Southampton, England, in 1942. After a happy childhood in the New Forest he and his older brother came to Canada to attend university. John entered Bishops University, Faculty of Divinity in 1961. He was ordained in 1967 and spent ten years serving in the Diocese of Quebec. While in Quebec, John met and married Ann, and they were blessed with two children, Andrew and Heather.
In 1977, John and his family moved to the Diocese of Huron, serving in Sarnia and Windsor. The children grew, were educated, then married, and subsequently gave Ann and John four grandchildren. In 2005, John retired from parish ministry and moved to Toronto in 2010. He was received as a priest in ANiC on July 1, 2010.
John delights in the privilege of watching the change in people’s lives as they hear about Jesus for the first time and come to know a Father God who loves them.
More about Roger +
Roger joined the staff at Christ the King in September 2017. Prior to that, he spent four years in London, UK as the assistant minister at St John's Church, Downshire Hill. He received his theological training in Vancouver where he met Keith Ganzer (who taught him introductory Greek and Hebrew).
Originally from Singapore, Roger is a first-generation Christian putting his faith in Christ as his Lord and Saviour when he was twelve. Married to Corrina, they have three children, Maegan, Shaina and Timothy.
Before entering full-time ministry, Roger studied economics in a university in Tokyo, Japan, and worked in the Singapore civil service, an equity research firm and a land transport company. He enjoys reading, taking walks with Autumn their dog, playing tennis and a good conversation over coffee or tea.
Roger is passionate about discipleship and is excited to be part of the team at Christ the King growing a congregation of disciple-making disciples who loves Jesus.
More about Marion +
Marion, a Toronto native, is a retired engineer, married to Gary with two grown children Alexis and Zachary. She trained as a lay preacher through the Artizo program and studied at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. In 2010 she was licensed as a lay preacher for the Toronto Centre Project that chose the name Christ the King and began Sunday services later that year. Marion has been involved in ministries in the downtown/University of Toronto area since 2011. She was ordained a deacon at Christ the King in September 2013, and in 2016 she facilitated the move of Christ the King downtown.
Rev. Robin Guinness
More about Robin +
Robin has ministered within the Anglican Church, initially in England but most extensively in Canada, for over 50 years, working in three different Canadian dioceses. For 25 years he was Rector of St. Stephen’s Church Westmount, Montreal. For six years he was Associate Rector of Little Trinity Church, Toronto. He also worked for two years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Toronto.
After his retirement in 2005, Robin taught part-time at Wycliffe College, Toronto, for 5 years, and joined the Anglican Network in Canada in January 2011. Since then he has been an honorary associate at Christ the King.
The roots of ANiC can be traced in part to the Canada-wide Anglican Essentials Conference that took place in Montreal in 1994. The 700 bishops, clergy, and laity that attended that conference produced the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials. As chairman of Barnabas Anglican Ministries at that time, Robin was one of the architects of the Montreal conference.
Robin gives thanks for the rich partnership in ministry with his wife Sandra that has been a gift and blessing over the years. They rejoice to see that the work of the gospel is a high priority in the lives of their three sons and of their families. Robin and Sandra are blessed with nine grandchildren.