Monday, September 29

Gupdate is Moving!

Thanks for following me on blogger for the past couple of years! It's time to retire blogger and move on to a much better program. Make a couple of clicks and add me to your favorites @ www.timguptill.wordpress.com

Friday, September 26

Huh?

Something you wouldn't have heard a pastor mention a few years back...

"Let me grab my blackberry and sms text a tweet to twitter to go on my blog about the groove series."

That's just funny :-)

2 Offerings?? What?!

This Sunday we are going to show our appreciation to our 6-month intern John Sherwood!!

John has been doing an amazing job with music, youth, and anything else we throw at him. Though he's working full-time with us as an intern, it's a semester @ college that comes with all the associated costs.

We'll take our regular offering, a very groovy one, and we'll also take a 'love offering' for John.

Way cool.

More Teens = Less Hair

Heads were shaved last night! Mark Brewer, John Sherwood, and Jesse Reid are looking a little different today and we're all pretty stoked about it!

There were 100 teenagers @ the Shakedown last night! Woo Hoo! Drop your computer and run around the room!

Mark challenged the teens last week and they obviously rose to the challenge. Out came the clippers and off went the hair.


Hmmmm, what if we hit 400 on a Sunday morning?? I'll gladly shave my head! Who's with me?

Thursday, September 25

Just thinking...

There's a lot of energy around this place right now...

We're ramping up for Sunday...
Ramping up for 1st Wednesday next week...
Amping up for Youth tonight...

We love this church. Seriously, our family loves Fredericton and I love being your Pastor.

I just picked up "Axiom", by Bill Hybels. I love leadership books and I'm already enjoying this one.

God is good.

Thursday Thoughts

We hosted our home group bible study last night. Great coffee, strawberry shortcake, apple crumble, great people, great leader (Stephen Woodworth), etc. Everyone should be in a group where they can learn more about God's Word and who God is. A small group should be a safe place of love and encouragement where people can be real with one another about real life. I'm thankful for my group and every small group that Crosspoint has.

Are you thinking about Sunday??!! We're pretty amped up over week 3 of the Groove series! My side-burns are driving me nuts and I can't wait to shave them off when this series is over. Haha. Who are you inviting this week??

Groove 3 is about getting past your past. Everyone of us has a past. We can't change our past. So, how do we let our past propel us towards a better future? How do we break chains from things in the past that we just can't seem to shake? Have a look at Philippians 3, specifically verses 13 and 14. If you know anyone who needs to experience grace, love and freedom-forgiveness in Jesus, make sure they are here this week!!

Shakedown tonight. Crosspoint's Youth ministry is every Thursday from 6:30 - 8:30. Know anyone with a teenager in the house?? You know the drill, tell them about a youth group that is having a blast, awesome live band, tons of craziness, growing in God's Word and what it means to be a Christian Teen serving Jesus with everything they have!

We're going to Israel. For real. Next April. The 27th to be exact. A bunch of Crosspointers on a tour bus visiting the Holy Land, walk the beach of the Mediterranean, sail across Galilee, walk the stations of the Cross in Jerusalem, see where Jesus worshiped in Capernaum, climb Masada, walk around Jericho, Gethsemane, Armageddon, etc. Come to the Israel meeting this Sunday @ 4.

Keep the coffee strong.

Tuesday, September 23

Quick Stuff

Welcome to 'Autumn'. It's the first full day of Fall and we're expecting this to be an amazing season @ Crosspoint!

Saw 2 Crosspointers getting their coffee @ the Irving this morning. Try the Peruvian, you'll like it!

We have a great church board. That's random, I know, but I thought you should know that there is a group of people behind the scenes that are pretty pumped about the direction of this church.

September seems too early for frost. I'm just saying.

Had a great meeting with Mark first thing this morning. We're working on some in-house tech and productivity stuff. Well, Mark is, and he helps me and the other staff work smarter. BTW, if you are feeling 'swamped', you have paper everywhere, you keep forgetting 'to do's', etc... I highly recommend the book, "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I've recommended it on this blog before.

John Sherwood is speaking and singing to the Tuesday Morning Seniors Group right now. Very cool.

My side-burns are driving me nuts. I'll be glad when the 'Crosspoint Chops' contest is over. ;-)

Hope your week is going well!

Monday, September 22

Groove Notes 2

We're half way through the Groove Series. Here are your study notes for this week:

Phil 2:1-11

v.1 Notice the key words that Paul uses in verse 1: Encouragement, comfort, fellowship, compassion... These are things that Paul believes a healthy church should be experiencing. We want Crosspoint to be a place where people are encouraged, where people can find comfort, where we grow together in fellowship (good coffee!) and where we are compassionate with one another. You can usually sense in just a couple of minutes whether or not a church is truly living this out. So how about you? Are you an encourager? Who can you encourage today? Don't just think about it, get out a sticky and decide 'who' and 'how' you will do something encouraging today. Go through the other words the same way. Remember, it's not all about me, it's about others!

v.2 You've probably heard it said, "We need to agree to disagree", insinuating that we'll never agree on everything so let's put our disagreements aside. Paul is pulling the church towards unity. He's urging them to see things through a bigger lens. Look at the big picture, God's picture. We need to think about the 'body', the vision, the mission of the church. A church like ours can grow like crazy if we all agree wholeheartedly that we will love one another and work together even if everything isn't done exactly the way we would prefer it to be. My preferences are just that, 'preferences'. Sure, Crosspoint would look different if I had everything my way, but it's not about me and what I want. It's about me working together with other believers to see the greater good accomplished. So, what does this mean to you today? Take a few moments and read this verse over a few times. What comes to mind? What is God saying to you today?

v.3, 4 Do you find yourself asking others how they are or how their day went and before they can hardly say anything you start talking about yourself, your problems and how you got the wrong coffee passed to you in the drive-thru??! We love to talk about ourselves. We want others to listen to us, to hear us and to make us feel as though what we are saying is important. We want to be validated. Hmmm. So if we're always talking about ourselves, how will anyone else be heard? This week, today, make some intentional decisions about who you are going to listen to. If you really want to apply this text, pick someone who annoys the decaf out of you. Someone who you've been avoiding... Look them in the eye, even if it hurts, and listen intently. Don't interrupt. Let them share with you whatever is going on in their lives. Read 3 and 4 over again. Is it starting to sink in?

v.6-11 I mentioned yesterday that Paul takes these verses on 'others' and he runs them straight through the Cross. Jesus died for others. We have to see every 'other' person as a soul destined for eternity needing Jesus Christ. The decrease of the Cross produced the increase. Huh? Whoever wants to be first must become last. I must decrease, Jesus must increase. Put others first. Don't be proud. Don't boast. Be a servant. Be humble.

Let's focus in on Christ's obedience. it was his obedience that led him to the cross. It was a brutal assignment, but he was willing to go and take our punishment. Now, reflect on your own obedience before God. Have you been listening to God? Would you say that your life is in line with God's direction and providence for you? Have you veered? Have you ignored God? What about temptation? Surely Jesus was tempted to bail. What changes do you need to make this week in order to walking in obedience with God? Obedience is where we find the greatest blessing!

Enjoy this text. Pray for others. Invite someone to church!

Groove 2 Recap

OK, I think I have enough coffee in me to get this post out! (That'll only make sense if you were in the second service yesterday).

Yesterday was another awesome day at Crosspoint! Thanks to all who were there, energized, caffeinated, ready to worship and excited about the Groove. We had many new families with us!! Keep coming, make yourself at home, make this your church and be a part of a very exciting future!

No purple suits yesterday but I did see some very Groovy side burns around the church. (Chris Saad!)

We opened with "Happy Day" a song that our Teens do @ the Shakedown on Thursday nights. Great to see Jesse Reid playing the bass. We had a wide variety of worship music yesterday with some very powerful moments. We continued our study in Philippians with 2:1-11, "Unselfish Unity". It's not about me, it's all about others, and it's good to be a part of a church that is determined to do whatever it takes to share the Gospel with others! (your study notes will be in the next post)

We also shared communion together. That's when I told everyone that if you don't take communion and someone looks at you funny or gives you false guilt, tell them to 'Get a life'! That was fun ;-) To help drive home the whole message of the day, we had a fresh-made loaf of bread for every family in the church. Yum!

Alpha got off to a great start last night. It was the initial 'Celebration Supper'. Full turkey dinner with apple crumble pie for dessert! If you'd still like to come, it's not too late. Last night was the 'intro' video and we begin with lesson one this Sunday @ 5. There is child care. Sweet.

The offering was Groovy yesterday! Thanks. If you would like to have offering envelopes for your giving records just drop us a line. www.crosspointchurch.ca

So, with all these new families, and Crosspoint over 300 for 2 weeks in a row, who are you inviting this Sunday??

Friday, September 19

What a Week!

This week has been a blur. A good blur if you know what I mean!

I did manage to get golfing today (fourth time this year!) with a great group of guys. It was a beautiful day. Had a wedding rehearsal tonight, and then headed out for some nachos with the Woodworths. Yum.

How are you doing with Philippians?
Who are you bringing to church on Sunday?
There are 30 pre-registered for Alpha! You coming?
We have a special 'giveaway' planned for this Sunday. Can't tell you. You have to come!
With a few good invites, we could hit 400 this weekend. No joke! That's crazy!
We need more 10:45'ers to worship with us @ 9:00 to make room in that second service. Try the 9. You'll like it!
Going apple picking in the morning. Fun times.
What was with -4 and two inches of frost this morning??!!
My golf game needs help.

See you Sunday. Phil 2:1-11.

Wednesday, September 17

"Crosspoint" Update

You can make tithing/offering checks out to "Crosspoint Wesleyan".

We're working on the new signage for the outside of the building, it should be up quite soon.

All emails are being switched over. You can now reach us at tim@crosspointchurch.ca; mark@...; amy@...; conard@...; ruth@...; connect@... Thanks for taking 22 seconds to go in and change your email address book and deleting the old email addresses ;-)

Most of our in-house printing now reflects 'Crosspoint'.

We value our heritage. We won't forget it. The best way to honor what has been is to press on for a brighter future.

Sunday's a comin'!

Mozambique Team


Obviously, I would go anywhere and do anything with this bunch of guys. It's amazing what a missions trip can do to bring a group of guys together. The next time you hear Crosspoint talking about a missions trip, sign up!

Dream Big

Ephesians 3:20 (New Living Translation)


" Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."

God is up to something BIG in our church!

Tuesday, September 16

Crosspoint Notes

Here is your Sunday message follow up to help you get in the Groove.

Philippians 1:1-11
Author: Paul
Audience: Christians in Philippi
Purpose: To strengthen the believers by reminding them that true joy and purpose comes from Jesus Christ.
Date: A.D. 61, while Paul was imprisoned in Rome.

1:1 Paul is doing time in Rome and refers to himself and Timothy as 'slaves' of Jesus. What do you think he meant by this? What are you a slave to? I know, you think I'm a slave to coffee! What changes do you need to make in your life for others to see that you are 100% sold out to Christ? If he is your Master, are you willing to follow him anywhere at any cost?

1:2 Paul reminds us that God is generous. He is a giving God and two of the greatest things he wants to give us are grace and peace. Are you thankful for grace? Are you living in peace. Write those words down and then make a list beside or underneath them of all the ways you see grace and peace at work in your life. Take a moment of quiet prayer to simply thank God for grace and peace and allow him to speak to you. Very groovy.

1:5 Paul reminds the people in Philippi that they are partners with him in sharing the gospel. All of you need to know that you are partnering with us, the staff @ Crosspoint, in sharing the gospel. We there is a crowd, we can all rejoice. When someone gives their life to Jesus, we can all know that we had a part in it. This is a team effort. We're making Jesus famous in Fredericton and beyond. Think about that for a moment. How are you specifically partnering with us? I can think of a few ways, but I'll leave it between you and the Holy Spirit.

1:9 We talked about this quite a bit on Sunday. Remember the comment, "Holy Hippies"?? If we ain't got love, we ain't got a thing! So, is there anyone in your world that you are finding hard to love? Do you need to take steps to fix this? Have you prayed about it/them? As we love one another more we will also grow in knowledge and understanding. How are you growing in knowledge? Are you studying God's Word? In a group? Home group? Class? What about understanding? Remember, understanding means that you won't always understand everything or everyone so you need to be more understanding! You don't have to like everything or even agree with everything, but you do need to be understanding.

1:10 "...pure" Read Romans 12. You have to daily, or hourly, turn everything over to Christ. Make good decisions. "...blameless" The only way that you and I can ever be blameless is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We're sharing communion together this Sunday and we'll talk more about this. Take some time right now to confess anything that isn't right in your life. What steps do you need to take in order to live a more pure life?

1:11 The produce that God wants to produce in your life is character! Not just any character, but righteous character that can only come from Jesus. How's your character? Who are you when no one is looking? What are your inner thoughts about others? This is the crux of the matter. This is the groove that we are talking about. We have to be a people that are being transformed into all the God has created us to be. We have to be more like Jesus everyday. As you wrap up today's study, ask God to work on your character. Ask Him to show you anything that needs to change. Start today. Get serious. Go deeper with Christ!

Groove Week 1

Sunday was absolutely amazing!
Thanks to all of you Crosspointers who showed up, brought a friend, and were ready to get back in the Groove! There were 349 of us! 102 in the first service, 241 in the second and 6 guys working on the bbq chicken. Yum. What a blast it was to kickoff the service with the bland laying down some John Mayer groove, daisy go-bo's, purple polyester suits (vintage Conard Symonds circa 1972), a black afro wig, and three pastors in groove attire getting the crowd on their feet and clapping to the music!

The real message is, "Are you in God's groove?" Have you accepted Jesus? Are you growing daily and experiencing all that God has created you to be? If not, you are missing your groove!

Special thanks to Sam and Helen Robinson for bbq'ing the chicken. If it hadn't have been so wet outside, we would've been down to their house (all 349 of us!). Thanks to Joy Cummings and her team for making it work in the fellowship hall on short notice. Great job gang! Also, very special thanks to Gilles Bordage and Victory Meat Market for their assistance. We couldn't do it without you.

Special thanks to Pastor Conard and his painting crew who came in yesterday and painted the office entryway, office hallway and reception office. It really looks great. What an improvement! Thanks guys!

To help you get in the groove, I'm going to post a follow-up study on the text we looked @ Sunday. This will help you get your nose into Philippians and dig in a little deeper.

Who are you inviting this Sunday? It's going to be a great service with a huge crowd!

Keep the coffee strong,
Tim

Saturday, September 13

Feelin' Groovy yet?

We're one day away from the Groove @ Crosspoint!

By this time tomorrow morning we will be a few minutes into the second service.

I've already said that you won't want to miss the opening of tomorrow's service. In fact, if you are here for the opening of the first service, you'll probably want to see it again @ 10:45.

Oh yeah, you'll probably want to bring a camera too. Seriously.

We were out for dinner with a gang of Crosspointer's last night and I'm pleased to report that our men are growing their side-burns for the Crosspoint Chops Competition! Haha. It's a riot.

Have a great day. Invite someone to church. See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 12

Who Ya Bringing?

The Groove is only a couple of days away!!

Who are you inviting?

Pick up the phone.
Send an email.
Walk across the room.
Walk across the street.

It could change a life for eternity.

Sunday is going to be awesome!
Let's pack it out!

Thursday, September 11

Grooving

Hey Crosspointer's! I hope your week is going well. Things are hustlin' around the church as we prepare for our kickoff Sunday and "The Groove".

Have you checked out our new website yet? This Sunday's bulletin is already on there. Very cool. Now you don't need one in your hand on Sunday! Actually, it probably won't be long before we only print a handful of bulletins for those who aren't online. Everyone else will get used to checking the website to see what's happening. Very 'green' don't you think! ;-)

As I mentioned on Sunday, you will want to be in the sanctuary when the countdown hits 0 this Sunday.

Hey guys, how are those side burns coming??! Don't forget to let the chops grow for this series. Haha.

Key verse for this Sunday: Philippians 1:6 God got the groove going inside you. God's plan is for us to stay in the groove so that His work will continue to grow in us making us more like Christ. Some need to find their Groove in Christ for the very first time. Some have the groove but they need to get up and get it going!

Sunday is going to be a spiritual blast!

Praying for you,
PT

Monday, September 8

The Side-Burn Contest

Oh yeah, it's on!

You can't do a series called "The Groove" without having a side-burn growing contest!

We're challenging every guy @ Crosspoint to stop trimming those chops and let them grow baby!

The series is 4 weeks. The winner, with the sweetest chops, will be declared on Oct 5th.
The winner will win, what else, some pork chops! (we'll probably find a few other goodies to throw in)

When someone asks you why you are letting your face get so furry tell them about your church!

Creative Planning Out the Window

Yesterday @ Crosspoint, God showed up and threw our creative planning out the window.

It was awesome.

We spend hours on our services but we are always aware of the need to be flexible and to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I've said this alot, but if you missed yesterday you missed something special.

Here's a run down for those watching on from a distance and a reminder to all who were here:
-Amazing worship, including 'Hosanna'
-We passed around a note card for every Teacher in our church. When the card got to you, you wrote an encouraging note to that teacher. The staff will write on them this week and we'll mail them to the Teachers. Cool.
-The Mozambique Team shared their stories.
-'God of this City' video
-Tim preaching on Raising Kids
-Extended altar/prayer time. A powerful time in God's presence. Wow.
-Worship/Offering
-Announcements

Service length: 1 hour and 45 minutes. No joke.

Now our thoughts turn towards "The Groove". Besides hauling out your wardrobe from the 70's, you might want to take a look at the book of Philippians. It's where we'll be for the entire series.

Off to a funeral in Saint John...

Saturday, September 6

Evangelistic Appetite

People who have an evangelistic appetite that is greater than their preference appetite will be excited to attend a church that is leveraging creativity and innovation to help lost people find Jesus.


Crosspoint Wesleyan Church
September 2008

Black-out Sanctuary

We have a pretty traditional sanctuary set-up. In fact, if you've been in a few Wesleyan churches, chances are you've seen our sanctuary or something very similar. Whoever built these things in the 70's and 80's built a ton of them off a very similar plan.

There are a lot of windows which means there is a lot of natural light. We have some pro blinds, but they are not light-blocking.

Earlier this Spring, when we were planning our kickoff series "The Groove", we knew right away that we would need to black-out the sanctuary for the lighting to have any effect. We went to our 'sewing person extraordinaire' and she created black-outs for each window that are easily fastened with velcro whenever we want.

We used them last Sunday because of a lighting/scripture montage we were doing. The effect was excellent and only could have happened with the sanctuary black. Note: next time our ushers will have flashlights! Apologies to all who came a few minutes late and couldn't see a thing!

This Sunday, no black-out.

Next Sunday, black-out.

So, I'm curious about what your thoughts are on walking in to a dark sanctuary that is using a lot of lighting for effect? Does it take some getting used to? Does it affect your worship? How?

I've been in some 'black box' churches that are built for production, and I really enjoy it. It's easier for the production team to focus my attention (and thoughts) on the message they are proclaiming. I've been to Willow Creek, and it's got tons of natural light, even when they buzz down their very sweet window screens. (one window is probably larger than our sanctuary!)

Either way, the Groove is coming and it is going to be a spiritual blast with a purpose.

Insider Information

Here's a nugget for Crosspointer's who follow my blog.

Expect to see some very nice, fresh paint on the steps/entrance and concrete at the church.

Very cool.

Thursday, September 4

This Sunday

This Sunday is going to be packed! In a lot of ways.

We're pretty much back from summer, but we're not yet back to two services (14th 9:00 and 10:45). So we're expecting to be numerically packed this Sunday. It's a great problem to have!

We're also packed with all that is happening in the service. The Mozambique Team is sharing, we have something special planned for teachers, we have a 'blessing of the school year' for teachers, students, and all who work in the school system, we have worship, we have a message, and we have quick promo spots by each pastor on what is happening this fall! Whew! It's going to be a blast!

If you know any Teachers, invite them this Sunday!! In fact, invite anyone you know. It's going to be a great service.

I'm preaching on, "Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure". The title's been used before, but the material is all new. ;-) I'm really looking forward to sharing some stuff that any parent would find helpful.

Upcoming:
The Groove kicks off September 14th. 9:00 and 10:45!! Invite someone. It's going to be a hoot with a solid spiritual message.
All-church Chicken Dinner @ Sam and Helen Robinson's on the 14th after the 10:45 service.

What Do You Do All Day?

I wish I had a coffee for every time someone asked me what I do all day!

Apparently, if you've never studied for or worked in the ministry you cannot comprehend what a minister would possibly do all day. This morning I was reflecting a bit on yesterday and thought, "I bet most of our people would never know what we do all day".

Here's a glimpse:
Normal boatload of email, phone calls, voice mail, etc.
Normal boatload of impromptu "what about..."; "what would you do with..." etc that comes from having an open-door policy.
Prep for Creative Team meeting - I get my head in gear before the team meets on what the major themes are and what I hope we will communicate on each particular Sunday.
2 1/2 hours of creative team planning which produced: good conversation on this past Sunday (what worked, what didn't), knock out of the Groove 1, work on upcoming Groove Sundays, excellent conversation on Sept 21 and 28. Those are going to be huge Sundays in our history.
Prep for Staff Meeting - I keep a to do in iCal for each of these and keep a running list of things we need to discuss. I had points from "One Church Four Generations" (Gary McIntosh), an article from Tony Morgan's blog, Ruthie was going to bring us a summary from the Leadership Summit she attended, and various other in-house things we needed to discuss.
2 1/2 hour staff meeting.
Back into the office to take one last look at email and voice mail before I headed home for Supper.
I was in the office @ 8:30 and left for home @ 5:00 (Amy was still going strong when I left and Mark looked like he was going to pull an all-nighter!)
After a few hours of family time I got out the Mac and typed in some notes from the day. Checked email and Facebook messages.

That's a pretty normal day.

Wednesday, September 3

Risk

I know there are a few other Pastors out there who read this blog and some folks from other churches. Hope this helps!

I've been thinking about risk lately. Church growth requires a lot of risk. It simply does. If you aren't risking anything, what are you doing? Are you just doing what you think you are capable of doing without failing or looking foolish?? Agreed, there is a fine line between faith and foolishness. On one hand we should be outside of our comfort zones, but on the other hand we don't want to just jump out and do something careless.

Without risk there is no reward.

Around Crosspoint we will often talk about 'where we want to be' as a church. Getting from where we are now to where the vision is for the future will require some risk. I don't think we have a choice. I think we have to take those risks. Some risks require money. If they fail, people might feel as though the money was not used right. That's a risk. Some risks involve people. There is always a chance that people might react negatively to the risk. Most risks involve change. In fact, if you are talking about changing something we can pretty much guarantee that it involves risk.

We are creating a culture here where risk seems normal.
We want to be a people that can look back someday and say that we have no regrets, we did all we could at the time to reach every possible person we could.
It might not always make sense on paper, but what does that matter? Read through your Bible and you'll see plenty of examples of God asking people to take risks that didn't make much sense.

I think a word that summarizes too many churches is 'safe'.
Where are the risk takers who want there churches to be in the faith zone?

Tuesday, September 2

BBQ Wrap Up Sunday

Wow. We wrapped up the BBQ series this past Sunday. God is good! It was a great series and a great way to keep us focused over the summer. We've had many of you comment positively on the series and on the after-church bbq's. It was really good for all of us to have some time after church to eat, chat, and get to know people better. Thanks again to Pastor Conard and Debbie Symonds for all of their work for the weekly bbq's. Very cool!

Our theme on Sunday was, "What is the Rapture?" Pastor Conard was absolutely the best person to preach this message and he knocked it out of the park! Conard lived through the rapture-hyper days of the 60's and 70's when everytime you heard a large noise you looked in the sky to see if it was Jesus coming back! The main point isn't 'when' will the rapture happen, or even 'how' will the rapture happen. The main point is 'are you ready?'

The service was one of our best, ok, probably our best, tech/media service that we have done. We blacked out the windows (thanks Estella!) and really leveraged our lighting and projection. Thanks to all the gang who worked hard last week on the media.

After Conard's message, the band led us in a song and I gave an invitation to accept Christ. We asked those who were accepting Jesus to take a stand, right where they were. 2 men stood and the church cheered!! What can I say? It was one of those services that will be memorable for a long time for those who were there. Yay God.

We packed up Sunday afternoon and took off for Beulah. I got to re-introduce myself to a bunch of our Crosspointers who were at Beulah for the weekend ;-) Good to see them. There was a good crowd in the tabernacle Sunday night for the last of the summer services in the Tab. Our DS delivered the message. After church we enjoyed some kickback time at Stephen and Ruth's cottage. Great coffee Ruthie!

Great things are happening.
Crosspoint is growing.
Lives are being changed.
Can't wait for Sunday.

Friday, August 29

Hype

I might have been just a wee bit guilty of just a wee bit of hype for this Sunday, but I'm not the wee bit sorry for it! (No more 'wee's' in this blog!) This Sunday we put the BBQ series on the grill for one last time and it is going to be quite a service. The final question in the series is, "What's the Deal with this thing called 'the rapture'?" We have a very solid service taking shape and there might just be a special treat @ the bbq after the service!

Why put so much effort into summer services?
Why tell everyone that they might not want to miss church on a long weekend?

Because, we really, really believe that Jesus is the real deal. We're excited about changed lives. We believe that church should never be boring. We believe that if we do our part, God will do His part, and none of us will ever be the same again!

Back in June I announced that we weren't going to go into typical summer mode and just piece together half-baked services for people who would rather be on a beach or at the cottage. You cheered! We put a lot of time, effort and energy into the services this summer and you have shown up in great numbers. Way to go.

How 'bout just a little more hype? We were working on some elements for The Groove today. I won't give it away now, but you are really going to want to invite someone to these services. Let's pack this place out in both services.

Tuesday, August 26

In Awe

Just heard a great line. Dave Workman, preaching last Sunday @ the Cincy Vineyard, speaking of awe and how great God is...

"You might get a rug burn on your forehead..."

When was the last time you were totally and reverently in awe of God?


"I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene..."

P.S. It's an excellent video stream if you are looking for some good online worship.

Monday, August 25

3 x 8 Relay

Yesterday's BBQ theme was "Heaven". In the spirit of the Olympics three of us delivered the message in a 'sermon relay'. Each speaker had 8 minutes on the clock (countdown). It was a lot of fun and we had a lot of positive comments on it.

John Sherwood did an excellent job of leading us in worship yesterday. Way to go John!

We had another great summer crowd in church yesterday. Awesome!

I mentioned yesterday that this Sunday's theme is "The Rapture". It was one of the questions that 'you' submitted way back when we were soliciting questions for the BBQ series. I also mentioned yesterday that we want you to be praying for anyone who will be there and has not yet become a Christian. We're hoping that Sunday will be a day that many will remember for eternity. More than anything, we want to see people cross the line of faith and publicly declare that they believe in Jesus and they are inviting him into their lives.

Here is something I saw on the wall in a customs office in South Africa:
South African Welcome

Show It - Smile and give your best South African Welcome!

Share It - Tell people about our beautiful country and different experiences.

Live It - Be a tourist and enjoy all that South Africa offers.

Feel It - Be proudly South African and encourage visitors to come back.

Hmmmm, what if we did this @ Crosspoint every Sunday? Every day?

Show It - Give your best Crosspoint welcome to everyone you meet!
Share It - Tell people about Jesus, about your church, and your experiences!
Live It - Enjoy your church, know what is going on!
Feel It - Be proud of Crosspoint and proud to be a Christian. Encourage visitors to come back!

Thursday, August 21

The Groove




Here it is! Your first look at the artwork for our kick-off series this Fall @ Crosspoint! Get back into "The Groove", September 14th, 9:00 and 10:30 a.m.

Dust off your polyester suits and your white platform shoes!

Prayer

The church wants me to pray for them? What's up with that? I thought the church was supposed to pray for me? I thought I went to church to pray for myself and others?

We all need to be praying for Crosspoint. We've been experiencing a ton of growth lately and we're truly expecting more miracles to happen this Fall. I honestly believe that you are going to be inviting people to church, talking about our kickoff series, talking about Youth and Children's ministries, etc. And I honestly believe that we're going to continue to break barriers and see many more changed lives for Jesus. But it's going to take prayer.

Pray for your Pastors. Moi, Conard, Mark, Amy & Ruth
Pray that our plans will be God's plans and God's plans will be ours.
Pray for the new people who will be @ Crosspoint.
Pray for all of our ministries and the people who lead them.
Pray for our offerings (church finances) to grow. (Ministry costs money)
Pray that our services would be memorable times of worship.
Pray that many people will choose to believe and receive Jesus.

If you are praying for us, drop us a line sometime.

"The greatest answer to prayer, is more prayer".

Wednesday, August 20

Heaven

There are 2 Sundays left in the BBQ Series - Big Bad Questions. Your question that we are dealing with this week is, "What does the Bible say about heaven?" I recommend Randy Alcorn's book, "Heaven". I also recommend the bible. ;-)

In true Olympic spirit we are going to deliver this Sunday's message via the "Men's 3x8 Sermon Relay". Conard, Mark, and Tim are each going to have 8 minutes to preach on heaven. When the timer hits "0" the person preaching has to hand their bible (baton) over to the next preacher. Should be fun. I'm running the last leg. You can expect me to grab the Canadian flag, drape it over my shoulders, and run laps around the sanctuary. Or not.

Coming Soon...
August 31, final BBQ Sunday, we're planning a 'don't miss' type of service. Hope you can be here!
September 07, The Mozambique Team is going to share, we're also going to have a special prayer of blessing for the school year, for our students, teachers, and all who work in the school system.
September 14, Kickoff Sunday, launch of our Fall Series: The Groove, return of two services 9:00 and 10:30, all ministries back up and running.

Sunday, August 17

Crocodile River, South Africa



The locals said he was yawning to cool himself off.

I think he was waiting for an over-zealous Canadian to fall off the bridge.

Kruger National Park


Kruger pretty much blew me away.

I'm not sure what I expected, but I can't imagine any other Africa experience coming close to Kruger. The park itself is huge, wild, and beautiful. I didn't expect the camps within the park to be as nice as they were.

We were probably in the park 3 days and we didn't get to see a leopard. Maybe next time. We did see some lions though.

Baptisms!

I love baptisms!

Today @ Crosspoint 3 people stepped into the water to proudly declare their faith in Jesus. Very cool! Let's pray that we'll continue to see many more changed lives and many more people taking the plunge.

Pastor Conard (newly licensed minister!) got to dedicate his new grandson, Oakley, today. What a special privilege it must have been for Conard to stand with Josh and Brandi and dedicate Oakley to Christ. It doesn't get much better than that.

Worship was more unplugged, acoustic, and awesome. If you like the quiter stuff, you would have loved today.

Pastor Mark had the unenviable task of preaching on "Can I Lose My Salvation?" Great job Mark. The bottom line in Wesleyan verbage is that we believe a person can be saved and choose on their own will to throw the whole thing down the sewer. It's not that God let's them go, it's that they tell God to take a hike. It boils down to semantics on whether or not they were really saved. Whatever side you are on, you would agree that what we all need to do is get our hearts right with God and not take advantage of grace. We used to preach that you could quite easily lose your salvation. This led to people getting saved over and over again. Mark did a great job of helping us see that grace is there for forgiveness when we mess up. We don't need to go back to square one. We need to confess, learn, and move on - growing more and more into the likeness of Jesus.

HUGE summer crowd today! We ran out of burgers! We'll be ready for a crowd next week.

I posted some Africa shots on Facebook if you are interested in seeing what our trip looked like.

God is good!

P.S. This week's BBQ question is "What Does the Bible Say About Heaven?"

Friday, August 15

Back in the Ville and Stoked!

Thanks to everyone for praying for our trip to Mazambique! We arrived home, safe and almost sound, Tuesday eve. South Africa, Mozambique, the ministries, the sights, the people already seem somewhat surreal as I look back at my photos. Just Monday morning we were sitting at our lodge, overlooking Kruger National Park, while 26+ elephants came down over the hill and into the Crocodile River for a drink. Crazy!

We'll have time to share many of our stories. I'll sum it up for now by saying that some very real and powerful work is being done in Mozambique and Crosspoint has a huge privilege in being a part of it. We could see first hand how God is changing so many lives in that country. They are planting new churches and training new pastors as quickly as they can. We found joyful people who were filled with praise for how God has blessed them. May we each learn to be more content with what we have and where we are in life! They see God at work everywhere. We often wonder where God is.

We heard very good reports from back home while we were away. Pastor Mark, Ruthie, John, Amy, Laura and many others have stepped up to make this summer what it has been so far. Way to go Team! Thanks to Mike Saunders for preaching last Sunday. We heard that it was an excellent message and service and the rain actually held off for a BBQ. Pastor Mark is preaching this Sunday on, "Can I Lose My Salvation?". We're looking forward to a great day of worship and celebration and hopefully some sunshine too!

Other notes:
- www.crosspointchurch.ca is coming soon. We saw a proof this week and it looks excellent. It'll be a site that you'll want to forward on to people you know as a way of inviting them to the church.
- Our Fall Kick Off Series begins on Sept 14th!!! Every ministry of the church will be back in full swing for the 14th. I hope you are all 'walking across the room' and thinking/praying about who you can invite to church. Most of us are where we are at spiritually because of a relationship with someone else. There are people in your circle of influence who would come if they were simply invited.
- Crosspoint received an 'Excellence in Ministry' award from our denomination back in July. You all should celebrate by having a coffee! Haha. Seriously, we share this together as it takes a community of believers working together to see great things happen. To God be the glory, great things he has done.

Monday, July 28

Last Post Before Africa

Tomorrow morning @ 6 we'll be on our way to Mozambique! Many months of fundraising, prayer, and all-around sacrifice will come to fruition over the next couple of weeks. We're excited about the work and ministry that will be accomplished. We're excited about making a difference in people's lives. And we're excited about the change that will happen in the team member's lives and how that will affect all of Crosspoint and beyond!

Conard and Debbie Symonds deserve a lot of pats on the back and 'way to go' for how they have worked to make this a reality! Make sure you show them your appreciation for all they mean to our church!

BBQ 2 was awesome. It was just amazing to have the kids share some of VBS with us and to hear the kids give testimony of accepting Jesus into their hearts. Way to go Pastor Amy, Laura Murray and crew!!!

For those of you itching to know some numbers there were around 240 here yesterday. We've had 23 salvations in the past couple of weeks and we're gearing up for a big baptism on the 24th. 240 is a huge crowd for us in July! We had some of our long-time members, who hadn't been here for a few weeks, say that they hardly knew anyone! It seemed like a different church! Haha, I love it. Really, new people coming to church, having a good time, and experiencing Jesus Christ... It doesn't get any better than that.

Pray for us as we travel. We're back on Aug 12.

Saturday, July 26

Tomorrow!!

It's been quite a week! We've had tons of people coming and going all week, enjoying VBS, and getting to know Crosspoint a little better. Tomorrow we'll host the VBS Wrap Up and celebrate all that God has done. 19 Children gave their lives to Christ this week @ the Power Lab VBS. 19 lives that have been changed for eternity. I was proud of Pastor Amy as she called out each name and gave them a brand new "Kids Adventure Bible". Inside each of the 19 Bibles was a handwritten note from Pastor Amy. If that doesn't get you fired up about why we do what we do, you need to check your pulse. Crosspoint is crazy about seeing people connect with Jesus!

Did you see the article in today's newspaper on the African Children's Choir coming to Crosspoint? Front page promo and a full page spread on C1. Way to go Norah Lynn and Heidi for representing us well! I still think it's amazing that they are going to be here while we have a team in Africa. Also, equally amazing, the missions theme from VBS was soccer balls for Africa. We'll be giving away soccer balls and soccer uniforms in Africa while the African Children's Choir is @ Crosspoint. I think God had a hand in all of this, don't you??!

Here's a good verse to contemplate for tomorrow: Micah 6:8

21 salvations in the past week
Mozambique team leaving on Tuesday
Baptisms coming up later in Aug
African Children's Choir this Friday, Aug 1st

Wow.

Thursday, July 24

What I'm Reading

Add another book to the list of resources I've been looking at (yes, I start with Scripture) for this Sunday's sermon:
"Be Holy. God's Invitation to Understand, Declare, and Experience Holiness", edited by Joseph Coleson, Wesleyan Publishing House.

Other reads or things I'll take to read enroute to Mozambique:
"The Reason for God", Timothy Keller
"Prayer", Philip Yancey (haven't finished it yet!)
"The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry", Donahue, Robinson
Macworld Magazine

And I'll probably pick up a copy of "Car & Driver" in the Portland airport.

Let it Rain

After a period of really dry really nice summer weather, the rain is quite refreshing. When the rain lets up we'll be able to tell that most everything around us has been refreshed from the good long drink of summer water. (My tomato plant on my deck was quite thirsty!)

Maybe you could use a little spiritual rain and blessing in your life? Drop by the church around 11:00 this morning and you will see a sanctuary full of kids singing about Jesus and learning more about who God wants them to be! It's very cool.

BBQ 2 is coming up. We're expecting many VBS guests this Sunday. People can't resist seeing children on the stage even if the kids are picking things or staring out a window. As I mentioned earlier, I'm kind of glad that 'your' question on 'what is holiness' falls on a Sunday when we are expecting people who either don't go to church or haven't been in a church for years. This changes the way I prepare. As I'm writing I'm passing everything through a filter of, "How will this be interpreted by folks? Will this make sense? How will this be relevant to where they are at today?"

Supposed to be golfing this afternoon...hope the rain clears!

Got this quote off of Tony Morgan's blog. It's by Seth Godin. Shared it @ Staff Meeting yesterday:
"If you are willing to satisfy people with good enough, you can make just about everybody happy. If you delight people and create change that lasts, you’re going to offend those that hate change in all its forms. Your choice."

Monday, July 21

Power Lab is On!!

I can't say how exciting it was to walk over to the church this morning and see all the families pouring in for VBS! Seriously, if you want to see something cool, drive by tomorrow morning around 8:30 and have a peek. It'll make you smile for about a month. Pastor Amy and her team have really done an outstanding job of transforming the church into the 'Power Lab'. Way to go!

We kicked off the BBQ series yesterday to what had to be the largest July crowd this church has seen in a long time. Wow! We had many new guests @ Crosspoint yesterday. I loved the way the service started with Kelly's drama sketch segueing into Amanda's solo of "It Is Well". Very cool. We had many people say that they received help on the whole issue of 'Doubt' yesterday.

Two people accepted Christ as their Saviour @ Crosspoint yesterday!! Somebody shout amen. That is why we do what we do. We are all about seeing changed lives become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Pastor Conard and Sylvain kept the bbq's firing after church yesterday as many people stayed for burgers, dogs, and drinks. The BBQ was a great success. Thanks guys! It was good to see people milling around getting to know each other better.

BBQ 2: What's the deal on 'holiness'? Does God expect me to be perfect? What does the Wesleyan church believe?

This Sunday is the wrap up to VBS which means there will be VBS decorations on the stage and dozens of crazy excited kids shouting out the songs and lessons they have learned. It's going to be a riot. We're expecting an abundance of relatives and guests coming in to see the kids on the stage. I'm looking forward to preaching on 'what does God expect' in a way that even people who haven't been to church in years can understand. Pray for me.

Final thought:
Doubt isn't meant to produce uncertainty.
Doubt is meant to produce faith!

Thursday, July 17

Doubt

OK Crosspoint Keeners, turn in the Word to Mark 9:14-29. There is a lot going on in this text. Here are a few of my thoughts:
- Why couldn't the disciples heal the boy? Were they lacking faith even though they had seen/performed many miracles?
- How about Jesus getting pretty upset with everyone. Obviously their lack of faith was starting to wear on him.
- Who had the most faith in this story?
- Who had the most doubt?
- How do we explain, "I do believe, help me with my unbelief"?

We're planning an impacting service to kick off our BBQ series!

Here's the deal on paying for the BBQ. This week it's on us. We'll always accept donations ;-) Next week will be the big 'wrap up celebrate get kids on the stage invite every relative from here to Vancouver' Sunday. There will be a lot of visitors with us. We'd like for them to stay for the BBQ without having to pay. So, week one is free and week two will be on donations. We're asking you to donate double in order to cover the cost of a visitor on that Sunday. Aren't you lucky?!

We'll see what week 3 brings. It'll either be donation or an outright price tag ($1/burger or something like that).

God is good. Lives are being changed.

P.S. Pastor Amy had a crew of volunteers here last night decorating for the "Power Lab" VBS. It's looking awesome!!

Wednesday, July 16

7 Things We Need

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this church and how much I enjoy being the Pastor of this church?

We had our weekly staff meeting today...on my deck! It was hot and fabulous. Nachos, scones, cookies, cold drinks, coffee, etc.

We're in need of 7 things. No, this isn't a list of 7 things churches need to grow or anything smart like that. We really do need the following 7 things:

3 Kiddie wading pools for VBS. Must be large enough for a hula-hoop.

4 Suitcases you never want to see again. We need suitcases that we can take and leave in Mozambique. We have a bunch of stuff that we are hauling one-way. Kiss your suitcase good bye and know that it's going to a good cause!

VBS is Monday, so we need word on the pools right away. Comment here or email me.

Same with the suitcases. Pronto is better. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 15

BBQ 1

It's good to be back in the office. I had a mountain of mail waiting for me, plus email, plus facebook mail, etc. I'm really tempted to say goodbye to Facebook as it is just another animal to keep checking, maintain, etc.

John Sherwood, Pastor Amy, Laura Murray and I were in this morning, with a special guest appearance by Debbie Symonds. Laura is greatly relieved to have people in the office again. Pastor Mark is on vacation for the next couple of weeks. Have a great time Mark!

We arrived home from Beulah around 10 pm last night. Our car and trailer were crammed with stuff. Plus we had already sent a load of stuff in Ruthie's van! I'm not sure how we manage to pack so much stuff into our cottage.

A few of us were chatting the other day about the possibility of us doing a Crosspoint event at Beulah Camp some time to give many of our new people a chance to see what this 'Beulah' place looks like. We would've spent more time promoting it or inviting people down but the reality is the place is pretty crammed for accommodations, parking, seating, etc. It is a pretty special spot, so we'll have to think about ways we can get more of you down there to check it out.

I started @ Olivet/Crosspoint last July. The first 2 Sundays (Beulah Sundays) probably had around 40-50 people in attendance. This year we had around 130-140 for each Sunday. We didn't have less people go to Beulah, we just had more people attending during the summer. This is very cool! If you weren't here Sunday, you missed one of our better services. Pastor Conard did an excellent job at leading us into our extended prayer time. We're all looking forward to ramping back up to two services in September. When the summer crowd is back, and momentum kicks in, and we're all inviting others, it should be a pretty exciting Fall of ministry.

"BBQ - Big Bad Questions" starts this Sunday!!! I mentioned Sunday morning that you had to check the blog to find out what this week's topic is. So, without further suspense, here it is: BBQ 1 - Doubt "Is it ok for a Christian to doubt? Is doubt a sin? Is doubt the opposite of faith or is it a normal part of my faith journey? What does the bible say about doubt?" You asked for it. We're going to toss it on the grill, flip it a few times, and get into what God's word has to say about doubt.

For those of you who like to eat at least once a day...Stay after church!!! And plan to enjoy some eats right off the grill. This is an excellent opportunity to invite someone to church!

VBS starts next week!

Saturday, July 12

Status Quo to Status Grow

I don't say too much on this blog about what is happening in our church for fear of someone thinking that we are bragging or acting like we're better than others.

But after being at Beulah this week, and after hearing our District Superintendent's annual report, I'm feeling like I at least need to share a few things before I bust:

- God wants to save people in every community and every church. He doesn't simply 'bless a little here, and a little there', at random.
- Churches want vision and they want to be led. (lead)
- It's all about life-change. That's what I am addicted to and that's why we're pouring tons of resources into VBS this summer. We want to see lives changed. Jesus didn't die for a logo or a website or a projector. He died for souls.
- More churches could experience renewal, breakthrough, and a bunch of other exciting goodies if they would simply get tired of doing church as usual and get re-energized about making a holy dent in their community.
- I echo our DS, 'we need pastors with passion'!!!
- New ideas are not threats. Whatever you are doing now was a new idea at some point.
- Stop saying, "That won't work in my church".
- The mission of every church is the same: make disciples. The vision on how you do that should keep you up at night, kick you out of bed in the morning, and be the driving force behind every thing you do.

Maybe I'll share more later.
Maybe I'll open another blog just for ministry issues.

But for now, I feel better :-)
Peace and Grace

Miracles

So, what do you do when you need a miracle?

Have you ever had a miracle in your life? If so, have you ever given it a good 360 and considered what may or may not have triggered the miracle? Like God, miracles are mostly beyond our comprehension. We'll never know why God chooses to send a miracle our way or why he seemingly holds a miracle out of our reach.

So, does that mean that there isn't really anything that we can do when we are at the point of needing a miracle?

Tomorrow morning we are going to look at "What to do when you need a miracle". There are some clues in scripture that can really help us to understand our part in the whole realm of miracles.

It's another 'Beulah Sunday' which means that our whole team will be packing up tonight or early tomorrow morning and making the trek back to the Ville for service. There was a great crowd there last week and we are anticipating another great Sunday tomorrow!

BBQ - the Series starts next week! We are kicking off our summer series with some sizzle. Invite a friend or 10 as we explore the questions that most of us have asked at one time or another. Join us after church for what else, a BBQ! It's going to be a great time.

Beulah Camp wraps up tomorrow night. "The Storehouse" that we have been running, closes for the season tonight. We haven't been able to get in to many of the services but the general consensus we're getting from people is that it's been a great week of camp.

Tuesday, July 8

Beulah blogging

Greetings from Browns Flat, NB! Google Map it and you'll see where the Atlantic District of the Wesleyan Church has its annual Family Camp, Conference, and Ordination. www.beulahcamp.com

We're right on the Saint John River. There are around 300 cottages and a host of trailer sites and tents. It's a beautiful spot, especially when the fog burns off. The only thing burning today is skin! No fog and an expected high of 30+. That's my kind of weather!

Gayla runs "The Storehouse" - a bookstore/craft/cafe shop on the campground. It's keeping us very busy, almost too busy.

This past Sunday @ Crosspoint was smokin'. Haha. We usually expect a very small crowd on a 'Beulah' Sunday since so many of our people have cottages here or have traveled down to take in the services. Evidence again that our church is rapidly changing, there were around 130-140 there Sunday morning! Last year this time I was just getting started @ "Olivet" and I think there were probably closer to 50 people in church that same Sunday. Cool.

Bonus points to Pastor Mark for re-delivering his sermon on 'Peace'. Many said it was 'better than the first time he preached it'. We recorded it with GarageBand and we'll have it posted on the new www.crosspointchurch.ca when it is up and running. (Coming Soon!!) Bonus points to John Sherwood for playing lead guitar and singing lead vocal! John also switched with Brent Brewer on one song and played the drums while Brent played lead guitar. Very cool! I love this church!

Here's what today looks like:
7:40 a.m. blog, email, prep for Sunday
8:30 start coffee for 9 a.m. open
9-10:30 run the cafe end of things
10:30-1:00 Boating with Shane and Heidi Hoyt (a rare and needed break!!)
1:30-4 Cafe (also checking in with the DS on my other Beulah responsibilities)
4-6:30 Supper, veg, prep for evening cafe
7:00 try to catch some of the evening service
8:00 coffee's on for cafe
8:30-10:30 cafe
10:30 - 12 wander around aimlessly in need of sleep

Did we mention we have 11 people at our cottage? Yup, Gayla's folks are with us and we have 4 of their grandkids here as well, plus Judi.

Looking forward to this Sunday - A while back Kristin Zwicker requested a sermon that I had done @ Moncton Wesleyan titled: "What to do when you need a miracle". We're looking forward to another good crowd, great worship, and time well spent.

BBQ series starts July 20th! Who are you inviting?
VBS is July 21st. How are you volunteering?

God is good. All the time.

Wednesday, July 2

All the Latest

We wrapped up the "Juicy Fruit" series this past Sunday. It was a very solid series for us and one that I'm sure has made an impact for a lot of people. Here are a few highlights from Sunday:
- Great crowd! For the last Sunday of June, in the rain, it was a very good crowd!
- We had an extended time of worship this week and it really connected.
- I preached on "Self-Control" and gave a pretty strong reminder to us all that we need to be careful about moving the line away from the Cross instead of closer to it. Remember, the question isn't "Will this mortify my grandmother?" The question is, "Is this pleasing to Christ?" That will help us big time with our self-control and save us from a ton of grief!
- 'Brucie' from finding Nemo reminded us of the importance of self-control. Fish are friends, not food!
- Heidi Hoyt led a beautiful song for us while we simply worshiped and listened to God. Great job Heidi!
- We gave everyone a "Fruit of the Spirit" continuum sheet to mark their progress from when the series started to now. It's important to measure growth and to reflect on how God is changing you, making you more like Christ.

We headed down to Beulah Camp Sunday night to start setting up the Bookstore/Cafe that Gayla runs during camp, "the Storehouse". We saw 2 moose on the way down. They were just standing in the ditch eating grass, watching traffic go by. Cool.

Pastor Mark is re-preaching his sermon on 'Peace' this Sunday morning. We sing songs we like over and over. Why not hear a really good sermon more than once? Besides, I bet you can't recite the main points of his sermon (I bet he can't either!). We're ramping up for another Sunday of impacting life-change. This would be a great Sunday to invite a friend to.

Beulah Camp starts this Friday night. If you are unfamiliar, check out www.beulahcamp.com. You probably won't be able to find a place to stay, but it would be worth your time to drive down for a service. You'll see 1200-1400 people in a very cool, very old tabernacle (modern media upgrades) worshiping to a great band and hearing some good teaching from some of the best preachers in North America. If you come down, stop by the Storehouse to say hello. You can usually find Gayla and I and a bunch of other Crosspointers in there.

Till Sunday, Peace.

Monday, June 23

Yesterday

Yesterday was awesome. I say it all the time, but it truly was another impacting day @ Crosspoint! Here are the highlights
- It didn't take me 10 minutes to walk to church and I looked 'less' like I was 90 years old!
- It's getting harder to move people into the sanctuary when the service starts. We really need to get the lobby LCD patched in to the new Mac in the sanctuary. But, it's good that folks are enjoying the coffee and the fellowship!
- Worship was smokin'! We did an opening set, then I set up (verbally) communion, and then we continued to worship. It was the extended worship set that I think we've needed for a few weeks. Great job Ruthie, John, Eric, Amanda, Shea and Jeff!
- Communion. We keep fiddlin with ways for people to 'come and take' communion rather than us 'serving' communion to them while they sit in a pew. I felt as though many people did business with God before and during communion.
- Pastor Conard brought an excellent sermon on "Gentleness" as we continued the "Juicy Fruit" series. Conard's blend of personal experiences and poignant scriptures really made the sermon stick in our heads. Great job!
- Another excellent crowd for this time of year.

In other happenings...
- We had 7 females in our home Saturday night. I really need more man time! Hope had a friend from Moncton down for the week. Autumn had a friend from Moncton down for the week. Their cousin Jessica arrived from Ontario. She's with us for the next 3 weeks. Add in Gayla and Judy and you get 7!
- We returned 2 of the 7 to Moncton yesterday. Hope and other Crosspointers attended the Kutless/Barlow Girl concert at the Moncton Coliseum last night.
- We got to enjoy dinner with some friends from Moncton. (Great job on the steaks Ralph!)

Another week is underway. Pastor Amy and Laura are here gearing up for the big Slip n Slide tonight. I'm drinking a cup of Java Moose and thinking that I'm going to need another coffee before the morning is done! We're looking forward to the conclusion of the Juicy Fruit series this Sunday. I'm really feeling as though God has something we all need to hear/experience this coming Sunday. The theme is "Self-Control".

Who can you invite to church this Sunday?

Thursday, June 19

Almost 7

There were 6 of us working at the church today. I think next week it might actually work out that we'll all be in on the same day. I'm off tomorrow, so there's 0 chance. Still, we celebrated with donuts and coffee. Well, 4 coffees, a french vanilla and an apple juice. Laura is the youngest and she is a pre-coffee drinker. She's holding up quite well to the office peer pressure. I think she might cave by the end of the summer and actually try a hot drink. VBS will likely push her over the edge! Ha.

Met with Eric Porter of porterviewdesigns.com to start hammering out www.crosspointchurch.ca Mark and I set up our new emails today. The old Olivet emails will still work for awhile but we are merging over to tim@crosspointchurch.ca, mark@..., amy@..., etc.

Met with Paul Inman today to discuss a brand new 'no-step' entrance to the church. It's a very exciting project that you will hear more about this Sunday. It's basically a new courtyard type interlocking stone entrance. The old stairs and ramp will be toast and a new landscaped area will emerge. Can't wait!

2 MORE WEEKS in the "Juicy Fruit" series. Pastor Conard is preaching on 'Gentleness' this Sunday. We are also going to be sharing together in communion. It's shaping up to be another impacting Sunday. We are working diligently on keeping the quality of the services as good as possible over the summer. Don't take the summer off!!

See ya Sunday!

Monday, June 16

Quick Points

As I typed in the title for this post, I realized that every time I use the word 'point' someone is going to think that I'm making a cheesy reference to 'Crosspoint'. Hmmm, not sure what to do about that.

- Let's get the painful news out of the way first: Wednesday afternoon, barely walking with a cane, couldn't hardly move; Thursday noon, shuffled in to the Dr's office with a cane, got the prescriptions, went to bed; Friday, walking more with a cane, looking really funny, Gayla got to see what I'll look like in my 80's; Saturday, walking more, no cane in the afternoon; Sunday, took me 10 minutes to walk to church, stayed mostly at the media-booth, other than fetching coffee; went to two Graduation parties, over did it; Monday, took me 7 minutes to walk to church, sitting is not comfortable. I probably pulled something while playing softball last week. The Dr did use the word 'arthritis'. Ugghhh. I really need to get in to a gym and get more all-around exercise.
- "Dads n' Grads" Sunday was terrific. We had Wii's set up in the lobby for Dads to compete on. We gave away Tim Horton's gift cards to the top 6 scorers. We even had referees at each Wii. Pastor Mark, Ruthie and John Sherwood did a stellar job of pulling the service together! We had a boat-load of graduates this year. We brought them to the front of the church and gave them a card, a plush '08, and a copy of "The Message". Very cool. Stephen Woodworth, our Vice-Chair, led a prayer for the graduates. Pastor Mark preached on 'Faithfulness' as we continued with our "Juicy Fruit" series. Joanne Johnson came up to the platform and led a prayer of blessing over all of the the Dads. It was a very powerful moment. Church was pretty much packed.
- Rod and Toni Wasson and their son Adam were @ Crosspoint yesterday. Rod and I worked together @ Moncton Wesleyan. He did Children's Ministry there for about 30 years. Good to see you guys!!
- We began promoting the BBQ series: Big Bad Questions. Send in the questions that you have wanted the church to explain and we'll do our best to grill them up for you in July and August.
- Spent some time this morning in creative planning with Sherwood and Ruthie. More good services on the way ;-)
- "Gentleness" is this week's theme in the "Juicy Fruit" series. We'll celebrate the Lamb of God as we share communion together
- Board meeting tonight. I love board meetings. Seriously.

Tuesday, June 10

Summer Series



Here is the artwork for the Summer Series 2008 @ Crosspoint. The theme is BBQ which is an acronym for Big Bad Questions. We want to know what questions you have had about Christianity, religion, faith, or the Bible. Email your question to one of the staff, or Facebook us, or post it as a comment on this blog.

We'll do the top 7 questions.

And yes, we're going to bbq every single Sunday of the series. I love this church.

Goodness!

The highlight from this past Sunday was John Sherwood leading worship. John is much more than an amazingly gifted guitarist. He is a natural worship leader with the ability to shift and adjust with the Spirit throughout the entire service. Awesome. John very humbly introduced a new song to the congregation. When I got up to preach I let the cat out of the bag that John had actually written that song we just sung. People cheered.

God is good... We looked at 1 Peter 2 and how we have a responsibility to reflect God's goodness to others because he has brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Do some good in someone's life this week and see the difference it makes.

There was an excellent crowd there Sunday. Actually, for June it was an awesome crowd. The entire staff is pretty stoked about keeping things running at as good a level as we possibly can for the summer.

We have the design and theme for our summer series. I'll post it a little later...

Monday, June 2

Monday Thoughts

Yesterday was a powerful day @ Crosspoint. The worship was absolutely amazing. Seriously, people were truly focused on Christ and it was electric. I'm not sure how many people were there (tells you that I'm not that focused on #'s) but it was a great crowd. There were a few rows open on the right hand side of the church, but up on the left side where I usually sit people were joining us in the very front row. That's 'front row seating' in June!!

The entire band was sporting brand new Crosspoint t-shirts. Looking mighty fine.

We continued our "Juicy Fruit" series with 'Kindness'. While we were looking @ Romans 3 and God's undeserved kindness towards us, the teens were in the parking lot squeeging windshields. At the end of the service we ran a few pics of the squeegie team doing their kindness. Very cool.

Goodness. Oh my goodness. Goodness gracious... Goodness is the theme for this week.

Two new faces join the Crosspoint team today! Welcome to Laura Murray and John Sherwood! Laura is doing a 10-week hire-a-college-student deal. She'll be working the front office and leaning into a lot of our children's ministry programs. John is doing his 6-month internship in Pastoral Ministry. That means he'll pretty much be following me around for 6 months.

Someone showed kindness to me yesterday and gave me a $10 Tim Horton's card. Sweet!

Thursday, May 29

Undeserved Kindness

I'm in Romans chapter 3. It's right after the classic verse, "we've all sinned, we've all fallen short...". The only 'righteousness' I have...the only reason I am free is because of this 'undeserved kindness' that God has shown me.

It's easy to be kind to those who deserve it. It's 'a whole notha level' to be kind to those who don't deserve it.

I'm glad that I don't get what I deserve, aren't you?

So, when your waitress is having a terrible day, give her a bigger than usual tip, not less. That's Romans 3:24.

Monday, May 26

Church Websites

We're in the process of creating/building/launching a new church website.

Like church buildings themselves, church websites vary from stuffy and archaic to very modern with every current piece of technology available.

So, what do you think a church website should look like? What key features/options should it have? How much video is too much? How much flash is too much? What info should be on there? What do you not like about church sites?

Kindness

As most of you know, we're working through a series right now called "Juicy Fruit", based on Galatians 5:22. It has been a very impacting series for our church. It's one of those times when as a Pastor you can just feel God at work in people's lives.

The 'fruit' that we are on this coming Sunday is kindness. At the end of last week's service we issued the 'kindness challenge'. Wasn't that kind of us? So, how are you doing so far? Have you shown unusual kindness to someone? What was their reaction? What was your reaction? Can you see how God uses undeserved kindness to show His love to others?

If you want a head start on our text this week, look @ Romans 2 & 3. Really, you can look at all of Romans and see how God has offered us undeserved grace because of his kindness towards us.

Let's ramp the challenge up a bit. How about being kind to someone you usually avoid?

If you have any interesting stories of kindness from this week, post them to me here, or email me, or facebook me.

The Annual Meeting

Here's the scoop!

- Around 60 people showed up
- Coffee and sweets in the lobby
- People wanted to stay in the lobby ;-)
- The main component wire from the Mac to the projector was unplugged and thus we had no words on screen for most of the opening worship
- Service started 6 minutes late due to tech glitches
- I shared the 4 types of church growth from Acts 2:42-47 (email me if you want 'em)
- We 'bundled' almost everything
- Scanned all the ministry reports first
- Byard Smith gave an excellent finance report!
- We presented this year's proposed budget
- We presented this year's lba roster, including new nominations (none were from the floor)
- We mentioned the delegates to district conference and the future of the trustees (Facility Team)
- We voted (verbal) on all of that as one 'package'
- We presented the ballot for the name change, from "Olivet" to "Crosspoint"
- 44 yes, 8 no
- Meeting adjourned (1hr, 10 min)

Saturday, May 24

Juicy Fruit 4

Here's a fraction of what's been happenin' lately around the church, etc:

We had the new phone system installed this week. Better phones, better service, pretty much better everything for less money. Go figure. The guys @ Multi-Com have been terrific and very patient (tomorrow's theme) with us. "Do I hit transfer first or do I hit the person's extension first"? haha When one of us isn't manning (or womanning) the phones, you'll get a menu of options. Hit the # for the person you want and you will get us or our voice mail. I love progress!!

Everyday Sunday and Planes of Light were in concert here Thursday night. I'm glad that I'm a part of a church that believes in the next generation. May God truly raise up a generation of young people who want all Jesus all the time.

Pastor Amy won the war with the photocopier and did an EXCELLENT job of getting our annual report together. Way to go Ames. Look for some pretty cool promo on VBS in your bulletin tomorrow. Good things are happening in Children's Ministry and it's going to be a great summer.

We're 'cooking up' a great summer theme/series. We worked on it this week and we should be unveiling it in the next week or so.

Our family drove to Saint John - Quispamsis yesterday to visit my folks. Good times. Good pizza, excellent blue berry pie. Excellent Irving-Peruvian in both directions (try it). We stopped in to the Roots Outlet store in Saint John and grabbed up some really good deals.

The Symonds Quartet performed at the Seniors Dinner here last night. I haven't heard yet how it went. Any reports?

Bill Moore has a group of teens here at the church today preparing meals for seniors. They are going to deliver 26 meals for supper tonight! Awesome job Bill! Way to go teens. I love this church!

Kermit Smith was just over to the parsonage with his tiller. He dug us up good! We're going to put a new flower bed in the front yard. Can't wait.

We continue our 'Juicy Fruit' series tomorrow with "Patience". I'm thinking we'll just skip the sermon and go straight to an altar call. Haha. We all could use more patience. In the O.T. patience meant, "be patient, God is going to whoop your enemy". In the N.T. it means, "be patient, God has won, and you will too". There are a few different words for patience. We're going to look at 'hypomne'. How's your hypomone?

Wednesday, May 21

Absentee Ballots

Yup, they're available.

Stop by the church office Thurs or Fri.


:-)

Whew!

This week has been a little crazy so far. Good, but crazy!

Pastor Mark delivered an absolutely rock solid outstanding message on 'Peace' Sunday morning. It was the third installment in our "Juicy Fruit" series that is looking at the goods the Holy Spirit wants to produce in our lives. Personally, I am loving this series. I can tell that we are being challenged to look into the mirror and ask the question, "What is my life producing?"

Our newest staff member, Ruth Woodworth, had a birthday yesterday. Woo Hoo. Our most life-experienced staff member, Pastor Conard, has a birthday tomorrow. Ask him how old he is...he'll grin.

Our annual meeting is this Sunday. Boring? Nope. Dry? Nope. As much fun as bathing a cat? Nope. We're going to celebrate God's goodness to us and prepare our hearts for the next church year! Come spiritually prepared.

We've had a lot of fun planning for this Sunday. The theme is 'Patience'. Yeah, I could hear you groaning or laughing or both. We're all guilty on this one! Maybe we should just start with an altar call?! Ha. Seriously though, we're anticipating another Sunday of life-change as we collectively surrender and allow God to stretch us and change us. Bring a friend!

Thursday, May 15

10:00 A.M.

We shift to one service @ 10 a.m. this Sunday! Help us get the word out. Are you sure that everyone in your 'circle' knows of the time change? Our average for the 9 Sundays of "Olivet Double Double" was 284. That's amazin'. Pastor Conard had a crew in here this week and we now have 300+ chairs in the sanctuary. As I mentioned Sunday morning, if parking is a zoo and we're just too full, I will be the first to stand up and say, "I'm an idiot". If need be, we'll make a hasty retreat back to two services. By the way, if you are going to have challenges, these are the right kind of challenges to have!

Staff Retreat wrap up:
- We left Fredericton and made it all the way to Oromocto without stopping! We quickly pulled in to McDonalds and Tim Hortons and loaded up. I had a coffee and muffin (low fat blueberry that tasted like paper).
- We spent most of our time in Ruthie's cottage. Her living room, with all of it's windows, backing right on to the still-high Saint John River, made for a chilly but productive place for us to work.
- We planned out most of the series/themes for next year (summer '08 - May '09)
- Back in to Ruthie's van and off to Montana's in Saint John for supper. Yum. One of us ordered dessert. I'll let you guess who. ;-)
- Back to the cottage for more chat on the vision and ministries of Crosspoint.
- Tuesday a.m. The guys had a working shower, but no hot water. The girls cottage had hot water but no shower. Bad combo! Fruit and English muffins for breakfast. More think-tank work on things like 1st Wednesday, new website, branding, Crosspoint promo, etc.
- We packed up around noon and headed home. We made it all the way to the top of the hill without stopping! We quickly pulled in to the Irving for coffee and Baleman's for ice-cream.


This coming year is going to be huge for our church. We'll be challenged more than ever as we continue to grow spiritually and numerically. Pray for the staff of the church when you think of us. Thanks!

Monday, May 12

Staff Retreat

Yesterday was amazing! Special Mom give-aways, men out in the kitchen brewing up the Second Cup coffee, every Mom given a white spruce tree from the kids, awesome worship, and a great crowd!

Today we (5 staff members) are off to a staff retreat at Beulah Camp. It's the 'first ever' Crosspoint Staff Retreat. We're going to eat a lot of snacks, do a ton of planning and programming for the coming months, laugh our faces off, eat more snacks, chat about what God is doing, etc. It's more organized than that, but you get the gist of what I consider to be a great staff retreat. A combination of 'get away' and 'get it done'!

Just had an interview with Laura Murray. She is one of our college students and she is receiving the government work grant to work with us all summer. Congratulations Laura! We look forward to having you on the team!

John Sherwood is doing his college internship with us. Beginning the first of June, John will spend 6 months working primarily with me and getting an inside look at running a church. We're blessed to have John at Crosspoint! It's going to be a great 6 months and beyond.

If you are counting, that makes 7 of us on staff this summer!

I voted this a.m. Saw a few Crosspointer's there. N.B. is the first province to use a new electronic counting system. What was wrong with the old way? Why can't they leave things alone? Why all of this creativity and innovation??? Haha, I couldn't resist.

Have a great week being salt and light in your world. Don't forget your 'joy'!

Friday, May 9

Doors

Many churches spend a lot of time talking about how to 'close the back door'. Personally, I wish we'd spend more time talking about how to open the front doors!

I'm reflecting on how many different people have come through our doors this past week for one thing or another. Sunday services, Tuesday Seniors, 1st Wednesday, 1st Wednesday Kids, the Shakedown - Youth, people coming and going for tomorrow's Mozambique Yard Sale, etc. I even met a group of ladies who were in this week to sew up a project for Haiti. It'd be interesting to know how many people we have been in contact with this week through our various ministries. Youth and our Sunday services reached well over 350 by themselves.

What are you doing to help people come through the front door? Mother's Day is a great opportunity to invite someone!

Yard Sale!!! - Rain or shine. We're counting on 'shine'. Pastor Amy has some great stuff planned for the kids. The 'treasures' are piling up as people are dropping off donations at the church. Come and support a great cause.

Tuesday, May 6

Pizza & Salad

The supper for 1st Wednesday is sounding like it's going to be our best yet. If you aren't in to Pizza Delight or are trying to watch your pizza intake levels ;-) no worries... There is going to be a selection of salads as well.

Off to a meeting this morning on 'flood relief' @ Smythe Street Cathedral. A rep from Samaritan's Purse, Calgary is going to be there. I'll let you know if we are going to be in 'rally the troops' mode.

Looking like a sunny day is shaping up. It's May 6 and we still have a pile of snow in the church parking lot. Booo

Monday, May 5

Sunday re-cap

"Juicy Fruit" got off to a great start yesterday! There were great crowds in both services (for those of you who go to the 9, we consider anything over 80 people 'great' and there were 85). In case you are wondering, there was around 285 here yesterday and we're averaging around 280 (doubles not counted) since we went to 2-services.

Worship was very genuine and focused yesterday. We could tell that people were very much engaged in the worship. It's always good to see a freedom where people want to be at the altar for prayer. The band was pretty much acoustic which made for a very different Sunday morning feel. As I mentioned last week, I think this series has a lot of potential for us. "Surrender" is the key. If we really want this bad enough, God will move in and bless us and we'll never be the same.

Another highlight of yesterday was introducing Ruth Woodworth as a member of our staff. It'll become official at the annual meeting, but for the most part she is already on the team! There is no one we'd rather have leading worship at Olivet! be sure to send her a word of encouragement and congrats.

Hope is playing hockey in my office right now. ;-)

After church yesterday we hustled over to Moncton Wesleyan for the Grand Opening of their new worship center. It was an energized affair filled with enthusiasm, thanksgiving, and vision. The 2000 seat auditorium is beautiful. One of these days we should get a caravan together, zip over to Moncton for a Sunday night service, and grab a bite @ Montana's. :-)

1st Wednesday is coming up! See you for Pizza Delight pizza, salads, etc @ 5:30. Service at 7.

Don't miss Mother's Day @ Olivet. Who can you invite?

Saturday, May 3

Quick Thoughts

- We have a bunch (35-40) teens @ "The Rally in the Valley" right now. Pray for their safe return tonight and that God will continue to speak to their hearts drawing them closer to him.
- I was sitting in box seats (yeah, the ones with free food) for yesterday's opening game of the World Hockey Championship. Canada handled Slovenia very easily, but it was still an entertaining deal. The Slovenia goalie, Kristan, was incredible. He faced around 60 shots from Heatley, Spezza, Getzlaf, etc. He was worth the drive.
- We're going to Moncton Wesleyan right after church tomorrow to attend the Grand Opening of their new worship center. It seats 2000, and with all the overflow and satellite spots around the facility they expect 3500 people. John Maxwell is the special guest. They invited all pastors and wives of the Atlantic District, so I'm hoping they've got spots saved for us in the new worship center. I've been in it a couple of times (walked around the stage for 10 minutes last night) and it is a very impressive spot!
- I'm looking forward to tomorrow! I think this new series is going to change us forever.
- Pray for those affected by the flood and offer to help any way you can!

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 1

Flood

We're praying today for the many families and businesses affected by the flooding. I've talked with the Red Cross to see if there is anything our church can do to help. It's looking as though this will be the most severe flood in Eastern Canada on record.

This Sunday: We are kicking off the series, "Juicy Fruit". If you want a head start jump in to the book of Galatians. The first 'fruit' we are going to look at is 'love'. Jesus was love. Jesus is love. We are called to love God first, then others and ourselves. Love is the first way and the best way that people will know we are Christians. So, if you look at what your life is producing, how much love is there? Sunday is going to be great. Invite someone!

My brother in law Randy is taking me to see Team Canada play Slovenia in Halifax tomorrow. Sweet!

The last 1st Wednesday until September is next week. We're going to have Pizza Delight, awesome worship, and a look into James 3 - "Wildfire - Watching what you say". Hunger for more of God? Want to go deeper in your faith? Looking for a service that isn't rushed and gives you time to settle into God's presence? Come to 1st Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 29

3 Words

All five of us were at staff meeting today. There will be a day when we look back and laugh about "remember when it was just us 5?" We went from 2 to 5 in less than a year, so 5 still seems like a pretty big staff to us.

Amy gave us a report from her experience at the Willow Creek Children's Ministry Conference. From the sounds of things it was a jam-packed deal with a lot of great sessions and insights. God is blessing our children's ministry and we all look forward to seeing what is next for "The Factory"!

We took some time in today's meeting to do something called '3 Words'. I asked them if I could share the results as I thought it might be interesting for others to see. Here it is:
1. If I was to sum up what God is doing in our church in 3 words...
refreshing, unbelievable, mental, stretching, challenging, blessing...
2. If I was to sum up what God is doing in my ministry in 3 words...
building, growing, transforming, stretching, revitalizing, encouraging, worrisome, humbling...
3. If I was to sum up what God is doing in me in 3 words...
stretching, breaking, teaching, forgiving, testing...
4. If I was to sum up what I need to do to grow and go to the next level in 3 words...
prayer, others, selfless, compassion, community, courage, lead, listen, learn, balance, organization...

What would you say?

Monday, April 28

It's a wrap!

Yesterday was the last Sunday of our church year, and what a year it was! We did a favorites day and invited people to vote for their favorite song, video, etc. We did 9 songs yesterday! The low point of the morning was Greg Ricker re-appearing as 'Wally' from "Uncle Phil's Diner" singing, "Johnny Be Good"! ;-) Actually, I loved it!

Another favorite that we brought back for yesterday was cinnamon buns and fruit trays! Nothing like a couple of big trays of food to help people mingle, relax and chat.

We also took 5 people into membership yesterday! Welcome to Kevin and Heidi Pawsey, Rob and Kristin Zwicker, and Jonathon Bragdon! We're glad that quality people want to be as involved as they possibly can.

What else is happening?
-Excellent turkey dinner here this past Saturday night as a fundraiser for the Mozambique Missions Team. The place was packed, the food was superb, and the wait staff was out of this world. ;-)
- The Alpha course wrapped up Sunday night with a potluck and video #15. The comments were very positive as people found the course to be helpful to their journey with Christ. If you are a new believer, pre-believer, or someone who needs a refresher course, consider Alpha the next time it is offered. Thanks to Stephen and Ruthie Woodworth for leading the course and to Debbie and Conard for handling all of the meals! What a team!
- Pastor Amy just returned last night from attending the Children's Ministry Conference @ Willow Creek, Chicago.
- My hard drive died on my Mac and I'm still not sure how much I have lost. Thanks to Brent Brewer for helping me to get back up and running. I'm now backing up every day, but it's a tough lesson to learn.
- The staff are getting together tonight at Conard and Debbie's. Good times!
- "Juicy Fruit" the series, starts this Sunday!
- Mother's Day on the 11th. If you've had a mother, you should be here. If you know a mother, you should invite her. If you are a mother, you'll be our special guest. Mother's Day is an easy day to invite someone to church! If nothing else, come for the Second Cup coffee and a chance to receive a special gift.

We were gleaning ideas for last week's service, and we reflected back on the many series we did at Olivet in the past church year. Here they are:
Gone
Lost
Just Walk Across the Room
Facebook
iWish
Illuminate
Pirates of Relationships
Jump
Comfortable

This coming year will be filled with many more creative opportunities for you to invite someone to church!

Thursday, April 24

Media

We've been in the process of switching over our media software from Easy Worship to Pro Presenter. We went through a few weeks of strange hums in our videos and other worship-distracting glitches.

Sunday's media was awesome! Way to go Glenn Grillo, Mark Brewer, Steve Brewer, AJ Guptill, Shane Hoyt and anyone else who happened to step into the 'great booth of media'! There was very little dead space, seamless transitions, and quick shifts to the next words of the song.

Media is the kind of thing that is most effective when people don't notice it. In other words, it's noticed most when something is going wrong.

Don't forget to tell these guys you appreciate what they do. Better still, toss perfectly good Tim Horton's cards their way once in awhile ;-)

Thanks for making us look good!

Natalie Symonds Brown

Yesterday we celebrated the life of Natalie Symonds Brown. At just 40 years old, Natalie's heart could go no further and she received a new body in heaven with Christ.

The tremendous crowd that packed in to Olivet was a huge lift to the Family. Every corner of the sanctuary was full and there was an overflow into the lobby. Andy Lapointe and Laura Biggar brought beautiful songs of comfort. Maridel Symonds pre-recorded a special song for Nat and it was stirring and heartfelt as only a mother could do. Terrific job Maridel! Allen and Ruth Wright traveled from Indiana and Allen brought a challenging eulogy to us all. John Symonds delivered an outstanding (normal for John) message that Natalie had requested titled, "The Gospel Truth". John is one of my favorite communicators on the planet. I thought that Shelly Symonds did an excellent job of bringing words of hope and remembrance to the family.

Most of our lives will settle back to normal today. For Dennis, Alex, Cassie, Jessica, and the Symonds family, things will never quite seem 'normal'. Remember this family in prayer. Make a note to send them a word of encouragement from time to time, and cherish your own loved ones for every day we have together is a blessing from the Lord.

-Tim

Monday, April 21

Sunday Wrap-Up

Listening to: Matt Redman
Drinking: Second Cup, Paradiso, Dark
Reading: "Prayer", Philip Yancey
Working on: board meeting tonight, reports, agenda, etc
Snacking on: bananas


We've put some miles on the past few days! Wayne and Colleen Derr arrived at our place Thursday PM. We spent most of Friday touring Bethany Bible College. The new chapel that BBC is completing is a very impressive structure. President Medders gave us a 1 hour tour of the chapel! We did lunch with a few professors and staff. Thanks BBC, it was great!

Wayne was our special guest at our monthly seniors dinner on Friday night. The information on estate planning was very helpful. If you still have not looked into a 'will', let me know and I can get you some information to get you started. It's never too early.

We took off early Saturday morning and headed to King's Valley Wesleyan for the Huddle - a Children's Ministry Training event. After the huddle we went down to Comeau's in Pennfield, for a seafood dinner. Yum! After stuffing our faces we went down to Black's Harbour and happened to be there when the ferry was leaving for Grand Manan. It was a beautiful evening.

Wayne brought an excellent message on Stewardship on Sunday morning. The worship was awesome this Sunday. It was great to have Stephen and Ruthie back with us. (even with their Bahama-tans) It was really good for us to spend some time around the altars in prayer on Sunday. Thanks to Jason and Christine Blaikie for sharing their vision and call to Thailand with us. Don't forget to pray for them and if possible, support them financially.

Right after church we did some quick grilling on the bbq and then loaded up the van again. This time we went all the way to PEI! Hey, if you don't get to the Maritimes very often you might as well see it all. We crossed the bridge, went in a few circles, walked a beach, and then headed back to NB. The kids had a blast and would beach-comb all day. We stopped in to Moncton Wesleyan on our way back. The new sanctuary there is absolutely amazing. If you are ever in Moncton, go see it! Wow!

Before heading home we stopped in to Montana's for supper. Yum again! Wayne was talking to the waitress about how he wanted to see a moose this weekend. She came out a few minutes later with the big 'antler' hat and put it on Wayne's head! We laughed until the whole restaurant was looking at us. Then she brought out a second hat and gave it to Colleen. We've got pics that we are going to keep in case we ever need some bribery!

I mentioned yesterday that we are going to do some favorites from this past church year this Sunday. What a year we've had! It's pretty inspiring to look back at what has happened and then to look forward to the year ahead. MANY of you wrote down a favorite song, video or other element. No one wrote down a favorite sermon :-( I'll try not to take it too personally. Ha. It should be an excellent Sunday!

Saturday, April 19

Training Day

"Sweet 13!" -- Thirteen "Oliveters" left Freddy 7:30 this morning and spent the day at "The Huddle", a children's ministry training day. The event was sponsored by HQ of the Wesleyan Church and hosted by King's Valley Wesleyan, Quispamsis. There were around 100 children's ministry people from around the Maritimes and Maine.

The day was crammed with energy, helpful breakouts, new resources, and idea-sharing. I kept asking our gang, "how was your day?" and the answers were ultra-positive! Way to go Pastor Amy for blow-torching the vision, rallying the troops, and getting us there!

My brother in law, Randy Brownlee, brought a team from Grand Manan. I think he earns extra points for spending 3 hours on a ferry and 2-3 hours in a car to gain some new insights for children's ministry in his church! Randy, I owe you a coffee ;-)

It's Saturday night and I am looking forward to our services tomorrow morning. Wayne Derr is going to challenge us on being good stewards with God's stuff in every area of our lives. Also, Jason and Christine Blakie are going to share with us on their vision of being Missionaries to Thailand. Should be a great day!

Thursday, April 17

Down with the old, Up with the new!

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John...as soon as Jesus was baptized he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." -Matthew 3:13-17

Baptism is a way to publicly declare that you are following the example of Jesus. If you have crossed the line of Faith and made the decision to be a Christ-follower, then you are invited to step into Baptism. There probably won't be doves or voices from heaven, but your friends will all cheer and you will know that you have taken a great step forward in your faith.

Though the actual process is really quite simple, the spiritual symbolism is deep, rich, and full of meaning. Baptism demonstrates that the 'old you' is dead, gone, buried, toast, etc. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" -2 Corinthians 5:17 Going under the water tells the world that you are now 'washed' in Christ. He has forgiven everything and made you a new person. It's grace. It's a fresh start! When you arise out of the water you are celebrating the power of the Risen Christ who rose victoriously over sin and death so that you could experience eternal life with him! Other words such as 'regeneration' and 'justification' are also symbolized in baptism.

What do I have to do to be baptized? The first step is to know that you are a Christian. If you are clear on that, you are probably ready to be baptized.
Do I need to say something in front of everyone? It's always a bonus when people hear you verbalize what God has done for you. However, we understand that not everyone is comfortable with talking in front of a crowd. At a minimum we will share a bit of your story and ask you a couple of questions of confirmation.
What's my next step? Call the church @ 452-7110 and let us know you are ready. Or email us @ mail@olivetwesleyan.ca

We're hoping to have some people ready for baptism for April 27 in either the 9:00 or 10:45 services!