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Sunday
Jan252015

Open the Doors

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

One of our adventures to tackle in 2015 is our new auditorium. Greyback, the construction company overseeing the project, will be handing the keys over to us in a relatively short time. That means our first phase is pretty much complete and we will be moving on to our second phase: interior furnishings, as well as exterior projects and parking lot.

The entire building project has been a huge step of faith for Emmanuel. As a leadership team we are amazed at the provision of God and the speed in which the building has been raised—even during a time of transition. We have been able to honour, although tightly, our “every dollar borrowed is a dollar raised” policy.

However, next week we’re launching a new month-long pledge campaign called the “Open Door Drive.” We realize that the last time we emphasized pledges was almost two years ago, and we want to give more people an opportunity to contribute to this project. We also want to better track the regular contributions to the building fund so that we can budget and plan well going into this next phase.

The fact of the matter is we won’t have occupancy of the auditorium until we do the exterior work of drainage and pavement. This requires finances that we simply do not have yet. If you have been waiting to contribute to the building project, now is the time to step forward. I ask you, in the days ahead, to be in prayer as to what role you can play in helping us Open the Doors of the building. Everyone is at different stages when it comes to their finances, but the expression remains true: every pledge regardless of size helps. This is our church, this is our building, and we’re all in this together. Wait until you see the math of how much can be raised when everyone contributes! Let’s see what God wants to do in us and through us as we sacrificially work together in faith to overcome this last great hurdle.

Sunday
Jan182015

Induction Service

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

Today we welcome David Solmes, the Assistant District Superintendent of the BC/Yukon District of the PAOC, as our guest speaker. He has come to oversee an induction service.

What is an induction service? Don’t bother googling it. According to my “research”
it’s a service for cleaning and helping restore your vehicle to peak performance.

What an induction service is for us as a church is simply a formal installation of someone into an office or position. It marks and celebrates the commencement of a new ministry. And we’re going to celebrate! With cupcakes!

What I would like to point out is that an induction service is not simply about the Bjorgans and their new position. It is a chance for the community to gather, just like at a wedding, to bear witness to what God is up to in our lives, in our church, and our community. It gives us a chance to affirm our corporate commitment to the mission of Jesus Christ that is before us, and to unity as a Christian family.

Commitments are important. And milestones are the best times to make commitments. Milestones burn their way into our minds, helping us remember what happened, what took place on that particular day. Today is a milestone, for me, for my family, for us as a church. May the milestone be a reminder that we remain a community of believers who seek to connect people with the relationships, resources, and ministry opportunities they need to grow into life-long disciples of Jesus Christ.

Sunday
Jan112015

Pastor

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

I want to reflect on what it means to be a pastor. Over the years, the most common question I have received from people about my vocation has been, “What does a pastor do?” When I asked the board what my job description was to be, they simply said, “We want you to lead, we want you to teach, and we want you to shepherd. That’s a pretty basic job description, but those are three very big words!

The Pastor as shepherd. Shepherding is a verb basically used only on the farm or in Christian circles. It implies walking alongside and caring for sheep. The Scriptures often refer to God’s children as sheep. To me, pastoral ministry begins and ends with shepherding. It’s the highest priority and it encompasses and trumps leading and teaching. You can have great leadership qualities, but without being a shepherd, you potentially leave carnage in your wake. You can be a fantastic teacher, but without being a shepherd you can lack a connection to the everyday life experiences of the people under your care.

The Pastor as teacher. The gospel is wonderfully simple in its basic invitation, but also wonderfully intricate in how it is lived out. A pastor is commissioned to help navigate God’s children through what it means to know and live out the life and message of Jesus Christ. Pastoral teaching works two ways: it helps introduce us to and remind us about what the Bible says, and it helps clarify beliefs that may have gone awry. In our communication age, there are so many voices out there to listen to, voices that all say they are speaking for God. A pastor helps keep things in perspective and on course and in balance when it comes to the Christian walk.

The Pastor as leader. Servant leadership is a bit of a buzzword, but I believe it applies appropriately to the pastoral job description. I believe leadership defines reality. For me, regardless of leadership ambitions, the reality for a pastor is that he’s following a leader that died on a cross. In Christian leadership, there are still decisions that have to made, especially when there is no consensus, and direction has to be set, but a pastor begins and ends his leadership mandate with the phrase, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”

Sunday
Dec142014

A Snapshot of the Bjorgans

Jeff Bjorgan

Spiritual Formation Pastor

Jeff has been a pastor since 1996. He has worked in children’s ministry, transitional ministries, and associate ministries. The Bjorgans have been at Emmanuel Church for over 8 years. Jeff has been the Pastor of Spiritual Formation, overseeing discipleship and departments, while Nikki has been in various roles, including her present job as the bookkeeper.

Jeff and Nikki have been married for 17 years. They have four children: Ryan, Tanner, Connor and Paige. Ryan loves to skateboard, Tanner is into music and technology, Connor is into sports and Paige loves to sing, write, and create art.

Jeff was raised in Invermere, BC, and Nikki was raised in Salmon Arm.

Jeff has his Master’s Degree of Christianity and Culture from Regent College.

Jeff’s ministry passions include Christian spirituality, character development, the art of friendship, how technology influences our lives, and Old Testament studies. He loves to read, has an assortment of musical tastes, enjoys all things hockey, and enjoys writing.

Currently Jeff sits on the board of Rally4life, a non profit society that aims to create healthy and sustainable communities around the world. He also sits as the President of the Okanagan Camp Society, which helps provide funds for PAOC initiatives throughout the Okanagan.

Sunday
Dec072014

Voting on Our New Lead Pastor

Jason Roffey

Treasurer

Last Sunday was an exciting day at Emmanuel Church as the Leadership Team declared Jeff Bjorgan as candidate for Lead Pastor. The process was extensive, laborious, insightful, bathed in prayer, and fruitful as both the Leadership and Search Team were unanimous in this decision. You can read more about the process on our transistion page.

So, what does this mean for us now?

Next Sunday, December 14, our Pastor Jeff will present his ministry. What that means is he will preach a message outlining the vision God has equipped him with for Emmanuel, and give us all a glimpse into his heart in the role as Lead Pastor at Emmanuel. Then at 1pm there will be a Special Business Meeting, chaired by Pastor Paul Cassidy, on behalf of our District Office.

The PAOC Constitution and Emmanuel bylaws outline how this meeting takes place. Part of that requirement was giving the congregation two weeks written and verbal notice of this meeting. Another requirement is that 25% of the official membership of Emmanuel be in attendance. As such we will require you to sign in at that meeting and if you are an official member, you will be given a ballot to vote with. Pastor Paul will call for the appointment of tellers to count the ballots and ushers to collect the ballots. Official members will then vote by secret ballot a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in response to the question of ‘Jeff Bjorgan for Lead Pastor’. We will have coffee and muffins and donuts while the tellers tabulate the votes. The tellers will communicate the result to Pastor Paul immediately and the results will be announced. Our constitution requires a 2/3 (66.67%) yes vote for our candidate to be reaffirmed as Lead Pastor.

For those of you that cannot possibly make it due to illness, vacation plans, or other valid reasons, our Constitution and bylaws provide two options:

  1. A proxy vote – whereby you designate in writing someone to vote on your behalf. Someone must bring a signed note from the official member specifically naming that member as authorized to vote on their behalf.
  2. A vote in advance – whereby you contact Margo at the church office, sign in, and vote at the office, sealing your vote in an envelope to be opened on December 14 by the tellers.

While these options exist, they are only to be used in exceptional circumstance.

This is indeed a significant moment in the life of Emmanuel Church, and so I encourage you all to attend; members, non-members, kids, and adults need to be present for this moment.

And above all else, please be in prayer for our candidate (Pastor Jeff), his wife (Nikki), and his family (Ryan, Tanner, Connor, and Paige) and for us as a congregation as we take this step.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.