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Sunday
Mar012015

Annual General Meeting

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

Sunday night is our Annual General Meeting. As a non-profit society, a church is required by law to have a membership and to have a yearly meeting to allow membership to review fiscal information, vote on directors, and hear about the direction of the organization. As a church, it’s a great excuse to get together to celebrate what God has been doing in our midst, to reaffirm our unity under Christ, and to participate in discerning the direction and purposes of God for us.

This year’s meeting will be at 6 pm on March 1.  In past years we have sometimes met early for a potluck. This year we’ll simply aim to start on time, but with the promise of donuts and coffee. In order to encourage our members with children to come out, we will have a staffed nursery as well as workers to oversee the older kids in the chapel. There are youth that are fundraising for missions trips and they are more than happy to help us out in the childcare department. So aim to come! 

We are also voting to fill two positions on our church board. Martin Weilmeier and David Shaw have served faithfully. Martin has finished two terms on the board and is obligated to sit a year before allowing his name to be nominated again. Martin has served with enthusiasm and has been an integral part of our leadership team for 6 years. Not only has he added his voice to the major decisions of the church over the years, he continues to serve faithfully in the tech department, updating our website and recording our services. David Shaw has also served with enthusiasm and thoughtfulness, helping significantly with the initial designs of our building, co-chairing our search committee in the recent pastoral transition, and running both an usher team and a set-up team for years. We want to publically thank David and Martin for their tremendous contributions.

There are four people who have let their names stand for nomination, all members in good standing, all faithful servants and workers in the kingdom. These four people are Celena Titterington, Arte Overby, Colleen Bauman, and Kelly Airth. I want to thank them in advance for prayerfully considering (perhaps even with fear and trembling!) being a part of the process. May God bless you for it.

Sunday
Feb222015

Supporting and Going Without

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

We are pleased to have Don Richmond, chaplain for the Westside Warriors, as our guest speaker today. Don has a heart to be a light for Jesus in the often difficult world of hockey. Don is one of our local missions partners and we are on the lookout as a church to continue to find ways to engage our community. What Don does matches our vision and goals well. One thing Don has done for a few years is Faith Night. It’s an opportunity to invite the churches out to a game to bring attention to the great work chaplaincy ministry is doing for the organization. The hockey game is often the highest attended game of the year, so the team management is quite encouraged by it. Make sure to chat with Don after the service about what he’s all up to.

We have also begun the season of Lent. Lent is a season between Ash Wednesday (which was this past week) and Easter Sunday which prepares our hearts for reflecting on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Often people take the season to contemplate their mortality (it is no longer we that live, but Christ that lives within me) and decide to go without something as a sign of saying we don’t want anything to get in the way of our relationship with God.

I encourage you to adopt a “Lent stance” over the next few weeks. Keep praying through “Seek God for the City” Booklets or apps, take time to reflect on your faith, and choose to work through something that you could go without in order to spend time with the Lord.

Sunday
Feb152015

Emmanuel Deacons

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

The term deacon comes from the Greek word diákonos, meaning servant or minister. It appears at least 29 times in the New Testament. The role was developed in the early church primarily to minister to the physical needs of the members of the body of Christ.

A deacon at Emmanuel is usually an elected official (we appoint our treasurer and have appointed others in the past for when a deacon steps down in mid-term or for the Peachland campus) whose primary purpose is to protect the vision of the church and steward the finances of the church. In other words, they are the “big picture” servant leaders.

Deacons are also heavily involved ministry leaders. Although not responsible for the operations of the church (that’s why we pour significant resources into staffing), all deacons are expected to be involved in a ministry of some kind. Currently, deacons run our usher teams and many of them are on set-up teams. Many deacons have a portfolio of ministry, like being a liaison for worship ministries or the building committee or the finances. They are also on our prayer teams. Deacons are expected to put in at least 10 hours of volunteering a month within their deacon responsibilities, as well as participate in a monthly meeting taking place on the third Wednesday.

Deacons are members in good standing. This does not mean they are perfect, but that they are people of faith, having been members for more than a year, and having been recognized as being servant leaders by their peers.

We have a tremendous deacon board that has led us through a significant period of time at Emmanuel. In the years that I’ve been here, I haven’t sat on a single manifestation of this board that wasn’t full of high quality people. Leadership defines reality, and the health of Emmanuel is often most reflected in its lay-driven leadership. There are two positions that need to be filled at the upcoming AGM.vThis week is the last week to nominate one of your peers.vPlease hand in nomination forms into the offering or to a pastor or staff member.

Sunday
Feb082015

Peachland Campus

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

The last few weeks I’ve been attempting to keep the congregation “in the loop” as to the main initiatives that Emmanuel has been tackling this new year. For updates on the building and the staff, you can find previous articles in the Word from the Pastor below.

This week I wanted to highlight what is happening with the Peachland campus. As you know, the campus was not holding services in the fall during our time of transition. A few weeks ago, I held a meeting with those that still consider the Peachland campus their church home. We discussed the current realities of where the ministry was at and provided “vision options” to help direct future direction. After some lively discussion, the majority voted for a vision that would lead to autonomy.

What does this mean? Well, it means more meetings at first! Ultimately, however, it is the desire for Peachlanders to have their own independent place of worship where they can drive the vision and the selection of leadership in the years ahead.

We have had a campus in Peachland since 2008, which rose out of the former Peachland Community Church. Although the partnership with Emmanuel has been vital for the life of the campus, there is a sense that greater ownership of vision and leadership can help propel a more vibrant and missional church expression on the ground. Philosophically, I believe that when a ministry is self-sustaining, it has a greater commitment to a particular vision from its participants.

At this time, those interested in being a part of this vision will be meeting on February 22 at 1 pm at the Bedfords. We will be bringing in a consultant to help navigate some of the questions that come with autonomy, and we have blessed Peachlanders with the onus to start meeting regularly to plan and to pray about the days ahead. Pray along with them! Encourage them in the Lord! These are big faith steps for all involved and we need the whole church's encouragement and support.

Sunday
Feb012015

Staff Dynamics

Jeff Bjorgan

Lead Pastor

One of the priorities in these first few months of my new role is to work through staff dynamics. I wanted to keep you notified with where we are heading when it comes to staffing throughout 2015.

Transitioning. Last fall, Jason Roffey was hired to be our administrator for two days a week. Jason’s contract came to an end in December, and he remains on the leadership team as our treasurer. Arte Overby was hired to be our Peachland campus pastor, but with changes in Peachland also helped out with our children’s ministries throughout transition. In the midst of some of the unknowns regarding Peachland and with the hiring of a new youth pastor, Arte’s role came to an end this month. These two individuals have put in a tremendous amount of hours, really rescued us during a difficult time, and continue to have their heart’s beat for what God is up to at Emmanuel. Please make sure to thank them for their hard work when you see them.

Hiring. I am happy to announce that I have offered Ben McGillivray the new position of “Youth and Young Adults Pastor”. Ben has a long history at Emmanuel, has an uncanny connection with our community, and has been a great contributor to our staff over the past 6 years. Although he’s an “old face” around here, please make sure to congratulate him on his new job.

Future direction. With a year focused on our new auditorium, we wanted to be good stewards of our finances when it came to staffing. We have the funds to potentially hire one and a half pastoral positions at the church. After investigating the holes and opportunities at the church, I’ve begun looking for a full-time “Associate and Creative Ministries Pastor”, which is fancy language for a worship pastor who also works as an associate. I am also looking to hire a part-time/entry level children’s pastor.

These are positions you as a congregation can be praying over! We’re looking for people of character, people of competency, and people that the present staff will have chemistry with. I’m excited about who God will call to Emmanuel in the days ahead.