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May 2018



Features Two Stories of Baptism Why Intergenerational Worship? Finding our Way through Leadership Transition: Introducing the Navigation Team

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Departments SGC Discipleship Ministries Resource Centre

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Information Contact Inormation Calendar

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Cover & Design: Dale Forder Michelle Li Contributors: Victoria Shipmaker Mary Theile Clement Lee Sam Lee Karen Cassel Jeremy Ranasinghe Gene Tempelmeyer

Delve submissions are due on the LAST MONDAY of each month. To submit for the next issue of Delve, please email:

Copy Editors: Sam Lee Karen Cassel Jeremy Ranasinghe Michelle Li Gene Tempelmeyer

Two Stories of Baptism by Mary Theile and Victoria Shipmaker


Short Preface from Gene Tempelmeyer: Here are two very different stories of baptism from people who grew up in churches that weren’t Baptist but made the decision to be baptised as part of Spring Garden Church. They do not reflect everyone’s thoughts, feelings, or experience. In fact, they don’t even reflect each other’s thoughts, feeling, and experience! They do represent the kind of stories I often hear from congregants who are very much part of our community but do not share our historic understanding of baptism, many of whom have made the choice to not be rebaptised or to be baptised at all. Mary and Vic, thank you for your honesty with us! Everyone else – enjoy! Mary and I were both baptised by immersion on the same day - it was the first time I really learned her name. When I felt the desire to give my reflections on my baptism at Spring I thought immediately thought it would be good to get hers as well. We wrote these without consulting each other but wanted to submit them together.

I was, needless to say too young to be party to this very strict church rule. I learned at a young age that once baptized, I could not and should not, ever be baptized again. I don’t recall why, I just know that was the rule. I also learned at a young age that I really need not question much about my Roman Catholic faith. The nuns who taught us our catechism answered most questions with either “it’s in the bible” or “have faith”. I never questioned that I would ever be baptized again......until Spring Garden. I never felt a sense of community, fellowship, spiritual growth or guidance during those young Catholic years. Actually I didn’t know that it existed or that I needed it. My daughter Michelle introduced me to “that other church,” you know, that "Protestant" one, when she was fourteen. Michelle had been attending a Christian youth group, with a fellow classmate. We both attended that church for a number of years. Now, as an adult, I knew that I could have my own opinions, and make my own spiritual choices. In order to become a member of my now cherished church, I must be baptized by immersion, wow!! This was their rule, and so the inside turmoil began. Now what do I do? Do I want this choice? I guess it was easier after all, when the choice was made for me all those years ago.

Cathedral like setting, Montreal, 1951, my infant non immersion baptism.

What am I thinking and feeling? Do I want to be a member, yes! However does this immersion baptism discredit that solemn sacrament I received as a baby? Wasn't my infant baptism real?

I was less than a month old, and my parents were following the rules of their Roman Catholic faith. Infants should be baptized as soon as possible, surely within the first month of their lives. This was to erase the “original sin” we were thought to be born with on our souls.

I started on the road of thinking and could I be born with any kind of sin on my soul? My Lord and Savior had died for my sins, long before I was ever born. I was so confused! I tried to do some soul searching.....but I stumbled, questioned and continued to be confused.

The urgency to be baptized as soon as possible was to make sure that in the unfortunate event of death, infants would enter heaven sin free. Therefore avoiding going to a place called "Limbo", with this sin, and never being able to see God. That teaching is finally no longer believed by the Roman Catholic Church.

I had a strong feeling of fellowship within my Baptist church. I learned that God really loves me. I learned that God actually wants to have a relationship with me. I learned how to speak with Him. I learned that He is a loving God. I learned that His way is the best way.

Mary's Reflections



I learned to trust Him, and that He will hear me. I learned that He will never leave me. I learned about my Real God. This had been all so foreign to me. I had thought God was that Almighty Being who created us and whom we worshipped but also feared. I was still a tad reluctant and still wasn’t sure if I could really conform and be baptized by immersion. Maybe I could just escape and be baptized in the backyard pool, just you know to, “get it done” Fortunately I have a pastor who was a step ahead of me. Baptism is not something to “just get done” and not something to hide. I had so much food for thought. Why am I getting baptized again? The only answer I could come up with was....God had led me to this wonderful place of worship and become a full member of my church family, I must follow follow the rules. One of those rules being, that I must be baptized by immersion. I came to a place of acceptance.....that is, doing this as being good and faithful servant to my church well as having my church family right there with me witnessing the renewal to my Christian faith. I found within the past twenty two years, a wonderful Christian enlightenment and introduction to an Amazing God. I also found out that when He speaks it's always best to listen. He can be quite persistent, so it’s best to listen up. On a wonderful day not too many years ago, I had the pleasure of being at my sister Gail’s home in Montreal. Sitting on her balcony, I was in thought and prayer. God spoke to me all right ! He spoke to me through the Holy Spirit. It was just as though He was right there sitting with me. Talking with me, explaining, filling me with calm clear insight and releasing me from my turmoil. I wasn’t confused. I felt euphoria, this was heaven on earth. I felt empowered, gifted, special, overwhelmed and filled. The thoughts concerning this immersion baptism were changing. I didn't need to hide, I felt that I had trusted God and He was with me now and had been throughout this journey. I can’t really say that I felt a heavenly “thud” happen when I immersed from that water. I surely can say that I’m happy I didn’t 6

run away, hide and “just” fulfill a Church rule. I am a part of Spring Garden, and, this is where I belong. I do feel that this was my adult acknowledgement of my infant baptism. A decision made by me. Don’t misunderstand me this was not just a case of “the end justifies the means”. I would have preferred for my immersion baptism to be recognized as my adult confirmation of the baptism I received as an infant. I feel that God doesn’t care about the amount of water used to baptize a person. I came to feel and realize that baptism is between me and God. He doesn’t put the rules on it that we do. My baptism is a spiritual bond between me and my God. God, and God alone knows my motives and I’m quite sure He is ok with them. I really believe that His rules on "LOVE" are the best rules..... everything else will follow.

Victoria's Reflections Feelings on My Baptisms I’m a thinker. I don’t get swayed by how I feel so much as by what I think. Logic trumps emotion! For this article I decided to go the more difficult route to talk about how I felt about my baptisms. My First Baptism Joy. Since age 8 I had been warned that if I did not get baptised I would be sent to Hell. Even at that age I refused to bow down to a god that demanded an empty sacrifice. The day of my baptism 28 years later was a culmination of casual searches for who God is. Who is this god that would hate me for not giving blind obedience but would also show up healing the sick and showing mercy to the poor? How can a whole god be so divided in personality? To finally know Him and love Him in all His revelations was a precious gift. 7

The joy culminated not with the water of baptism but with the ability to address the congregation with my own proclamation of God’s goodness. I had no inkling that I would ever proclaim Christ to a congregation after that chance and had no plan to enter ministry in any form. Ten years later I would come to Spring with wounds from my church and denomination. I quickly met with Toronto Baptist Ministries to offer to volunteer with administration and met with Laurie Barber at the CBOQ to chat about this transition into a new denomination. I needed people to know I existed in the denomination and was eager to find my place and serve where I might fit. It was really tough making the change – I loved my previous congregation and denomination even if I didn’t love the structure and governance. I was blessed to have served a church as the interim pastor as my last form of ministry before seeking a new church home. A career in ministry had seemed so close. Spring was in flux when Cliff and I came so we never received envelopes or met with the membership person. It was so different than my first church where they were thirsty for new people and watched to see when we came and when we didn’t and would check up on us. On our first day at Spring we saw a few people we knew – and one offered his commiserations over some personal difficulties that few people in the city were aware of. I was pleased to see a budget printed in the bulletin and a service with a careful sermon. It felt like a good fit on the first visit. We started to volunteer in a committed way in the 5th month of coming and were surprised that there wasn’t much screening done or interviewing before we could start to teach the Bible to newcomers. This suited me fine as I was having difficulty shaking off my homesickness for my original denomination and I needed time to process exactly who I was now that my faith tradition had changed. I was so unknown that Gene upon putting my face to my name was surprised to find out that I wasn’t Chinese!

like an outsider. I hadn't expected this as Spring had seemed to be more open and gracious then other churches. I had been taught it is wrong to get rebaptised and in my case I saw no need to as I felt very comfortable in proclaiming my reliance on God and in being open about my journey. I had dealt with some hurtful misconceptions about my baptism while training for ministry. My tradition was very picky theologically but welcomed people who had experienced either mode into fellowship - though they only practised infant baptism. In my first tradition the baptism of the baby signifies that he/ she is part of the body of Christ just as circumcision identified those males who were part of the Jewish religion. As a baby and a child you are under the spiritual care not only of your parents but the congregation. Babies that are critically ill upon birth do not receive baptism because as the children of believers they are already secure in Christ. It is hard for a parent to be told this but it is to prevent any adoption of an older Roman Catholic belief that baptism of a baby was required to ensure Christ’s mercy. Later those young adults are encouraged to contemplate what they know of God and to make a decision to follow Christ. If they are ready they offer a profession of faith in Christ in front of the congregation. From that day onwards they belong to Christ and are members of the church. Straying from Christ they way we typically do does not result in a need for a new baptism or a new decision to follow Christ. Instead they believe that Christ is actively waiting and reaching for us to turn back to Him to continue the work He has started.

Seeking Membership In the Church

I understood the historical significance of immersion but not to the point of refusing to accept any other experience. I believe a church should have one preferred method for baptism that they teach. I also believe both practices are valid but offer a different interpretation of a larger mystery. I was angry that the sound theology of my tradition didn’t seem to matter – instead the historic tradition trumped anything I could offer as personal testimony or a theological stance.

Anger. Ten months after arriving our membership was being processed. I was angry to find that our baptisms weren’t good enough. I didn't really know who to confide in about this and felt

Hurt. Though the pastor who had journeyed with me had moved to the States we were still friends. I called and explained that my original baptism was still my only baptism and that this second 9

one was a commitment to the Church and therefore had a different meaning. I also explained that Spring did not believe that there was a theological reason to reject my baptism. I still cried as I explained that this was not a spiritual matter but an administrative one. I tried to keep my second baptism secret from my original church as I knew it would hurt them as they would assume that I was denouncing what I had received while in their care. I knew that some members in that church were already aware of the Spring Garden policy and would expect me to remain firm in what I knew. It would be hard for them to understand that membership and ordination was too big of a factor to ignore. My Baptism to the Church Uneasy Peace. I was careful that my vows in my baptism were made to the Church. This gave me a sense of peace that I could honour the needs of Spring Garden and not make a new covenant with Christ. Still at times I resent the additional sacrifice I had to make in order to vote and have a say in the future of the church. It was not my commitment to Christ or the Church that made me qualified to be a member and that saddens me. God may have used this additional promise I made to the Church for good. I have had an unrequited love of the Church much of the time. By now I had thought that I would be in a church serving in paid leadership or heavily involved as a volunteer at the denominational level. Making a commitment to the Church despite disappointments has been good for me. I am at peace in regards to my own journey but do not want others to feel like second class Christians based on the method of their baptism. I want more people to love the work of the Church and welcomed to be involved in decision making. Blessed I am thankful for Spring – that I have been able to teach and preach here has filled an ache that never fully subsides. It has been good to struggle here and to still be loved. I would not want to be anywhere else.



Why International Worship? by Sam Lee



ntergenerational worship is a way in which we come together as the family of God to worship. It is not just about having children and youth in worship. Intergenerational worship is about the whole family of God worshipping together. It is not a family worship, it is not a youth worship. It is a worship that includes all ages and stages of life.


ntergenerational worship is a way in which we proclaim together that Jesus is Lord. It is a way of emphasizing the importance of community. This is why, on a quarterly basis, we gather as the community of God. It might not be a time when you yourself will get a lot out of worship but that’s okay. This time together is not about you. It is about our relational God who call us to be in relationship with Him and others. It is about who we say we are. It is a way of participating in the body of Christ. It is a way of saying that we need each other. Children and youth are not the only ones that need to experience intergenerational worship; adults, singles, and seniors need it just as much.

e value it. We think it’s important. And because it is important, even though it can be hard or draining, it is worth it. Intergenerational worship can be a great opportunity to practice discipleship. It is a way of dying to our propensity to be self-centred and can be a way to worship selflessly. So we invite you to come and participate with us and with the triune God who invites us to be one with him.

"God’s continuing self-revelation is not age-specific. Your children may experience a relationship with God long before they can articulate it,” says Steve Burger, director of children and family ministries in the Evangelical Covenant Church’s Christian formation department. “The phrase ‘all generations’ appears 91 times in the Bible. God does not form our character all at once or all by himself. Nor does he expect us to unilaterally form our own character. God acts on us through others. Interaction among generations is necessary for forming faith and character. Each age learns from another,” Vanderwell says. Huyser-Honig, By: Joan. "Calvin Huyser-Honig, By: Joan. "Calvin College." All Ages Needed for Intergenerational Worship. June 11, 2007. Accessed April 17, 2018.


Huyser-Honig, By: Joan. "Calvin College." All Ages Needed for Intergenerational Worship. June 11, 2007. Accessed April 17, 2018.


Finding our Way through Leadership Transition:

Introducing the Navigation Team by Clement Lee


ver the past few months, you may have picked up on Pastor Gene’s hints about his eventual retirement. While he has not announced a date for when he’ll be sailing into the sunset, some plans are in motion for our Spring Garden family to navigate this change. Going through transition well is like steering a ship on a long journey with a trusty map and capable crew.

So keep a look out for the different ways we’re reaching out for your input! There will be a creative project, a survey, and some interviews upcoming. We also welcome your suggestions. Please be praying for us in this responsibility – we are privileged to serve Spring Garden in this way and would love to hear from you!

Hopefully this comparison makes sense for us even though Spring Garden Church is not quite near the water! A Navigation Team (or NavTeam) has been assembled to discern where the church (the people on the ship) should be headed (mapping the course) and with what kind of leadership team (the crew). The volunteers on the NavTeam are: Garth Barron, Adora Chui, Lesley Daniels, Joanna James, Suzanna Lai, Clem Lee, Barrie Porter, and Lizzie Reynolds. We’ve been meeting since February and our mission has two parts: 1. To assess the needs of the Spring Garden congregation, the Willowdale context, and the Pastoral Staff; 2. To discern God’s call for Spring Garden in our next season of journeying as a Christian community in Willowdale. Over the next couple months, the NavTeam will be launching a few initiatives to learn what Spring Garden thinks and feels about transition. We want to understand your responses to these key questions: • Who are we? • Where are we going (and being called to go)? • What (sort of people) do we need to get there? 14


SGC Summer Camps


his year our camp will focus on activities and skills from which the kids can choose an option. We will be hosting activities including sports, culinary, art etc. Different options and tracks will be sent out closer to the dates, for the child(ren) and parents to choose together. Parents/Guardian's have the option of signing up their child(ren) for either the half-day camp or the full-day camp which includes larger activities outside the property. Pricing is as follows: Cost: $80 per child ($60 for additional children of the same family). Camp T-Shirts and Outings Included Half and Full-Day Camp will be offered on a "first come, first served" basis. **Please be aware that the Full-Day Camp will only be offered to children in grades 1-5 (ages 6-10), while the Half-Day AM Camp is open to children from JK - Grade 5 (ages 4-10)** Date: July 30th-August 3rd, 2018 Event Timing: 9:00am-12:00pm for Half Day 9:00am-3:30pm for Full Day Event Address: 112 Spring Garden Ave, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 3G3 Contact: Jeremy Ranasinghe or (416) 223-4593 - Ext 223


Bike Blessing BBQ

Board Game CafĂŠ When: May 26, Saturday 3:00pm - 5:30 pm Where: Youth Lounge Join us for an afternoon of friendly competition and tasty refreshments at our Board Game Cafe. Saturday May 26 from 3:00 - 5:30 pm in the Youth Lounge. All ages are welcome! Please bring along a friend!

Willowdale Soccer League 2018 20


Partnering with Families

SGC Discipleship Ministries 22

Upcoming Opportunities

Spring Kids

Spring Garden Camping Trip to Pinery

Here is an overview of what we will be talking about on Sundays for Spring Kids. Pre-K – JK/SK: Help In this series, children will be introduced to the Holy Spirit. They will discover that the Holy Spirit was promised by Jesus, and then came in an amazing way! They will also learn that the Holy Spirit is still with us and helps us today. “The Holy Spirit will help you and always be with you.” John 14:16

July 19-22 or July 20-22 A camping trip for the whole church. Young or old, families or singles. This year we are offering a 2 or 3 night option. For more information and to sign up, please sign up through our website.

Spring Garden Day Camps

Grades 1-5 • • • •

Jesus is Life Remember and Celebrate God’s Love Compels God Restores Relationships

SGC Youth Here is what's happening in May!

Sunday Morning Worship Gatherings: July 30-Aug 3 and Aug 7-10 We are offering two weeks of day camp this year. For more information and to sign up, please go to our website.

May 13th, 20th,and 27th We will be having regular worship gatherings for youth in grades 6-12. Following the children’s blessing, youth will move to the youth lounge to continue worship there. May 6th: Intergenerational Worship We will be having an Intergen worship day on May 6th and will join the upstairs worship with the entirety of the church. 23

Life Groups: Life Groups will be May 18th. For more information please contact either Sam or Jeremy for boys life groups, or Kaitlyn (kaitlynrenaa@ for the girls.

Youth Events: May 4th - St John the Divine:

We will be visiting a convent and engaging in some spiritual activities. We will be leaving the church at 6:00pm sharp Time: 5:40pm - 9:00pm Cost: $5

May 25th - Photo Scavenger Hunt:

We will be meeting at the church to compete in a scavenger hunt Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm Cost: $5

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.



Spring Garden’s online library catalog can be accessed at

If you know of books or DVDs that you’d like to recommend to the Resource Centre, please contact Karen Cassel

Recomendations From The Resource Centre It will be okay, by Lysa TerKeurst

Little Seed and Little Fox are facing changes and brand new circumstances—and they don’t like it one bit! Through this unlikely friendship, children will discover that no matter how new or fearful their circumstances, God is always with them. The whimsical art by Natalia Moore will put a smile on kids’ faces and put their minds at ease. Just as Little Seed and Little Fox learn to trust that the Farmer is good and kind, children will also learn to trust God.

Someone I love died, by Christine Tangvald Someone I Love Died has long comforted the hearts of children 4 to 8 who have lost someone close. It gently leads children through grief with age-appropriate words and solid biblical truth that understands a child's hurting heart. The added interactive resources ensure this book will become a treasured keepsake. Once complete, children create a memory book of the loved one's life. And it 26

offers grown-ups a tool that turns what could be a difficult season into a meaningful time of healing.

When you lose someone you love: comfort for those who grieve, by Richard Exley There is nothing more devastating than the death of a loved one. And whether it comes suddenly and unexpectedly, or at the end of a long and painful illness, every death is experienced anew, a shocking loss that takes your breath away and leaves you disoriented and lost. Grief is mysterious, misunderstood, and experienced differently from individual to individual. Yet there are certain universal elements, and in this compassionate epistolary handbook on grief, a pastor offers comfort and understanding to a man suffering a profound loss, showing grief as a healthy process that God can use to mend broken hearts. Simple, profound, personal, compassionate. When You Lose Someone You Love tenderly guides you through sorrow to peace and, eventually, renewed joy. 27

88 Great Daddy-Daughter dates: fun, easy and creative ways to build memories together, by Rob and Joanna Teigen With today's busy schedules, it can be difficult for fathers to create meaningful memories with their girls. 88 Great DaddyDaughter Dates provides dads with a wide variety of fun ideas for spending quality time with their daughters. Each date tells dads what supplies to grab, where to go, and how to grow together while having a blast and making great memories. Included for each date are Scriptures and questions to get the conversation flowing. From bird-watching and making paper airplanes to bowling and photo scavenger hunts, there's something for every dad and every little girl ages 6-12, and teens.

Cul-de-Sac Kids, Collection Three, by Beverly Lewis Blossom Hill Lane is the best neighborhood ever--mostly because of the kids who live there, and the fun they share. Join Abby, Jason, Dunkum, Stacy, and their friends as they learn together with the rest of the Culde-Sac Kids the value of friendship and faith. 28


Leadership at Spring Garden


Pastoral Team Gene Tempelmeyer, Pastor 416-223-4593 Greg Kay, Worship and Mission Pastor Margaret Sutton, Pastoral Care/Seniors Sam Lee, Pastor of Discipleship, Michelle Li, Church Office and Communications Manager Jeremy Ranasinghe, Discipleship Ministries Assistant

Ext. 222 Ext. 224 Ext. 226 Ext. 227 Ext. 221 Ext. 223

Deacons Sam Chaise Adora Chui Lesley Daniels Joanne Laing ​ Gonzalo Librado Shannon Loewen Peggy Moore Esther Penner Doug Willson 30

Garth Barron Darlene Boyd Cindie Chaise Cheryl Chapman Joanna James Barrie Porter Brad Sider ​ Corinne Sutton-Smith

416-724-9329 416.385.2483 416.738.0530 416.222.6963 647.928.0862 416.829.4210 647.200.6853 647.704.7710 ​​

647-968-5065 905.962.3897 416.806.5373 416-617-6582

Spring Garden Church T 416.223.4593 112 Spring Garden Ave. F 416.223.6126 Toronto ON M2N3G3 Prayer Line 416.223.4038

416.229.2695 647-202-0701 416.225.2406 416.227.1840 416.221.0450 31

What’s Happening Life in Spring Garden

Weekly Tuesdays 1:00 pm - Pastoral Team Meeting - in Meeting Room Wednesdays 10:00 am -11:30 am - Refresh Women's Group - in West Lounge (childcare provided) 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm - ESL cafe - Wednesday in East Lounge Thursdays 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm - The Thursday Bunch - in East lounge Sundays 9:00 am - 10:00 am - ESL Bible Class - Sunday in Basement Hallway 9:00 am -10:00 am - Sunday Morning Bible Study - in Meeting Room 10:00 am - 11:30 am - Sunday Morning Worship (communion on the first Sunday of the month)

This Month

May 4 - 5:40-9:00pm St John the Divine May 6 - 10 am- Intergenerational Worship Seed Day ( Brown bag lunch & clean Willowdale Park) May 8 – 7:15pm Deacons Meeting May 18 - Life Groups May 25 – 6:00-9:00 pm Photo Scavenger Hunt May 26 – 3:00-5:30 pm Board Game Café If you would like to receive a weekly email update on what’s happening in Spring Garden, please visit the SGC website ( and add your email address at the bottom of our home page to subscribe to our weekly update



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.

May2018 delve  
May2018 delve