Images of Features Images of Psalm 51 3 Welcome to Spring Garden Church 9 Purpose 16 Meet Spring Garden’s Vocational Missionaries 18 Stewardship & Giving 24 Teaching Kids to Give as Worship 28 Departments Resource Centre 12 Financial Update 48 Information Contact Information 37 Community Corner 38 Calendar 39
Cover art: Clement Lee Contributors: Anne Barron Heather Braddock Karen Cassel Marion Goertz Greg Kay Suzanna Lai Sam Lee Jane McClean Geoffrey Moore Jeremy Ranasinghe Gene Tempelmeyer Copy Editors: Greg Kay Gene Tempelmeyer
It is a real gift to have so many people with creative talent in our community. For Lent, 5 of our artists each created a piece based on a different section of Psalm 51. These pieces, interwoven with scripture, ancient spiritual disciplines, and liturgical prayer, gave shape and expression to our communal worship the first Sunday of the season of Lent (if you are interested in the booklet that leads you through these 5 different movements in Psalm 51, you can pick up physical copy in the lounge or download a digital version from springgardenchurch.ca at http://bit.ly/17r8Iz1) C.S. Lewis wrote, “We sit down before a picture in order to have something done to us, not that we may do things with it. The first demand of any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive.” (Thanks Janine for sharing that quote with us!). We are grateful to God for the way His Spirit uses art to draw us in and move us, and grateful to you SGC artists for sharing your gifts with us! The original pieces are hanging in the main lounge, and I can’t encourage you enough to take time to look, listen and receive from them the next time you are in the building.
Greg Kay 3
1. Merciful: Psalm 51:1-2
2. Just: Psalm 51:3-6
Artist: Esther Penner, pencil Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.
Artist: Gene Tempelmeyer, water colour For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinnerâ€”yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.
3. Purifies: Psalm 51:7-9
Artist: Joanna James, pencil and pencil crayon Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins Remove the stain of my guilt. 6
4. Sustains: Psalm 51:10-12
Artist: Dale Forder, ink, gold leaf on paper, felt (100% postconsumer water bottles) Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me
5. Worthy: Psalm 51:13-17
Welcome to Spring Garden Church Becoming part of a new church can be an intimidating process. This is especially true if we haven’t been around churches very often. We want to make it as easy for you as we can to make the transition from thinking about Spring Garden as “your church” to thinking of us as “our Church.” If you have been here only a few times you are probably still wondering, “is this the right church for me?” Your first step toward “our church” is discovering who we are and whether this is the place that is right for you. Here are some things you can do to discover who we are…
Artist: Shannon Loewen, photography Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord,that my mouth may praise you. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.t
• You’re already on the right track by picking up this magazine and reading this article! You can learn a lot about us in “Delve”. We hope this magazine gives you information you need, but that it also gives you a feel for our style and approach to being a church. • There is a welcome area in our lounge with a variety of information including some back issues of “Delve.” The person at the desk Sunday mornings should be able to answer your questions or introduce you to someone who can. While you are there some of the literature you might also find interesting includes: • Our Values Statement that will summarize for you what we consider the most important 9
characteristics of our church; • The Welcome Booklet that describes a variety of ministries and activities in which you and your family can become involved.
• Likely the best way to discover if this is a congregation you could make your home is to worship with us several Sundays. This will give you a broad picture of who we are and what we believe. • Any of our pastors would be delighted to arrange to meet with you and answer any questions about what you might expect at Spring Garden Church. If you have worshipped here several times we hope you will have decided that you would like to make this your church home. At this stage you begin to wonder, “How can I get involved and connected here? How can I get to know people and make friends?” Here are some things you can do to begin feeling like you belong… • One of the best ways to get connected at Spring Garden is to join one of our Life Groups, a network of small groups that meet in people’s homes through the week. There is a listing of available groups on our website: www.springgardenchurch. ca/adult-ministries. Or one of our pastors or someone at the Welcome Desk can connect you with the appropriate people. • Another excellent way to get connected is to join us in some place of service. This might be to join one of our regular, ongoing ministry teams working with children, youth or worship, etc. Or it may be to help out with a special event such as a church lunch or one of our “Showing God’s Care” opportunities. We will be happy to try to help you match your gifts to a place of service. Please speak with one of our pastors and we will try to connect you in the right place. • Check out one of the two 9:00 AM Sunday Bible Studies. One 10
study meets in the upper northeast corner of the building while a special ESL Bible Study meets in the lower southwest corner. • If you are interested in baptism and/or becoming a church member you can pick up a Membership Booklet from the church office or Pastor Gene Tempelmeyer. Gene or the Welcome Desk can also help you get a box of offering envelops if that is what you desire.
New Split Class for PreK’s The size of our PreK-SK class has been unmanageable and therefore starting March 1, we have created a new class for our 3 year olds. The location of this new class will be in the old Grade 1-2 classroom. March 29 - Easter Ex-Offender Meal This is a great way for you as a family to participate in showing God’s care. (see pg.34 for details) Easter Worship Gathering Though Easter is in April, we wanted to give you a heads up about our intergenerational worship. Children will stay in for the whole gathering and will participate in an Easter Egg Hunt during the gathering. We will be sending out an Easter Egg Hunt invitation for your children to invite their friends. Renovations We have a team of people working on renovating the different classrooms in our program. If you are able to help with painting, woodwork or manual labour, please speak to Sam (pastor of Discipleship). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Books Simply Good News: Why the Gospel is News, and What Makes it Good, by N.T. Wright The gospel has been around for 2,000 years---but what is “newsworthy” about it? And what makes it good? Believing that today’s Christians have lost sight of its true meaning, Wright demonstrates how a firstcentury audience would have received the message, what the “good news” really is, and how it can transform our lives today. Teaching kids about God, by John Trent From the parenting experts at Focus on the Family comes a practical resource to help you teach your children what they need to know about God at every age and stage. This book will help you steer your child along the path of knowing, loving, and living with God, offering ageappropriate milestones from the time your 12
child is a toddler until she enters her teen years. From giving your toddler a firm faith foundation to helping your preteen make the right choices, Teaching Kids about God provides specific ways to give your child a solid spiritual base so he can grow up to be all God made him to be.
For Young Readers Sophie Steps Up, by Nancy Rue Sophie knows how it feels to be the new girl—different and “weird.” She also remembers needing a friend. When a new girl in class is assigned to Sophie’s drama group, she wants to get to know her. Sophie learns to accept her new friend’s culture. But how will the other Corn Flakes teach others about acceptance if they cannot seem to learn themselves?
DVD’s Adventures in Odyssey: Wildest Summer Ever A violent tornado, a visit with George Washington, a turbulent journey with Jonah, and starting a radio station by kids, for kids---what a crazy summer vacation! Come join the fun in Odyssey. Along the way, you’ll learn priceless lessons about God, perseverance, and more! More Than Dreams For decades, a phenomenon has been recurring in the Muslim world. Men and women--without any knowledge of the Gospel and without any contacts with Christians--have been profoundly affected after experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. Here are five such stories of former Muslims who now follow Jesus as their Savior, recreated in docudrama format.
It was a Bible Study of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians that changed the face of Western Christianity. As the 16th century began, Europe was still haunted by memories of the Black Plague that decimated populations across the continent. The church was widely perceived to be corrupt and preoccupied with amassing wealth and power. In Germany an inquisitive monk named Martin Luther was trying to find peace with himself and God. He began a study of the Letter to the Galatians. And you probably know the rest of the story. A group of us will be studying Galatians this spring. It may not change the Western World. But it very well may change us as we deepen our understanding of the Good News in Christ. You are welcome to join us! Obviously, you will receive the best benefit from this study by participating in as many of the eight sessions as possible. But, understanding how complicated our schedules can become, we are approaching this on a `come as you can` basis. Starting Monday, March 2 we will meet every other week at the home of Mike, Esther and Mia Penner at 60 Crispin Crescent (near Bathurst and Steeles). Gene Tempelmeyer will lead us starting at 7:30 and promises to be done each session by 8:45 at the latest. You will want to bring your own Bible, whatever translation you most often read. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar (or inquisitive monk) to participate. You just need to be willing to open your Bible and think about what we find there. 15
God wanted me to move to Toronto. I did not want to leave the church family that I was just starting to feel comfortable with. I was just starting to feel like a normal person. But I knew what I had heard from God and that I needed to pack and move to Toronto.
Three years ago I asked God what was my purpose for living. I was not attending church on a regular basis and decided if I wanted to get to know His will I needed to be among people who were also listening to Him. I looked up my old standby, Crossfire Assembly, and started to attend regularly. The music was awesome, loud, and full of percussion - my personal favourite. The people were warm and loving and very accepting. As I turned to God my life started to turn around. My depressive mood lifted and I started to discover that I was lovable. Just before Christmas I received a phone call from a man whom I had house shared before. He needed help. His seven year old son would need a new babysitter, which I immediately wanted to do but there was a catch. He had started a job in Toronto. Taking that position would mean moving back in with a very demanding person and uprooting myself from Hamilton. I do not like change. But I love the boy desperately. I asked God what His will was. Can you guess what He said?
Eighteen months ago I entered Spring Garden for the first time, a newly transplanted Hamiltonian who desperately needed a church home. I came on the recomendation of my Pentecostal pastor that ‘Spring Garden was good people’. As I walked through the doors I could hear the worship music and I immediately relaxed. I sat near the back of the church but was immediately drawn into the music and was slightly disappointed when it ended. Needless to say I knew I had found my place after only one visit. (Oh and by the way the relaxed dress of all around me was a great bonus) Fast forward to the present. I have been in Toronto two years already. Time really does fly. I attend nearly every Sunday. I am part of the best small group ever. I am also one of the youngest members of the Seniors Bible Study. I recently have taken steps to become even more involved in this church home. Recently the little boy, his daddy and I moved and it was a very difficult move. But God and Spring Garden were there to help. One member of my small group bought boxes for me. One family helped moved stuff when the movers didn’t finish the job. I struggle every day with my disabilities but somehow knowing that this church family is here waiting and willing to do whatever is needed just brings a big smile to my face. I face the world with a different attitude. Heather Braddock
Yeppers that Sunday Pastor Patti preached that as God’s people, we were to be God’s love whereever, whenever and with whomever He chose. My heart started racing as I knew that 16
Meet Spring Garden’s Vocational Missionaries Over the next few issues of Delve we will be introducing you to SGC Vocational missionaries. In keeping with Spring Garden’s desire to teach our kids and families about the diversity of our shurch, the community of believers, we are wanting to share some of the stories and experiences of the people who serve God in a variety of settings, and a variety of capacities, throughout the world. We encourage you to be open to learning more about the work being done through the commitment of service to God and his people made by our vocational missionaries. Much can be accomplished by God through the dedication of people’s hearts, gifts and lives. In Mark chapter 16 verse 15 Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” At Spring Garden we believe that everyone is called to be a missionary, a “sent-one”, someone who goes out and shares Jesus with the people they meet. Every day each of us has opportunities to share Jesus with our neighbours, classmates, co-workers, people we meet in our daily lives, through our words and actions. Some followers of Jesus realize that God is calling them to be a full-time missionary as their job, their vocation, and they receive training and placement under the umbrella of a mission agency. Some work right here in North York, some serve God and his people in other parts of Canada and others work in a variety of settings around the world. To be a vocational missionary, most individuals need to raise their own financial support. As a congregation, we support our vocational missionaries through our budget which is funded by our weekly offering. These men and women need to raise support from a number of different sources and this requires a lot of prayer and faith that they will be able to do the work that God has called them to do, while trusting that their human needs will be provided for. As you read about our vocational missionaries please feel free to 18
store these pages in your bible, on your fridge or at your dinner table as a reminder to pray regularly for them, their families and the important kingdom work that they do. (If you are reading this on-line you can pick up a hard copy at the welcome desk at the church.) We encourage you to seek to know more about the challenges and the joys of their ministry placements and how you can support these members of our church family in their work. Your engagement will no doubt be a 360 degree blessing. Vocational Missionary Care Team – Anne Barron, Jane McClean, Marion Goertz Kathy Webb serves with Youth Unlimited Toronto – (Family: Dave, Emily and Casey) I am part of the Central Services Team at Youth Unlimited, serving at the main office as an Administrative Assistant in support of about 70 staff. My role includes things like maintaining databases, helping staff (especially new staff) with prayer cards and letters as they communicate with their donors, donation processing, helping with special events, and facilitating prayer for all of our staff by means of a monthly prayer list. I have been with YU for 11 years and am so thankful to be supported and encouraged by the Spring Garden community! Prayer Request: being able to serve from a heart that is focused on God and others. Jen Chrystman serves with Overseas Missionary Fellowship Philippines I serve with OMF at the Calapan Center in the Philippines. Along with my furry kid Doorbelle and her grandson Snowball, I help other missionaries relax between busy tasks. Working 19
with a few staff to create beautiful living spaces, great meals and wonderful memories is top priority. Prayer Request: for my right shoulder to heal well and for more guests to come and be refreshed. Kevin and Joyce Richardson serving with SIM Africa Kevin helps adult students understand God’s Word so they can experience the love of God and can walk closely with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Many graduates become pastors and missionaries; others work in various sectors of government or in business. Joyce helps missionaries when they are struggling in a strange culture; when they get very tired and cranky; when Moms and Dads are feeling stressed; when children need help for their special needs; and when missionaries feel afraid and discouraged. Prayer Request: for energy, for good health, and a growing passion to love the Lord, our God, with all our hearts, souls, strength and minds, and our neighbours as ourselves. And may Jesus protect us from Evil. Jesse James serves with Youth Unlimited North York – (Family: Joanna, Julianna) In the neighbourhood of Willowdale my work involves both mentoring and collaboration. I mentor local youth, participate in Spring Garden’s Discipleship Ministries and partner with Northview Heights SS and Drewry SS to develop leadership programs and specialized opportunities for students. I 20
collaborate by working with colleagues from Youth Unlimited, with the Willowdale Collaboration Network, and partnering with local organizations, groups or individuals to develop initiatives and events that meet needs or pursue causes relevant to Willowdale’s youth and families. Much of my work has a cycling focus, within the YU program called Revolution(s). I work with Clem Lee to develop and implement programs that help youth discover more of the love of God for them, how he created them, and the daily spirituality of their own growing love for God. Prayer Request: for continued healthy life rhythms for the James family as I am also doing my MDiv at Tyndale fulltime. Pray, too, that a continued focus on the neighbourhood of Willowdale will bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God! Clement Lee serves with Youth Unlimited North York – (Family: Koon, Tristan, Graydon) I serve with Youth Unlimited in the Willowdale area. As an outreach worker, my role is to connect with youth and their families through cycling, serving and mentoring initiatives we run throughout the year. In the next few months, I’ll be focusing on the Earn-a-Bike program. This outreach program teaches youth bicycle mechanics and gives them an opportunity to earn a bike of their own. Prayer request: the Earn-a-Bike program and its participants Anne Woolger serving at Matthew House Refugee Reception Home, Toronto I am the Founder and Executive Director of Matthew House Toronto, a network of 3 homes in the city for newly arrived refugee claimants who arrive in Canada seeking asylum (without sponsors) and are 21
simply numbered among the homeless with noone to help them. Matthew House was founded in 1998, when I was an active member at Spring Garden, and brought into being by the support and prayers of many Spring Gardeners. Matthew House has welcomed and assisted more than 1,300 refugee claimants from 88 different nations since opening. It has also been a catalyst for the launching of a dozen other Christian refugee shelters across Canada. Volunteers from Spring Garden have helped with all aspects of the ministry including: serving on the board, running summer camps, organizing special events, cleaning the house, cooking meals, organizing volunteers, running for our Scotiabank Charity team, and praying faithfully. Prayer Request: Pray for the refugee residents from all nations - that many would be touched by the love of Christ as reflected through the volunteers and staff who serve them. Please also pray for me for wisdom and grace as Matthew House goes through a time of transition with staffing and programming. Pray also for my mother whose health is declining quickly due to a degenerative neurological disease. Grace Bartel serving with TeachBeyond – Manitoba TeachBeyond connects Christian educators with international opportunities - sending out teachers and administrators who provide quality education from a Christian worldview. We partner with International Schools, Universities, National Schools, ESL and we do teacher training in North India, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. I live in Manitoba but work with the Candidate Processing Committee whose members are scattered through the US and Canada. Last year we sent 108 missionaries to eighteen countries. Prayer Request: pray for our missionaries, that they will stay healthy, keep close to Jesus, and share the love of Jesus every day. 22
We are now collecting information for our SGC Community Directory. There are 3 ways you can submit your information 1. Visit www.springgardenchurch.ca and click on “Community Directory” located on the top of home page. Fill out the online form and you are done! Only one submission needed per individual or household. OR 2. Visit the Community Directory Kiosk located in the lounge beside the welcome desk (available until March 8) and enter your information there. OR 3. Fill out one of the paper forms and drop it in the form collecting box. Please use the paper form only if you are unable to submit your information via web or kiosk. Minimizing paper forms will reduce data entry time and allow the office to produce the community directory faster with less chance for errors. Please submit an entry even if your info has not changed since the last directory. Thank you! Please have your info submitted by March 8 to be included in the 2015 Community Directory booklet. The online form will be continually available for you to update your information throughout the year. Please re-submit a form every time your contact information changes. Submissions entered after March 8 2015 will however be included in next year’s printing of directory booklet. Thank you for helping us better communicate with you! 23
Thoughts from our Treasurer on Stewardship & Giving
be courageous, be strong, do everything in Love”. • Romans 12 – “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer, share with those in need.”
The Spring Garden Budget for 2015 was approved at $525,000. To reach this Budget we will all have to look at our individual financial/family situation and decide how much to give. Keep in mind that like many charities the 75/25 rule applies where 75% of the Budget is funded by 25% of the donors.
Some thoughts and scripture verses to assist us to understand Stewardship & Giving:
• 2 Corinthians 9:7 – Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give and not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver! • 2 Corinthians 9:6 – remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously….
• In Old Testament times it was “required” to give 10% of your income to the Church. 2 Chronicles 31:2-21 – Israelites generously gave! Great amount left over...”this is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah doing what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God”. • I Corinthians 10:12 – One of the greatest dangers we face in life is prosperity – whether financial, social, or spiritual – leads to forgetting our dependency on God (Tyre was so!)... so, if you think that you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
• Matthew 6:16 – Do not store for yourselves treasures on earth where months and vermin destroy and where thieves break-in and steal. But store it for yourself in treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is that is where your heart will be also! (“a person only believes that which motivates them….”)
Unity is Strength! • Psalm 133, Verse 1-3 – “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. For there the Lord bestows his blessings....Romans 12:4-6 – “for just as each of us has one body with many members and these members do not have the same function, so in Christ, though many form one body and each member belongs to all the others we have different gifts according to the Grace given to each of us!” • Proverbs 15:23 – “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply– how good is a timely word.” • I Corinthians 1:13..”be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, 24
Wisdom: • The wise and foolish – Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise person who built their house on a rock. • Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Life does not consist in abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15) • Luke 16:13 – No one can serve 2 masters. Also you cannot serve both God and money. Gratitude: • Mark 12:41-44 – The widow’s mite - they all gave out of their wealth but she out of her poverty put in everything. • Acts 20-35 – it is more blessed to give than to receive! • Hebrews 13:15 – Keep your lives free from love of money and be content with what you have because God has said: 25
Never will I leave you Never will I forsake you. Real Life: Comments from the book titled “Fields of Gold” by Andy Stanley – Living Books by Tyndale House Publishers Inc. • “You and I live in a dustbowl. Every day we brace ourselves for impending devastation that could sweep across the financial landscape and wipe out our stores of seed….Question – “What if I gave away too much? What if there is not enough left for me?” It is easy to slowly become irrational about our possessions, we lose sight of who really owns them!” • “In the U.S. only 3-5% of Church attendees give 10% of their income. Meanwhile wealth accumulated by Church-going people has reached record levels…” • “Fear has been one of the principal enemies of growing faith. It’s important to realize that FEAR and FAITH often go hand in hand. FAITH bridges the gap – Matthew 6:33 – read!” • “As a Christian you don’t need to be limited to a threshold of fear and self-preservation as your limits for your generosity are not prescribed by mere financial principals….stepping outside your comfort zone is not careless irresponsibility, but a necessary act of obedience.” • “As a Pastor I see 2 kinds of givers – people who give what’s left over, and people who give off the top and live on what is left over….the second group sees everything as belonging to God, including the responsibility to meet their daily needs. Generosity is their priority, although they do not give carelessly.” • “10% tithing has always been pretty easy for me….but throughout my life, there have been defining moments when I was challenged to go about and beyond my regular giving and each time I faced one of those challenges, I experienced fear. Fear is a regular part of the landscape for anyone who wants to grow in faith.” • “Getting God involved in your finances involves surrendering 26
control of your money to Him.” • “Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 to learn more about a generous giver!” It could be worthwhile to you to get this book and read it and gain a sense of the possible stewardship of your money that leads to generous gifting of what the Lord has given you! Closing: At Spring Garden we have a strong Church Body with unity and as we experience God’s grace in our lives (as Gene spoke about in his February 15th sermon), we can learn to be generous contributors to His Kingdom on earth. Warm Regards! Geoffrey Moore Your Treasurer for umpteen years!
Put Waste in its Place The city of Toronto will be conducting random inspections on our waste sorting program throughout the year. Failure to sort our waste properly according to City of Toronto standard will result in the church having to pay commercial waste disposal rate (instead of religious organization rate). Please pay careful attention to the Waste Disposal Posters when disposing your garbage in the church facility and make sure it goes in the correct bin. Please visit the WASTE WIZARD at toronto.ca/ recycle if your item is not listed on the posters. We need everyone’s help to ensure we pass the inspections. Thank you for taking care of our church facility! 27
Teaching Kids to Give as Worship This winter we have been trying to teach our kids how to worship in the ways we worship upstairs while they are usually downstairs. This is not to imply that they don’t know how to worship God. In fact, our children’s ministry is designed to give kids many creative ways to learn about, listen to and respond to God. They have things to teach us! Part of the difficulty we have transitioning kids and youth into the life of the church is that many, perhaps most, churches are far less creative and thoughtful in their adult ministries than in ministry with children and youth. We are trying our best to close that gap in both directions by keeping kids upstairs once a month to experience part of what we do each Sunday. This month we will be teaching kids how to participate in the offering. Have you ever wondered why we collect an offering somewhere in the heart of our worship time? There are other, more time-efficient, ways to raise money to pay our bills and make it possible to do the ministry we do. Most synagogues, for example, fund their budget by charging membership fees. Many Protestant churches in the past charged pew rent. The prime pews, nearest to the pulpit, cost more than seats further toward the back. Still other churches leave a box at the back for donations to be made in a more private manner. We have a weekly offering because giving is an act of worship and community. We do not give to the church, or to the pastors. We give our offering to God. We do this as an expression of gratitude for the many things God has given to us. We also give as an expression of trust that God will supply our needs. We are able to be generous not because of whom we are, but because of whom God is. 28
Jesus once commended a widow for putting two small coins in the offering because, although others made larger gifts, giving out of very limited resources her two coins represented a deeper level of generosity and faith. The more we have, the more generous we can afford to be. If the offering is a gift to God, why involve the church? Why not just give to meet a variety of legitimate needs? Giving is also an act of community. We are in this together. Being a church community costs not only money, but time, talent and energy as well. When we look at the resources needed to provide a local church ministry each one of us has a responsibility to carry our fair share of the load. We cannot give what we do not have. But we can give joyfully out of what we do have so that, everyone doing their fair share, we can provide a vibrant and helpful ministry to each other and the world. If you want to move more deeply into the spirituality of giving, we give to the church as an act of submission to one another. Early in the Book of Acts we see believers providing for the needs of brothers and sisters living in poverty. But rather than just giving directly to needy people they saw, they brought money to the apostles who distributed it to those in need. This was an act of trust and submission to the community. In part, they trusted the apostles to have a more clear view of the big picture. (Note that they did not give to “an apostle” but to the group of apostles who could collaborate together in determining where these gifts could do the most good.) This is more than a pragmatic effort to use money as wisely as possible. I’m certain there were times when donors would have divided money differently than how apostles dispersed it. Giving to the apostles was an act of yielding, of literally giving “my right” to the wider community. I cannot emphasize enough how deeply spiritual this sacrifice was. It is so much easier to give away my money than it is to 29
sacrifice my opinion! Yet, this kind of self denial is imperative for the follower of Jesus who wants to obey God and yield herself/himself to God’s desire rather than one’s own. Of course, in our system decisions about money are owned more broadly by the community at large. Although our Caring and Sharing Fund that meets the needs of those in financial crisis continues to follow the pattern set in Acts, our general operating expenses are budgeted and voted on in a meeting in which every church member has a right to speak and vote. Whether we have $1000 to give or $100,000 to give, we all have the same one vote. I have been part of the budgeting process often enough to know that the outcome is always a collaboration in which no one wins all the arguments. But when we are all heard and the vote is taken we all submit to the decisions of the gathered community. In our individualistic and consumerist culture this is an incredibly important spiritual discipline. It can be very tempting to say, “I don’t like the priorities established by the gathered community, so instead of giving my money through the budget I’ll just give directly to what I think is important.” And everyone has the right to give beyond the church to those causes for which we are passionate. But this does not negate our responsibility to carry our fair share of the community to which we belong. When we see our giving as an act of submission to our spiritual community, like every other spiritual discipline, this yields significant benefit to our relationship with God. The irony of “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5) is that we find freedom through submission. It is hard to think how anything could break the hold of North America’s culture of acquisition more quickly than this collaborative approach to communal giving. How do we teach our kids to give as a spiritual practice? One of the most important things we would like our kids to 30
understand is the value of money: what it can do, what it can’t do and how hard it is to come by. Every parent is sometimes frustrated by a child’s assumption that mom and dad have plenty of money and so there is no reason why they couldn’t buy that video game or junk food if they really wanted to. Most children don’t worry about money because they don’t have to and because they have very little awareness of what they have actually costs. By the time they are finishing high school our kids are already receiving offers from credit card companies who know that if they gain their business now they will likely have it for a lifetime. If we haven’t taught our kids financial stewardship (managing money) by then they will learn some hard lessons that will cost both them and us stress and money to pay their way out of debt. On Sunday, March 8, we will be keeping kids upstairs a few minutes longer than usual so they can participate in the offering. As much as we can, given the age of our children, we want to attach giving to the real cost of things, whether time, work or money. Here are a few things you might do to help your child understand and meaningfully give an offering to God: • Leading up to March 8 be alert to things your child particularly enjoys. This might be a toy or game they are playing with, something that they like to eat, or an activity they enjoy. Ask them what they think it probably cost. Tell them what it did cost and break it down into units they can understand. For example, a toy that cost twenty dollars is 80 quarters. How high would a stack of 80 quarters be? Talk about what a good number of quarters might be to make an offering to say “Thank you” to God that they are able to have that toy. Give them a chore to do that will earn them that number of quarters to give to God on Sunday. Take one of the pew offering envelops, if they are able, have them write their name on the envelop, put their quarters into it, and let them place it on the offering plate. (By the way, even quite young children are capable of doing simple chores and it is good for their development to have age-appropriate expectations placed 31
SGC Youth: Gr 7-12
• Take one of the pew envelops, have your child decorate the outside of the envelope and write a “Thank you” note to God that they will place inside it. Let them place their gift in the offering plate. Alternatively, you can give them a chore to do as a gift to God and write that on the decorated envelop. • Invite your child to help you prepare your envelop. When you write your cheque or place money in the envelop, tell them how many meals that represents and explain why you are willing to give that to God. Let them put it into the plate on Sunday. (If you use the pre-authorized chequing option, explain how that works and write a note to place inside the envelop explaining that it represents x amount of dollars.) • I know that opinions vary on allowances, but I think they are a good way to teach kids how to manage money. This works best when kids are expected to make optional purchases from their allowance (instead of giving them money on a case by case basis) and when the allowance is tied to the completion of reasonable chores. If you give your kids an allowance and they don’t already do so, bump it up a small notch on the condition that they regularly give a proportion of it and save a proportion of it. This is a good habit to get into early! Next month we will teach our kids a bit more about engaging in music and singing in worship. If you have ideas that could help children think about what they are singing and how they can sing and make movements to worship God, let me know!
March 6-8 - Youth Retreat Our youth group will be going up to Scott Mission Camp in Caledon for a weekend retreat. We have a lot of fun activities planned, some personal stories about God, and a concentrated time away to build a sense of community with each other. Cost: $60 - Cheques payable to “Spring Garden Church” Limited Spots available!! March 15 - Raptors Centre Court Each year CBOQ Youth holds an event called Centre Court. This is an unforgettable experience that gives youth a chance to do something with their friends that they don’t normally get to do. Students may invite their unchurched friends to a neutral environment where they will enjoy a Raptors game at the A.C.C (Air Canada Centre) and then a post-game rally at the courtside featuring games, lots of prizes and a chance to step foot onto an NBA court. The big attraction of this event is a personal testimony of one of the NBA players as he shares his story about how God has impacted his life. Cost: $30 This event is also open to our grade 5 & 6’s. March 29 - Church Wide Cookoff We will be cooking together as a church family in helping the ministry that Brad Sider is a part of. This event is open to everyone and anyone who would like to serve and give back to those that need help. (see pg.34 for details) If you would like more information about these events, or have any questions, please feel free to contact Jeremy or Sam
Easter Meals for Ex-Offenders
Help prepare: On Palm Sunday March 29 @noon we will be preparing the lasagna’s, brownies, soup-in-a-jar mixes, and Easter cards. Everyone is welcome! This is intentionally designed so that children can participate. Bring a bag lunch, and we will eat together before we get to work @ noon. To hear more about the ministry go to http://www. friendsofdismas.com/ If you have any questions, please contact Greg Kay (email@example.com) If you would like to support the work MCC is doing with ex-offenders but are unable to participate in this project, there are possibilities of us putting together a team to prepare meals for Dismas (regular evenings of support and community) if enough people are interested. Please contact Brad Sider (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Greg Kay.
This Lent and Easter Season one small way we will be engaging in the spiritual discipline of Showing God’s Care (aka the “outward discipline of service” according to Richard Foster) is to prepare Easter meal care packages for ex-offenders. Once again we will be doing this in partnership with Brad Sider and the MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) who work alongside ex-offenders, supporting them as they reintegrate into the community. Ways you can participate: Item donation: You can serve by donating items we need to make lasagna’s, brownies, soup-in-a-jar mixes, and Easter cards. Signup sheets are in the West Lounge. 34
Financial Update February 2015
Leadership at Spring Garden
Financial Results at 1/31/2015 Pro-rated Budget Total Revenue Shortfall to Budget Cash Position
Pastoral Team $43,750 $23,194 $20,556 $55,000
As noted at the February 10th Budget Meeting it would be good to spread your givings evenly throughout the year if possible! There are several ways you can contribute financially to Spring Garden Church: 1. You can use the envelops in the pew. If you are unsure of your donor number, please simply fill in your name and address. 2. Your own box of numbered envelops (for 2015 only). Please discontinue using the envelopes from previous years as the donor numbers are different. 3. Sign up for Pre-authorized Debit with church office. Printable PDF forms are available on SGC website www. springgardenchurch.ca/giving 4. Give through Canada Helps (https://www.canadahelps. org/en/charities/spring-garden-baptist-church/). Link is also available on SGC website. We appreciate your generous support for our ministries at SGC. Please feel free to forward your questions and requests to office@ springgardenchurch. ca
Gene Tempelmeyer, Pastor email@example.com Greg Kay, Worship 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, Youth Intern firstname.lastname@example.org Nazli Bashiri, Childrenâ€™s Intern email@example.com
Ext. 222 Ext. 224 Ext. 226 Ext. 227 Ext. 221
Deacons 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
Life around Spring Garden
Life in Spring Garden
Tuesdays 2:00 pm - Pastoral Team meeting 7:00 pm - ESL Café Wednesdays 9:45 am - Refresh Women’s Bible Study
Baptisms will be conducted on Easter Sunday April 5th. If you are considering getting baptized or would like more information on receiving baptism, please contact pastor Gene email@example.com or 416-223-4593 x 222
Please note that the SGC Prayerline is now only available by dialing 416-223-4038. The same content is on the SGC website www.springgardenchurch.ca/prayer. You can access through either phone or via web to leave prayer requests or see the prayer requests posted by spring gardeners. Let’s pray for one another!
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) 12:00pm - Young Adult Life Group If you would like to receive a weekly email update on what’s happening in Spring Garden, please visit SGC website and add your email at the bottom of our home page to subscribe to our weekly update This Month Palm Sunday March 29 - Prepare Easter Meals for Ex-offenders - 12pm Friday April 3rd - Good Friday Worship Gathering with Communion - 10am - Childcare available for nursery and toddlers, children’s program available for JK and up Sunday April 5th - Sunrise Worship Gathering – 6:20am - Easter Sunday Worship Gathering & Baptism – 10am - Easter egg hunt - during worship gathering - Congregational Easter Brunch – 11:30am We need your help with the Congregational Easter Brunch. If you or your life group is willing to organize and/or help with this event, please contact Pastor Gene – firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-223-4593 x 222 39
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. 40