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Movie night draws nearly 400 in Ajax

People watch a movie under the stars in Ajax, hosted by Redeem the Commute. Photos by Redeem the Commute

By the Rev. Ryan Sim

Redeemer, Ajax, is a new church community forming in Ajax, where more than 80 per cent of working-age adults commute and spend little time at home. To connect with this busy, mobile population of commuters and their families not attending church, Redeemer launched a mobile app, website and social media presence last year with free marriage, parenting and discipleship courses. Since then, the app has been installed on mobile phones and tablets almost 1,000 times, and the course content is accessed hundreds of times a month. The community’s leadership is thrilled about these numbers, since they are great indicators of potential for a local Christian community to form in Ajax.  

The next step was to begin hosting some community-building events to assess online users’ interest in face-to-face gatherings, and to reach new people. On Sept. 27, Redeem the Commute hosted a free Outdoor Family Movie Night at Lakeside Amphitheatre on the Ajax waterfront, surrounded by commuting households. The event offered scattered mobile users a chance to gather and meet other members of Redeem the Commute’s online community. It was also an opportunity for Redeemer to share what it does with an entire neighbourhood.

Movie-goers donated hundreds of items for the local foodbank.

The team of volunteers expected about 100 people to attend, and had popcorn donated from the local theatre to feed 200, just in case people were hungry. By the end of the evening, almost 400 people came out. Admission was free, and we collected hundreds of non-perishable food items for a local foodbank.

Everyone who came enjoyed a great movie, free popcorn, cheap refreshments and learned what Redeem the Commute is all about from a short video before the film began, and while meeting the snack bar volunteers. The leadership team heard great reviews of the evening, both in person and on social media. “We hope they do this next year!” wrote one, while another wrote, “We’ve lived here 11 years and never seen this amphitheatre used. Thanks!”  

The Rev. Ryan Sim is the priest-in-charge of Redeemer, Ajax.