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Intersection

Of

Faith

Delve An

And Life

May 2017


Features Musings: What Old Testament Sacrifices Meant to New Testament People 3 Our Stories: Margaret Sutton 15 Binkley Memorial Student Short Term Mission Bursary Fund 22 Departments

Musing: What Old Testament Sacrifices Meant to New Testament People by Gene Tempelmeyer

Discipleship Ministries 10 Resource Centre 16 Information Contact Information 26 Community Corner 28 Calendar 31 Cover & Design: Clement Lee Contributors: Anne Barron Karen Cassel Greg Kay Suzanna Lai Sam Lee Margaret Sutton Gene Tempelmeyer

Delve submissions are due on the LAST MONDAY of each month. To submit for the next issue of Delve, please email: delve@springgardenchurch.ca 2

Copy Editors: Karen Cassel Greg Kay Suzanna Lai

(Yes, I am on a sabbatical leave! This article comes from research I did for the Lenten talks, “A Complete Cross.” This information didn’t fit into any of the talks, but I found it very interesting and thought you might find it interesting, too. So I decided to publish it now while the meaning of the sacrifice of Christ is still fresh in our hearts and minds.) I once gave a sermon about “The Blood of Jesus” on Mother’s Day. It was not received well. With the exceptions of Christmas and Easter, most Protestant churches give much more attention to “Hallmark Holidays” than to the holy days long marked by the church year. Talking about blood is, apparently, inappropriate on Mother’s Day. This insight was provided by a number of offended congregants. Ironically, the tidal wave of complaint began in an effort to address 3


an earlier complaint from an elderly and influential patriarch of the church. “Pastor, you never preach about the blood! My friend listens to you on the radio and he needs to hear about the blood!” I decided then and there to give a two sermon series on the meaning of communion starting the next communion Sunday. We were always on the radio the second Sunday of the month, so I could talk about the bread one week and the cup the next. This may have been a good idea had the second Sunday of the month not been Mother’s Day. At least they heard about the blood. What would we find if we looked at Jewish patterns and understanding of animal sacrifice without layers of Christian thought and assumption guiding us? If we dealt only with the scriptures describing Levitical sacrifices we would come up with a very different notion of what sacrifice means and, consequently, what the cross of Jesus would have meant to a Jewish person before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. The Talmuds are ancient Jewish commentaries on the Bible that collected rabbinic ideas and interpretations of the Old Testament that carried (and continue to carry) considerable authority in Jewish thought. Reading the Old Testament and the Talmud we can get a pretty good idea of how the sacrificial system actually worked. Qorbanot is Hebrew for “sacrifices.” The root of this word means “to draw near.” Forgiveness of sin was not the main point of Jewish sacrifice. Sacrifices were offered as a way of drawing near to God. Some of the sacrifices dealt with sin, and all sacrifices were in some way a resolution of sin in that one cannot draw near to God without being forgiven. But many sacrifices had nothing to do with sin in a direct way. There were five categories of sacrifice: Olah, the “burnt offering,” was a sacrifice symbolizing one’s total and complete willingness to submit to and obey God. Unlike most 4

sacrifices, no part of the animal offered was to be eaten. This sacrifice of a complete animal represented the willingness of the one offering such a sacrifice to give everything they had and everything they were to God. It was a sacrifice about intention for the future rather than guilt or shame from the past. Zebach Sh’lamin, the “peace offering,” sounds like the most fun of the sacrifices. A bit of the animal was offered to God by burning it on the altar. But most of the meat was eaten. A portion was reserved for the priest while the rest became a BBQ for the person offering the sacrifice along with their friends and family. This offering was a celebration of community and family and was an offering of gratitude for both. By burning some of the meat on the altar, God actively and materially was participating in the community BBQ. Asham, “guilt offering”, was a ‘just-in-case’ provision. Generally one would make a guilt offering if not certain whether a sin had been committed. This was particularly applied to a possible breach of trust. If one made a guilt offering and later discovered somehow that their suspected sin was, indeed, a real sin, they would then be required to also offer a “sin offering” (as described below.) The cooked meat from a guilt offering went entirely to the priest(s). Minchah, a “food and drink” offering, was given much the same way we celebrate a Harvest Sunday in some parts of Canada. This might be an offering of grain, wine, or livestock that was the product of a farmer’s labour. The offering was an expression of gratitude for God’s provision even in the things we provide for ourselves. Some of the offering would be fully burnt on the altar as a gift to God, while other parts of the offering were given for the priest’s use. Finally, Chatal, the “sin offering”, is the sacrifice most commonly identified with the cross. The name of this offering comes from the Hebrew word, chayt, meaning “to miss the mark.” The sin offering represented confession of sin, remorse, and a desire for re-establishing a relationship with God. Some forms of sin offering were personal, but there were many communal sin offerings that 5


take into account the reality that, more often than not, there has been a community influence in an individual’s sin. Indeed, there are times when the whole community sins. As with the guilt offering, the meat from the sin offering was given to the priest(s). The sin offering was made only in a handful of special circumstances: • On the Day of Atonement when the high priest entered the Holiest Place the sin offering was made, according to the rabbis, to protect the high priest’s life; • Upon the appointment of new priest; • Upon the termination of a Nazirite Vow, a vow to live under a variety of ascetic rules to have a special closeness to God; • After recovery from a skin disease which was generally seen as a punishment for sin, particularly for the sin of slander; • And after childbirth, menstruation or abnormal bodily discharge, all of which to seen to imply a temporary, unintentional marital separation so the sacrifice would be offered by both members of the couple. • The rabbis were clear that a sin offering would only be valid for unintentional sin. Intentional and malicious sins could not be atoned for by sacrifice. Such sin required a combination of prayer and tzedakah (acts of charity and good deeds). Intentional sins could only be offset by repentance – ie, changed behaviour – and reaching out to God to restore relationship with Him. The offering of sacrifices was a way for ancient Jews to invite and experience God in the totality of their lives. It was about work, gratitude, commitment, marriage, food, family, friendship and failure. The sacrifice invited God’s active participation into every corner of life, making every corner of life sacred.

father, Abraham, as wholly different from the gods worshipped in Abram’s Chaldean world. Those gods were demanding and angry. They required human sacrifice: sometimes to the extent of one’s own child. God wanted to teach Abraham what kind of God He actually is. So he told Abraham to take his son and offer him as Abraham had seen done at home in Chaldea. But when they came to the top of the mountain God had already provided a ram to be offered as a burnt offering. There Abraham discovered one of God’s identities: Yahweh-Yireh, “Yahweh will provide”. This is exactly what God did in the incarnation by which the Son became fully human. God provided a perfect sacrifice: He entered the totality of our human life. He shared the experiences of work, laughter over family dinner, hunger and thirst, the joy and betrayal of friendship, temptation to sin, and, finally, death itself. God had entered the totality of human life and by doing so joined human life to Himself forever. Having fully and completely shared our human life, the resurrection of Jesus becomes our invitation to share the totality of God’s life. The God who revealed himself to Abraham and reveals Himself in Jesus is not full of anger. He is not poised to kill us. He is full of love. In His love He provides for us what we are unable to provide for ourselves. He makes sacred every part of our living through the sacrifice of Jesus. Understanding the fullness of the Old Testament sacrificial system as it was experienced by Jesus’ contemporaries, this is what we mean when we proclaim Jesus as the perfect, complete, and eternally sufficient sacrifice which reconciles us to God.

Apostle Paul alludes to this when we urges Roman believers: “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God: this is your spiritual worship (liturgia, liturgy).” (Ro 12:1) From the very start of Jewish history God reveals Himself to our 6

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Community Garden UPDATE We are excited to let you know that we will be moving ahead with starting a community garden on our green space! (see photo with orange cones marking out the location) Our plan is to have a work morning to set up and plant the garden on Saturday May 13th at 9:00am. If you’re interested in helping out with this, please let us know (email is below). We will then bless the garden Sunday May 14th during worship. We are also going to be organizing volunteers to look after the garden throughout the summer. If you are interested in helping out and have not already let us know, please email us at GregKay@springgardenchurch.ca

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. 8

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Discipleship Ministries Partnering with Families Appreciation Luncheon - May 28, 2017 Our ministry would not be possible without the people who give of their gifts and time to serve. We want to invite you and your family to a meal after church on May 28 as a way to thank you and to celebrate another great year. Please RSVP to this link by May 25.

Our theme for this summer day camp is Creation & Care. We believe that God the creator has given us a responsibility to be good stewards of the world that He has given us and that the work of Jesus on the cross is the restoration of not just who we are but rather all of creation. Our hope at this camp is to see our children grow in their knowledge of God through the world that God has created. In partnership with Youth Unlimited, we will be offering a week-long day camp. You will have the option of choosing either a half-day or a full-day camp. http://tiny.cc/sgcdaycamp

http://tinyurl.com/SGCAppreciationLunch2017

Spring Kids Summer Day Camp, July 24-July 28 Registration is almost full!

Spring Youth Sunday Morning Worship Gatherings: May 7th, 14th, 21st - 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. **Please be aware there will be no youth worship gathering on May 28th. Youth are encouraged to join the upstairs gathering**

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** We are in need of volunteer drivers for this event. If you are able and willing to help out please contact Sam Lee.** May 26 - The Dale Experience: We will be heading to the Dale ministry to hang out and see a different part of Toronto that not many people get to see or experience Time: TBA 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. http://tiny.cc/springyouth

Life Groups: Life groups this month will only be on May 12 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: May 5th - Nerf Fight Night: We will be heading to Nerf Wars Toronto, to play some intense nerf centred games. Teams will battle in the 3 main categories faithful to classic Nerf Wars game-play: elimination, attack & defend, and objective rounds, through adrenaline pumping and action-packed game modes. Time: 6:30pm-10:00pm Cost: $20 12

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Gr. 11 Leadership Course Are you in Grade 10-12? Know someone who is? If yes, this may be relevant to you! REGISTER NOW FOR THE Gr.11 LAUNCH LEADERSHIP COURSE (GP30): Registration for the LAUNCH Leadership Course opened April 1st! This online and in-person course runs from Sept. 2017 - June 2018 for students in grades 10-12. This course helps students grow in their leadership, impact their community for good, and earn an Ontario Ministry of Education credit (GPP3O - Leadership and Peer Support). The course includes on-line assignments, monthly one to one coaching with a trained coach, and in-class learning days hosted at our partner school on six Saturdays spread throughout the school year: Sept. 30/17, Nov. 18/17, Jan. 13/18, March 3/18, April 7/18 and June 9/18. Come and join us and bring a friend! For more details, visit: www.321LAUNCH.ca/leadership-course To register, or if you have any questions contact Diana Skinner: dskinner@yugta.ca or Monica Kay: mkay@yugta.ca

Our Stories: Margaret Sutton Did you know we have children in our congregation who model for us a example of daily faith in the work of God? I want to thank two of our Spring Garden children who helped enrich my faith walk in a time of need. Late in 2014 I had major cancer surgery. When I opened my eyes, Jada Silver was at my bedside and had come to pray for me [she brought her parents along]. After our time of prayer and she had gone I was reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6,7, “don’t be anxious and with prayer, petition, with thanksgiving make your request to God, then the peace of God will guard your heart and mind.” That night I slept soundly knowing that God had sent Jada to bless me. In early 2015 I had a timely conversation with Chloe Kay who told me how she had donated her hair for someone in need. The conversation was an answer to prayer since I was asking God what I could do to help another woman, and support her through the cancer journey. In April 2017, encouraged by my conversations with Chloe, I donated my hair. To honor other women’s journeys through cancer, including my mother and mother-in-law, I cautiously agreed to have a strip of pink [often associated with cancer] added to my hair. My conversation with Chloe reminded me of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthains 15:58, about obedience, work and reward by standing firm. “. . .my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Thank you Jada, and Chloe for reminding me that we are all God’s children no matter our age [LOL].

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Your Sister In Christ Margaret Sutton

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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 karen.cassel@bell.net

NEW DVDs Virtuous

Fenced off

When Simone Burner (Brandy Allison) is accused of murdering the man who assaulted her, she seeks out the help of attorney Jack Evans (Erik Estrada) to prove her innocence. As her trial progresses, the prosecution brings to light the truth about Simone's past, a past that she had long hoped to escape. From the producer of Finding Faith, 'Virtuous' is a film created to inspire and ignite women to live out the principles of Proverbs 31, instilling solid convictions of faith, wisdom, and integrity. It weaves together stories of powerful women from the battlefields of Afghanistan, to an American news studio, to a home for troubled girls, and the pulpit of a church, all while revealing the truth of God's transformative love and grace.

Josh and Anne just moved into their first house. Jack is a young, idealistic social worker who is ready to be welcomed to the neighborhood. Next door are George and Tia. Retired and ready for a slower life, George is not inclined to give a warm welcome to the new neighbors, much to Tia's chagrin. What starts off as a day of yard work and random to-do's for Josh turns into a series of misunderstandings and confrontations. Inspired by actual events, Fenced Off explores the reality that loving your neighbor can be complicated.

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For Parents Raising boys by design: what the Bible and brain science reveal about what your son needs to thrive, by Gregory Jantz and Michael Gurian Your son was created for great things, but he needs your help to appreciate his unique male design and to grow into the strong, loving man God created him to be. Packed with doable strategies and eyeopening examples of what’s really going on inside a boy’s brain, Raising Boys by Design offers a practical blueprint to help you build a HERO—one who values Honor, Enterprise, Responsibility, and Originality. Among other things, you’ll learn how to help your son: • strengthen his character, resilience, and selfdiscipline • nurture genuine compassion and empathy • process words and emotions in ways that fit his brain chemistry • succeed in school and hone crucial life skills 18

• develop a healthy perspective of sexuality • avoid the pitfalls of media and technology • embark on a lifelong adventure of faith This unique resource combines the latest research in brain science with timeless truths from the Bible to reveal the deepest needs shared by every boy of faith while also leading you to fresh insights for honoring the unique personality, talents, and God-given design of your son in particular.

Bringing up girls: shaping the next generation of women, by Dr. James Dobson Peer pressure. Eating disorders. Decisions about love, romance, and sex. Academic demands. Life goals and how to achieve them. These are just some of the challenges that girls face today―and the age at which they encounter them is getting younger 19


and younger. As a parent, how are you guiding your daughter on her journey to womanhood? Are you equipping her to make wise choices? Whether she’s still playing with dolls or in the midst of the often-turbulent teen years, is she truly secure in her identity as your valued and loved daughter? In the New York Times bestseller Bringing Up Girls, Dr. James Dobson will help you face the challenges of raising your daughters to become strong, healthy, and confident women who excel in life.

behaviors and attitudes is more powerful than eliminating bad ones. Grounding her advice in Scripture, specifically the twelve characteristics found in Colossians 3:12-17 Cone offers plenty of stories from her own life to show these principles in action. And she offers practical things parents can do right now to create a home and family that exhibits love, harmony, and generosity of spirit in a selfcentered world.

Raising uncommon kids: 12 Biblical traits you need to raise selfless kids, by Sami Cone While most parents would say they want to raise compassionate kids, they might be surprised to discover just how little they're actually modeling the behaviors they hope to pass on - qualities such as unconditional love, gentleness, forgiveness, patience, gratitude, humility, and more. In this unique book, Sami Cone shows parents a new way to look at molding their children, one in which focusing on adding good 20

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Binkley Memorial Student Short Term Mission Bursary Fund

be asked to submit a brief report of their experience to the Mission Action Team as a way to share their story and experience.

by Anne Barron

The Bursary Fund will remain in operation until the funds in the Binkley memorial account have been exhausted.

As part of our ongoing work to revamp and reenergize mission activity in Spring Garden we have developed new criteria in regards to accessing the Binkley Memorial Fund account.

We hope that this will encourage students to engage in mission experiences as they continue to grow and serve the Lord through Spring Garden.

This fund was established after the tragic death on one of our vocational missionaries Laura Binkley. In the fall of 1993 Laura was serving with Adam Children’s Fund in Russia when she was robbed and murdered. Her parents Ray and Fay Binkley established this fund in her memory to support young women going overseas for short term mission experiences. After Ray passed away some years later more funds were added, but this fund has remained dormant for a number of years. We have been in contact with Fay and with her blessing have developed new criteria to more strategically make use of this fund.

If you have any questions about this fund, please speak with Anne Barron (anne.barron020@sympatico.ca) or Greg Kay (gregkay@springgardenchurch.ca). 聽聽聽聽

The purpose of this fund will be to offer financial support for students involved in a short term mission experience Showing God’s Care and Sharing God’s Story locally or outside of Toronto. The experience needs to be sponsored by a mission agency or organization that reflects the values of Spring Garden Church as stated in our mission policy. Students who are actively involved in Spring Garden can apply in writing by completing the application form which is available on our website and submitting it to the Mission Action Team. Successful candidates will receive a maximum $200.00 Bursary to support their mission experience. The Bursary funds will be receipted to the mission agency or organization sponsoring the experience for disbursement or the candidate must provide a receipt of expenses to the Mission Action Team in order to receive the funds. Successful candidates will also 22

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The 2017 SGC Community Directory is available for pick up at the back of worship hall. If you'd like to receive an electronic copy, please email Suzanna (suzanna.lai@springgardenchurch.ca).

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.

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Elders

Leadership at Spring Garden Pastoral Team Gene Tempelmeyer, Pastor 416-223-4593 genetemp@springgardenchurch.ca Greg Kay, Worship and Mission Pastor gregkay@springgardenchurch.ca Margaret Sutton, Pastoral Care/Seniors margaretsutton@springgardenchurch.ca Sam Lee, Pastor of Discipleship, samlee@springgardenchurch.ca Suzanna Lai, Church Office and Communications Manager suzanna@springgardenchurch.ca Jeremy Ranasinghe, Discpleship Ministries Assistant jeremy.ranasinghe@springgardenchurch.ca Samantha Steeles, Discipleship Ministries Intern samantha.steeles@springgardenchurch.ca

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

Deacons Marion Cameron - Finance marion.cameron@sympatico.ca Adora Chui - Discipleship Ministries adora.chui@sgbc.ca Lesley Daniels - Mission and Worship lesley.daniels@sgbc.ca Mary Ellen Hopkins - Chair mehopkins@sympatico.ca Gonzalo Librado - Adult Ministries gonzalo.librado@sgbc.ca Peggy Moore - Membership, Property peggylouisemoore@gmail.com Esther Penner - Community Life esther.penner@sgbc.ca Doug Willson - Pastoral Care, Board Secretary 26 doug.willson191@gmail.com

Darlene Boyd darlene.boyd@gmail.com Cindie Chaise cchaise@yahoo.ca Cheryl Chapman cheryl.chapman@live.ca Joanna James jo.april.james@gmail.com Barrie Porter barriep91@gmail.com Corinne Sutton-Smith blestfoods@aol.com

416.385.2483 416.738.0530 416.222.6963 647.928.0862 416.829.4210 647.704.7710

Spring Garden Church 112 Spring Garden Ave. Toronto ON M2N3G3

T 416.223.4593 F 416.223.6126 www.springgardenchurch.ca office@springgardenchurch.ca

Prayer Line 416.223.4038

416.491.8542 905.962.3897 416.806.5373 905.731.0492 416.229.2695 416.225.2406 416.227.1840 416.221.0450 27


Community Corner

Life around Spring Garden

Resource for Seekers Over the past few years I have noticed an increase in the number of people who come to the church with no background in Christianity that are eager to learn about Jesus. Many are not comfortable meeting with the pastor as their first point of contact and our groups aren't usually equipped to answer all of their initial questions. I would be happy to meet with these seekers to get them introduced to Jesus, the church, our people and pastors. I'm available during the day or evenings and can be reached by email victoriashipmaker@ gmail.com or phone 647 444 9320. Thanks, Victoria

Bike Blessing + BBQ on Sunday June 4th We will be having a bike blessing on Sunday June 4th. As the summer approaches, we want to encourage our Spring Garden family members to consider utilizing modes of transportation that promote physical activity and engage in creation care. This is also a great opportunity to invite your friends, family, and neighbours to come out with 28

you and participate in a healthy and friendship building activity. Please start inviting! Everyone's welcome to decorate their bikes, scooters, hiking poles...etc and join us. The bike blessing and BBQ will take place after worship. After that we will all go for a ride/walk around the SGC neighbourhood. Mark the date, bring your reusable water bottles, picnic mats, lawn chairs and join us!

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 and vote to fill the positions of various lay leaders including Elders and Deacons. Nominations to these positions will be posted around the building in May. We hope to see you there!

Spring Garden Sports Picnic On Saturday June 10th, join us at a local park to play some allages sports and games. Bring along a picnic lunch and a lawn chair or blanket. More details to come!

Contributions to Delve from Artists and Photographers Delve is looking for artists and photographers to contribute images for use in our monthly publication. Submissions can be sent to delve@sgbc.ca. 29


What’s Happening

Matthew House Presents Exodus: Our Journey to Europe

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema - 506 Bloor Street West 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Matthew House is pleased to present Exodus: Our Journey to Europe. This BBC documentary follows the journey of refugees attempting to reach Europe, escaping war, poverty or persecution. Recorded in part by the refugees themselves using camera phones, this ground-breaking documentary provides a terrifying and intimate portrait of the refugee crisis. In addition to screening part one of this compelling three-part BBC documentary, the evening will include an engaging panel discussion moderated by Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC Radio One’s The Current. We are fortunate to have Anna Maria guide this important discussion with experts on the refugee crisis. The evening will be one of information and discovery about what is happening in the refugee space from both a Canadian and global perspective. To purchase tickets, visit www.matthewhousepresents.com

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) 7:00 - 8:30pm - ESL Cafe in East Lounge Thursdays 12:00pm - 2:00pm - Adult Bible Class in the East Lounge Sundays 9:00am - 10:00am - Morning Bible Study in Meeting Room 9:00am - 10:am - ESL Bible Study in Basement Hallway 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 May 5 - Nerf Fight Night (see pg. 12) May 13 - Plant a garden, (see pg. 8) May 14 - Garden blessing May 28 - Discipleship ministries appreciation lunch June 4th - 10am: Intergenerational Worship followed by BBQ and Bike Blessing (see pg. 27) June 10th - Spring Garden Sports Picnic

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Our Values We believe in a humble God who came not to be served, but to serve. Therefore we engage in sacrificial and active service to those around us. We strive to be good stewards of God’s gifts and talents by serving one another in humility. We aspire to regard others as higher than ourselves, which liberates us to creatively take risks in serving others for God’s glory. We believe in a God of grace who came to save the world, not to condemn it. Therefore, as we are continuously receiving the gift of God’s grace, we seek to grow in that grace and extend it to others. We strive to define ourselves by what we are for, not what we are against. We believe in a God who knows us, and who desires to be known. Therefore we embrace a journey of faith that requires us to constantly strive for a personal, intimate and transformative knowledge of God. We strive to be led by God’s Spirit in supporting and encouraging one another in working out our faith. We believe in a creative God. Therefore we are open to expressing our faith in new and creative ways that reflect the beauty and complexity of our creator. We are called to use our creative gifts in worship and service as we engage with our world. We take joy in the diversity of gifts that allow us to delight God and participate in His ongoing story. We believe in a triune, relational God who calls us to come together as a diverse community of believers. Therefore, we want to walk together, supporting one another physically, emotionally and spiritually. We strive to be a welcoming, inclusive family that goes through the joys and the trials of life together, acknowledging that God uses this community to deepen and mature our faith. We believe in a God who loves this broken world and wants to reconcile us to Himself. Therefore we are commissioned by Christ to go out into the world, meeting the holistic needs of the local and global community. God calls us to participate in a redemptive work that he has already initiated; in humility, we will partner with others to work alongside and chase after Him. We believe in a God who is our center. Therefore where we are on the journey is less important than that we are moving towards a deeper relationship with Christ. We believe and participate in God’s redemptive work in all people, which gives us the freedom to come as we are, and to accept others as they are. We each are on a unique journey to become who God has created us to be. 32

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