Thursday, April 29, 2010

View From My Mobile Office

Sometimes my inner-ADHD makes it hard to concentrate in my home office or in the church office so today I made my office mobile!  I packed up my books and laptop and headed for a great view of Mission.  I found the perfect spot by a small quarry on a dirt road.  I even went for a little prayer hike and found great waterfall!

For the past few weeks I have been studying Ephesians.  Kingsway Foursquare Church's (Burnaby) Pastor, Barry McGaffin, referred to Ephesians as the "Uncle Willy's" of Scripture at Pacific Life Bible College's graduation ceremony last Sunday.  For those of you who don't know the "Uncle Willy's" reference it was an all-you-can eat buffet restaurant where families would pull up in their 15 passenger van and everyone's tastes would be met.  Ephesians is kind of like that in that it is a fairly comprehensive letter.  Paul covers everything from the work of Christ; the identity, role, and work of the church; the family; and spiritual warfare!

So, this Sunday we will begin our look into Ephesians to see how these words will be used by the Spirit to transform our lives, our families, our church, and our community!

Family Roof Challenge - Update

I had lunch with someone from our church today and we got to talking about the roof project.  I told him that replacing a roof has got to be the most difficult fundraising project because it is the most invisible part of the church.  Ministry projects, carpets, sound system, and heating systems are all much more visible and fun, but a roof is boring!

For the past decade our roof has needed replacement, but more urgent and visible projects always seemed to get in the way.  A couple years ago the top level (the part over the auditorium) began to leak a little and so the Church Council created a roof fund and communicated to the Church the need for a new roof on the facility.  People began to give generously and regularly towards this need and after a couple years those donations totaled $18,000!

We have been able to stop the leaking temporarily by spraying a roof sealant, but in the last year the leaking locations have increased in size and regularity!  Going off of two-year old quotes, Council knew that $18,000 wouldn't be enough (even to fix just the top level of the roof) so they decided to communicate a new challenge, called the "Family Roof Challenge", where each family would pledge a certain amount over three months (April 2010 - June 2010) that would be above their regular giving.

Again our Church responded willingly and generously.  With pledges and our International Spring Bazaar fundraising efforts we will see an additional $10,000 come in between now and the end of June 2010.  Thank you for your faith-full giving!

Council then asked six companies for new quotes and received five.  Prices, products, methods, guarantees, and credentials all vary making the decision process a complex one.  Council met this past Sunday and determined a course of action.  This course of action includes performing steps of due diligence on the company/quote Council is most interested in.  Reference and background checks, adequate insurance, WCB coverage, and Foursquare Board approval are all required before we proceed in signing a contract.  Council will do its best to get everything in order so that our Church can avoid paying the HST, but Council will not let the July 1st deadline compromise the due diligence process.  Council will also arrange to pay 50% of the contract at the start of the project and 50% at time of completion.

So that's where we're at in our roof project.   I'm excited that after 10 years we are closer than ever to seeing this "invisible" project completed.  Thanks again to everyone who has given and continues to give through pledges!  God delights in your generous, faith-filled, hearts and I know you have delighted in the process of giving too.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family is Good/God Thing

Last weekend we spent a few days on Vancouver Island preparing for the wedding of my youngest sister.  We had 9 adults and 5 kids (3 of which are under six months; one 3 year old; and one 2 year old) living in my parent's house for four days... while getting things ready and set-up for a wedding.  Needless to say, there wasn't a dull moment.  In fact, at times it was pure chaos, but it was also a lot of fun.  Reflecting on that time makes me believe even more that family is a God-thing and that because God is good, whatever He designs is good.

It seems tragic to me that family is for many people, the place where the most pain and misery exists.  Those that we love most can also hurt us the most.  Sins such as selfishness, pride, bitterness, unforgiveness, and envy are usually at the core of most relational hurt.  And that's why God hates sin... it brings death (a form of which is relational destruction).

The Good News is still Jesus!  When we follow Him (he connects us to the Father who designed us and the healthy way to live life) everything in life turns good.  Please don't interpret the good life as easy because it's actually harder (especially at the outset) to live a life that pleases God in today's world.  As we trust God by following His plan for life our relationships with others will grow and our families will become sources of joy, support, and life!

We can apply this to not only our biological family, but our spiritual family, the church!  My prayer is that both our biological and spiritual families will be a source of light for God's design and goodness.  May our neighbours see health in our homes.  May our community find a safe and life giving place in our church family.  May we live with less of us and more of Jesus.

Bazaar Success

Today we had our International Spring Bazaar and it was a lot of fun.  Kids got to run around and collect stickers in their "passport" books; good food was consumed; and a lot of neat crafts, etc. were viewed and sold.  Proceeds from the concession, table rentals, and a few booths are going to our roof fund.

Thank you to everyone who helped out... especially Lisa S. who organized everything!  Together we raised over $1,000 for our roof fund!

Friday, April 23, 2010

International Spring Bazaar Tomorrow!

I am looking forward to tomorrow's event from 11am-3pm.  Come on down to Mission Foursquare Church for a taste of wares and projects from various nationalities.  To make it even more fun, where something from your heritage!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Do You Know the Muffin Man?

I'm away this weekend at my youngest sister's wedding on Vancouver Island and so I'm making the muffins ahead of time (sorry folks, they won't be oven fresh this Sunday).  According to our young adults, these are the best muffins they have ever had.  One said, "I don't even like muffins, but I like these!"  She was referring to the blueberry oatmeal muffins and they were hanging out tonight as I made them.

We now have three couples serving monthly in our continental breakfast ministry and couldn't be happier!  While I enjoyed doing this every week, it seemed selfish of me to rob others of the same joy.  Teaching others the process forced me to create an instruction book and reflect why we do what we do.  Here's an excerpt...

"The people that walk through our doors are more important than any program or budget, so be flexible, loving, hospitable, gracious, friendly, and caring.  People come first… not the donation jar or carpet.  We communicate love by…the quality of the food; the cleanliness of our equipment and facility; the presentation of our food; and the gracious, generous heart of Jesus others see in us."

So come out this Sunday and enjoy some freshly thawed muffins!  Following the breakfast we will worship Jesus together and then hear a great message by our very own, Dave Parsons!  See you next week.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Can You Guess Who This Is? Part 2

Tomorrow at our Sunday gathering we will be hearing this person's life story.  Come and be encouraged in your faith as you hear again how God is good (even when life is filled with challenges and setbacks)!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Brunch Recap

On Sunday we hosted a Easter Brunch and it was a lot of fun.  Just over 180 came out for a morning of good food, company, music, drama, and of course.... chocolate (well, the kids got that part).

I'd really like thank all our volunteers who worked very hard and gave of their time so that others could enjoy their time.  Half a dozen came out on Saturday to help set-up.  The George's did amazing at organizing the buffet.  Louie W. and Laura B. made amazing pancakes.  Casey and Charmaine worked their butts off serving in the kitchen.  Then Chris K. and Dave P. (even after acting in the drama) lead us in clean-up.  Dave vacuumed the auditorium and lobby in record time!  Mo, Diane, Seyong, Christina, and Nigel did an amazing job with the kids program.  Tony and Alison performed beautifully.  And Jack, Dave, Eugene, and Martin did a fantastic job with their dramatic presentation.  Thank you to everyone who helped make the morning a lot of fun and a great time to celebrate together the resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus!

Pictures should be coming soon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Good, Good Friday Service

This morning Ruby and I enjoyed a Community Good Friday service hosted by Cedar Valley Mennonite Church.  It was really nice to see pastors from various churches lead the music and other ministry elements of the service.  It was even greater to see 400-500 people from different churches come together to be the church in Mission!

Although I rarely get to meet with our local ministerial (they meet Wednesday mornings and I work at Pacific Life Bible College on that day); they are a great group of people who love Jesus and love our city.  I would like to thank them for planning these and a few other services (because there isn't one building in town large enough to hold us all).

Dan Rempel (Pastor of Cedar Valley Mennonite Church) mentioned in the service that one year we would love to have the service either outside (and battle the elements) or in an arena so that we could all gather together as the church of Mission.

Don't forget that you can participate in the Community Easter Sunrise Service at Heritage Park this Sunday at 7:00am!