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Sunday
Mar232014

Worship and Sound

Jeff Bjorgan

Spiritual Formation Pastor

Last weekend 11 people from our worship and sound teams went to the Levite Summit, a two day conference on the worship arts held at Trinity Baptist church. Over 400 artists, musicians, media and sound technicians gathered to learn and to grow from others in the various fields of worship ministry. The keynote speaker was Erwin McManus, who challenged us to be at the forefront of creativity, since we were created in the image of a creative God. He also encouraged us to always give our best, which goes beyond how “cool” or “contemporary” we are, suggesting that a kingdom mindset should be first and foremost on our minds.

Throughout the day we were given the opportunity to participate in break out sessions. Drummers went to drums sessions, sound technicians got a chance to check out what other churches do when it comes to mixing sound and using equipment, and creative types got to sit in on lectures that delved into the creative process. I personally appreciated going to a keyboard session and learning some of the practical ways I can improve my approach to the instrument I play. It was a great weekend.

There are over 30 people between our two campuses that are part of our worship ministry. Avenues for participating include Sunday morning services, youth nights, small groups, and Prime Time. As well, we often require technical skills for funerals, weddings, and special events.

If you are interested in being a part of our worship ministries, please feel free to drop me a line. We are always on the look out for people that have some skills at computers for our media team, or have an interested or experience in running a sound board, or have some music abilities and have had some experience playing in a worship band.

As you can imagine, there are some areas of need that are greater than others, For instance, we are in need of bass players and people that sing harmonies, and would love to have some more people join our sound and media teams. However, in other areas, it sometimes takes awhile to get into the mix of things simply because the need isn’t currently there. Due to a variety of degrees of capabilities out there, we do ask that you go through a simple “get to know you” audition if you want to get involved musically. Pick up our worship brochure at the info desk for more details on how to get involved.

Sunday
Mar092014

Prime Time Sunday Night

Derrick Hamre

Derrick Hamre

Lead Pastor

Last Sunday night I enjoyed listening to Dr. Arthur Boers of Tyndale Seminary as he shared in our evening event. As I took notes, I got a sense of what the Spiritual Retreat must have been like up at Rockridge. I'm sure it was both thought provoking and refreshing. I would have loved to be there.

Sunday night God used Arthur to remind me what our culture is in danger of losing. In this high tech and fast paced world where we are on our devices, in front of computers and kids are connected to their screens ... we are in danger of missing what is right in front of us, of not actually being present. A few weeks ago Tom Harbour shared that one of his 2014 goals was to be focused and engaged in the present; not distracted, but giving attention to the person or task right in front of him. Well done! Great goal!

Dr. Boers reminded everyone of the central place that water wells were in both the Old and New Testaments. It was a place where community happened. It was where Jesus met the Samaritan woman and where life giving water was drawn. When technology modified how we get our water (from a pipe directly into our homes) it was a wonderful invention, but something was also lost. In our fast evolving society, as technology continues to bring change, we must be careful. We must not embrace technology unmindfully. We can lose life components like: fellowship, prayer, meditation, exercise and play. Sometimes I fear for this coming generation. However, it is our responsibility to help them embrace technology as well as to keep the traditions and their spiritual roots.

This week my mother-in-law turned 89 and my son turned 14. The family gathered for food, sharing of stories and gift giving. We laughed and joked. We celebrated. I sat back and drank in the moment. We were at the "community well" and life was good. I wanted to soak in the moment and thank God for His gifts (family, a long life, Christian heritage, being safe). Then we were off to the movie, Son of God, new technology portraying the life of Jesus Christ. We must embrace the new realities without losing our roots. May Spring Break bring families together, to the "community well," and may we be refreshed.

Sunday
Mar022014

AGM Update

Derrick Hamre

Derrick Hamre

Lead Pastor

Last Sunday night broke into 5 parts...

  1. Twenty-six individuals were received into membership at the beginning of our time. Membership is a public confession of participating in the vision and ministry of the Emmanuel. These folks are committing to attend faithfully, support financially and protect the unity of our church. It was encouraging to introduce each one and to hear of their willingness to share, support and serve the call of God for our corporate assembly.
  2. During the Pastoral Report on 2013 I spoke of the challenges we have faced but also how these trials have produced character. I've observed humility, compassion, a breaking of pride. I've watched people serve each other and we've had a glimpse of God's glory. There has been prayer and faith as well as grace and truth. Things that have been ministry highlights are:
    • Our first 2 weeks of prayer in January
    • Two of our largest Newcomers groups in history
    • Short Term Mission deployment, individuals and groups (dozens of people going to make a difference)
    • Retreats (marriage, men and women)
    • Good Friday Inter-Church service and Easter Outreach
    • The usage of our building for public events (increased exponentially due to the Community Hall fire)
    • NGM - Young Adult services, Grad banquet and our summer intern Kyle Epp
    • Outreach like the Peachland Canada Day breakfast, backyard kids clubs and our Fall Carnival
    • Sunday School strength and their Christmas presentation
    • I also spoke about Derek Koch's 18 years of ministry coming to a conclusion at Emmanuel, our Peachland Campus and direction for the future. That led us to discuss the West Kelowna Auditorium.
  3. Jason Roffey, our church treasurer, spoke about church finances. His excellent report can be found here, along with the slides he presented. He also touched on attendance, growth, trends and the 2014 budget.
  4. Steve Johnston, chair of our Building Committee, presented their report. This report can also be found here. This was followed by an auditorium financial update. We had a time of Q&A that helped give clarity and understanding. We began our $50,000 drive before construction begins.
  5. Our leadership team at Emmanuel is comprised of pastors, deacons and a treasurer. Deacons are the highest lay office in our ecclesiastical structure. There were 6 open to this process but only 3 could be elected. Rick Nelson, Steve Johnston and Lorelie Hanson were elected. Additionally, Jeff Walker was appointed for a two year term as our Peachland Campus.
Sunday
Feb232014

Community and the AGM

Jeff Bjorgan

Spiritual Formation Pastor

I've been distracted a lot this week by the Olympics. Having hockey games live-streamed to your desktop during work is a nice treat, but awful on the work ethic. It's been fun cheering on our athletes from a distance, and there is nothing like the Olympics to get patriotism flowing through one's veins. I find it intriguing that once every 4 years (2, if you include the summer Olympics) a whole country, regardless of where they live, work, play, comes together, unified in the desire to see their athletic heroes do well. When Canadian athletes win, strangers high five, people from different socio-economic backgrounds hug, and neighbours who may not have talked to each other for years start talking about the medal count. Our country's response to the Olympics reminds me of what church can be, when we're found at our best. In the same way people gather to celebrate sport, the Christian community gathers in homes, in coffee shops, in church services to celebrate Jesus: his life, his teachings, his kingdom. And this Christian community is also made up of strangers, people from different up-bringings, cultures, races, and levels of affluence, unified in their desire to see the kingdom of God transform lives.

Once a year we at Emmanuel gather for something that is required by the government, our Annual General Meeting. Since we're a non-profit/charitable organization, we have to meet to have elections and present our finances, and make reports. And this year's Annual General Meeting will definitely have those components: We'll talk about our building project, we'll elect new deacons, and you'll read reports from different departments throughout the church.

We like to see the AGM as something more than just “official business”. It's another opportunity for our community to get together and celebrate what God has been up to in us, through us, in spite of us. It's a time to celebrate the good things that have taken place in the past year, reminding ourselves of the stories of hope, of courage, and of societal impact that have been lived out by everyday people that share community with us at Emmanuel. And it's a time to dream about the future, to acknowledge God's control of our direction, and to challenge ourselves to new heights of faith.

This year's AGM takes place tonight at 6 pm. We're not having a dinner this year due to an afternoon rental, but there will be coffee. Let's come together, under one banner, and celebrate the joy that comes “when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity”.

Sunday
Feb162014

The Launch – Next Week

Derrick Hamre

Derrick Hamre

Lead Pastor

Have you ever said, “I remember, I was there?” Perhaps it was in conjunction with a momentous event. I remember the birth of each of my children—I was there! I remember Vancouver’s game seven loss to the  Boston Bruins—I was there!

As Emmanuel launches our auditorium project, one day, you’ll say, “I remember, I was there.”  Next week is our official launch for construction. It will include updates, financial reviews and timelines. It is a very exciting time. This is a once in a lifetime project. It completes a dream and opens up greater ministry and outreach potential for the 21st century. How did we get here?

In the fall of 2009 there were changes and I was coming to the end of 13 years of ministry. The Koch family had left for Thailand, Pastor Ben and Teresa had joined the pastoral team, we had launched the Emmanuel Peachland Campus and the world was in a recession. I felt my leadership had come to a fork in the road. Either we had completed God’s assignment for us in West Kelowna or there was something more God was going to challenge us with. At the Leadership retreat at Big White, the leaders and spouses indicated they did not feel my time of pastoral ministry was complete and that God had used our 13 years to prepare us for a new venture of faith and ministry. We began to discuss the possibility of new ministries and the building of a new auditorium. I was surprised, if not reluctant. We brought the idea to the 2010 AGM and asked what God had in store for our church family in the coming decade. In the Spring we celebrated 30 years on this property with a banquet and walk down memory lane. In June, Ashley Hyatt was murdered and our church became a focal point of the pain for a lost generation. That was catalytic to the tearing down of our multi-purpose room and the building of our gym. That step of faith and obedience resulted in exponential ministry opportunities. In the fall of 2010 the membership voted 91% to research and raise funds for an auditorium project. For two years (2011 & 2012) we had town hall meetings, initiated a design committee and worked at what we needed and how it might be accomplished. A year ago, at our 2013 AGM, 96% of our members voted for a resolution to borrow half the funds and raise the other in order to move forward with construction. For a church that believes God speaks through corporate guidance, this was the strongest word God could give us to move forward. He had spoken. A building committee was launch. They fine-tuned the plan and have done a great deal of work to get us to next week’s official launch.

Come join us. Be there. You’ll be glad you did.