Greetings my dear friends in the Lord. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read this week's Pastoral Hello.
"The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone." Psalm 103:15-16
Recently, I read an account by a Christian brother who, while hospitalized in critical condition, had an overwhelming experience of gratitude. He describes lying quietly in a melancholy hush that had settled over the intensive care unit at 2 AM. He indicated that there was no warning, no preparation. Then, alone in the dark that morning, his spirit was suddenly gripped by something he concluded was gratitude. He said it came on like a seizure, a fit of frenzy, of pure and unadulterated joy. He said, in that moment, he realized how fragile and fleeting life is, but also how precious and miraculous it is. He revealed that he'd been so busy in his life that he'd almost forgotten the gift of life he'd been given. He went on to say that in his whirlwind of gratitude, all he could say were the words of Psalm 103: "Praise the Lord, my soul: all my inmost being praise His holy name
Indeed with words both simple and haunting, the psalmist reminds us: "The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone." Though these words may give us pause, they do not lead us to despair. Why? Because, for we can also be sure that "from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear Him." God's love is with us and will not let anything separate us from Him (see Romans 8 38-39). Praise the Lord my dear friends! In keeping with this devotional thought, I would encourage us to pray this simple word this coming week: - Lord, today and throughout this week, I'm reminded how fleeting and precious life is. Nevertheless, receive my sincerest thanks for this incomparable good gift. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
3. Prayer Requests
A. Please pray for Bill & Alice Fawcett as Bill's health has diminished recently. He is currently in the Grey Nun's Hospital and the Fawcett family would be so grateful for your prayers, love and support.
B. HVA CHURCH / COMMUNITY NEEDS
- The Young People's Group as they begin meetings in September, also for the leaders: Pastor Matthew & Rebakah and Brian Korthuis; Leanne Swekla Baruinska & family - waiting in Poland, children going to school, learning Polish..waiting for Visa's; Les Fitz - living in the Good Samaritan Southgate care centre; Jan Flanagan - strength and guidance; Fraietta's friend Bill - healing from extreme pain but most of all, salvation; Mari Nasser - physical healing; Margaret Shepherd - pain from shingles in eyes; Elaine Benterud - healing from mental health; A young man, Chris - struggling with addiction; Those looking for work; Mary L.has fever and throat infection; Bigam's friend, Robert has a family member who needs healing.
4. Men's Ministry Fellowship Gathering
We invite men of all ages to attend a relaxed and casual time of food and fellowship this coming Wednesday, September 28, 6:30 - 9 PM. It will be held at Paul Younghan's home, 13723 Woodcroft Ave NW, 780 466 0997. If you are planning on attending, please sign the Sign Up Sheet in the church foyer or email our church at email@example.com.
5. Enrich Ministry (60+)
We are pleased to announce that we are relaunching our Enrich Ministry for those 60+, following the Covid pandemic. We will be partnering together with Calvary Community Church's "Oasis" Ministry (60+) to share in a catered luncheon and fellowship time the first Tuesday each month. The next gathering will be held at Calvary Community Church on Tuesday, October 4 at 11:30 AM. The cost is $12/person and if interested, please sign up at the table in the church foyer or RSVP to Colleen Lindoff at firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Women's Ministry Bible Study
This past Thursday evening a good number of ladies met together via Zoom for the commencement of their study on the book of Colossians. Their next Bible Study is Thursday, October 6 at 6:30 pm.
7. President Mark McKnight and the Vanguard College Singers
Next Sunday morning, October 2, Mark McKnight, President of Vanguard College and a group of music students will be sharing in our service. We invite you to join us onsite and online to participate in this joyour service. We encourage you to bring a friend or family member to church.
8. Church Cards for Congregational Usage
We are pleased to announce that we have developed brand new church cards for congregational use. We encourage you to pick up as many as you can use to hand out to family, friends, neighbours, school mates, and work colleagues - to inform them of our church. These cards are a fantastic tool for you to use in sharing the good news of our church and her ministry. Please avail yourself of these cards.
9. Eldership Ministry Updates
As a church, we are so thankful for the Godly, wise and mature leadership our church elders provide in spiritual counsel, prayer, visitation and planning. This past Wednesday evening, we met for one of our ongoing meetings and we are grateful to report the following:
First: our elders and their spouses, Phil (Diane) Benterud, Brian (Melody) Bigam, Harold (Janet) Eldridge, Bob (Karen) Gal, Larry (Colleen) Lindoff have been on a "Care Campaign" during the spring, summer and early fall months. They have been praying for, meeting with, being hospitable too, visiting alongside of, counseling and caring for a large number of individuals, couples, and families - both in the church and community at large. They have been "the church where people live" - Praise the Lord.
on Wednesday, the elders began to plan for and develop a course on "The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit''
. This course will involve our elders and guests, which will be recorded and downloaded to our church website, www.heritagevalleyassembly.com
. We affirm as elders, along with overall church leadership that we are honoured to be a Pentecostal church in theology and practice. Yet, we desire to teach our congregation and the community, what the person and work of the Holy Spirit entails today. We are excited about creating and launching this new course in the future. We will keep you informed regarding its timing.
Third: after a period of prayerful reflection and research, we have crafted a "Statement on the Public Use of the Verbal Gifts of the Holy Spirit". It reads as follows:
"At Heritage Valley Pentecostal Assembly, we believe in the public use of the verbal gifts of the Holy Spirit in corporate gatherings (ie. Sundy services, etc.). These verbal gifts include prophecy, tongues, and interpretation. These gifts are meant to be profitable and build people up (1 Cor. 12:7; 14:3). At the same time, we realize that the verbal gifts must be exercised properly so that they are beneficial to all. Indeed, the Apostle Paul issued the same decree when he declared that they should be used 'decently and in order' (1 Cor 14: 40).
Indeed for the gifts to be beneficial at Heritage Valley Pentecostal Assembly, we happily align ourselves with the Biblical pattern that allows for freedom yet provides boundaries to keep people safe. We believe that God has ordained pastors/elders to lead, and oversee the local church (1 Peter 5:2; Hebrews 13:17). That oversight extends into our worship services. In essence, our leadership decides when and if a message is appropriate for the service. Here are guidelines we follow:
Please remember Phil & Jill as we officiate and celebrate their wedding service in Jasper on Sunday afternoon. In the meanwhile, let us gather both onsite and online as we are led by a fantastic group of leaders and elders in our morning service. It will be a joy to have Jeff Johnsson sharing the word from 1 Kings 13 as well.
God bless you all! Again Colleen, I and my family count it an enormous honour to serve each of you at/through our precious church.