Delve June 2017
Care for Creation by John Stott
Care for Creation by John Stott 3 Kids & Tech: Tips for Parents in the Digital Age 7 Where the streets have an old name 17 Vocational Missionary News 16 Departments Discipleship Ministries 7 Resource Centre 12 Information Contact Information 21 Community Corner 23 Calendar 27 Cover : Derek Prinsloo Design: Clement Lee Contributors: Anne Barron Karen Cassel Greg Kay Suzanna Lai Sam Lee Margaret Sutton
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: Karen Cassel Greg Kay Suzanna Lai
Scripture tells us that “the earth is the Lord’s” (Ps.24:1) and also that “the earth he has given to [humankind]” (Ps. 115:16). These assertions complement rather than contradict each other. The earth belongs to God by creation and to us by delegation. This does not mean that he has handed it over to us in such a way as to relinquish his own rights over it, but rather that he has given us the responsibility to preserve and develop the Earth on his behalf. How, then, should we relate to the earth? If we remember its creation by God and its delegation to us, we will avoid two opposite extremes and instead develop a third and better relationship to nature. First, we will avoid the deification of nature. This is the mistake of pantheists, who identify the Creator with his creation; of animists, who populate the natural world with spirits; and of the New Age’s Gaia movement, which attributes to nature its own self-contained, 3
self-regulating and self-perpetuating mechanisms. But all such confusions are derogatory to the Creator. The Christian desacralizing of nature (the recognition that it is creation, not Creator) was an indispensable prelude to the whole scientific enterprise and is essential to the development of the earth’s resources today. We respect nature because God made it; we do not revere nature as if it were God and inviolable. Secondly, we must avoid the opposite extreme, which is the exploitation of nature. We must not treat nature obsequiously as if it were God, nor must we behave towards it arrogantly as if we were God. Genesis 1 has been unjustly blamed for environmental irresponsibility. It is true that God commissioned the human race to “have dominion over” the earth and to “subdue” it (Gen. 1:26-28, NRSV), and these two Hebrew verbs are forceful. It would be absurd, however, to imagine that he who created the earth then handed it over to us to destroy it. No, the dominion God has given us is a responsible stewardship, not a destructive domination. The third and correct relationship between human beings and nature is that of co-operation with God. To be sure, we are ourselves a part of creation, just as dependent on the Creator as are all his creatures. Yet at the same time he has deliberately humbled himself to make a divine human partnership necessary. He created the earth, but then told us to subdue it. He planted the garden, but then put Adam in it “to work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15). This is often called the cultural mandate. For what God has given us is nature, whereas what we do with it is culture. We are not only to conserve the environment, but also to develop its resources for the common good.
work in the conservation and transformation of the environment. In his excellent exposition of the first three chapters of Genesis, In the Beginning (1984), Henri Blocher argues that the climax of Genesis 1 is not the creation of man [sic] the worker but the institution of the Sabbath for man [sic] the worshipper; it is not our toil (subduing the earth) but the laying aside of our toil on the Sabbath day. For the Sabbath relativizes the importance of work. It protects us from a total absorption in our work as if it were to be the be-all and end-all of our existence. It is not. We human beings find our human-ness not only in relation to the earth, which we are to transform, but in relation to God, whom we are to worship; not only in relation to the creation, but especially in relation to the Creator. God intends our work to be an expression of our worship, and our care of the creation to reflect our love for the Creator. Only then, whatever we do, in word or deed, shall we be able to do it to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). John Stott, December 1999 Adapted by A Rocha Canada with permission from the Foreword to The Care of Creation, edited by R.J. Berry (Inter-Varsity Press, 2000) ISBN 0-85111-657-4.
It is a noble calling to co-operate with God for the fulfillment of his purposes, to transform the created order for the pleasure and profit of all. In this way, our work is to be an expression of our worship, since our care of the creation will reflect our love for the Creator. A final thought: it is possible to overstate this emphasis on human 4
Discipleship Ministries Partnering with Families Kids & Tech: Tips for Parents in the Digital Age In a world where children are "growing up digital," it's important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills. Make your own family media use plan. Media should work for you and within your family values and parenting style. When used thoughtfully and appropriately, media can enhance daily life. But when used inappropriately or without thought, media can displace many important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, unplugged downtime and sleep. Make your plan at HealthyChildren.org/ MediaUsePlan.
The Learn-2-Ride Day Camp is Willowdale’s first cycling day camp for children and youth. It is also unique in that it engages each camper as a whole person: physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. This camp's FOUR WEEKS will focus on important cycling skills while incorporating Christian values of teamwork, positive attitudes, and love for the world and environment.
Treat media as you would any other environment in your child's life. The same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children's friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online. Set limits and encourage playtime. Media use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for very young children. And—don't forget to join your children in unplugged play whenever possible. Families who play together, learn together. Family participation is also great for media activities—it encourages social interactions, bonding, and learning. Play a video game with your kids. It's a good way to demonstrate good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette. You will have the opportunity to introduce and share your own life experiences and perspectives—and guidance—as you play the game.
Be a good role model. Teach and model kindness and good manners online. Because children are great mimics, limit your own media use. In fact, you'll be more available for and connected with your children if you're interacting, hugging and playing with them rather than simply staring at a screen. Know the value of face-to-face communication. Very young children learn best through two-way communication. Engaging in back-andforth "talk time" is critical for language development. Conversations can be face-to-face or, if necessary, by video chat with a travelling parent or far-away grandparent. Research has shown that it's that "back-and-forth conversation" that improves language skills—much more so than "passive" listening or one-way interaction with a screen. Limit digital media for your youngest family members. Avoid digital media for toddlers younger than 18 to 24 months other than video chatting. For children 18 to 24 months, watch digital media with them because they learn from watching and talking with you. Limit screen use for preschool children, ages 2 to 5, to just 1 hour a day of high-quality programing, and watch it with them so you can help them learn from what they're seeing. See Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers. Create tech-free zones. Keep family mealtimes, other family and social gatherings, and children's bedrooms screen free. Turn off televisions that you aren't watching, because background TV can get in the way of face-to-face time with kids. Recharge devices overnight—outside your child's bedroom to help children avoid the temptation to use them when they should be sleeping. These changes encourage more family time, healthier eating habits, and better sleep, all critical for children's wellness. Don't use technology as an emotional pacifier. Media can be very effective in keeping kids calm and quiet, but it should not be the only way they learn to calm down. Children need to be taught how to identify and handle strong emotions, come up with activities to manage boredom, or calm down through breathing, talking about ways to solve the problem, and finding other strategies for channelling emotions. Apps for kids – do your homework. More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational, but little research has demonstrated their actual quality. Products pitched as "interactive" should require more 8
than "pushing and swiping." Look to organizations like Common Sense Media for reviews about age-appropriate apps, games and programs to guide you in making the best choices for your children. It's OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are part of typical adolescent development. Social media can support teens as they explore and discover more about themselves and their place in the grown-up world. Just be sure your teen is behaving appropriately in both the real and online worlds. Many teens need to be reminded that a platform's privacy settings do not make things actually "private" and that images, thoughts, and behaviors teens share online will instantly become a part of their digital footprint indefinitely. Keep lines of communication open and let them know you're there if they have questions or concerns. Warn children about the importance of privacy and the dangers of predators and sexting. Teens need to know that once content is shared with others, they will not be able to delete or remove it completely, and includes texting of inappropriate pictures. They may also not know about or choose not to use privacy settings, and they need to be warned that sex offenders often use social networking, chat rooms, e-mail, and online gaming to contact and exploit children. Remember: Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. But some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may be a red flag that hints at trouble ahead. Parents must observe carefully their children's behaviors and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help, including the family pediatrician. Media and digital devices are an integral part of our world today. The benefits of these devices, if used moderately and appropriately, can be great. But, research has shown that face-to-face time with family, friends, and teachers plays a pivotal and even more important role in promoting children's learning and healthy development. Keep the face-to-face up front, and don't let it get lost behind a stream of media and tech. Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2016)
For the whole church family June 10, 11am - Church Picnic Good old fashioned church picnic (bring your own picnic) at Geldora Park for games, sports, and relaxation.
Spring Kids Summer Day Camp Second Week Added! Week 1: July 24-July 28, Creation & Care Week 2: July 31-Aug 4, Adventure Camp
**Please be aware there will be no youth worship gathering on June 4 as we have an intergenerational worship gathering upstairs**
Life Groups: Life groups this month will only meet on June 16 from 7pm-9pm. Boys will continue to meet at Clem and Koon Lee’s house, while the girls will meet at Jim and Anja Turner’s house. For more information please email Sam or Jeremy
Youth Events: June 2 - Make a Movie @ church Cost: $5 6pm-9pm
Please visit our website to register.
Spring Youth Sunday Morning Worship Gatherings: June 11, 18, 25 - We will be having regular worship gatherings for youth in grades 6-12, after the musical portion of worship in the main sanctuary. Children and youth will continue their programs and worship gathering in their classrooms following the children’s blessing. Youth will meet in the youth lounge. 10
June 24 - Year End Party @ Cobourg Beach We will be having our annual year end party at Diana’s house in Cobourg. We will spend the day at the beach so bring your swimming gear. Cost $5 More details to follow
Staying Updated: To stay up to date on what is happening for your youth, please visit our google calendar which has all our planned events. http://tiny.cc/springyouth 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
Mary, chosen of God, by Diana Wallis Taylor Smart love: how improving your emotional intelligence will transform your marriage, by Drs. David and Jan Stoop What would happen if you applied the gamechanging principles of emotional intelligence to your most important relationship? SMART Love is a system for understanding both your own and your spouse's emotions, managing those emotions, and walking hand in hand through situations when emotions run high. Through personal inventories, you'll discover where you are strong and where you need improvement. Each section includes practical action steps you and your spouse can take to implement what you've learned.
She was an ordinary girl from Nazareth--daydreaming about Joseph---when suddenly a heavenly visitor appears and her life is changed forever! Experience the life of the Messiah through the eyes of Mary, his mother. You'll gain an amazing new perspective of Jesus' story---from the events surrounding his birth to his ministry, death, and resurrection.
Without warning, by Joel Rosenberg (book 3 in the J.B. Collins series) The president of the United States believes American forces are forcing the Islamic State to run. New York Times foreign correspondent J.B. Collins tells the president he is completely wrong. Collins is certain there wil be an attack on American homeland because the Israeli prime minister is dead, Amman is in ruins and the Middle East is on fire. Will it be too late if the president doesn't listen to Collins?
You’re invited to CBOQ Assembly 2017, Pouring In: Equipping each other in the fullness of Christ.
The middle school rules of Jamaal Charles, as told by Sean Jensen The Middle School Rules of Jamaal Charles, by Sean Jensen features the stories and lessons of American football player Jamaal Charles' childhood. Written for young readers, children will see how a successful athlete dealt with and overcame bullying and a learning disability when he was younger to become an NFL athlete.
Gather together with your Canadian Baptist family from across Ontario and Quebec as we worship and learn together at this year’s plenary sessions at Assembly 2017... for free. Come for worship with Steve Bell, a modern day troubadour, songwriter and storyteller, and plenary talks by Gordon MacDonald, an author, speaker, teacher and pastor for more than 40 years. Most recently, Gordon served as the senior minister at Grace Chapel, Lexington, Massachusetts. A proliﬁc author, he has written Steve Bell more than two dozen books and co-authored others with his wife, Gail. Among his other books are Secrets of a Generous Life, Renewing Your Spiritual Passion, Mid-Course Correction and A Resilient Life. His most recent books are Going Deep: Becoming a Person of Inﬂuence (2011) and Building Below the Waterline: Shoring Up the Gordon MacDonald Foundations of Leadership (2011). We look forward to welcoming you to Assembly 2017 at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale, June 8-10! Find out more at baptist.ca/assembly.
Where the streets have an old name
By Rick Garrick http://anishinabeknews.ca/2017/05/02/toronto-street-signs-aim-torecognize-history-in-the-area-and-encourage-education/#
TORONTO—Two historic Indigenous trails in the Toronto area are marked with Anishinaabemowin signs at the corners of Spadina and Dupont, Spadina and Davenport, and Davenport and Dupont. “The idea was to recognize the history of the area,” says Stuart Grant, a board member with the Dupont by the Castle Business Improvement Association in Toronto. “For thousands of years, First Nations people have been here, not just [two to three] hundred like European settlers have. And a lot of First Nations people are still here, so it’s a kind of recognition that this land is shared.”
The Willowdale Soccer League (WSL) is a fun, low-cost, lowcompetitive, summer-long soccer league for low-income & middle-income children (ages 6-12) in the neighbourhood of Willowdale. All team practices and games will be held at Tyndale University College & Seminary (3377 Bayview Ave.) on Tuesday evenings (5-7pm), and skills clinics will be held in parks throughout Willowdale during the summer. 16
Grant says Davenport and Spadina Roads were the sites of ancient trails that First Nations people used to travel back and forth in the area. “We wanted to get people talking and encourage a bit of education around all history of the area, not just the stuff we get from the school history books,” Grant says. Grant says the idea for the Anishinaabemowin signs was inspired by the Ogimaa Mikana Project, which was initiated in 2013 by a group of people, including Hayden King and Susan Blight. The project is an effort to restore Anishinaabemowin place names to the streets, avenues, roads, paths and trails of Gichi Kiiwenging (Toronto). It 17
included the posting of temporary Anishinaabemowin street name stickers in Toronto and the installation of Anishinaabemowin phrases on billboards in some cities across Ontario, including Toronto, Thunder Bay, North Bay, and Peterborough. “They still have to have the actual city [street] name, but there is room on the new signs that they are making where either a resident’s association or in our case the Business Improvement Association can use the top part of the sign for a logo or an ad,” Grant says. “So that is where they allowed us to put the Anishinaabe names up there along with a Thunderbird symbol.” Grant says there was a good response from the community about the signs, which were installed in 2016. “It’s been almost 100 per cent positive,” Grant says. “A lot of people liked it. It went kind of viral on social media around here. Ogimaa Mikana got comments from Ottawa and Peterborough and out west, with people saying: ‘Wow, if they can do it there, why can’t we do it in our town?’.” Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy says the Anishinaabemowin signs are located in an area where he grew up. He represents Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina on city council. “We are living on colonized land, frankly, so as a way to recognize our past but also to ensure a living legacy continues, we partnered with the local businesses and Ogimaa Mikana to transform local street signs to respect their original Anishinaabe name,” Cressy says. “People are just thrilled. We’re looking to do this throughout and across Toronto, and frankly the feedback I hear from neighbours and residents is that this is a part of our history that far too many people don’t know about. We’ve tried to hide or by design obliterate it in the past, and it’s time to remember it properly.” Toronto also has numerous plaques that describe the First Nations history of sites at various locations across the city. The plaques are posted online. 18
forwarded by Rev. Margaret Sutton
Vocational Missionary News by Anne Barron (Vocational Missionary Care Team)
Grace Bartel is retiring from ministry as of June 1st. Grace served for many years at the Black Forest Academy in Germany and then in an administrative role with Teach Beyond in Winnipeg. Join me in wishing Grace a happy retirement as she is looking forward to spending more time with family, especially her mother who turned 90 in May.
Kevin and Joyce Richardson have returned to Canada from Kenya after serving with SIM in Africa for over 30 years. They are looking forward to settling in South Western Ontario where they will set up their first home in Canada and even open wedding gifts that have been in storage for many years. Please pray that God would direct them in this next stage of their lives.
Jen Chrystman (and her Black Labrador Doorbelle) will be returning to Canada in July after serving for many years with OMF in the Philippines. Jen will spend the next few years running the OMF Toronto Center on Avenue Road as she enters into her retirement years. Please pray for Jen as she says good bye to friends at Faith Academy, Dawn for the Poor and the Guest House where she has been serving for the past 4 years. Also Jen will have to leave her dog Snowball in the Philippines so please pray for a good home. Jen is excited to integrate back into life in Toronto and at Spring Garden.
Leadership at Spring Garden Pastoral Team Gene Tempelmeyer, Pastor 416-223-4593 firstname.lastname@example.org Greg Kay, Worship and Mission Pastor email@example.com Margaret Sutton, Pastoral Care/Seniors firstname.lastname@example.org Sam Lee, Pastor of Discipleship, email@example.com Suzanna Lai, Church Office and Communications Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Jeremy Ranasinghe, Discpleship Ministries Assistant email@example.com
Ext. 222 Ext. 224 Ext. 226 Ext. 227 Ext. 221
Deacons Clem Lee is excited to begin a new role with Youth Unlimited as the Jane-Finch Community Director for the Jane-Finch Outreach Team on June 1st. Please pray for Clem, Koon, Graydon and Tristin as Clem begins this new role providing leadership and vision in this challenging area of North York.
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 21
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
416.385.2483 416.738.0530 416.222.6963 647.928.0862 416.829.4210 647.704.7710
Bev Holtzman Update Thank you all for your prayer. During this transplant process, I am going to get more tired and in need of help even though it is hard to admit. I don't need help at this second,but I would like to make a list of people I can call or have ready to give to Henry, if and when the time comes I. we need help. You came email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring Garden Church 112 Spring Garden Ave. Toronto ON M2N3G3
T 416.223.4593 F 416.223.6126 www.springgardenchurch.ca email@example.com
Prayer Line 416.223.4038
Faith's Haiti trip From August 18-28th, I have been invited to be part of a team of 5 Baptist women from Ontario who will be in Haiti. We will work with Pastors' wives to teach them how to use the Groups of Hope and a Chaplain will share counselling techniques with them. I will also do a session on learning how to manage Diabetes. It will be my first time in Haiti and I want to invite you to be part of the journey. There is so much poverty there, and if you would like to contribute to the trip, you can send a cheque to CANADIAN BAPTIST WOMEN OF ONTARIO AND QUEBEC: 5 International Blvd, ETOBICOKE ON M9W 6H3, indicating it is for Faith Holwyn, HAITI trip. You can also donate at: www.baptistwomen.com. Blessings....Faith
Beautiful Cats Looking for a Loving Home!
positions of various lay leaders including Elders and Deacons. Nominations to these positions are posted in the church building. We hope to see you there!
Spring Garden Sports Picnic Saturday June 10 at 11:00 am
Hello friends, These are our beautiful female cats Mindy & Maloos. They've been a part of our family for 7 years since tiny kittens. Sadly, we have to rehome them as our daughter has developed allergies. After a year of searching for a good home, we're faced with the devastating choice of shelters as the next option. They are lovely and healthy with no behaviour issues. They are bonded but could do well separately. Always indoors, have all claws, low shed, vaccinated, litter trained, spayed, and both cuddly and sweet when they trust someone. Please call or text us if you are interested. Melissa & Sean: 647-239-1310. Thank you!
Annual Meeting 2017 Sunday June 11 @ 12:00pm
There will be a brief Annual Meeting after worship gathering on Sunday June 11. The purpose of this meeting is to receive our annual reports, approve our audited financial statement from 2016, and vote to fill the
Meet us at Glendora Park (on Willowdale, south of Sheppard) for games, sports, and relaxing. Bring a lunch, blanket, and chair (and a friend)! If it rains, we will meet at the church instead, for sports in the multipurpose room and board games in the youth lounge. Check SGC facebook page the night before! For more info, please contact Esther Penner (firstname.lastname@example.org) 25
Understanding and Loving Muslim Women organized by Wednesday Refresh Bible and Prayer, All are welcome
A talk by Ms. Sali Ghobrial a local pharmacist who works with Life In Christ ministries/Syrian refugees When: Wednesday, June 14 2017 10 am tea/coffee 10:15-11am presentation Where: Spring Garden Church upper lounge Questions?: please contact Faith Holwyn 416-850-7529 To purchase tickets, visit www.matthewhousepresents.com
SUMMER STUDENT POSITION AVAILABLE JOB TITLE: COMPUTER IT AND AUDIO VISUAL SUPPORT PERSON This summer SGC is offering a summer student job to work in both our IT/AV and discipleship ministries. If you or someone you know may be interested in this position, please refer to our website: http://springgardenchurch.ca/job-postings/ to receive more job description and application info.
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) (last meeting June 28th) 7:00 - 8:30pm - ESL Cafe in East Lounge (last Cafe June 28th) Thursdays 12:00pm - 2:00pm - The Thursday Bunch in the East Lounge (last meeting June 22nd) Sundays 9:00am - 10:00am - Morning Bible Study in Meeting Room (last study June 25th) 9:00am - 10:am - ESL Bible Study in Basement Hallway (last study June 25th) 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 June 4th - 10am: Intergenerational Worship followed by BBQ and Bike Blessing June 10th - 11am: Spring Garden Sports Picnic (pg. 25) June 11th - 12pm: Annual Meeting (pg. 24) June 14th - 10:15am : Understanding and Loving Muslim Women (Refresh) (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. 28