&life September 20151
WHAT DO BAPTISTS BELIEVE? (Reprinted from www.baptist.ca, our tribe’s website)
Features What Do Baptists Believe? 3 Could the Church? 6 Gene, Were You a Racist? 9 Mongolia: Where He Leads 22 Between the Testaments: An Introduction 26
Departments Resource Centre 18 Discipleship Ministries 24
Information Contact Information 31 Community Corner 32 Calendar 39 Contributors: Karen Cassel Sam Chaise Tamara Fairbanks Zane William Janzen Sam Lee Ben Reynolds Gene Tempelmeyer Copy Editors: Suzanna Lai Gene Tempelmeyer
Delve submissions are due on the LAST MONDAY of each month. To submit for the next issue of Delve, please email: email@example.com
Baptists share many basic biblical convictions with other Christians including the belief in one God, the Trinity, the human and divine nature of Jesus Christ, and the significance of his crucifixion and resurrection for salvation. Though they have many historic “confessions of faith”, Baptists are not a “creedal people”. They prefer simply to affirm the authority of the Scriptures for all matters of faith and practice, and allow each Christian the right to interpret the Bible for himself or herself. However, the distinctive combination of beliefs held among Baptists can readily be identified and have come to be known as “Baptist Distinctives”. 1. Jesus is Lord Baptists believe that Jesus Christ, being eternally God, only begotten Son, and the visible expression of the invisible God, effectively procured salvation for all creation through his death, burial and resurrection. He is the one assigned by God the Father to rule with authority over all of creation. Every area of the believer’s life and the life of the church is to be subject to the Lord. 2. The Word of God is the Authoritative Rule of Faith and Practice Baptists believe that God communicates his will through the inspired Word of God. For Baptists, the Bible is the final authority in matters of faith and practice. 3. The Priesthood of All Believers The Bible affirms the value of each person as having been created in the image of God, and also declares each person morally responsible for his/her own nature and behaviour. Baptists believe that inherent in the worth of each person is also the right and competency of each individual personally to deal directly 3
with God through Jesus Christ. In essence, each person, by faith, becomes his/her own priest before God; hence, the cherished term “priesthood of all believers”. This implies that all believers share as equals in Christ’s Body, the church, and in turn, have a priestly role toward each other. A further extension of this principle means that Baptists believe that no group or individual has any right to compel others to believe or worship as they do. Baptists ideally are champions of the cause of religious liberty. 4. A Believers’ Church Baptists believe that Jesus Christ chooses to form his church by bringing together believers for the purpose of worship, witness, fellowship, and ministry (both spiritual and social). Baptists recognize the church universal as all who truly profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. They also profess their understanding of the church as being visibly expressed in local congregations. Each local church must thus be made up of believers who, upon their profession of faith and their baptism (almost always by immersion), are incorporated into the local church through the activity of the Holy Spirit.
Tim McCoy with Sam Chaise, CBM general secretary
5. Believer’s Baptism by Immersion
priesthood of all believers, the Lordship of Christ, the authority of the Scriptures, and the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Christ, present in the lives of congregational members, leads them corporately to discover and obey his mind and will. Such “congregational government” calls for and expresses the equality and responsibility of believers under the Lordship of Christ.
Baptists believe that baptism is an ordinance required by the New Testament, and is to be administered by the local church. Baptism is intended to represent Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection; baptism by completely immersing the candidate in water is seen as the only adequate outward expression for the spiritual faith-union with Jesus Christ. Baptism should be administered only to believers. It is one of the first significant acts through which the believer proclaims personal faith in Christ and is initiated into church life and ministry.
Baptists also believe that the principle of the Lordship of Jesus Christ gives each individual congregation a certain degree of autonomy and freedom from coercion by other bodies. However, just as a believer must temper his/her doctrinal interpretation and personal behaviour to satisfy the greater needs and unity of the community of believers, Baptist churches also recognize the need to temper the exercise of their autonomy in order to “associate” with a larger body of churches.
6. Congregational Government
7. Separation of Church and State
Government in a local church is controlled by the principles of the
A further extension of the principle of the Lordship of Christ and the priesthood of believers is to be found in the Baptist conviction that there must exist a separation between the church and civil govern- 5
ments. There is the easy recognition that God has given legitimate roles to both church and state, but also the deep conviction that neither is to encroach upon the rights or obligations of the other. They are, however, under obligation to recognize and reinforce each other as each seeks to fulfill its divine function. The function of individual believers and the church is to become part of the conscience of the community and nation.
in the hope that consensus forms around good solutions. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Hopelessly idealistic. Today it is more accurate to say that pre-formed solutions are marketed to voters for their consumption and allegiance. And even more accurately, that the opponents’ proposed solutions are torn down and pilloried. Worse, often it is not a debate about ideas, but an attack on character and personhood. Ideas have become personified and caricatured, distilled into soundbites about the leaders of each political party.
from the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec Website
“Could the churches of the land be known in the upcoming election campaign for leading the charge for civility?” “Could the churches of the land be known in the upcoming election campaign for leading the charge for civility?” I was at a recent Steve Bell concert, and as part of an introduction to his next song, Steve asked this simple and startling question. Simple, because we know that the answer should be “yes”. (If you’re not convinced, have a look at the fruit of the Spirit that is meant to mark the demeanour of followers of Jesus, and if you don’t like the word “civility”, find one that works for you but which express the fruit of the Spirit.) But it’s also a startling question, because sometimes even within the Church our discourses are not marked by civility.
This does not sound like the output of the Holy Spirit. And we would not expect Holy-Spirit-fruit from those who are not filled with the Spirit. But, it would make sense that followers of Jesus, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, would engage in debate and discourse in a different way. And many of them do – I have seen plenty of examples of irenic interaction among Christ-followers who have differences. But the cultural pull towards shifting into attack-mode and demonization of the opposition is powerful. Social media exacerbates this pull. To resist, we need to be reminded that every person we meet and every person we hear about is made in the image of God. That image is now corrupted, of course: that is the nature of sin. But the image is not erased. Canada is in the early days of what will be a long election campaign, where millions of dollars will be spent in a media fist fight with the goal of attaining power. Each party is convinced that they have what Canada needs for the future. Each party knows that to win power
Politics in general, and election campaigns in specific, are meant to be about debating and discerning differences. Citizens of a nationstate have differing perspectives on how life should be organized in their society, including what roles should be played by different actors, such as government, business, civic organizations, religious groups, etc. These differences need to be discussed and debated, 6
you have to play the game. That’s a given.
“Gene, Were You a Racist?”
So then, this is a prime opportunity for followers of Jesus to model a different way. We will still worship alongside fellow believers who see things in a different light than we do. That’s fine. That’s normal. This isn’t about erasing disagreement, this is about how we disagree: civilly. It’s about expressing the fruit of the Spirit as we disagree. Maybe, as a start, before we read the news (and react to it) or review our Facebook feed (and respond to it), we should pray . . . to remind ourselves of who we are and Whose we are and of our call as Christ-followers to bring blessing to our world, and to do so in a manner that is Spirit-filled. “Could the churches of the land be known in the upcoming election campaign for leading the charge for civility?” If we were, imagine what a powerful witness that would be to a different way of living and of relating to others. “Love your neighbour”, Jesus said. I think that includes during election campaigns. Sam Chaise
One day this summer I was sitting with some of the youth hanging around Spring Garden for the “Learn to Ride” camp and talking about what is was like being a child in the segregated southern US. I described separate schools, washrooms, swimming pools and water fountains. Then one of the kids asked, “Gene, were you a racist?” What a good question. What a hard question. And what a relief that the question was posed in the past tense, that my young friend knows me well enough to know that, whatever I may have been in the past, I am not a racist now. But the question could not be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” “I never invited a black friend over to my house to play,” I answered. “It wasn’t that I thought I was better. It was just that people didn’t do that. It never occurred to me that I could or should. It would have been like going out in the playground wearing nothing but my underwear. It just wasn’t what you were supposed to do so you never really thought about it. “I was a racist,” I had to admit. “My behaviour was racist. But my mind and heart weren’t. It actually made me sad that white people could be mean to black people. I guess you could say I was a social racist but I wasn’t a personal racist.” That was the most honest an-
swer I could give. And I think it is an important distinction for evangelical Christians in Canada to make. The system of segregation could not have survived without the active support of the church. Long after schools and swimming pools were integrated 11:00 am Sunday morning remained the most segregated hour of the week. the separation of the races as the will of God was defended with a variety of biblical texts and theological arguments, particularly the argument from nature (“It just ain’t natural…”). It becomes, then, a much broader concern than how we respond to race. How do we respond to what we have been conditioned to not even notice? How do we respond to convictions that we take for granted because almost all the people around us live as if these convictions are self-evident? Long ago I began to do my best to shed the racist skin of my earliest social environment. But I realize this essential fact: I could not repent what I did not know to be wrong. When we are so competent at enshrining sin in culture and polishing it off with a biblical defense of continuing in sin, how would we know if we are actually wrong? The scribes and Pharisees studied the Bible intensely. But they failed to recognise places where they were wrong. Why should we think we can do any better? When I began to be aware that my environment had stained me 10
with inappropriate responses to race I began a long process of identifying racist tendencies and deliberately altering my emotional, intellectual, relational and spiritual responses to kill those tendencies, nail them into a coffin and bury them forever. What follows is things I learned in the process about how to know when I could be wrong. • A visceral reaction is a sign that an issue or experience is touching me at a deeper level than a reasoned understanding or biblical conviction. All of us have foods we know we don’t like. We’ve never tasted them, but we know we don’t like them! Dog meat, for example. When something makes us blurt “Ugh! That’s gross!” chances are pretty slim that we will try it and find that we actually like it. A strong visceral reaction generally means we are not capable of giving something a fair chance. As I began consciously to root every trace of racism out of my being I discovered that a visceral reaction is a sign I have strong feelings about something but need to examine those feelings critically. I observed in myself gut reactions that I couldn‘t help feeling even while I genuinely believed them to be very wrong. I would not be healed until I had so weeded racist assumptions from my being that these gut reactions stopped. Every gut reaction was a sign that I still had thinking and repenting (ie- changing) to do. A long time ago an elderly man told me that the first time he saw an interracial couple holding hands on a sidewalk it made him feel physically ill. By the time he told me the story he realized his reaction was about him, not about them. The visceral reaction is a sign that something has been embedded in our consciousness long before we had the ability to give thoughtful consideration to what is right and wrong. When I have a deep gut reaction to something that is a sign that I need to think more deeply about it. It is not immoral to eat dog meat. Reason will make that fairly clear to us. The fact that we have a gut reaction does not make it wrong. It just means we possess 11
a particular attitude toward dogs as pets, but definitely not food. “That’s gross,’” is never a valid moral argument. (Certainly, some things we find gross are, in fact, immoral. But it is not our gut reaction to them that makes them so.) • We need to listen to voices from outside and from the margins. As I write this the American south is debating the continued use of the Confederate Flag and streets named after Confederate generals. I hear many white voices describing how they interpret and feel about those symbols of a racist past. Good points can be made on both sides. But what do black voices add to the conversation? When I was a boy I wore a “Johnny Reb” hat with a confederate flag on the front as a proud southerner. I honestly never thought of the Confederate flag as a racist symbol and am not sure that I do now. But all it would take is one black person to say, “That hurts and intimidates me. It reminds me of a time when my grandparents were in slavery. I am hurt that you, as my friend, would wear it,” and I would never wear that Johnny Reb hat again. And I won’t. Because I have heard the other voice. I am not being pushed around by activists. I make a decision to be a Christian and love my neighbour as myself.
TORONTO, ON HERSHEY CENTRE NOV. 6-7, 2015
Events subject to change without notice. Sales tax applied to event cost, if applicable.
I very much fear that a new fascism is arising across North America, perhaps most particularly in evangelical religious circles. In this new fascism it is not the Jew or the black who are the hated race. It is the Muslim. A visceral reaction to 9/11 is understandable. A visceral reaction to seeing a burkha when we have only just begun to recognise the equality of women is equally understandable. It seems crucial to me that we should be hearing the voices of ordinary Muslims. Only when a Muslim neighbour becomes a three dimensional human being can we see the difference between a Muslim and a terrorist. Likewise, if I were a Muslim I would want to hear the voice of a Canadian woman explain to me the struggle for gender equality and the importance of honouring that equality in our public symbols. When voices from the outside and the margins tell me I am wrong 13
I at least need to consider the possibility that they see something beyond the scope of my cultural vision. • The Bible is given to be used as a mirror. To read the Bible honestly is to read it self-critically. It is easy to use the Bible as a telescope that examines in detail how other people should be living their lives. But really, that is between them and God. When I’m reading the Bible I need to know that God has things He very much wants to say to me. And they are not all easy to hear. When we read this book we need to recall with humility how often people have read it before us persuaded that they really understood what they were reading but didn’t. Such humility may begin with an acknowledgment that we often read to confirm our present assumptions, not to test them. As well as I can I need to evaluate my assumptions by the Bible, not merely comparing them one verse at a time, but comparing my assumptions to the long flow of what the Bible reveals about God and morality. We need to discipline ourselves to interpret the Bible consistently. We all know that we should not pick and choose what parts of the Bible we take seriously. We all pick and choose what parts of the Bible we take seriously. What we need is a set of guidelines, a framework, for interpreting the Bible and then we need to use those guidelines consistently. The technical term for such a framework is hermeneutic. • One of the surest ways to know I am wrong on an issue to realize that I am not applying the same hermeneutic to one set of passages as I apply to another. For example, if I do not believe women should lead churches there are several New Testament passages to which I can turn to prove my point. But if I happen to be wearing a gold ring while I am reading or have braided my daughter’s hair this morning I have to ask myself, “Why do I disregard what the New Testament says about wearing gold and braids but insist that those who allow women into leadership are merely picking and choosing what they like?” I truly do not know a single Christian who believes every instruction in the Bible is applicable today. (I know some who say they do, but 14
their life denies it.) I do know many Christians who cannot explain why they believe one passage has direct application today and another does not. I don’t know whether to be amazed or amused when the most vocal critics of ethical relativism are my dispensationalist friends (those who believe God has different guidelines for different eras, so polygamy is ok for Abraham and David but not for us). My own hermeneutic is not of a Bible filled with equally authoritative verses. I view the Bible as the unfolding story of God revealing Himself to a people who over time clarify and redefine how they understand God and life as His Spirit carries them along. That process continues into this day. Martin Luther, who so enthusiastically reaffirmed the idea of grace, was a hardened anti-Semite. He was wrong. And I believe that if he lived today and were part of the faith community that has emerged in the 500 years since he lived he would realize his hatred for Jews was sin – not holiness. This makes me wonder in hope what my grandchildren will understand of God and His ways that I do not. • It is a great relief knowing we could be wrong and that’s ok. Martin Luther is not the only Christian to get something badly wrong. We all have. We all do. We all will. The good news is that God is continually refining us. One place Martin Luther got it right was the conviction that the Reformation was not an event but a process. “Always reforming” should be our motto, too. When we are convinced there is nothing new to realize, nothing embedded in our system to repent, we find it impossible to grow in God. Fear of changing our minds may well be our largest obstacle to obedience. Knowing we are wrong is another way of saying we know God still has something to say to us. It is knowing we can and will grow beyond today’s wrestling. It’s part of the plan. I once told a very good friend, “I know I am wrong about some things.” “What are you wrong about?” she asked. “If I knew that I’d change my mind!” I am so glad we have the capacity to uncover where we are wrong and change our minds. It is hard. It takes time. 15
It never comes without conflict and difficult conversations. I am so glad I was wrong about the black and white world I was born into in 1954. Discovering the wrongness of racism and deliberately rooting it out has opened my life to love and friendship that I could never have experienced had we all continued to say, “This is the natural order of things.” And how wonderful it was in the late 70’s to discover I was wrong about “male headship” and silent women. Overnight the pool of potential church leaders to develop and disciple doubled! How many good leaders were wasted when we all thought that was the natural order of things? Discovering I was wrong has brought me nothing but joy. I hope to have grandchildren. One of the greatest reasons I want to have grandchildren is that I think I need someone to say to me, “Grandpa, that’s just dumb.” I plan to listen. Gene Tempelmeyer JOIN US FOR WOMEN’S MINISTRY TRAINING AT OUR LIVING PROOF LIVE PRE-CONFERENCE You will experience:
• Teaching and equipping from experienced leaders • Breakout sessions covering diverse topics • Experience networking and corporate worship • Q&A time and so much more
THE PEOPLES CHURCH NOV. 5-6, 2015 Take advantage of our You lead + LPL Event Bundle and save!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Books The Allure of Gentleness: Apologetics in the Manner of Jesus, by Dallas Willard When called upon to explain their faith, Christians do not always feel equipped to do so—particularly when some of the most difficult questions arise. In The Allure of Gentleness, esteemed teacher and author Dallas Willard not only assures us of the truth and reasonableness of the Christian faith, but also explores why reason and logic are not enough: to explain Jesus’ message, we must also be like Jesus, characterized by love, humility, and gentleness. Based on a series of talks and lectures on apologetics given by the late author and edited by his daughter, Becky Heatley, this book constitutes Dallas Willard’s most thorough presentation on how to defend the Christian faith for the twentyfirst century. This beautiful model of life, this allure of gentleness, Willard tells us, is the foundation for making the most compelling 18
argument for Christ, one that will assure others that the Christian faith is not only true but the answer to our deepest desires and hopes.
The Crimson Cord, by Jill Eileen Smith Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband’s debt. Forced into prostitution by Dabir, counselor to the Syrian king, Rahab despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime. In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho’s walls--or if she will ever know the meaning of love.
FOR YOUNG READERS
Sophie and Friends, by Nancy Rue
By the age of 12, Jack Stone had experienced more life grit than most adults. In desperation, he decides to grab the controls, make a list as his roadmap and set out to accomplish life his way. Fifteen years of life on the street and clawing up from the bottom later, we find Jack as a successful lawyer. He’s done well on his own, crossed a lot off his list and added more. But, he hasn’t factored God into the plan. God hasn’t seemed to be around in the past... Can Jack trust Him with the future? As life continues to take its toll and tragedies strike, will Jack relinquish the power of his list in order to gain all he’s ever wanted?
Sophie and her friends learn to cope with boys! The Corn Flakes are in a tizzy about the end-ofschool dance--they might actually have to deal with the Fruit Loops (boys), and that’s causing all kinds of friction. Will the Flakes break up, or can Sophie direct a happy ending? Sophie learns you must be willing to give up anything that comes between you and God in order to come close to him, even when you don’t want to.
Indescribable Amid the uncertainties of World War I, Pastor Frederick Lehman tries to compose an inspirational song about God’s love---and gets stuck on the third verse. But his kids come to the rescue when they explore an old asylum, meet a Jewish rabbi, and learn about events that took place eight centuries earlier. Based on a true story
Penelope Crumb Finds Her Luck, by Sean Stout Penelope Crumb knows that just around the corner from all the good luck she’s been having is a bunch of bad luck to balance it out. She’s left feeling unwanted when all she wants to be is someone’s favorite---her mom, her former best friend Patsy Cline, her grandpa’s---but it seems like she is always coming up second best to someone else. Penelope is determined to prove her worth and make herself everyone’s favorite but soon finds herself in a lot of trouble---and discovers that friendships aren’t based on luck and it doesn’t matter if you’re anyone’s favorite, if everyone loves you!
HEARTS OVERFLOWING WITH LOVE
Outside of the class many of us went out together. It was a lot of fun as many of us teachers were around the same age as most of the students. During the week long camp there was more time to be with the students in this more relaxed environment. There were many students who showed an interest in hearing about what we believed. We could see that some wanted to learn more and we were happy to share. One student named Adia, a 25 year old geography teacher, was really interested. But all the teachers could see the inner struggle this atheistic student was going through. Please pray with us for the students who are so close to opening their hearts to The Truth. I have so much to be thankful for. I was blessed with a wonderful team of girls that were encouraging and wonderful teachers. I really couldn't have asked for a better group of women to be on my team. I am also thankful for the amazing opportunities God gave me to spend time with students outside of class. We became more than friends we became family. Thank you for helping me go through this experience with both your financial and prayer support. God bless. Tamara
cellphone: (647) 999-0465
Discipleship Ministries - Partnering with Families
Fall Ministry Launch
10-10:30am - All Ages Worship Upstairs 10:30-11:30am - Youth Worship Downstairs in Youth Lounge
Our fall programming will start on Sunday September 13th. We are looking forward to this new year and are excited about walking together with you and your children. Stay tuned for more information as we get ready for a new season together.
Spring Kids Sunday Morning Schedule 10-10:30am - All Ages Worship Upstairs 10:30-11:30am - Children go downstairs for age specific experience
Sunday Morning Schedule
Zip Lining, Tubing & More! (weather permitting) When: September 19, 10am-3pm Where: Chicopee Tube Park Cost: $20 includes lunch Drop off : 10am at church Pick up: 3pm at church Space is limited RSVP to Jeremy email@example.com
New Checkin/out Procedure Check in prior to worship upstairs or check in downstairs at the check in/out station before class A child without a name tag will not be accepted into class When picking up your child, make sure to show your pick up tag to the teacher After picking up your child, check out your child at a check in/out station FAITH AT THE TABLE â€“ Empowering Families to Explore Faith Together A night of food, family faith engagement activities and workshops! Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 â€“ 5:00 -7:30 PM Spring Garden Church Cost: $20.00 per family/ REGISTER by Sunday, SEPT.20
Fall Youth Retreat When: October 23-25 Where: New Life Camp Cost: $70 Registration is now open, please email Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org Subsidy is available upon request
Register at: https:tickets.buzztix.com/event/FaithattheTable For more information, please visit our website. 24
Between the Testaments: An Introduction
The Law in the Genesis–Deuteronomy In Genesis God established relationships to his people through covenants, beginning with Noah, but specifically with Abram (Gen 12, 15, 17). It is in the promises to Abraham that God chooses a people and separates them from the rest of the nations. God promised Abraham the land, many descendants, that God would establish his covenant with Abraham’s descendants. “I will be their God” (Gen 17:8). Throughout the OT there are continual references back to the slavery of God’s people in Egypt and more especially concerning God’s work in bringing his people out of Egyptian slavery. The Ten Commandments are grounded in this work of God. Exodus 20:2 states, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall…”
Have you ever wondered what happened between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament? There is actually about a 400 year span of time between Malachi and Matthew. The following is the beginning of what I hope will be a series of short essays describing events and issues of the Jewish people during what is called the Second Temple period (516 BC– AD 70). During this time, after the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon, the Law of Moses remained of utmost importance while the people of Israel often lacked a political leader. The High Priest filled the gap and functioned as the leader of the people as they lived under the power of foreign governments. But first, let’s take a step back and review the importance of the Law in the Old Testament. 26
But before Moses even brought the law down from Mount Sinai, the people of Israel had already broken the law by having other gods before the Lord and making a carved image of either the Lord or other gods (Exod 32). The Lord does not allow that generation to enter the land promised to Abraham because they disobeyed his commands. This failure to obey the Law becomes an important theme throughout the OT, particularly with the Judges and the kings, and even after the return from exile.
Law during the Judges and the Kings When Joshua takes over leadership of the people from Moses, God says to him, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do all that is written in it…” (Josh 1:8). Yet, even after God helps the Israelites conquer the promised land, Joshua still reminds the people of all that God had done and charges them to serve only God (Josh 24). The people heed Joshua’s charge, but during the time of the judges, the continual refrain is that they did what was evil and abandoned the God of their fathers who brought them 27
out of Egypt (Judg 2:1–5; 11–15).
The Law in Post-Exile
The Lord raised up judges to lead Israel against their oppressors, yet after each judge died the people returned to doing evil. Eventually, under King Saul and then the kings David and Solomon, Israel became a monarchy that eventually split into the two nations of Israel and Judah. 1 & 2 Kings, along with 1 & 2 Chronicles tells of the kings and the events of their reigns. These accounts are either positive or negative depending upon whether or not the king was faithful to the Law, particularly with regard to worshipping gods other than the Lord.
The law continues to have an extremely strong emphasis in postexile Israel. The people of Israel recognize that they were sent into exile for rejecting the Law and they seem determined not to break the Law again (Neh 8; Ezra 7). This idea is clearly evident in Second Temple understandings of the law (see 4 Ezra 1–4 and various Dead Sea Scrolls). Strict adherence to the Law and temple are important for many Jews during the time of the Second Temple…but not for all of Israel, as we shall see. However, the Maccabean revolt (167–164 BC) and the later Jewish revolts (AD 66–70; AD 132–135) often began from a desire to be faithful to the Law and to rid the land of those who did not keep it. Jesus and the Pharisees at least agreed on the importance of God and the Law.
The Law in the Psalms The book of Psalms begins by describing the person who is blessed of the Lord as one who delights in the Law and meditates on it (Psalm 1:1–2). The Law forms a central place in proper relationship with God. Blessings to those who keep it and who do not spend time with those who despise the Law. Psalm 19:7–11 states, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple…,” and Psalm 119 is a long psalm in praise of the Law, of God’s commands, his precepts, instructions, and statutes.
Law in the Major and Minor Prophets The prophets attempt to bring the people back to the Law, to enjoy the blessings of keeping the Law and not its curses (compare Deuteronomy 28–30). God’s care for Israel in the exodus is evoked in a number of places (Hosea 11:1 and Amos 3:1–6 for example). Amos charges Judah with rejecting the Law of the Lord (2:4–5). Ζechariah repeats much of the command keeping language found in Deuteronomy (1:4–6). Malachi accuses Judah of profaning the covenant (2:11–12). In Jeremiah, as the people are about to be exiled to Babylon, Jeremiah offers hope that one day the Lord will place the Law on their hearts (31:33). 28
Let’s Play Scrabble Update!
Leadership at Spring Garden
We were small but we were mighty! We had fun, lots of laughs and giggles, cheated a bit, and had tons of great food. We finally got ourselves out of the church by 10:30pm. We seemed to munch all afternoon and evening and couldn’t believe how the time flew by. We left the leftovers for coffee for Sunday morning, that’s why there was such an unusual assortment of food following the service.
Please join us for our next group on September 19, 2015 beginning at 2- 2:30pm. We’ll end at 10pm. Feel free to pop in for all of it or some of it! We ask that you bring a scrabble game (or another game), something to munch on, something to drink and something to share for a pot luck dinner. We had a great assortment of food, feel free to bring a “ slave over a hot take out”, or if you are unable to bring food, just bring yourself. We seem to bring food for the 5000’s, with plenty of left overs. It is for all different level of players and for those that don’t play, we’ll have a monopoly game available. While we don’t have child care, feel free to bring your kidlets. You will have to monitor them, but we have some puzzles for kids. Please feel free to come and join us and have some community fun time. Questions, comments, concerns, contact Pati Perry (email@example.com) or Cherryl Murdoch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Gene Tempelmeyer, Pastor email@example.com Greg Kay, Worship and Mission 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, Children’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 Gonzalo Librado Mike Penner - Community Life/Board Secretary Derek Prinsloo - Chair Judy Tranter - Pastoral Care Jim Turner - Property
416.724.9329 416.491.8542 905.731.0492 416.225.7092 416.229.2695 416.227.1840 647.349.4610 416.229.0494 416.512.1360
Elders Garth Barron Darlene Boyd Cindie Chaise Jennifer Moore Barrie Porter Corinne Sutton-Smith
416.724.9329 416.385.2483 647.345.2476 416.786.8727 416.829.4210 416.615.1763
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
Looking For Room-and-Board in a Christian Home My name is Ben Sheil. I am looking for a place to room-and-board for 8 months (September through April). I would prefer to stay with a Christian family. Please call me if you have a place for me or if you need further information. Below is a brief description of me. - 18 year old male - 4 siblings – I am the second oldest - Christian family - homeschooled - fairly neat and tidy - entering Seneca’s pilot program - looking for 8 months of room and board - live in London, Ontario - parents attended Spring Garden for 2 years when they lived in North York (25 years ago) Contact: Ben Sheil (or parents – Greg and Liz) 519-668-1515 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeking accomodation Changing locations for new job located at Yonge and Finch. Looking for room in house or small basement apartment to rent in the Yonge-Bayview-Steeles-Sheppard rectangle (or nearby). Ready to move in now. Please email Ben Wukasch at email@example.com
The Cummer Ave Drop-Inn is looking for additional volunteers! The Cummer Ave Drop-Inn, is held out of Cummer Ave United Church. This program has existed for 15 years serving homeless and vulnerable populations (i.e. : seniors, those with disabilities, unemployed). The focus of the Drop-Inn is too provide a safe, comfortable environment where guests can have their basic needs met and receive additional support depending on their need. The Cummer Ave Drop-Inn is open every Wed from 8am-2pm. It serves 70-90 people each week. All services are free, this includes a continental breakfast and a hot lunch that is served to guests (restaurant style) by volunteers. Guests can have their hair cut, use a phone and pick up extra clothing from the clothing closet and have a shower. The Drop-Inn has also formed partnerships with Social Services and Public Health Agencies. These additional services allow guests to receive assistance in many different areas. Currently, we could use the support of more volunteers, specifically 6:30- 8am setting up the auditorium for the program & prepping food, 12pm-2pm serving and helping cleaning in the kitchen, 1:30pm-2:00pm cleaning up the auditorium. If you think that you may be interested in helping out and would like to see the program please contact Sandra Seepaul , at 416 221-4511 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you volunteer once a month it’s a big help.
New Family Life Centre on Tyndale Campus Gives Individuals, Couples and Families Access to Affordable Clinical Counselling In order to provide affordable, accessible counseling support, The Family Life Centre plans to leverage a roster of experienced professional therapists through the well-established Tyndale Counselling Services (TCS). Whereas TCS serves the Tyndale staff and student body, The Family Life Centre will extend to the broader communities of Toronto and beyond, providing care in a variety of languages, at affordable fees
and available through extended hours. The new centre will also offer seminars and helpful learning opportunities on such topics as parenting, communication, conflict resolution and marriage enrichment. These workshops will be developed as the need is identified and the interest determined. A launch date is foreseen as early as September, 2015, pending donor support. Tyndale Open Learning is enthusiastic about serving the GTA and beyond, providing support across cultures, generations and creeds. Visionary donors and heart-felt prayer support are always appreciated. For more information about the Family Life Centre: Contact: email@example.com
Looking for a babysitter? My name is Hannah Turner and I recently completed my babysitterâ€™s course. I am a very mature and responsible person. I love to work with kids, and have done Kindergarten helper at my school for the past 2 years. If you would like to give me a try contact me at: Hannahturner2323@gmail.com, or call me at 416-512-1360 I canâ€™t wait to babysit!!
Help needed for Carys Montgomery Carys Montgomery was diagnosed with kidney cancer in spring of 2008 after visiting the doctor with unexplained lower back pain. Shortly thereafter she underwent major surgery to remove a large tumor from her left kidney, and subsequently the kidney also was removed. There was hope that this would be the end of her battle, but alas, about a year later, another tumor was discovered near her spleen. Carys underwent a second surgery in October of 2009. After the second surgery she was referred to an oncologist at Princess Margaret where she was monitored for the next four years. For three 34
years Carys remained cancer free and things looked very positive, however in spring 2013 more cancer growth was discovered. The growths, however, were small and seemed to be progressing at a very slow rate. Throughout this entire process, Carys and her family sought the Lord for guidance and chose to believe that ultimately, God was going to heal Carys. She also sought to strengthen her body through diet and other natural health endeavours. At this stage, after much prayer and consideration, Carys decided not to pursue traditional medical treatments, but instead to get even more radical with her health in other ways. God opened up the door for Carys to visit a centre in the US where she detoxed and learned much about fighting disease the natural way. She also chose to invest in the things she believes God has called her to, and go to a School of Worship at Bethel Church in California, for which God paved the way by his awesome provision and sovereignty. Since that time she has chosen to continue to believe in the Lordsâ€™ deep and unfailing love for her, to stand on his promises confident that she will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the LIVING (Psalm 27:13)! In November 2014 Carys found out that the cancer had metastasized to her liver and lungs and since has been receiving care through Sunnybrook hospital and is currently on a drug therapy to try to slow the growth of the cancer. There is little hope that traditional medicine can offer at this point, and so Carys has decided to seek out the best possible options for her outside of the medical sphere in Canada and visit a clinic in Germany. Germany offers the most breakthrough alternative therapies in the world and uses integrated medicine (a collaboration of traditional and alternative) to treat patients with terminal diagnoses. The cost is approximately $25,000 for a three week intensive treatment regime and Carys hopes to visit the clinic in September. Donations are being accepted at: http://www.gofundme.com/carystreatment
REFRESH BEGINS AGAIN SEPTEMBER 9th Wednesdays 10 am to 11:30 am in the upstairs lounge at Spring Garden. Learning the Word in a fun, supportive, prayerful group. These are just a few of the words that describe the Refresh experience. Refresh is a time of gathering where the Bible is read, life’s stories are shared and new friends are made. (And the potluck celebration parties are delish!) Though a Christian group, we welcome those interested to learn more about Jesus and our faith. At the moment the group is comprised of young new mothers, grandmothers and every age in between!
Thursday Adult Bible Class The Thursday Adult Bible Class has changed since its creation over 20 years ago. Over the years we have hosted and prayed for and sent out students, who joined us for a term, newcomers to Canada, neighbors and friends. One focus remained throughout this time- dependence on God through scripture. On our journey through the years fun played a big role. The Garden Party each July embraces fun and fellowship. Youth, staff and visitors were entertained and shared our table and comerodery. For our Garden Party this year the theme was “Wisdom” since most of us are over 39. The highlights of our group – prayer, fellowship, friendship and fun. The Thursday Bible Class begins again on Thursday, September 10, 2015 from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. [bring your own lunch]
BABIES WELCOME AND CHILDCARE PROVIDED. Please contact Tanya Salituro for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAREER GUIDANCE WORKSHOP: INTERVIEWS AND SUCCESS DATE: SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12 2015 Spring Garden Church, West (main) Lounge 9:30am-12:00pm -Part 1 1:00-2:30pm -Part 2 (optional) The first session will explore the components of the interview and the second (optional) 60-90 minute session will give you the chance for practice by conducting mock interviews. Please bring a job advertisement of interest with you. Child care provided. To attend, please RSVP to email@example.com with “interviews” in the subject line before September 9.
What’s Happening Life in Spring Garden
Weekly Tuesdays 2:00 pm - Pastoral Team meeting 7:00 pm - ESL Café (starts Sept 8th) Wednesdays 10:00 am - Refresh Women’s Bible Study (starts Sept 9th) Thursdays 12:00 pm - Adult Bible Class (starts Sept 10th) Sundays 9:00 am - Morning Bible Study (starts Sept 13th): meeting room - ESL Bible study (starts Sept 6th): basement at the southwest entrance 10:00 am - Sunday Morning Worship (communion on the first Sunday of the month) 1:00 pm - Young Adult Life Group Sunday. Lunch together first and then the gathering at 1pm. 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 Saturday Sept 12th - Career Guidance Workshop: Interviews
and Success (pg. 36) Sunday Sept 13th - Fall Ministry Launch and Comissioning of Pastors, Deacons and Elders (pg. 24) Saturday Sept 19th - Scrabble group (pg. 30) - Spring Youth: Zip Lining, Tubing & More! (pg. 25) Saturday, Sept. 26th - Faith at the Table (pg. 24) 38
Photo by Zane William Janzen
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