Laying the Foundation and the Mystery of the White Sheet Features Laying the Foundation and the Mystery of the White Sheet 3 Engaging Children in Prayers of the People 8
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Cover art: Clement Lee Contributors: Karen Cassel Greg Kay Suzanna Lai Gene Tempelmeyer Colleen Stevens Copy Editors: Greg Kay Gene Tempelmeyer
If you have joined us for communal worship on a Sunday morning sometime in the past few weeks, there is a good chance that you will know that we are in the midst of a series called “Laying the Foundation: A Pre-schoolers Guide to the Mystery of Christ”. Thematically, we are forming our worship around the same stories from the Gospels (the 4 books in the Bible that tell us about the life of Jesus) that the pre-schoolers are hearing in their discipleship groups downstairs, stories that help us make foundational decisions about Jesus as His disciples. Hence the title, “Laying the Foundation.” Additionally, if you have joined us for communal worship on a Sunday morning sometime in the past few weeks, there is a good chance that you have noticed a few things on the platform. First there were two cinderblocks—an image that isn’t too far of a stretch for the imagination to 3
connect to the theme of laying foundations. But then a rolled up white sheet appeared. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t somewhat enjoy hearing people wonder out loud, “what on earth is that thing for?” (and the way that most weren’t too concerned about it speaks to how people are getting used to our sometimes-bizarre-but-usually-for-a-purpose-creativity!) Although I am entertained by the variety of theories people are proposing as to why it’s there, our goal isn’t to confuse or create some sort of secret that people can’t figure out (though a little mystery never hurt anyone…). Our desire, as with any of our platform set up, is to holistically engage the community in a way that enacts and draws people in to the worship of the living God with the use of symbolism and creativity. To those of us who have been around for a while this shouldn’t sound too new, as one of our primary values is that “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.” So, in order that the platform set up can help engage us, let me fill you in as to why the Creative Team (Colin Chapman, Erin Bonney, Jennifer Moore and I, Greg Kay) has put a mysterious white sheet on the platform, along with a variety of other seemingly random stuff. To begin, it is not actually a white sheet. It is a roll of painting canvas. It is the foundation for a painter’s creative expression; the foundation upon which a beautiful masterpiece can be birthed, shaped and formed. 4
From Christmas until the beginning of Lent (the season of the Christian year that focuses on preparing us for the events of Easter weekend) we as a community are laying down foundations of what it means to be disciples of Jesus.
Then through the season of Lent until Easter Sunday we, along with the elementary age kids, we will be focusing on the responses we need to make to Jesus. In other words, from Christmas to Lent we are laying foundations, then from Lent to Easter we are building on that foundation, being shaped and formed more into the likeness of Jesus in light of His life, death and resurrection. To give image and creative expression to this, until the beginning of Lent we are adding “foundational” elements to the platform—elements that artists can use to build upon and give definition to a piece of art. Then, during Lent and leading up to Easter Sunday, we are inviting a group of Spring Garden artists to take those elements and collectively form them with the tools of their trade (paint, paintbrushes, nails, hammers, etc.) into an installation that gives visual artistic expression to the significance of the Resurrection. And no, we didn’t expect you to be able to figure that out on your own! We (the Creative team), and hopefully you (the community) are excited to see what will come of it! Regardless of the “final product”, I believe that God will be glorified as we worship Him, the creative God, through creative expression and offering ourselves to Him, our foundation, to be shaped and moulded by the Great Artist Himself as we pilgrimage together towards Easter Sunday and our Lords Resurrection. If you are an artist who would like to use your creative gifts in our worshipping community, I’d love to connect with you, so please contact me, gregkay@springgardenchurch. ca. 6
Take advantage of our Early Bird prices today and save $10 per person. Early Bird Tickets are available till February 10th, 2015. Register Today! Young Adults Gathering March 7, 2015 from 8:00 am - 8:30 pm Venue: The Meeting House 2700 Bristol Circle Oakville Ontario L6H 6E1
Greg Kay 7
Engaging Children in Prayers of the People A schoolmate had a watch with a fancy stopwatch built into it (this was in the days before ordinary people owned digital anything). When asked why he needed such a device, he explained he was timekeeper for a game he and his church buddies played each Sunday in which they guessed to the second how long the morning prayer would last. “When it’s Pastor Madden it’s never shorter than five minutes,” he informed me. “Last week it was seven minutes and 38 seconds. Seven minutes and 38 seconds!” In retrospect I would say my friend was not engaging in congregational prayer very well. Sometime I would like to speak with whoever thought it would be a good idea to ask people to close their eyes when they pray. My problem is that I am now conditioned to close my eyes when I pray. Unfortunately, I am also conditioned to fall asleep when I close my eyes. This is not a good combination! It is important for us to pray as a community: to bring our needs and the need of the wider world before God; to seek forgiveness of sin, personal and corporate; to offer God our collective thanks. It can be a challenge, though, making prayer in a large group a participatory activity. This is why we try to be creative engaging adults in Prayers of the People. Sometimes use thoughtful prayers written days or even centuries in advance that we can pray together responsively from a prepared liturgy. But if 8
we used such liturgy every week we would lose a degree of spontaneity many of us also seek. We make use of a variety of voices from week to week. More recently we have begun to make use of prayer stations. The good news is that figuring out how to help children learn to participate in a prayer someone on the platform leads may help us continue to figure out how to participate better ourselves. Perhaps the most important way to help our kids engage with prayer in worship is by engaging them in prayer at home. Followers of Jesus ought to consider prayer a natural response to things that happen in life: news stories that are frightening; incidents at school; challenges that are difficult to meet. Of course, prayer ought also to be positive: thankfulness for good friends, happy times, and things we enjoy. Prayer in the home should not be limited simply to the predictable prayer times before meals and bed – although they are a great place to start. That said, meal time prayers might be the best place to help equip kids for Prayers of the People. Mealtime prayer collects the prayer of several people at once. Here are some things you might want to try in your mealtime prayers to help acclimatize your children to group prayer: • If prayer is a normal response we should make it normal. When you pray in front of your kids, use a normal tone of voice at a normal volume using normal daily language. Speak to God as you would speak in normal conversation that includes both kids and other adults. And can we, please, dispense with the idea that you have to have your eyes closed to pray. Isn’t it easier to thank God for the roast beef when you can see and smell it? (Of course, if you are serving lima beans and Brussels sprouts go ahead and have them close their eyes.) • Take turns leading prayer from meal to meal. Kids 9
should lead sometimes, and they should participate by following sometimes. When it is their turn to pray, let them pray what they want how they want. They might have something they would rather talk to God about than your roast beef and lima beans. Let them know that prayer is a key to their unique relationship with God. If you are puzzled why they are praying about something irrelevant – ask. You might learn something important. • Remember that, just like adults, kids are different. Some will find the exercise of prayer natural, others will find it more difficult. Some will sit still, others will squirm in their chair. Some will go along with the flow of the family’s spiritual life, some will noisily splash their way against the stream. Some attention spans are long, some are short. Let each child be exactly who they are as you pray together. Know that as your child grows and matures you will see changes in how they respond to spiritual – and all other kinds – of stimuli.
want them to know that we care about what they care about, too. Our willingness as a church community to take kids seriously is a way in which we build into them a foundation for their relationship with God. • Debrief with them after worship how they experienced our prayer time. Could they understand what was going on? Did they feel like they were praying? Of course, don’t expect a 15 year old answer from a four year old child! Next month we will be teaching the kids about the offering. If you have seen or experienced something that would help introduce kids to how to think about and participate in the offering, please let Gene know. His email address is at the back of this issue of Delve.
On Sunday, February 15, we will keep the kids upstairs for a few extra minutes so they can begin to learn how to be part of a church praying congregationally. Some things you might want to do to prepare your child for this: • Explain that they will have the chance to pray with the whole church. We will keep the Prayers of the People simple and brief. We will also include a time of quiet so they can silently pray for things important to them. You might want to get them thinking about this in advance. • Before we worship on Feb 15 ask if there is anything they would like the whole church to pray about. When you arrive, speak with Gene and the request will be included. Don’t dismiss any request as being too small or trivial. Prayer is relational. We want our kids to know that God cares about what they care about, and we also 10
Thank You. Praise the LORD!. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Psalm 111:1 (NIV) Thanks be to God for all He has done ! His mercy is great! I would like to report good news that I was offered a full-time teaching job in December and I started teaching right here in Toronto on January 5! Not only did God give me the privilege of graduating in November with a Bachelor of Education, he has blessed me with a job! I am teaching grade 5/6 homeroom class in a Christian school. Wow! I wasn’t expecting to work in a school this year. I was asking God if I could get a grade 2 class and I think I asked a few of you to pray for this. So I was surprised by the offer to teach grade 5/6. I took the offer because it was clear to the principal and myself that the appointment was being led by God. Hmmmm ...turns out the students are at a grade 2
language level! Hee Hee. I am overwhelmed by the present task of bridging theory and practice in the classroom but also overwhelmed by God’s blessing and favor on my life. Thank you to all those who prayed, encouraged, counseled, gave financially and brought meals throughout the last school year. Thank you to my husband, Tim and children Christopher and Andrew for their support. Colleen Stevens 13
Recomendations From The Resource Centre
Books Farewell Four Waters: One Aid Worker’s Sudden Escape from Afghanistan, by Kate McCord (pseudonym) A spattering of gunshots explodes and an aid worker lies dead, but Marie is determined to bring her new literacy program to women in the Afghan village of Shehktan. Betrayed by somebody she trusted and caught in a feud, she struggles for an answer. Is God really present and working in the soul of Afghanistan? This book is a fictionalized account of the author’s true story. A sequel to the book In the land of blue burqas.
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
the “why” in everything. Sometimes it helps answer her questions, and sometimes it just gets her into trouble.
DVD’s Woodcarver When troubled teen Matthew Stevenson vandalizes a church to get back at his divorced parents, he’s “sentenced” to repair the damages to avoid criminal charges. He meets Ernest---the creator of the fine woodwork that Matthew destroyed---who reluctantly agrees to help in the restoration. Will working together renew their faith in God---and life?
Books for Young Readers Lucy Doesn’t Wear Pink, by Nancy Rue Meet Lucy Rooney, a motherless tomboy with an inquisitive mind, a strong will, and a straight-forward approach, who knows every inch of the small and dusty New Mexico town in which she lives with her blind father. She is constantly searching for
Witness the transforming power of forgiveness! When Mac loses his son in an accident, his grief sabotages his career on the police force and makes for a combustible situation when he gets a new partner---part-time pastor and “rising star” Sam. How can they work together in lifethreatening situations when they can’t see eye-to-eye on anything else?
SGC Community Directory We will be collecting information for our new SGC community directory in February. More details will be given once the forms become available. They will also be available on our website: www. springgardenchurch.ca. Stay tuned for further announcements!
DONâ€™T THROW THEM AWAY. BRING THEM HERE.
Making Peace with Church
Finding Grace and Authenticity in an Age of Skepticism
Coming to select movie theatres MarcH 4 and 5!
Join us on February 3, 2015 at 12 PST for a live, online panel as Scot McKnight, Erin Lane, Darrell Johnson, and Hans Boersma discuss why church matters. http://www.regentredux.net/making-peace-with-church
THEDROPBOXFILM.ca SPONSORED BY
March 4th, SilverCity Fairview Mall at 7:30pm
Leadership at Spring Garden Pastoral Team Gene Tempelmeyer, Pastor firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 222 Greg Kay, Worship Pastor email@example.com Ext. 224 Margaret Sutton, Pastoral Care/Seniors firstname.lastname@example.org Ext. 226 Sam Lee, Pastor of Discipleship, Ext. 227 email@example.com Suzanna Lai, Church Office and Communications Manager Ext. 221 firstname.lastname@example.org Jeremy Ranasinghe, Youth Intern email@example.com Nazli Bashiri, Childrenâ€™s Intern firstname.lastname@example.org
The McGee Life Group Meets Every Wednesday, 7:30-9:30 We are starting a new session of Christianity Explored Wednesday Feb 4 2015 New Members Welcome Contact Phyllis or Jeff email@example.com or 416-493-2102 20
Anne Barron - Missions Marion Cameron - Worship Mary Ellen Hopkins - Finance Koon Wah Leung - Discpleship Ministries Mike Penner - Community Life/Board Secretary Derek Prinsloo - Chair Matt Silver - Adult Ministries/Membership Judy Tranter - Pastoral Care Jim Turner - Property
416.724.9329 416.491.8542 905.731.0492 416.225.7092 416.227.1840 647.349.4610 416.391.5479 416.229.0494 416.512.1360
Elders Garth Barron Darlene Boyd Cindie Chaise Jennifer Moore
416.724.9329 416.385.2483 647.345.2476 416.786.8727
Spring Garden Church T 416.223.4593 112 Spring Garden Ave. F 416.223.6126 Toronto ON M2N3G3 www.springgardenchurch.ca firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Line 416.223.4038 ext1
Life around Spring Garden
Life in Spring Garden
Income Tax Receipts
Income Tax Receipts will be available in the west lounge Sundays: February 1, February 8, and again February 15. Please pickup your receipt so we may save the postage expense.
Tuesdays 2:00 pm - Pastoral Team meeting 7:00 pm - ESL Café
SafeTALK: Suicide Awareness Workshop
Wednesdays 9:45 am - Refresh Women’s Bible Study
Tanya Salituro is hosting a suicide-alertness workshop with trainer Shawna Percy on Wednesday March 4th from 5:45pm - 9:15pm safeTALK is a half-day, evidence-based suicidealertness workshop that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to become a suicide-alert helper. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources, such as caregivers trained in ASIST. About the trainer: Shawna Percy, a certified safeTALK trainer with lived experience. She is also a published author and advocate who lost her first husband to suicide 4 years ago. She regularly leads safeTALK trainings to help prevent future suicides in local communities. For more info, please visit Shawnapercy.com Location: Spring Garden Church Youth Lounge Cost: $50 per participant. The workshop needs 15 participants to take place. Participants will be certified with safeTALK upon completion. Please RSVP by Wed Feb 25 to Tanya Salituro at tanya@ canprev.ca or call 647-272-0571 Free PIZZA will be provided 22
Thursdays 12:00 pm - Adult Bible Class; 12 noon lunch, 1 pm study Sundays 9:00 am - Morning Bible Study: meeting room - ESL Bible Study: basement 10:00 am - Sunday Morning Worship (communion on the first Sunday of the month)
This Month Sunday, February 8th - Pizza Lunch and Tobogganing 12:00 pm Saturday, February 21st - Today’s Teens Conference (pg. 17)
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.