It’s Monday around 7 p.m. The halls of Humber’s North campus have emptied but the Student Center is buzzing with energy. Above students chatting and foosball tables rattling are the sounds of drums being pounded, guitar levels being adjusted and a woman singing.
It’s not band practice, it’s a sound check for The Embassy’s weekly church service.
And it’s a packed house.
The Embassy Church is a Humber Students’ Federation-sanctioned campus club whose activities revolve around the weekly service.
Third-year Early Childhood Education student Naomi Faroogh, 21, said she was looking for a campus church with a strong emphasis on community and a service she could attend when choosing her post-secondary institution.
“I’m very grateful for Embassy being here because a lot of universities have fellowships and small groups and stuff like that but an actual service is special for me,” Faroogh said.
Faroogh said there’s always something students can relate to in the services and forums.
“Whether you’ve been a Christian your whole life or you’re just new to it, it’s relevant to you,” Faroogh said.
The Embassy welcomes people of all faiths to join.
“One of the main goals that we try to cater to is ‘come as you are,’” said club president Beth Hamilton, 23, a third-year University of Guelph-Humber Family and Community Social Services student.
Janelle Body, 21, a third-year Film and Television Production student and club marketing rep, said at Embassy, “there’s something for everyone.”
In addition to Monday night services, The Embassy hosts alternating bi-weekly discussion forums and socials. Students are welcome to drop in without having to sign up.
This semester’s forums are part of a series called Satisfied, which centres on consumer culture and teaches practical ways to avoid putting material pursuits first. If it sounds like the church tackles topics not exclusively religious, that’s the point.
The Embassy describes itself as non-traditional and club events rep Steve Gardiner says members work hard to live up to their tagline: “Not yo’ gramma’s church.”
“We try to stay away from the stereotypes of a traditional church,” said Gardiner, 29, a first-year Sport Management student and club event rep. “The Embassy is injected with young people who just want to see their school changed and want to see themselves changed and they believe that the best way they can do it is through the Embassy and God.”
Hamilton has been involved with The Embassy since her first semester at Humber and says the church’s diversity is what makes it unconventional.
“Everyone’s such oddballs, we’re misfits and we kind of all just come together and make this fun time where we get an awesome sense of community.”