Monday, February 22, 2010

2009 AGM Recap

Last Saturday night we had our Annual AGM and wow was it fun :)  Here are some highlights from 2009 AGM:
  • We saw that our church raised over $11,000 to help send 50 kids and youth plus 15 leaders to our kids and youth camps!
  • We celebrated God's goodness as demonstrated in us giving over $8,000 to missions that included helping India's poorest kids, sending people to Skatine reserve (near Pemberton), and giving to the work of Canadian and International Foursquare Missions organizations.  We were a part of 2.4 million people coming to Christ and 11 churches a day being planted worldwide!
  • We celebrated and prayed for all of the ministries God has given us... from our kids, to youth, to adults, and our community.
  • Lastly, we also looked ahead to this year and 2011... our goal is to get back in the black so that we can begin to expand our ministry to our community and world.
Thanks to everyone who makes up Mission Foursquare Church!  Look out 2010!

Boys Win Change Drive for Haiti

After four weeks of collecting change, our boys won the Change Drive for Haiti with $336.  Our girls collected $264 for a combined total of $600.  Well done kids!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Haiti - Part 4

Haiti Relief Update: Dave Stone, Area Missionary to the Caribbean
February 17, 2010

I have been to Haiti several times over the years. As we drove into Port-au-Prince last week the first thing I saw was how much it seemed to be “life as usual.” The traffic was congested; the sidewalks were filled with people; street vendors were selling fruits and vegetables; it appeared as if nothing had changed. Some buildings were damaged some had collapsed, but nothing like what we had seen on the news. It wasn’t until we got deeper into the city that things began to change.

As we drew closer to the area of impact, tent cities began to fill every park and open space. The traffic became more congested, and collapsed buildings became more frequent. There was a visible presence of troops from the UN and the United States, along with the Haitian police. Most of the people were very orderly and respectful. Only once did we see any type of disorder. Even when we walked into the tent cities to visit church members, no one seemed to mind that we were there. In fact, most appreciated the fact that outsiders had come to help.

In the midst of such suffering and devastation, the Haitian people aren’t just lying around waiting for a handout. They are very resilient, doing what they can to get their lives put back together. We met a family from the church that has 18 people living under one tent. We met a young mother who survived the quake but lost her three-year old daughter as well as her home. One young lady took us to see her house. It was destroyed, but her family escaped. Others weren’t so lucky. As we climbed the ruins of houses, buildings, and a church, we came across 7 bodies that were lying in the rubble.  The destruction went on for blocks.

As best we can determine 15 Foursquare church members lost their lives and 28 Foursquare families that lost their homes are now living in tents. We are working on getting them from emergency housing to temporary housing before the rains begin next month.

While the central church is still standing, there was significant damage. A structural engineer is helping us determine the level of damage. It seems some walls will need to come down, the roof will need to be stabilized, and extensive repairs and rebuilding will need to happen in order for the building to be safe to use again. Services are being held outdoors on the church property.

Since many church members are now without work, we anticipate hiring some of them to work alongside the teams coming from the United States. That way they have a part in rebuilding their church and homes and will be able to earn a salary to buy food and other items needed to rebuild their lives.  Even the churches outside of the Port-au-Prince area are feeling the effects of the earthquake.  In Jeremie, where we have a church and an orphanage, many people have fled on the ferry and are now showing up looking for food and shelter.  We have sent an offering to help care for the people.

The rebuilding of Haiti will take years. Lives have been changed forever. In the midst of this terrible crisis, God has a wonderful plan.  As we partner together in praying, giving and going, we will see the church rise up with new strength and renewed passion. Doors of opportunity are open before us to reach the lives of the Haitian people like never before. This is the time for the kingdom of God to push back the darkness and let the light of His glory shine through.

Foursquare Haiti Update 3 from The Foursquare Church on Vimeo.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Youth Aren't Scary

Did you know that our youth ministry involves 15 volunteers and ministers to 60+ youth?  Did you know that our church supports our youth ministry to the tune of $5,000/month (mortgage, utilities, honorariums, and donations)?  Did you know that last year we had 8 youth give their lives to Jesus and are being discipled?  Our ministry to youth, especially the Wednesday night program, reaches some of our city's most broken youth.

The pain and history that many of our youth live with is more than many of us can even comprehend.  Our youth ministry really is a battleground and we have an opportunity as a church to get behind our youth and youth leaders in prayer, financial support, and service.

This last Sunday an opportunity to serve was communicated to our church family via Dave on behalf of our youth ministry.  The greatest need right now for our youth ministry in the area of service.  We need loving adults who are willing to be chaperons on Wednesday night.  This entails walking around the outside of the building from 6:30-7:30 and then again from 8:15-9:15pm.  If you are able to help, please talk to Calvin Williams (

Thanks again for your prayers, financial support (that's where a significant portion of our monthly expenses goes to), and now for considering volunteering.  Youth really aren't that scary.  At first most youth don't trust adults because they've been used and abused by them, but once they get to know that you're real, honest, and you actually love them, they will respect you.  This kind of ministry is on the frontlines... it is missions in our own back yard.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

How Many Pennies Can You Fit in a Bucket?

$65.50 worth!  That's 6,550 pennies.  Today was our third week of our Kid's Change Drive for Haiti!  The boys were behind last week, but this week they made considerable leaps forward... the entire boys blue bucket was filled to the brim with pennies.  It took six people over an hour to count and roll them!  The boys are now in the lead with $299 followed by our girls at $166.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sweetheart Sock Hop was a Great Success!

Almost 100 people came out tonight for an evening themed after the 50's.   We had good music, good company, and a good time.  Youth helped out with childcare and manning the concession (the root beer floats were awesome).  Here are some the good things that happened:
  • We had fun!
  • People that have never stepped into our building came out and had a good time discovering that Christ-followers can have a good time.
  • An environment for greater community and relationships was created.
  • Our youth got to witness positive relationships and they also made (and continue to make) valuable contributions to the life of our church.
  • Funds were raised to help replace broken sound equipment.
  • We worked together and pulled off a successful event!
Thank you to Jim, Karin, Alison, Jason, our Youth, Willy and the Wannabees, and everyone else who helped set-up, clean-up, and bring cakes!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweetheart Sock Hop

Join us this Valentine's weekend for a 50's sock hop!  Willy and the Wannabees will be performing live songs from the 50's.  So grab your significant other and come on down for an evening of good company and good music.  An ice cream shop style concession will be open and proceeds will go towards updating our sound system.

Saturday, February 13, 7:00pm.  Admission is FREE.  Childcare is $5.  There will also be a swing dancing lesson time, cake walk, and more!

Valentine's Day Cards for Seniors

Last Sunday our kids made 40 extra Valentines Day cards to give away to Seniors at Pleasant View (Assisted Living Home for Seniors).  Every month a group from our church visits the local Senior's homes to sing, encourage, and listen.  This Sunday they'll be taking some extra special to give them.  Thanks kids for sending some extra love to those that are often forgotten.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Continue in Prayer!

As we continue in our series on prayer, please continue pray.  Within our own church family we have real, difficult situations.  Pray for marriages, jobs, faith, victory, health, and wisdom.  Continue to pray for those outside our church family as well... our neighbours, coworkers, family, and friends.

This morning we had nine people out for pre-service prayer... a new record!  We moved into Room 105 where there is space for even more to gather and pray.  Of course you can continue praying on your own, or on Thursday morning at 8:30am with the Ewert's, or call someone up and pray!  Prayer matters because prayer changes our world and it changes us.

Last week the challenge was to fast something.  This week the challenge is to get alone with God and be bold enough to lower the walls and be yourself before God... open your heart to Him.  Give Him every emotion and thought you have.  He's big enough to handle not only your praise, but your hurt, your hate, your doubts, complaints, despair, depression, anger, rage, ... Give your heart to Him and allow Him to speak to you as your pray your heart to Him.  If you struggle in doing this, start by praying the Psalms... they are God's gift to us to teach us how to pray.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bottle Drive for Haiti

Well, we didn't exactly give stellar attendance, but the few that showed up worked with great diligence.  Thank you to the Johnson's for spearheading this and to the others that gave of their time to help.  They collected $350 worth of bottles.  Here's what four adults in four hours can do!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Januay 2010 Recap: Way to Go!

The first month of 2010 just wrapped up and things are off to a great start.  Here's a recap:

Growing Up
At the beginning of the month I challenged myself and our church to be purposeful about growing.  I've been meeting with people and hearing stories of how people are taking steps of faith and responding to God's purpose.  One family said they have made it their goal to participate in our Sunday gatherings on a consistent basis.  Another family set a goal to plug into a small group.  Many ministry leaders and volunteers have begun to be more purposeful about encouraging and releasing more leaders in their gifting.  Pre-service prayer has had standing room only, so we're moving into Rm. 105 to accommodate this.

Youth Ministry
Under Calvin's leadership, our youth leadership team is doing a great job of integrating small groups into our Wednesday nights so that greater relationship and application of God's Word can take place... we have many youth that aren't yet followers of Christ.

Missions Giving
In January we heard about Nicole R.'s step of faith to go to Sri Lanka for two weeks and how this was way out of her comfort zone, but that she knew it was God leading her.  Our church stepped up big time and gave over $1200 towards her trip.  We have and are responding to Haiti.  As of last Sunday we have collected over $600 towards Haiti plus the kid's change (I think Cindy is still counting it.... :)).  We have set a goal to raise $5,000 for Haiti Relief & Rebuilding and we are going to do this through this Saturday's bottle drive, the Kid's Change Drive, personal donations, and the benefit concert at the Clarke Theatre on Feb. 26.  I believe in total we've given over $2500 towards missions this month alone!

A couple people received physical healings as a result of them asking for prayer.  We simply respond with thanks to God and continue to pray for those who are still facing challenges.  We won't develop formulas or start a healing ministry, we'll simply keep praying and looking to Jesus.

Church Attendance
Our church attendance for January has been a bit higher than average so I'm excited about that.  Although at times I have to struggle with the pride factor that can be attached to numbers and head counting,  through faith God reminds me that numbers matter if for the right reasons.  We want to see and work towards a church that is first and foremost a healthy one (by God's standard).  We believe that if a church is healthy (like any living organism) it will grow (in maturity and in numbers/fruit).  If you are a part of our church family, I encourage you to continue loving your neighbors out of the love you have received in Christ.  We also need to work hard at loving those that walk through our doors and welcome them with radical hospitality.

Church Giving
Our general offerings and income surpassed our bare-bones budget goal of $17,000 and that will help us to catch up from last year's deficit.  Our goal is to be back in the black by the end of 2010 so that we can start 2011 by living to give.  On "Vision Sunday" I challenged our church family to increase their giving by 1% (if last year you gave nothing, then set a goal to give 1%; if last year you gave 10%, set a goal to give 11%).  Unless you're perfect, there's always room to grow and increase our faith.  God's not interested in the amount or percentage; he's interested in our heart and the direction it is heading!

Small Groups
Back in November I set a goal to have 4 small groups up and running by the Spring.  By the end of February we will have 8 groups going.  I encourage everyone to connect either formally through a small group or informally through a purposeful mentoring relationship so that we are stimulated towards growth!

I know this wasn't the focus of January, but I had to put it in here.  As we travel through February we will increase our understanding of prayer through studying Scripture and practicing it.  I can't even begin to describe or imagine the results that will happen as we spend more time praying and seeking God then relying on our own understanding and agendas.   I know of many situations within our church family and connected to our church family that need miracles.  There are families that are struggling with cancer and illness, their faith, marriages, unemployment, financial issues, and the list goes on.  Please continue to pray for our church family, our neighbours, our community and our world.  Prayer matters.

Thank You
I am truly humbled to be our church family's pastor.  Every week I wonder why I am in this position as I am not qualified, capable, or deserving of the respect and support you or God gives me.  So thank you for your humility in supporting me and our church family.  It means more than you'll ever know.