Jesus, the Rabble Rouser
Jesus, the Rabble Rouser 3 Xenophile God 4 Between the Testaments: The Maccabean Revolt 16 Musings: Why I Celebrate the Demise of Christendom 21
From late January until Palm Sunday Gene will be speaking about the interesting relationship between Jesus, the crowds and the authorities. Jesus was a controversial figure in his time â€“ and ever since. Often the crowd was with him, but more than once they turned against him. Most of the religious and social elite were against him, but there were a number of prominent people who supported and enjoyed him. Through all of the controversy about him Jesus remained largely unmoved by what people thought of him. The very fact that he did not need or desire human approval was in itself threatening to the religious elite. By paying attention to the intertwined relationship between Jesus, the crowd and the authorities we can learn how to live in community with a positive assurance that comes from a stable relationship with God.
Departments Resource Centre 10 Discipleship Ministries 14
Information Contact Information 26 Community Corner 28 Calendar 31 Cover & Design: Clement Lee Contributors: Karen Cassel Zane Jansen Greg Kay Suzanna Lai Sam Lee Ben Reynolds Gene Tempelmeyer Copy Editors: Suzanna Lai
Delve submissions are due on the LAST MONDAY of each month. To submit for the next issue of Delve, please email: email@example.com 2
Here, in broad strokes, are the texts and themes we will explore: Jan 31 Jesus, the Rabble Rouser Mark 1:21-28 Feb. 14 Experience and Belief 3
John 9:24-33; 35-38 Feb 21 “Who Are You Trying to Impress?” Luke 16:13-15 Feb 28 How to be Comfortable with Everyone Luke 7:36-39 Mar 6 Signs of God’s Kingdom Luke 11:1-9; 16-19 Mar 13 Living With Eyes Wide Open John 4:27-39
Xenophile God This month we are reprinting an article from last month’s issue of “Delve” in which Greg Kay explains the meaning of the song “Xenophile God”. Since we are introducing the song to congregational worship this month I thought it would be wise to be sure everyone had the opportunity to understand that when we sing “Allah mahaba” we are not engaging in Islamic worship but are using a very old praise used by Arabic Christians before there was such a thing as Islam. As always, we confess and proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all peoples of earth. We join early Christians in some of the most dynamic churches of the early church era in celebrating “God is Love”: “Allah mahaba!” 4
In Revelation, the last book of the Bible, in verse 9 of chapter 7 we read this (NIV): After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” This picture of people from every nation, tribe, people and language praising God on His throne and the Lamb (Jesus) is one of the most beautiful and most anticipated events for me. I am what you can call a “monoglot”—that means I can only speak and understand one language. Quite frankly, I’m terrible with other languages and 9 times out of 10, even with coaching, I will pronounce non-English words wrong. This is one reason I’m so excited about this moment in Revelation 7 when people of EVERY nation, tribe, people and language are worshiping the living God together—because our differences of where we were born, raised, of how we were taught to think and speak, will no longer separate us from one another! We will worship as one, singing in a unified loud voice together! Perhaps it will be everyone singing in their own language yet we all can understand one another (without the need for Star Trek’s (or Google’s) “universal translator”). Or perhaps it will be one unified language that somehow encapsulates all the nuances and beauty of every human language (I’m guessing it’s not going to be English…). Either way, it’s something I look forward to in its fullness in the future. I also believe it’s something we should be working towards in the present. Photo from Parade of Nations Global Worship Gathering 2015
I think a significant part of the work of God in the world, and the character of His Kingdom inaugurated and expanding through Jesus Christ, is breaking down the barriers between people; uniting people together. This is not an act of “making us the same”, but of unifying us with all of our differences—diverse AND unified. As we enter into relationship with one another, and into the particularities and nuances of one another’s cultures, languages, people groups, tribal and national identities, we discover that God is so much larger and so much more beautiful than we ever imagined. We come to see characteristics of God in his infinite beauty, love, and grace that we couldn’t see on our own. God is not able to be fully contained by one culture; nor fully described in one language; nor fully painted through the lens of one world view or social construct. And so, for God’s glory in the world, and for our own spiritual growth and maturity as individuals and communities, I think we are wise to be working towards Revelation 7 in our world today. At the end of January we are going to be releasing a CD of new songs for Spring Garden. One of the songs on that CD is called ‘Xenophile God’. Perhaps you have become familiar with the term “xenophobic” (being afraid of things that are foreign to you) over the past few months as many of us around the world wrestle with fears of religious extremist terrorism. Sadly, some of us have allowed fear to drive love out from our midst (which, as far as I see it, is sinful), breading ignorance and judgement about ‘the other’—those we do not know. Conversely, a “xenophile” is one who loves and sees value and beauty in foreign cultures, people and languages. The song ‘Xenophile God’ comes mostly from my reflections on Revelation 7, about how God is working in and revealing himself through different cultures, people and languages, and about how God loves (and commands us to love) those who are “different” or foreign to us. The song is also an attempt to give us opportunity to practice Revelation 7, singing in unified voices in different languages. The bridge is beautifully translated from Revelation 7:12 and sung by Nida Gider Zappacosta and James Lee in Turkish and Korean respectively. 6
There is also a refrain in Arabic which I recognize will be a challenge for some of us, but I personally feel convicted this is a place where we need to replace fear with love, and ignorance with understanding. The phrase in the song is “Allah mahaba”. The ignorance that I think we need to replace with understanding is that the word “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “god”. The word itself pre-dates Islam, and is used by Christian Arabs all the time whenever they say “God”. Based on my communications with Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) and their Lebanese Christian field staff, the phrase “Allah mahaba” is the way that Arab Christians say “God is love”. In the song, when “Allah mahaba” is sung, it is sung in worship of the God who reveals himself through Jesus as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We sing it in solidarity and support of our Christian Arab brothers and sisters, many who face very real and life-threatening persecution. We may also sing it in opposition to any person, ideology, or spirit (e.g. Satan) that seeks to cultivate hate or fear of “the other” in us, our society and the Church; We sing it as an expression of an unwillingness to allow ignorance and judgmentalism to pull us away from a God of love as he reveals himself through Jesus Christ. Or simply, we wing “Allah mahaba” as an enactment of and prelude to the events of Revelation 7— to the praise and glory of a God of love who is working throughout the world to draw people from every culture, nation, tribe, people and language to himself through Jesus Christ our Lord. “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Revelation 7:12) Greg Kay
Love Your Enemies: A Practical Theology Colloquium”is an “ opportunity to come together as c ommunity members, seminarians, church & community leaders, youth & social workers, or anyone else interested in joining into a conversation on the radical possibility of love in our city.
“The Bridge” A music program with a purpose.
why a colloquium? Because we believe in the world changing So potential of shared dialogue. While these aren’t the kind of speakers you may be used to seeing at conferences, we’ve invited some of the leading voices in Toronto on loving those outside of our comfort zones. They’re going to lead us through their own experiences in seeking harmony in their context and help us explore how we might do the same in ours.And we have committed to at least 50% of all facilitators being women.
The Bridge Initiative is a new program of Youth Unlimited that is partnered with SGC to bring the youth of our community together to gain musical skills and to journey alongside followers of Christ to gain purpose and wisdom in life. The pilot program will begin on Feb. 19 and will run until June 17 with one week break in March to teach and equip musical skills in students who desire to learn how to play the guitar and the drums. There will be a limited amount of space for 4 students and they will be picked in a lottery format for the program.
We’re excited to share this with you all.So consider joining us on FEBRUARY 17TH at Tyndale, from 9am-4:30pm.
Where: Spring Garden Baptist Church (Main Sanctuary) 112 Spring Garden Ave. Toronto, ON, M2N 3G3
S ome of the Facilitators: Sue Mosteller Terry Leblanc Anne Woolger Wafik Wahba Janet Clark Mark Groleau Katelyn James Brad Sider Julia Bracewell Jason McKinney
When: Fridays @ 4pm-6pm (Lessons will be 30min long) Feb. 19 to June 17. (No class on Mar. 4th)
Featuring art from Gene Tempelmeyer and Songs by Greg Kay! http://enemies.love 8
Fee: $20 Monthly registration fee. Contact: James Lee (Coordinator/Teacher) firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Dirty God: Jesus in the trenches, by Johnnie Moore
Books Christianish: what if we’re really not following Jesus at all? By Mark Steele. It may feel like authentic faith. It may even look like the real deal. Yet it’s often easy to settle for the souvenir t-shirt—the appearance of a transformed heart— instead of taking the actual trip through true life-change. We find ourselves settling for a personal faith that’s been polluted by culture, and diluted by other people’s take on spirituality. Christianish tells the story of one man’s journey to move from the in-between to a life that’s centered on Christ. To move forward, author Mark Steele goes back to the beginning, to examine Christ’s life and words. Through stories and insights that are sometimes profound, often hilarious, and always honest, Mark delivers a compelling look at what our faith is all about.
In Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches, Johnnie Moore draws on both Scripture and his extensive experience with other cultures and religions to show how the God of the Bible is unique in his willingness to be near us in all of our messiness. Moore outlines the central importance of the doctrine of grace while introducing readers to a humble and human Jesus who reaches out to us at our worst and pulls us up to our best. Grace, Moore argues, is something that is both gotten and given, and the two-part structure of the book allows readers to explore both of these dynamics. By offering hope rather than condemnation and showing the practical applications of grace in today’s world, Dirty God will appeal to both the committed Christian and the spiritual seeker looking for a more authentic faith. Challenging and engaging, Dirty God is sure to establish Johnnie Moore as an emerging voice for Millennial and Gen-X evangelicals for years to come.
God in the alley: being and seeing Jesus in a broken world, by Greg Paul Sam has survived physical, sexual, and substance abuse, terrible violence, and life on the streets. Wendy lives for the next high on crack, oblivious to her boyfriend’s love. Neil is dying of AIDS. These are the people of inner-city Toronto. Look into their distorted, obscure faces, their fractured lives, and catch a glimpse of the sublime. Greg Paul calls them tragic heroes---individuals who can offer a testament to God’s love and mercy. With emotional depth and spiritual intensity, Greg’s compelling stories reveal that people with desperate lives have precious lessons to teach us about the character of God. God in the Alley offers a profound message of grace and calling that each one of us needs to hear.
For Young Readers Deborah’s secret journal, by Bonnie Bruno Poverty certainly isn’t only a modern occurrence. Deborah, a young Bible time girl 12
has a friend who is so poor and so overtaxed by the tax collector named Zacchaeus that her family can’t even afford a new oil lamp. One day, Deborah and her friend are waiting alongside the road to see Jesus pass by. Their awe turns to anger when Jesus stops to visit with Zacchaeus instead of them! Later, when they begin to see a change in Zacchaeus, they start to realize just who Jesus really is.
DVD Flywheel Jay Austin wants to sell used cars in the worst way ... and that’s exactly how he does business at his dealership. Promising much more than he can ever deliver, he’ll do whatever it takes to sell a car. His manipulative ways permeate all of his relationships-even his wife and son know they can’t trust him. But as Jay works on restoring a classic convertible, he begins to see that God is working on restoring him as well. Coming face-to-face with the reality of how he truly conducts himself, Jay Austin begins the ride of his life as he commits to honoring God with his business, his relationships, and his life! 13
Discipleship Ministries - Partnering with Families Protecting Children & Youth from Pornography - February 21, 11:30am Did you know you can install software on your home router so that it will block inappropriate websites from any device connected to your home wifi? On Sunday Feb 21st during coffee hour in the library, a few of our Spring Techies will help you install software to protect your devices/computers from the internet. Please bring your devices and your router (please refer to picture) with you that day and we can help you set it up!
Spring Kids Summer Day Camp - Save the Date! July 18-22, 9am-12pm We are looking for volunteers. Positions that are needed are: set designers, small group leaders (crafts, snacks, etc), curriculum team. Please speak with Sam if you are interested.
youth in grades 7-12 in the youth room. Youth will be dismissed downstairs after the childrenâ€™s blessing. February 21st - Youth will stay in the main sanctuary
Youth Events: February 5th - Valentines to our Veterans - We will be meeting at the church for 7pm and together we will be writing letters of appreciation for veteran soldiers who were willing to lay down their life for our freedom. February 19-20th: Todayâ€™s Teens Extravaganza! - We will be meeting at the church for 7pm to start the 2 day event. We will be heading out for a few hours of Go-Karting, and coming back to the church for some inside nerf dart games, a movie and staying the night at the church. Saturday morning we will have breakfast together and head to the Todays Teens Conference. If you would like more info on the conference itself click here. We believe this conference is important for us as a youth group to attend, and because of that we will not be splitting up the days (i.e youth can not sign up for the Go-Kart part and not the conference). If you have any questions or concerns regarding this please feel free to email me back. There are a limited number of spots available for this event.
Sunday Morning Worship Gatherings:
Cost: $50- Includes rides to and from Go-Karting and conference venue, breakfast, and conference registration.
February 7th, 14th, 28th - As usual we have our regular worship gathering at 10am in the main sanctuary, followed by our Sunday program for the grades 5/6 group and a worship gathering for
**Money must be handed in by February 11th**
Between the Testaments: The Maccabean Revolt
After a holiday break, this fifth installment continues an account of the events in Jewish history between the Old Testament and the New Testament, or in other words between the Israelites’ return from exile in Babylon and the birth of Jesus. We left off last time with Antiochus IV. Antiochus IV was a descendent of Seleucus, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. Seleucus gained control of the Syrian portion of Alexander’s empire (c. 323-305 BC), but he fought for control of Israel/Palestine with Ptolemy, who had established authority in Egypt. Antiochus IV’s father Antiochus III finally wrested control of Israel/Palestine from the Ptolemaic dynasty (200-198 BC), but warfare continued between the two families. On his return following one of his campaigns against Egypt, Antiochus IV came to Jerusalem, and either out of anger at his defeat at the hands of the Ptolemies or out of spite (the accounts differ), he besieged Jerusalem even though he already had control of it (2 Macc 5:11–21; 1 Macc 1:20–39). After defeating Jerusalem, Antiochus IV entered the temple and desecrated it by entering the Holy of Holies. To add insult to injury, the high priest Menelaus served as his guide. Antiochus took the wealth of the temple, and for the devout Jews who remained, these acts raised doubts about God’s presence with his people and God’s willingness to defend them against pagan nations. 16
After returning to Antioch, Antiochus wrote to the local rulers of Israel and forbade the worship of God according to the law (167 BC). He directed these leaders “to forbid burnt offerings and sacrifices and drink offerings in the sanctuary, to profane sabbaths and festivals, to defile the sanctuary and the priests, to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and other unclean animals, and to leave their sons uncircumcised” (1 Macc 1:45–48a; see also 2 Macc 6:1–6). The Jerusalem temple he renamed the temple of Olympian Zeus (2 Macc 6:2). Anyone who did not keep this decree was to be put to death (1 Macc 1:50). Some went along with these decrees, but a priest in the town of Modein by the name of Mattathias did not. Antiochus IV sent officers around the countryside enforcing the requirements that he had made. When they came to Modein, Mattathias said that he and his sons would never disobey the religion of their ancestors, but after his speech, a member of the village came forward to offer a sacrifice to the king. Mattathias “burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar” (1 Macc 2:24–25). Mattathias’ zeal is compared with that of Aaron’s son Phineas who likewise killed sinners among the people of Israel during the Israelites’ wilderness wandering (see Num 25:6–15). Mattathias and his sons then fled to the hills and began what was essentially a guerilla war against Antiochus IV and his army. They traveled around the countryside tearing down these pagan altars and putting to death those who followed Antiochus’ decree (1 Macc 2:42–50). Their concern was primarily that the law be kept, since it was disobedience to the law that had led to the Babylonian exile. When Mattathias died, his son Judas took over the campaign. Judas received the nickname Maccabeus, which means “hammer.” As a result, the family became known as the Maccabees. Judas proved himself to be a capable military commander, and under his leadership, the law-abiding Jews regained control of the temple. The first thing they did was to cleanse the temple from the defilement that 17
had taken place under Antiochus’ regulations. The cleansing took eight days to complete, and it is this event which is celebrated in the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah (164 BC; 1 Macc 4:36–61). Judas led the rebellion for the next four years and was killed in battle around 160 BC (1 Macc 9:18). His brother Jonathan assumed the leadership (160–143 BC), and under him the Jewish people regained autonomy for the first time since the Babylonian exile. Ironically, Jonathan was named high priest by the Seleucid king Alexander, one of Antiochus IV’s sons. A power struggle had developed within the Seleucid dynasty, and both sides tried to gain the favour of the Maccabees (also Hasmoneans). Along with declaring Jonathan high priest, Alexander also sent him “a purple robe and a golden crown” (1 Macc 10:18–20). The priesthood and the kingship were previously two separate offices, and many Jews of the time would have considered it problematic to hold both offices (see 1QS 9.10–11). Jonathan ruled the people for ten years as priest and essentially king, even though his family was not from the families of Aaron or David. Following Jonathan’s death in battle, his brother Simon assumed the dual roles of priest and king (142–134 BC; 1 Macc 13:41–42; 14:35). First Maccabees 14:41–43 states, “The Jews and their priests have resolved that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise, and that he should be governor over them . . . and that he should take charge of the sanctuary, and that he should be obeyed by all . . . and that he should be clothed in purple and wear gold.” According to James VanderKam (An Introduction to Early Judaism, p. 25), Simon appears to have been the greatest of the Maccabees. It is worth noting that the Jewish historian Josephus first mentions the religious groups known as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes during his account of the leadership of Jonathan and Simon.
renewed a friendship with Rome, the Pharisees were hostile to him, and he destroyed the temple of the Samaritans that was located on Mount Gerizim. His second son Alexander Jannaeus (103–76) ruled after him. (Note how the names of those in the family become less Hebrew and more Greek!) Alexander had 800 Pharisees protest against him, and it appears that he had them crucified. His wife Salome Alexandra (76–67) ruled after him primarily because they did not trust their two sons to lead. Following Salome’s death, their sons Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II (67–63) met their parents expectations and fought to be the leader. Antipater the father of Herod the Great advised Hyrcanus II. Both brothers appealed to Rome for support. Rome became fed up with the fighting and instability, and Pompey invaded Jerusalem and established Roman rule over the region (64 BC). The Maccabean revolt had instigated a short lived revival of Jewish sovereign rule (164–64 BC). The Hasmonean dynasty began well but succumbed to the temptations of power and lost its concern for the Mosaic law. Some would say that this started when Jonathan and then Simon assumed the high priesthood and leadership simultaneously, even though they were not of the line of Aaron or David. Under the Maccabees, Israel gained a strong Jewish nationalism that would fester under Roman occupation and erupt time and again in the first century AD. Initially, the Romans ruled the region through puppet kings before establishing direct rule of Jerusalem in AD 6. Next time, we will begin with the most well-known of these kings, Herod the Great. Ben Reynolds
John Hyrcanus (134–104), the son of Simon, was the third generation of the Hasmonean dynasty. The dynasty had started with his grandfather Mattathias’ zeal for the law, yet now such zeal was far removed from the new priorities of a dynastic power. John Hyrcanus 18
Musings: Why I Celebrate the Demise of Christendom Christmas, 2015, is well behind us and I am glad to report that the minimalist design of the 2015 Starbucks cup did not, in fact, interfere with my appreciation of the season. Many people wished me a “Happy Holiday” and that’s exactly what I had! I find I don’t really need sales associates and receptionists to remind me that it is Christmas and that Jesus is the reason for the season. Truth be told, I find it a lot easier to wish people “Happy holidays” than try to figure out what holiday they might actually be celebrating. I began this a few years ago after speaking with a young man working at our vet clinic. Wanting to get it right, I said, “Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, whichever is relevant to you.” (As he was Caucasian I reasoned those were the two options.) He graciously thanked me, but the expression that quickly crossed his face alerted me I got it wrong. “You’re not a Christmas or a Hanukkah person, are you?” I asked. “No, but I appreciate the sentiment.” “This is none of my business, but now I’m curious,” (If it is not my sense of humour getting me into trouble it is my curiosity.) “Is there a holiday you do celebrate?” “I’m a Druid, so the Winter Solstice is important to us.” “I hope you have a good one,” I said. And I’ve been saying “Happy Holidays” to strangers ever since. What we are experiencing is the demise of Christendom with the assumption that Canada is “a Christian country.” I think this is actually helpful to the spread of the Gospel. Christendom can be said to have begun in 313 AD. For nearly 20
three centuries the church unintentionally had created disruption throughout the empire by the persistent declaration in the face of persecution, “Jesus is Lord!” and it’s dangerous implication, “Caesar is not!” The emperor, Constantine, whatever his motives, finally solved the Christian problem by co-opting the church into the established religion of the empire. The marriage of church, state and culture quickly transformed a spiritually vibrant movement winning people by the joyous persuasion of Holy Spirit into a wealthy machine coercing people by the political power of the empire and the various iterations of western government that followed it. Christendom guaranteed the church a measure of wealth, power and success, whether in Rome or in Canada. These are so intoxicating we find ourselves drinking from that cup in sleepy forgetfulness that none of those benefits are things to which Jesus, our Lord, aspired. Thus the Christendom Church finds itself in the position of the likely apocryphal pope who, giving a tour of the Vatican’s treasurers to St. Francis of Assisi, exclaimed, “You see, no longer can the church say, ‘Silver and gold have I none!’”
pumpkin pie is not uniquely Christian. Communion, on the other hand, is not Canadian, but is uniquely Christian. The Lord’s Table is a profound participation in Jesus Christ. We don’t participate in the Lord’s Table because we are Canadians but because we follow Jesus. Having this discussion with several newcomers to Canada has led them to discover that most Canadians are not actually Christians in the sense we understand it: trusting Jesus for salvation and committing oneself to obedience as a follower of Jesus. This means most Canadians don’t do communion. Further, we don’t want people to participate in communion if it has no meaning to them. I do not want to be complicit in promoting the notion that people who do not actually follow Jesus are Christians. I don’t think that is fair to them or to Christianity. I don’t want to expect people who don’t believe in Jesus to act as if they did. I certainly don’t want a department store to use the incarnation of God in a stable as an advertising icon.
The church has never gained cultural and political power without a corresponding loss of spiritual power.
Nor do I want my government or culture to prefer Christianity above other faiths. When it does we lose our witness as a “peculiar people” (to use some wonderful King James language) who live as an alternative to the selfish, consumeristic life assumed by advertisers across North America. I want people to know that Christianity is a choice people make about how we live and believe and not merely a product of where we live.
Due to the rapid secularization of the western world we are now, seventeen centuries later, quickly returning to a context more similar to the Book of Acts than to most of the church’s history. 88% of people living in the neighbourhood around Spring Garden Church are either first or second generation immigrants to Canada. Active ministry in this neighbourhood quickly teaches that many newcomers to Canada do not have a clear understanding of what is “Canadian” and what is “Christian.” Thanksgiving, for example, is Canadian. Certainly, Christians give thanks as a spiritual act but setting aside the first Monday of October for consuming turkey and
Certainly there have been some very nice benefits to Christendom. As a member of the clergy I will claim a housing deduction on my income tax because I am “clergy.” Hopefully, our charitable giving to SGC will produce a good deduction for all of us! Spring Garden Church does not pay property tax because we are a church. The rationale for these benefits is that churches serve their community in ways taxes would have to otherwise address. I consider this a valid rationale so long as it is true. But I think it would benefit everyone (including the church!) if churches were required to demonstrate that they actually are serving their neighbours in order to remain
“No,” replied Francis, “But nor are you able to say to the lame, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, get up and walk!’”
exempt from taxes. Churches that are merely gathering as “holy huddles” to talk about religion and find personal comfort in a threatening world should not be protected from taxation simply because they are places of faith. In fact, prior to 1834, the only congregations benefiting from government recognition of any kind were Anglican, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic. The earliest Baptist churches were quite happy to exist without governmental recognition and support because they had introduced the idea of the separation of church and state to the western world. My Druid vet receptionist knows what he is and what he isn’t. He did not celebrate the winter solstice because that’s what everyone in Mississauga does. No one is giving him a day off to dance in the light of the moon. It is quite possible that there is even an added depth and meaning to his belief because he is regarded by family members and friends as part of a peculiar people. In the face of contrary social pressure his convictions either erode or grow stronger. Christians, Jews and Muslims are not going to sing his songs in school assemblies. Nor did he remind me that our shared English culture actually has deeper roots in Anglo Saxon Druidism than in my Jesus. Or that, if you think about it, our nation is really built on a Druid foundation. He simply accepted my Christmas/Hanukkah greeting with grace and dignity without losing sight of his own convictions and religion. I think followers of Jesus probably are capable of retaining our faith in the face of social indifference, neutrality and even opposition. In fact, it would reveal to us our great need for the Holy Spirit and our great opportunity to share Good News rather than legislating our neighbours to live by “Christian values” whether they are Christian or not. Gene Tempelmeyer “Up the Stairs, Through the door” by Zane Janzen 24
Judy Tranter - Pastoral Care firstname.lastname@example.org Jim Turner - Property email@example.com
Leadership at Spring Garden Pastoral Team Gene Tempelmeyer, Pastor Ext. 222 firstname.lastname@example.org Greg Kay, Worship and Mission Pastor Ext. 224 email@example.com Margaret Sutton, Pastoral Care/Seniors Ext. 226 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, Discpleship Ministries Assistant email@example.com Samantha Steeles, Childrenâ€™s intern firstname.lastname@example.org Alyssa Oliver, youth intern email@example.com
Deacons Anne Barron - Missions and Worship firstname.lastname@example.org Marion Cameron - Membership and Board Secretary email@example.com Mary Ellen Hopkins - Finance firstname.lastname@example.org Koon Wah Leung - Discipleship Ministries email@example.com Gonzalo Librado - Adult Ministries firstname.lastname@example.org Darren Moore - Community Life email@example.com Derek Prinsloo - Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Elders Garth Barron email@example.com Darlene Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer Moore email@example.com Barrie Porter firstname.lastname@example.org Corinne Sutton-Smith email@example.com
416.724.9329 416.385.2483 416.786.8727 416.829.4210 416.615.1763
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
416.491.8542 905.731.0492 416.225.7092 416.229.2695 416.786.8727 647.349.4610 27
Life around Spring Garden
The Church Needs Your Help to Stay in the Toronto Waste Diversion Rate Waiver Program We are currently participating in the Toronto Waste Diversion Rate Waiver Program in which we have our solid waste management fee waived because we are a registered charity. However, being in the program subjects us to spot inspections by the city to ensure our set out practices are appropriate and we have demonstrated our ongoing commitment to proper recycling/garbage disposal. Failing the spot inspections will result in us having to pay commercial solid waste management rate. Therefore, we need your diligence in adhering to City of Toronto waste diversion practices when disposing waste in the church building. Waste disposal literature is posted. Please pay attention to them when you choose which bin to place your waste in.
6. Putting batteries and light bulbs in the Garbage Bin - Correction: Batteries and light bulbs are hazardous waste and need to be disposed at a location that takes them. Since the spot inspections are random and unannounced, everyoneâ€™s effort will count and will have an impact! We need your attentiveness to pass the yearly inspections (and of course being a creation care advocate is a part of who we are as a church body). Thank you! A waste management display booth will be available in the lounge for the month of February. It will have information on waste management, games, colouring sheets and more. Please feel free to drop by for a visit!
Some Common Mistakes Are: 1. Putting paper coffee cups in the Blue Recycling Bin - Correction: paper coffee/hot drink cups from all major coffee shops are GARBAGE 2. Putting foam take out food containers in the Garbage Bin - Correction: Foam food and protective packaging are RECYCLABLE and need to be rinsed. Black foam items are GARBAGE. 3. Putting soiled paper plates in the Blue Recycling Bin - Correction: Soiled papers/paper plates are ORGANIC WASTE 4. Putting plastic chips/cookie food packaging in the Blue Recycling Bin - Correction: Plastic snack food packaging are GARBAGE. However, plastic bags such as grocery bags and milk bags are RECYCLABLE. Please refer to the bin chart when disposing plastics. 5. Putting tissue papers in the Blue Recycling Bin - Correction: Tissue papers are ORGANIC WASTE 28
Life Groups We have Life Groups meeting in many areas of the city. Most groups meet every two weeks, but some follow other schedules. If you would like to join a Life Group please contact Jin Lee at Jin.Lee@rogers.com or talk to Pastor Gene during Coffee Time after worship if you would like to be introduced to Jin.
First Time Visitors If you are a first time visitor to Spring Garden Church, welcome! Please visit the Welcome and Information Centre located at the top of the parking lot stairs for information about the church and receive a welcome gift package. We look forward to meeting you there!
2015 Tax Receipts 2015 tax receipts are available for pick up from Feb 7 to Feb 21 in the lounge. Please pick up your tax receipts to help the church save on postage. They will be mailed out after Feb 21. Thank you.
Life in Spring Garden
Weekly Tuesdays 2:00 pm - Pastoral Team meeting Wednesdays 10:00 am - Refresh Women’s Bible Study 7:00 pm - Groove Dance Group Thursdays 12:00 pm - Adult Bible Class Sundays 9:00 am - Morning Bible Study: meeting room - ESL Bible study: basement at the southwest entrance 10:00 am - 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 February 7 - Ministry Fair and Budget Meeting February 19-20 - Today’s Teens Extravaganza February 22 - Care for the Caregiver workshop 30
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