A VERY SPECIAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
At our upcoming congregational meeting we are going to do something new. After an opening time of worship, and before the business of the evening, we will be prayer walking the church. Everyone in attendance will be separated into groups of six, and the groups will travel throughout the church to pray for the church’s ministries and ministry volunteers.
Of course, we don’t need to be in a particular location for our prayers to be heard, but, by stationing ourselves where the ministries is actually performed, we will gain a sense of immediacy about how God is working in and through Bethel Church. We will “see” the numerous and diverse ministries that God has led us into and will become acquainted with the Bethel members who serve in them.
It seems right—doesn’t it—that we would bathe our ministry efforts in this kind of prayer? We should always plan, and do, our work in the church conscious reliance on the Lord. Wonderful things happen when we do. I look forward to the discussion that will take place following our prayer walking. Maybe God has some surprises in store for us!
We have a lot of exciting things to discuss after we pray that evening:
The action starts at 7:30 pm, on Wednesday November 23. The prayer portion of our evening is being planned by our Church Renewal Lab Team.
I look forward to seeing you there. —Pastor Tom
A New Church Is Born
This year we took an offering and raised $5000 to help MosaicHouse Church plant a new church. Last Sunday the new congregation launched their first public worship service in the building formerly owned by Ottewell CRC. I thought you would like to hear the great news about what happened.
Pastor Victor Ko had issued a challenge to his core team of 19 people to each invite 7 people to the service. He knew from past experience that seven invitations usually yielded one accepted invitation; so, this suggested that around 40 people would come. God’s exceeded the group’s greatest expectations when 98 people showed up.
Many of the attendees were the invited guests of the core team members. The largest identifiable group consisted of King’s students. Some former Ottewell Church members came to provide support, as well. One of the 98 attendees was still in his/her mother’s womb. (Hey, everyone counts, right?)
Victor is hopeful that half of these people will come this Sunday. Starting a new church is always challenging work, and he is celebrating while remaining realistic. His experience as a church planter has shown him that there is a predictable decline in the weeks after a launch service. The greatest fruit will come after continual, consistent, faithful work in the harvest.
It is our expressed dream to plant a church ourselves one day. This story is a picture of the joys and challenges we can expect if we step out to reach those far from God.--Pastor Tom
In a society that did not listen to children, or value their potential contributions, Jesus was radically inclusive and loving. In the Gospels, when people were bringing their kids forward for Jesus to bless, the disciples tried to break up the scene. They saw it as a waste of their Teacher’s precious time. Jesus, however, stopped them and declared “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them!” (Matt. 19:14).
At Bethel we are seeking to follow Jesus’ example as best we can, by making sure this is a community of faith where children are heard, valued, and invited to contribute. I heard a great story from our Children’s Director Christie Thomas that captures this well. Recently Bethel’s kids made sandwiches for Edmonton’s homeless citizens. Christie writes:
“We were learning about Abraham and Isaac, and how God provided a ram for the sacrifice on Mount Moriah. The kids learned that very often God’s provision comes at the hands of human beings that he works through people. So I asked each child to make a ham and cheese sandwich and pack up some other items for lunches for the We Care ministry downtown. I was so proud of them, because only about 3 of them wished aloud that they could have a sandwich or a bag of chips, and the rest of them made the lunches without complaining at all. Many kids wrote note cards with encouraging messages to tuck inside. We ended up packing about 80 lunches. The volunteers that morning did an amazing job of working with a rather chaotic situation, and I had several that put in extra hours to wash dishes and help reorganize for the second service.”
I share this story because it is one example of how children, often “under-the-radar,” serve and use their gifts at Bethel. Thank you to the dozens of volunteers who regularly commit their time to teaching, encouraging, and mentoring these young disciples of Christ! God is glorified as they grow and serve!
- Pastor Ryan
YOUR LEADERS HAVE LAUNCHED INTO THE FUTURE
Bethel’s leaders took a first step into our church’s future this past Saturday. At a meeting of Deacons, Elders, and Managing Elders held October 1, we surveyed the things we are anticipating for this year. Here is a brief overview of what we discussed:
These are big plans, but we serve a God who is able to do “more than we ask or imagine;” so, we have every reason to look forward with great expectations. --Pastor Tom
Come here for news on what is happening in Bethel Church from our Pastors.