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Sunday
May242015

Pentecost

Tom Harbour

Tom Harbour

Counselling Pastor

Welcome to church! Today Christians the world over celebrate Pentecost. In John 14, Jesus foretold the Holy Spirit's coming,

"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you."

We celebrate this promise and reality to this day!

We also celebrate bringing the family together with the start of our summer schedule, beginning today. From now until Labour Day we will meet together Sundays at 10 am. For the next five Sundays we will also make a point of wearing name tags and finishing each service with a barbecue lunch together. There is a suggested donation of a few bucks, but don't let that deter you; stay and join us if you can!

I also wanted to let you in on something I've been learning! Earlier this month, Carol Hawkes, Brendan Messer, and I had the opportunity to attend a resiliency workshop with the school district. The presenter, herself a Christian, "preached" the concept of resiliency, or looking for the positive in a person's life and building from those strengths. This contrasts a traditional deficit model in which you highlight what's missing in a person's life. How does this relate to the church? Ultimately, it is about seeing the "redeemability" in everyone you encounter, much as Jesus does. Embracing this change in perspective allows you to see anyone—coworker, student, child, parent, sibling, spouse—in a new light, as one worthy of redemption and capable of change. Let's breathe life into the people we come in contact with! Start looking for strengths in those around you.

Sunday
May172015

Worship

Cal Krahn

Associate Pastor

Hello Emmanuel! I'm so excited to be with you and I'm looking forward to what God's plans are for Emmanuel and for West Kelowna as we are a shining light for Him in our community. One of my roles here at Emmanuel will be to oversee and develop our expression of worship.

So what actually is worship? Worship is whatever we adore or are devoted to. Everybody worships. The question is what is the object of our adoration or devotion. People can worship possessions, people, ideals, and even themselves. In Romans 12:1 we are encouraged to offer our whole selves as a living sacrifice to God. He is the only one who actually deserves it. God desires every part of our lives; our thoughts, words, and actions. Every moment of every day has been given to us by God; therefore, we should use everything that we are, say, and do to express our worship to Him. Ultimately worship is the life we live.

Music is one of many expressions of worship. Often people have seen worship as just the expression of singing during our services. Worship of God; however, can be expressed in many forms - music, service, words, dance, work, art, kindness, etc. Music has become the most commonly known expression of corporate worship because of the ease and commonality of it. It has the ability to touch both the mind and the spirit. Music is also one of the easier ways for a corporate gathering to worship together because it is something of a common language for most people. This will be one of the main areas that I will be helping to develop and encourage.

So choose today to make God the center of what you adore and are devoted to. Allow your worship through whatever expressions you have to come authentically from your heart and mind to our Savior and Lord. It will bring you closer to Him and change your life. Le's be a Church that is known for adoring God both through our personal lives as well as through our corporate worship.

Sunday
May102015

Mother's Day

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

Mother’s day gives us a wonderful opportunity to take time during the worship service to honour the mothers in our midst. Everyone has or has had a mother. We have all been influenced in some way or another by the person who has birthed us. Today is a day where we can honour these women, pray for them, and reflect on the importance of motherhood in society.

Pastor Ben is also continuing our series on worshipping God with our bodies. He will be speaking on women and equality, and how the gospel radically turned the conventions of Jesus’ day on its head. We want to honour all women today, and encourage them in their connections by providing a gift for them that’s really a symbolic gesture of relationship: cookies and tea. We would love this gift to be a reminder to you that some of the most meaningful connection takes place over a conversation with your mother, your child, or with a friend. Start planning your get together!

It’s also an important Sunday of welcoming people! Pastor Cal Krahn began working in the office this week and he’ll say a few words in the Sunday service. Chrissy, his wife, will be joining us periodically up until July, when she’ll join us permanently.

 I also want to introduce to you our two interns. Jeremy Bukowsky is from Chilliwack and is in his third year at Summit Pacific Bible College. He will be working as the pastoral intern under Cal and my supervision. He’ll also be working part time at Green Bay camp this summer. Nathan Hayward is one of our own, and he’s our paid intern through the government grant program. He will be working as the youth intern and under the supervision of Pastor Ben. We’re happy to have them on board. Please take a moment to greet them when you can.

Sunday
May032015

Tortured Wonders

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

The series we begin today is called Tortured Wonders.  The phrase comes from a poem by the poet George Hebert, called Affliction (IV).  It is found in the first stanza that reads like this:

Broken in pieces all asunder,
Lord, hunt me not,
A thing forgot,
Once a poor creature, now a wonder,
A wonder tortured in space
Betwixt this world and that of grace.

Tortured wonders is a great description of where we find ourselves in this life. We are a wonder: we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we have bodies that are great mysteries, we are rational beings. And yet, we are also tortured: our bodies rebel against us; they don’t always respond in the way we want them to respond.

Sexuality is such a large topic to discuss and there are so many issues that we can cover in relation to this subject matter. This shouldn’t surprise us. Our society is saturated with themes of sexuality, including the role it plays in the entertainment industry to perspectives on humans rights to the effect technology has on our bodies. Our ethics are constantly trying to keep up with the pace of the discussion. My main disappointment already is that there are not enough weeks to give a talk on sexuality its proper treatment. My prayer is that the sermons spoken over the next few weeks will not be the end of redemptive conversations on sexuality, but the beginning. This world, our world, our Christian world, is swimming in the confusion of it all, and yet I believe there is good news at the end of the tunnel, and hope in the midst of what is often a dividing and disparaging topic.

On a completely different note, a reminder that HistoryMakers is coming soon (just a couple weeks away!). HistoryMakers is our annual youth conference that takes place down in Chilliwack. Check out our website in order to download a brochure and registration form and for links to the Historymaker website.

Sunday
Apr262015

Leadership Training

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

Leadership training and networking is very important. Emmanuel Church is part of a larger body called the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC), which means we partner on a number of initiatives including missions, church planting, leadership development and care, and specialized ministry, like youth and children, seniors, and ethnic ministries.

Pastor Ben, Amy-Jo, and Leah Johnston, along with their spouses, are off at an event called Time Out this weekend. It is a retreat for youth workers hosted by our PAOC district and gives an opportunity for leaders to rub shoulders with other leaders, to hear what other youth groups are up to and to be refreshed and retooled for the days ahead.

The pastoral staff is also headed off to Broadway Church this coming week, from Monday through to Thursday, for our District Conference. The Bjorgans, McGillivrays, and Harbours will spend some of those days in sessions, in business meetings, and in ministry hubs, as well as connecting with peers. Further, Tom Harbour will be officially recognized as an ordained minister during a Wednesday night service. Please be in prayer for us, for safe travel, for times of learning and refreshment.

Also. We are launching our “Bringing the Family Together” campaign, where, as one part of the initiative, we want to bring lifestage groups together to hear their thoughts on the future of Emmanuel as well as to see what role each age group can play in contributing to the greater whole. If you would like to participate in one of these discussion groups, you can sign up at the info desk. A lifestage get together is basically an evening out with other people at a similar stage of life that you find yourself in. We’ll be sending out invites too, but we don’t want to miss anyone, and I would love to see as many people as possible participate!