The End of Theocracy
The End of Theocracy 3 Naming Jesus: Son of David 7 The Jesus Creed 17 The Miracle of Spring (in memorandum of Thelma Bampton) 11 Angel Tree Christmas 19
Departments Resource Centre 12 Discipleship Ministries 22 Financial Update 16
"Massacre of the Innocents" by Leon Cogniet
Contact Information 27 Community Corner 29 Calendar 31 Cover : Joanna James Design: Clement Lee Contributors: Thelma Bampton Garth Barron Marion Cameron Karen Cassel Sam Lee Ben Reynolds Gene Tempelmeyer
Delve submissions are due on the LAST MONDAY of each month. To submit for the next issue of Delve, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2
Copy Editors: Greg Kay Suzanna Lai Gene Tempelmeyer
Carrying with them all they possess in the world, a small refugee family trudges across the dusty mideastern frontier. Home is no longer safe. Preserving their child’s safety is worth abandoning all that is friendly and familiar. A ruthless ruler has come to power in their nation and is trying persuade the people that his government is a true theocracy. (Theocracy is government by God.) The religious establishment is divided by this ruler’s ambitions. On the one hand, he has a sketchy past with many moral indiscretions in his personal history making him unpalatable to much of the religious population. On the other hand, he has donated a great amount of money to build a magnificent place of worship. This has bought him a measure of religious credibility. He is desperate for his people to accept him as their Messiah. Desperate enough to kill every young boy in Bethlehem to protect his position. The Bible’s history of Israel as a nation begins with true theocracy. While there were human leaders, the nation was governed by divine law. When the nation faced a crisis, God gave a temporary leader 3
with ability to bring them through the crisis. When the crisis was over, such leadership was unnecessary. The strength and weakness of this period was the need of each person to determine and obey what they believed God required of them. In true theocracy it is inevitable that everyone will do “What seemed right in their own eyes,” as reported in the book of Judges. How else can the government of God be lived but through direct obedience to one’s convictions? The only alternative is to have a human or a human group determine exactly what God wants and legislate it. At that point it is no longer truly a theocracy: government by God. Indeed, in virtually every historical case God’s will seems to coincide with the interest of whatever leader offers themselves as the figurehead of whichever God the people serve. For religious people, the dream of theocracy dies hard. John Calvin attempted it in Geneva until the populace drove him out of the city in response to his harsh treatment of critics. Much of Ireland’s “Troubles” find their roots in Oliver Cromwell’s attempted creation of a Protestant theocracy over Roman Catholic Ireland. Certainly within North American evangelicalism the dream of theocracy continues. This is possibly more true in the United States where the religious right tends to view “America” as a uniquely blessed and called nation in danger of losing its chosen status if the “Christian” foundations of its life are lost. If I ever question whether the same train of thought is present in Canada I just need to read a couple of editorials in “The Christian Herald.” I find it particularly unsettling when Baptists declare Canada a Christian country. Our movement began with a firm commitment to religious liberty for Christians, atheists and members of other world religions. The dream of theocracy brought about by human means in the larger human community has never made the church anything but ugly. The irony is that if we understood the meaning of Christmas we would know that the birth of Jesus makes political theocracy 4
obsolete. The King of all the world has come declaring that his kingdom “is not of this world.” From his birth until his death the comingling of religion and state was not his friend. Siding neither with the Herodians who saw the possibility of a theocratic kingdom in the existing governmental structure nor the zealots who saw political revolution as the means to a Godly kingdom, King Jesus saw the government of God flowing from genuine love and care for people rather than through coercion and manipulation of the political system. Jesus persistently stood in contrast to the existing authorities and to those who wanted to become future authorities. He knew the government was never going to make it easier for him to serve God and political revolution was not nearly radical enough a change for him. After all, whenever and wherever the oppressed and persecuted win the war and take power they inevitably become oppressive persecutors. The Church, herself, has been no exception to this historical pattern. If I wished to become a demagogue my chief strategy would be to unite religious people by connecting a small number of identifiable threats to the continuing practise of that religion. The Grand Ayatolla Ruholla Khomeini used this strategy with remarkable effectiveness in Iran, identifying western culture as the corrupting threat to Islam and the Shah and the United States as the figureheads of that threat. The end result: an Islamic theocracy with none other than the Ayatolla at its head. Suddenly, we find the shoe on the other foot. It is western Christians who fear secularism and Islam are overwhelming “Christian culture.” Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, and Marine Le Pen are among those riding to power nationalistic movements dedicated to the protection of western culture and peoples from an influx of immigrants carrying diverse religious beliefs and cultural values among the few prized possessions they were able to carry from home. It is almost inevitable that many well-meaning Christians will feel a religious obligation to support those who defend the beliefs 5
and cultural values we identify with “Christianity.” The Christian establishment’s fear of Islamic extremism and the apocryphal “gay agenda” will draw many sincere believers to rally around any Herod who promises to protect against any further cultural erosion. Such entrenchment denies the essential nature of the Kingdom of God and the way of Jesus. Jesus refused to become a human king because He was already King. His way is a subversive sacrificial love that grows like weeds under the concrete of every human government: including theocracies in His name. His culture is a perfect love that casts out fear. When I am willing to give myself away, what more can I fear losing? This culture of love is not dependent upon Western culture or Jewish culture or African culture or Asian culture or Canadian culture. It is a different operating system allowing his followers to be part of every culture on earth and see the possibility of a better world and a better community not by forcing people to abandon their cultural practices but by displaying a love that frees each one to see the worth and need of another. My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”1 Thank God that someone let the family of Jesus cross the border into Egypt. Thank God the Egyptians did not see this young family as a threat to their identity, but as a suitable object for their compassion. Is it not wonderfully odd that the former slave masters of the Children of Israel would save the Jewish Messianic King from a man trying to establish a Jewish theocracy? This is how the Kingdom of God works! Miraculously. Transformatively. Full of surprises – not the least of which is the enemies who suddenly find themselves to be friends.
1 Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Jn 18:36). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
Many of us have become weary of the world’s turmoil as we await Christmas, 2016. We don’t need a politician who will protect us and our holiday. We need a renewed vision of the Kingdom that breaks through concrete like unruly weeds exerting the indefatigable power of life.
Naming Jesus: Son of David Ben Reynolds
“Son of David” may not be a name of Jesus that we think much about. “Son of David” is not used as often in the Gospels, and it tends to be overshadowed by the three most common names: “Messiah,” “Son of God,” and “Son of Man.” Since we have already discussed the first two, “Son of Man” might make the most sense to discuss next. However, in this Advent season, it seems more relevant to talk about Jesus as “Son of David,” considering that during this season we celebrate Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, the city of David, and we celebrate him born as the long expected descendant of David. The expectation of a coming descendant of David is closely related to messianic hopes. The Messiah was expected to be from David’s family because God had promised David that he would establish the throne of one of his descendants forever (2 Samuel 7:12-17). This expectation of a Davidic king is echoed throughout the Old Testament in places such as Psalm 132:11-12: “The Lord swore to David a sure oath…‘One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.’” (See also Psalm 89:3–4). We also see this Davidic hope in Isaiah 11:1, which speaks of the shoot from the stump of Jesse and the branch from the stump’s roots. This Isaiah text is referred to in the ancient Christian hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”: 7
“O come, thou Root of Jesse’s tree…” and in another line, we see a more explicit Davidic expectation: “O come, thou Key of David, come….” Similarly, Micah 5, which is recited during Advent, prophesies about a ruler who will come from Bethlehem, a ruler none other than this expected Son of David (Micah 5:2-4). Later Jewish hopes which grew in the years leading up to Jesus’ life also reflect an understanding that a Son of David would fulfill God’s promise to David (e.g., Dead Sea Scrolls 1QS and 4Q174 and 1 Enoch 37-71).
each of these three sections includes fourteen generations of people (1:17), and these three sections of fourteen may be intended to represent the Hebrew name David (dwd), which adds up to fourteen (4+6+4). If this is the case, Matthew quite strongly presents Jesus as the Son of David at the very beginning of his Gospel (cf. Luke 1:32 – Gabriel’s annunciation to Mary).
The New Testament, while sharing expectations with Second Temple Jewish literature and popular Jewish expectations of a Messiah, is unique in its presentation of Jesus as the fulfillment of these expectations. The name “Son of David,” because of its general messianic sense, is closely related in meaning to “Messiah”/“Christ” and even “Son of God” (which is why there have already been a number of overlaps between this discussion and last month’s on “Son of God”). There are, however, only a few uses of “Son of David” in the Gospels. For instance, the name is not even used in the Gospel of John, and Mark and Luke each have three uses but in only two passages. On the other hand, the Gospel of Matthew refers to Jesus as “Son of David” on seven different occasions. For this reason, we will begin with Matthew.
In Matthew’s account of the triumphal entry, Jesus enters Jerusalem at the feast of Passover riding on a donkey in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (cited in Matthew 21:5). As Jesus rides the donkey into Jerusalem, the crowds lay down palm branches and their cloaks, and the people sing from Psalm 118:26: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). Later, when Jesus enters into the temple, the children in the temple cry out “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:15). In these instances, “Son of David” clearly functions as a messianic reference. Jesus is understood by the crowd as the kingly descendant of David, a fulfillment of God’s promise that a Davidic descendant would always remain on the throne of Israel.
The Gospel of Matthew begins with a three part claim about Jesus: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). The three parts of this claim are that Jesus is the Messiah (or Christ), of the kingly line of David, and of the chosen family of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-4). The phrase “the book of the genealogy” echoes the various genealogies listed in Genesis (of Adam, Genesis 5:1; and of Noah, 10:1; cf. 11:27). This connection to Genesis also highlights that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises to Abraham and David (Matthew 1:117; cf. Luke 3:31). The structure of Matthew’s genealogy may also be understood to underscore Jesus as Son of David. The three sections of the genealogy emphasize the history of God’s people: Abraham to David, David to the Babylonian exile, and the Babylonian exile to the Messiah (1:2-6; 1:7-11; 1:12-16). Matthew makes a point that
As Jesus’ final week continues, Matthew recounts a debate between Jesus and the religious leaders in which Jesus raises a question about who David’s son is. The Pharisees first challenge Jesus (22:15-22), then the Sadducees (22:23-33), and finally a lawyer or scribe (22:3440). After Jesus deftly answers their challenges, he asks them a question. He says, “What do you think about the Christ (Messiah)? Whose son is he?” The Pharisees answer, “The son of David.” Jesus then asks, citing Psalm 110, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”?’ If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matthew 22:42; also Mark 12:35). Matthew tells us that no one could answer Jesus. If the question is hard to follow, that is not surprising. The Pharisees and teachers of the law found Jesus’ question a challenge. Basically, the Messiah
was understood to be the Son of David. However, in Psalm 110, David himself speaks about God (“the Lord”) telling the Messiah (“my Lord”) to sit at the right hand of God. The implication of this statement is that even though the Messiah is David’s son, the Messiah is greater than David. The Son of David thus has a sense of Davidic kingship, but Jesus implies something more about this figure. It is also interesting and worth noting that Jesus is called “Son of David” in some healing accounts. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is called “Son of David” by a blind man who asks Jesus to heal him. The blind man calls out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47, 48; Luke 18:38, 39; cf. Matthew 20:30, 31). Matthew’s Gospel recounts three other instances in which Jesus is named “Son of David” in the context of healing. The first, in Matthew 9:27, is very similar to the healing of the blind man just mentioned. In Matthew 12:23, after Jesus heals a demon possessed man who was blind and mute, the people ask, “Can this be the Son of David?” And finally, a woman who asks Jesus to heal her daughter says, “Have mercy on me, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon!” (Matthew 15:22). Thus, we have four instances of Jesus being called “Son of David” in accounts where he heals someone. Intriguingly, three of these instances include a request for mercy. There really is no clear expectation that the descendant of David would be a healer. It may be that it is Jesus who defines the Son of David as healer. Although “Son of David” is not used as often as other names for Jesus, it is no less significant. Like Messiah and Son of God, “Son of David” highlights Jesus’ fulfillment of God’s promise to David and of Jewish messianic expectations. The name also highlights Jesus’ kingly role as David’s descendant, the one who will sit on David’s throne; however, Jesus extends the meaning of “Son of David” in relation to healing and more significantly as one who is greater than David, one who will be seated at God’s right hand. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” 10
The Miracle of Spring A brand-new day the Lord has given, It is morning. And from my window I felt the warm sunshine With its promise of Spring. All nature is beginning to spring back to life; Birds are warbling their songs of praise; New-born buds deck the barren trees In Spring’s perennial charm. Sap is running its sweetness through the maple branches; Spring thaw is flooding the waters and fields Helping to transform the death of winter Into the new life of Spring. Yes, the Miracle of Spring has begun. My mind flooded with thoughts of Spring in my life When God’s love awoke my worth, And faith sprung anew. Faith’s blossoms are forever opening To the Truth of Righteousness in Jesus Christ And my soul knows the Miracle of Spring. I serve a Risen Savior. He’s in the world today. May you, too, find faith in Christ And experience God’s love In the Miracle of Spring.
Thelma Bampton, April 1994 On Nov 29th, 2016 our beloved Thelma Bampton passed from this life to the next and so in remembrance of her we would like to share this poem of hers with you. Please pray for her family through this Advent and Christmas season. 11
Recomendations From The Resource Centre
Spring Garden’s online library catalog can be accessed at springgardenchurch.ca/library
If you know of books or DVDs that you’d like to recommend to the resource centre, please contact Karen Cassel email@example.com
You could be one of them, one who believes freedom can be found not only beyond the fear and pain, but actually within it.
Books The Broken Way: a daring path into abundant life, by Ann Voskamp New York Times best-selling author Ann Voskamp sits at the edge of her life and all of her own unspoken brokenness and asks: What if you really want to live abundantly before it's too late? What do you do if you really want to know abundant wholeness? This is the one begging question that’s behind every single aspect of our lives --- and one that The Broken Way rises up to explore in the most unexpected ways. This one's for the lovers and the sufferers. For those whose hopes and dreams and love grew so large it broke their willing hearts. This one's for the busted ones who are ready to bust free, the ones ready to break molds, break chains, break measuring sticks, and break all this bad brokenness with an unlikely good brokenness. You could be one of the Beloved who is broken --- and still lets yourself be loved. 12
Guarded by Christ: knowing the God who rescues and keeps us, by Heather Holleman Heather Holleman once lived a fragile life, a prisoner to fear, anxiety, and despair. Like many younger women, she knew Jesus, but she wasn't "strong" in Him. Instead, she lived a high-maintenance, easily unsettled life, seeking comfort but never finding it. One day, while reading a simple statement in Scripture, God guards the lives of his faithful ones (Psalm 97:10), Heather began to examine this word "guards." And it changed her life. In Guarded by Christ: Knowing the God Who Rescues and Keeps Us, Heather guides women through a series of practical mental shifts that will allow them to live strong in the Lord. Learn how in Jesus, you are: Guarded by righteousness instead of condemnation Guarded by peace instead of anxiety
Guarded by hope instead of despair Guarded by the Holy Spirit s power instead of self-effort Guarded by a crucified life instead of a selfimportant one
DVD Different drummers A deeply inspirational and transcendent family film - based on a true story - about the unlikely friendship of two boys growing up in the mid-1960s. When David, who is confined to a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy, accurately foretells the death of their fourth grade teacher, his hyperactive friend, Lyle, devises a plan to find out if God really exists, by attempting to get David to run again.
KIDS Adventures in Odyssey: without a hitch In this Adventures in Odyssey volume, wedding bells are finally ringing for Penny Wise and Wooton Bassett, but the journey to the altar takes several unexpected side roads. Meanwhile, the Jones and Parker Detective Agency faces its most perplexing case yet, Olivia and Matthew compete against each other for student body president, and Whit finds himself in the middle of a feud between two warring clans. Celebrate marriage, family, and friends in Odyssey with this hilarious sixepisode collection!
The Jesus Creed
Spring Garden Baptist Church
Monthly Financial Update
For: November 28th, 2016
/Week 2016 Budget
Year To Date
For 11 Months November 28th, 2016 Donations & Other Income Expenses Cash Shortfall to Actual Expenses Cash Shortfall to Budget
($478,750) ($512,597) ($51,035) ($84,882)
NOTE: PLEASE GIVE PRAYERFUL CONSIDERATION TO YOUR PART IN SUPPORTING SPRING GARDEN’S MINISTRIES. THERE ARE ONLY 4 SUNDAYS IN DECEMBER TO MEET THE REMAINDER OF OUR FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS FOR THE YEAR. 16
In Matthew 22:34-40, Mathew records an incident in which someone asks Jesus a question: What is the greatest commandment in the Jewish Law? Jesus responds by first quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, which, together with the preceding verse, forms the core of the shema, the creed at the heart of the Jewish religion. Every devout Jew, several times a day, would recite: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Jesus acknowledges the centrality of this commandment, but he adds to it another one, quoting from Leviticus 19:18: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus then sums up his answer by saying that all the teachings in the Law and the Prophets hangs on these two commandments. Jesus’ “addition” to the shema was a radical change. It gave the shema a whole new dimension, reminding us that we can’t love God the way he wants us to without loving our neighbours. If we are to be fully obedient to God, we must love him and extend his love to those around us. Scot McKnight, in his book The Jesus Creed, builds on the premise that as followers of Christ, we should use this “creed” that Jesus gave us to keep ourselves focussed on our spiritual priorities. McKnight is fully convinced that the Jesus Creed is a valuable tool for spiritual formation, because it is the essence of what it means to follow Jesus. In his book, he gives numerous stories to illustrate what the Jesus Creed looks like in practice, and how it can impact people’s 17
Angel Tree Christmas
This winter Spring Garden Live Groups will be encouraged to join a congregation-wide study based on The Jesus Creed, using a DVD in which Scot McKnight explains the book and the ideas behind it. On Sunday, January 22nd, Gene will begin a series of sermons on the same subject, designed to supplement the group studies. If you aren't currently part of a life group, but would like to be, please contact Jin Lee at Jin.Lee@Rogers.com or talk to Gene or myself during Coffee Time after the worship gathering if you'd like to be introduced to Jin. Also, if you are interested in hosting/facilitating a group during the seven sessions of the study, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact Gene at genetemp@springgardenchurch. ca or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm excited about this study series. Scot McKnight is one of my favourite biblical scholars, in part because he has some important things to say, and he says them in such a way that you don't need a degree in theology to get it. I look forward to our journeying together through this series.
What was your best Christmas gift? Perhaps it was the one that was the most unexpected. Or perhaps it was one that came from someone who was very special. Perhaps the meaning behind the gift was more important than the gift itself. This year the Spring Garden Community is invited to give a special gift to a child living in our area who is separated from a parent in jail. Your role is to buy and wrap the gift and deliver it to the family on behalf of the prisoner. In effect you become the hands and feet of those who do not have a means of buying anything for their child. You may wish to sponsor one child, or a whole family. You can sponsor as an individual, a family or a group. We are also happy to pair up people who are willing to deliver with those who are able to make the purchases. We also encourage inviting the familyâ€™s we sponsor to join us for one of our Christmas gatherings (Light of the World, Christmas Eve, etc.). In these ways of giving we offer families the hope of a community ready to receive them all year long. Gifts are to be $30 per sponsored child. Care packages for the
whole family are also welcomed but not required.
The way it works:
Choose your own adventure!
1. You or your group lets us know how many children you would like to sponsor or if you would like to sponsor a family
In the same way that angels are working in different ways, so you can be part of showing God’s care in a way that fits you best. You can do one, all, or any combination of the following activities: Sponsor a child. Sponsor a family. Sponsor by yourself. Sponsor with your friends/family. Sponsor with a group. Shop for a gift. Shop on behalf of others who aren’t able to shop. Deliver a gift to the family/child(ren). Deliver gifts on behalf of others who aren’t able to deliver. Make a care package for your sponsored family. Make a care package for a family someone else is sponsoring. Help greet visitors throughout Christmas (Light of the World, Christmas eve) as some of our sponsored children and families may join us. Pray for the sponsored children and families specifically (we can give you names) or generally.
2. We will give you information on the child/family (gift suggestions from the caregiver, names and address) 3. You purchase and wrap the gift(s)—around $30 per child (it’s important you stay near this so that all kids get presents of same value) 4. When a whole family is being sponsored, you and any who are sponsoring the family with you are welcomed to make a care package for the whole family 5. You (and any who are sponsoring children in the same family) facilitate delivering the gift(s)* to the family on the prisoner’s behalf before Dec 24th (gifts are labeled from the imprisoned parent, gift packages can be labelled as coming from you). *We are happy to help with facilitating delivery if you are not able. You can also choose to sponsor a “remote” child/family who does not live nearby and mail the gifts* 6. If you are comfortable and it seems appropriate, you are encouraged to invite the caregiver and children to any of our Christmas gatherings (Light of the World, Christmas eve). LOTW printed invitation available at church entrances. Digital invitation available on SGC Light of the World webpage.
For more information or to sign up to sponsor a child or family: • Email Victoria Shipmaker email@example.com • Visit SGC page with more details http://springgardenchurch.ca/angel-tree/ • Visit Prison Fellowship website: http://prisonfellowship.ca/angel-tree-christmas/ 20
Discipleship Ministries Partnering with Families “It is more blessed to give than to receive” ~ Jesus ~
This Advent Season, we are encouraging everyone to create a reverse advent calendar box where you can donate one food item per day as we countdown to Christmas. This can be a great way to refocus the meaning of Christmas.
Spring Youth Sunday Morning Worship Gatherings: Intergenerational Worship with Potluck lunch - December 4 Youth Worship Gatherings: December 11 & 18 After the Children’s Blessing, the youth will continue in worship in the youth lounge. Life Group - December 2, 7pm Please speak with Sam or Jeremy for more information.
Spring Kids Parenting in the Pew Here at Spring, we believe that parents play the most significant role in discipling their children. We know that this does not happen alone but within a community. We want to encourage you and help you to engage your children during worship and have created some helpful suggestions for you to keep in mind as we worship together. Please refer to the bookmark in the pews for suggestions and if you have any of your own, please share them with us!
Gift Bag Assembly December 10, 5:30pm-8:30pm We are joining Youth Unlimited and other teens to help pack gift bags for those who are in need. Please speak with Jeremy or Sam for more info.
Christmas Schedule Sunday, December 18, 6:30pm - Light of the World Saturday, December 24, 7pm - Christmas Eve Worship Sunday, December 25, 10am - Christmas Day Worship with Children Birthday Party for Jesus 22
Annual Christmas Party December 17, 5pm-9pm @ Sam’s House Potluck with $10 gift exchange (white elephant). Prize for most creative gift!
Avalanche and Blizzard Winter Retreats: This year our youth group will participate in 2 winter youth retreats, Avalanche (Grades 6-8), and Blizzard (Grades 9-12). These retreats are more than just a weekend away – they are often life changing experience for many students. It is a chance for youth to join with 500 other young people their age and see that they are not alone in their journey towards Jesus. Through high quality small group experiences, musical worship and engaging teaching, the aim to inspire students, whether Christians or not, to begin taking steps in their faith journeys. Beyond that there are many great games, activities and a lifetime of memories made on this weekend. *Spots may still be available, please speak with Sam or Jeremy*
Light of the World 2016
Sunday December 18th, 6:30pm @Spring Garden Church A festive evening of funky Christmas fun! Join us @Spring Garden as we sing favorite Christmas songs with an upbeat band and eat lots of great desserts. This evening is designed to be a safe invite for friends, neighbours, family members or coworkers who enjoy the holiday season, music and food. If you would like to invite someone, physical invitations are available at the entrances of the SGC building, and digital invitations can be downloaded from springgardenchurch.ca If you would like to help us make the evening a success, we are looking for people to bake their best home-baked (peanut free) desserts! Please let us know if this is a way you’d like to help out. Admission is free. There will be a donation box in aid of “The DropInn”, a local weekly drop-in for the marginalized and underhoused providing meals, showers, haircuts, etc.
For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Leadership at Spring Garden Pastoral Team Gene Tempelmeyer, Pastor 416-223-4593 email@example.com Greg Kay, Worship and Mission Pastor firstname.lastname@example.org Margaret Sutton, Pastoral Care/Seniors email@example.com Sam Lee, Pastor of Discipleship, firstname.lastname@example.org Suzanna Lai, Church Office and Communications Manager email@example.com Jeremy Ranasinghe, Discpleship Ministries Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org Samantha Steeles, Discipleship Ministries Intern email@example.com
Ext. 222 Ext. 224 Ext. 226 Ext. 227 Ext. 221
Saturday Dec 24 @7:00-8:00pm: Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship (A reflective Christmas worship through singing and reading of scripture). Child care provided for infants and toddlers Sunday Dec 25 @10-11:20am: Christmas Day Worship Gathering, with a Birthday Party for Jesus for children from Pre-K to grade 5 during discipleship ministry program time. Be sure to come and join us! 26
Marion Cameron - Finance firstname.lastname@example.org Adora Chui - Discipleship Ministries email@example.com Lesley Daniels - Mission and Worship firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Ellen Hopkins - Chair email@example.com Gonzalo Librado - Adult Ministries firstname.lastname@example.org Peggy Moore - Membership, Property email@example.com Esther Penner - Community Life firstname.lastname@example.org Doug Willson - Pastoral Care, Board Secretary email@example.com
416.491.8542 905.962.3897 416.806.5373 905.731.0492 416.229.2695 416.225.2406 416.227.1840 416.221.0450 27
Elders Darlene Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org Cindie Chaise email@example.com Cheryl Chapman firstname.lastname@example.org Joanna James email@example.com Barrie Porter firstname.lastname@example.org Corinne Sutton-Smith email@example.com
Life around Spring Garden
416.738.0530 416.222.6963 647.928.0862 416.829.4210 647.704.7710
Spring Garden Church 112 Spring Garden Ave. Toronto ON M2N3G3
T 416.223.4593 F 416.223.6126 www.springgardenchurch.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Line 416.223.4038
Ruth Thompson Update Last week Ruth Thompson went into NORFINCH CARE COMMUNITY Room 206 at 22 NORFINCH Dr, North York M3N 1X1. (First left when you exit onto Finch from Hwy 400) She will have the same phone number - 416 225-0144. It was hard for her to leave her home of 45 years, and your thoughts, prayers and visits are appreciated.
Operation Good Thing & Skating with Eva's Satellite Youth
Jesse James (email@example.com) to make a donation.
Operation Good Thing Bags: monetary donations towards gift bags for underhoused youth in Toronto. Bags are $28 each and donations are due by Dec 22nd. Please contact
Celebrate and Skate with youth from Eva's Satellite: Eva's Satellite is a shelter for underhoused youth. Skating and pizza party at Mel Lastman Square on Dec 22nd. Come and join us! 28
2017 Parking Pass Sticker NOW AVAILABLE The 2017 Annual Parking Pass sticker is now available. Please bring your 2016 parking pass to the church office to receive a 2017 sticker and update your vehicle's information if required. Your pass number will remain the same. If you are a church ministry worker, member, or ministry partner who wish to obtain an annual parking pass, please also visit the church office. Please remember to put your parking pass on your vehicle dashboard every time you park in the church parking lot. Thank you.
Life in Spring Garden
Weekly Tuesdays 2:00 pm - Pastoral Team Meeting in Meeting Room Wednesdays 10:00 - 11:30am - Refresh Women’s Group in West Lounge (childcare provided) 7:00 - 8:30pm - ESL Cafe in East Lounge Thursdays 12:00pm - 2:00pm - Adult Bible Class in the East Lounge Sundays 9:00am - 10:00am - Morning Bible Study in Meeting Room 9:00am - 10:am - ESL Bible Study in Basement Hallway 10:00am - 11:30am - Sunday Morning Worship (communion on the first Sunday of the month) If you would like to receive a weekly email update on what’s happening in Spring Garden, please visit the SGC website (www.springgardenchurch.ca) and add your email at the bottom of our home page to subscribe to our weekly update
This Month Dec 18 6:30pm - Light of the World (pg. 25) Dec 22 - Celebrate and Skate with youth from Eva's Satellite (pg. 29) Dec 24 7:00-8:00pm - Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship (pg. 26) Dec 25 10-11:20am - Christmas Day Worship Gathering and Discipleship Ministry's Birthday Party for Jesus (pg. 26)
Our Values We believe in a humble God who came not to be served, but to serve. Therefore we engage in sacrificial and active service to those around us. We strive to be good stewards of God’s gifts and talents by serving one another in humility. We aspire to regard others as higher than ourselves, which liberates us to creatively take risks in serving others for God’s glory. We believe in a God of grace who came to save the world, not to condemn it. Therefore, as we are continuously receiving the gift of God’s grace, we seek to grow in that grace and extend it to others. We strive to define ourselves by what we are for, not what we are against. We believe in a God who knows us, and who desires to be known. Therefore we embrace a journey of faith that requires us to constantly strive for a personal, intimate and transformative knowledge of God. We strive to be led by God’s Spirit in supporting and encouraging one another in working out our faith. We believe in a creative God. Therefore we are open to expressing our faith in new and creative ways that reflect the beauty and complexity of our creator. We are called to use our creative gifts in worship and service as we engage with our world. We take joy in the diversity of gifts that allow us to delight God and participate in His ongoing story. We believe in a triune, relational God who calls us to come together as a diverse community of believers. Therefore, we want to walk together, supporting one another physically, emotionally and spiritually. We strive to be a welcoming, inclusive family that goes through the joys and the trials of life together, acknowledging that God uses this community to deepen and mature our faith. We believe in a God who loves this broken world and wants to reconcile us to Himself. Therefore we are commissioned by Christ to go out into the world, meeting the holistic needs of the local and global community. God calls us to participate in a redemptive work that he has already initiated; in humility, we will partner with others to work alongside and chase after Him. We believe in a God who is our center. Therefore where we are on the journey is less important than that we are moving towards a deeper relationship with Christ. We believe and participate in God’s redemptive work in all people, which gives us the freedom to come as we are, and to accept others as they are. We each are on a unique journey to become who God has created us to be. 32