Greetings my dear friends and welcome to this week's Pastoral Hello. Thank you so much for taking a few moments to acquaint yourself with a few church family matters.
1. Prayer for the Fallen
Tragically on Thursday of this week, two of Edmonton's finest police officers were killed in the line of duty. Sadly they leave behind beloved family members, cherished friends and their loyal Edmonton Police Service comrades. Like you, we as an entire city, province and nation have been deeply moved with compassion and grief. Can I urge us as a church to continue to uplift all touched by this event, that the Lord may presence Himself in a comforting manner. As well, we will have four bereavement cards in the foyer of the church this coming Sunday and we encourage you to share your condolences within them. We will then include an official letter of comfort and prayer and send the cards to Edmonton Police Service West Division Headquarters. Thank you kindly.
2. Prayer Requests
Thank you for faithfully remembering the needs of others each week. Bless you and yours for bringing the following needs before the Lord:
- Jennifer Kew - Still recovering from surgery and doing well. We are thankful she was able to attend church the last two Sundays.
- Kimie Ando - travelled to Japan to help her father who had heart surgery
- Joyce Bunce - Nephew Dylan, 18 yrs old. Cancer has returned and is now terminal. Prayer for parents: wisdom & guidance.
- Dorothy Commandeur - Niece Renee had a second liver transplant on March 2nd. Her liver is working well. She's still in ICU & fragile.Pray that her body will continue to heal & get stronger. She has three teenage boys & desperately wants to go home..
- Elaine Benterud - Physical and Mental challenges. Believing for a complete healing.
- Margaret Shepherd - Healing from pain as a result of Shingles
- Marlene Rohr - Her niece Rachelana is home from YWAM. Pray that the time spent will make a lasting impact on this young lady.
- Bigam's Friend's - A) Jerry in Texas battling Cancer. The immuno therapy has not worked. Doctors are trying new medication, B) Another Friend is experiencing health issues; needs a miracle.
- Bill & Kathy Huget - A) Bill - Healing from Cancer; B) Kathy- Healing from M.S.
- The Lindoff Family - A) Continued healing in all their bodies; B) Colleen - Healing in wrist and relief of pain, C) Mary - A job.
- Those in Long Term Care: Les Fitz & Bill Fawcett
- Those who are unable to come to church onsite due to mobility issues and other health issues.
3. A Prayer Journey With Jesus in 2023
Thank you for continuing to journey as a church with Jesus in 2023 as we take Step 2, Praying the Good News of Jesus Will Go Forth.
Over the last five weeks we have been praying for the various ministries and individuals that we as a church feel called to intercede for. Wonderfully we have and continue to pray for Rachel Starkey, For Her Dignity; the Barvinski Family (Ukraine); Sleep in Heavenly Peace (Greater Edmonton); Craig Eagle (Gypsy/Roma Outreach, Eastern Europe), Brian & Melody Bigam (3GL Ministries, Greater Edmonton), and Bob & Karen Gal (Missions Canada, Greater Edmonton).
This week commencing on Monday, March 20 - Sunday, March 26, I'm asking us to pray for the Jeffery Sonnenberg family and their ministry in Japan. It has been our privilege to pray for and support them for a number of years. They currently reside in Toda, Saitama, Japan and are involved in pastoring, mentoring, leading and reaching many within the lovely nation of Japan. May we pray for their wellbeing, safety, continued faithfulness in ministry for the Lord each day from March 20 - 26, 2023.
4. Praise Reports
1) Bless the Lord, we had a fantastic time of fellowship, lovely conversation and delicious food last Sunday following our morning worship gathering. Thank you to all those who planned and implemented the highly successful time. God bless each and everyone who attended. Our next Fellowship Time will be in June when we are planning a church Fellowship Dinner coupled with a community outreach.
5. Digital Ministry News Items
2) As well, we praise the Lord for His healing touch in the life of a friend of the Flanagans. His recovery from a serious heart attack last weekend is absolutely a miracle. Thank you each one for interceding in prayer.
As some of you may know, our church has a Digital Ministry Team made up of myself, Brian Korthuis, Donna Baker, Pastor Matthew, Pastor Philip and Lance Lindoff. They meet quarterly to lead and manage the Digital Ministry of our church, consisting of our church website, Facebook, Instagram and all the facets of our online ministry initiatives (ie. Sunday morning services, Wednesday prayer sessions, etc.) via YouTube (Heritage Plus) and Rumble. We met a couple of weeks ago, via Zoom, and had a good meeting review: what is working well, needs refinement, and matters to address in the future. A couple of items flowing out of our discussion is to inform and ask the following:
A) Our church has arranged for our very own app. In the next couple of weeks, we will be informing you more fully about how the "HVPA App" can be of value to you, as you load it onto your phone, etc. This is a new and exciting new development with more details to come.
B) We have developed a church promotional piece to be utilized on our website, etc, introducing our church to the greater community. However before we do anything further with it, we will be emailing some of you who may appear in the video, to determine and ask if your presence can be used. If you feel uncomfortable being seen in such a video, we will completely honour that and ensure your appearance is not included. If you permit us to include yours, we will include you in the promotional video. We want to always ensure the privacy of our attendees from digital exposure where and when we are able. It's important to us that we are a "safe and healthy" church in digital matters.
C) We are also happy for the excellent and thoughtful feedback we receive relative to our social media platforms and online ministry. However we want to encourage you to provide us commendation and input relative to our website, Facebook page, Instagram and on-line ministries. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback. We are certainly happy to receive input on how we can serve more effectively.
6. Sunday Morning Worship
We look forward to gathering together again this coming Sunday morning, both onsite and online, as we "celebrate and exalt Jesus Christ". What a delight it will be to worship the Lord in song, communion, intercessory prayer and the sharing of the Word. Pastor Philip will be continuing our series The Power of Jesus this Sunday, and I will be preaching the Word next Sunday morning.
Once again, God bless you all for your love for God and for one another. My wife Colleen, family and I consider it an enormous honour and joy to serve the Lord and you. Be blessed everyone! Psalm 23:1.