New Life News

NEW LIFE LIVE

It’s coming! June 6th 7:30 PM. Our AGM, Future Ministry Plan update, and more!! Save the date.

SUMMER OUTREACH

To our New Life Family,

For the past two Sunday’s, May 6th and 13th, we brought a need before our church community. In specific, we asked you to give to our Summer Outreach program.

In the past, this program has been funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program, a grant given by our Federal Government to help hire students for the summer months. We would apply to this program each year and usually be awarded enough funding to hire two interns. These interns, would then, become a critical part of our Summer Outreach program, helping to staff and facilitate all of the various activities.

This past year the Federal Government made some major changes in the application and approval process for this program. In short, we were required to attest to some things in the application form that presented a major moral dilemma for us. These things included us agreeing to support abortions, among other things. Because we could not attest to these issues, our application was denied, leaving us (and approximately 1500 other organizations across our country) without funding to hire our interns.

We made our initial appeal for support to our New Life family on May 6th. Then after one week, we closed out our appeal with one final reminder. Our goal was to raise $8000.

We are happy to report that your response far exceeded our expectations, putting us well above our goal. In the end, you gave a total of $14,150 towards our Summer Outreach Program. In addition, we applied for, and were awarded an extra $2000 from another program unrelated to the Federal Government grant, giving us a total of $16,150 to work with this summer.

We thank you for responding so beautifully to this need. Your response has not only given us the necessary funding to reach out to our community kids this summer, it has also given us the flexibility to do certain things that would have been restricted in the Federal Government program that we worked with in the past. We are now in process of firming up our plans and putting out job postings for our summer intern positions.

We ask that you would pray for our Summer Outreach. We are stepping out of our comfort zone, and reaching into places that we have not gone in years. Together, we believe that our Summer Outreach will bring much fruit into the Kingdom.

For Christ and His Church,

Mike VanderKwaak

Executive Pastor, New Life Church

STAFFING CHANGES

Dear Congregation

There is a notable staffing change at New Life Church that we would like to share with you. Effective in September, 2018 Pastor Koen Beugelink will be shifting his duties at New Life Church to fifty percent (50%). This will allow him at that time to begin a half time role at Abbotsford Christian Secondary School as Director of Faith Formation.

After 15 years of full time faithful service, Pastor Koen’s transition will be a significant adjustment for both he and us. We are grateful; however, that Pastor Koen will remain in leadership as a pastor at New Life Church, involved specifically in Switchlife (Youth) ministries. In the following months we will be deciding how to staff other areas of ministry in which Koen has been involved.

Pastor Koen and his family remain passionate about the New Life community and will continue to be vital members of New Life Church. We are grateful for Koen’s tremendous ministry, and his desire to remain part of the New Life staff team. Together, we are confident that this change will be an exciting opportunity for Pastor Koen, a challenging new direction for New Life, and a fruitful development for the larger Christian community.

Serving Christ together,

Pastor Nathan

SECOND ANNUAL CHILLI COOK-OFF

Hello New Life – here it is!! Our second annual Chilli cook-off. This is part of our yearly ‘volunteer appreciation” celebration. If you would like to enter the chilli contest, please go to the attached link, fill out the NLV form, and begin perfecting your recipe. It’s going to be fun folks … save the date!!

SUMMER INTERN FUNDING

To Our New Life Family

For the past many years, New Life has had the privilege of reaching out to our community each summer with a VBS kids program. You might recognize these outreaches by familiar names such as, “Mega Sports Camp,” or “Athletes In Action Summer Camp.” Over the years, the lives of hundreds of kids have been touched by these programs. We look forward to running these outreaches each summer, we believe strongly in them, and they are the focus of much of our creative energy throughout the year.

One key factor in making this life changing week available to our community has been the Canada Summer Jobs program. This is a program run by our Canadian Federal Government that gives grants to organizations wishing to hire students over the summer months. These students typically work for New Life starting in June, and then continue their employment through the rest of the summer. For New Life, the hiring of summer interns has become a critical and timely component to our summer outreaches.

As many of you might be aware, this past year, our Federal Government made some drastic changes to the approval process for the Canada Summer Jobs program. In short, they denied all applications that didn’t attest to supporting abortions – amongst several other important moral issues. New Life has made application this year but we have been denied approval for any summer student funding. We are not alone in being denied in this process. Over 1500 churches and religious organizations nationwide are in the same situation this year because of these changes.

This summer, we have an amazing plan for an outreach within our city and in city parks. All of the pieces of the puzzle are coming together, we are excited, and we are already on our knees praying. However, we have been left without critical funding due to the circumstances explained above. Without our summer interns, it will be very difficult to move ahead with our plan. The Canada Summer Jobs program usually funds us to the amount of $10,000 which is enough for two summer students. The good news is, we have applied for an alternate grant and have been approved for $2000. This leaves us short approximately $8,000.

We are putting this need in front the New Life family, knowing that God accomplishes His purposes through His people. This Sunday, May 6, we are asking you to prayerfully consider giving an extra, one-time gift above your regular giving towards our summer outreach. We are fully convinced that as a church, we are called to reach out to our city parks and streets in this way. We thank you in advance for your generosity.

For Christ and His Church,

Mike VanderKwaak

Executive Pastor, New Life Church

INVITE SUNDAY

Creating an Environment of Hospitality

This coming Easter is Invite Sunday! We are praying for you as you consider inviting your friends and family members to New Life for the Easter Service on April 1st. We are hoping and praying that people who are looking for God, a connection with His people, or someone seeking help or support will be invited to New Life.

Our hospitality reflects the hospitality of God who embraces all people with love and grace. Here are ten simple things we all can do to show hospitality on a Sunday Morning.

1) BE WILLING TO WALK  Too often guests end up having to park in the back of the parking lot because the closer spots are long gone.  Take the parking spaces near the back and leave the best parking spots for others. Don’t forget your umbrella.

2) LOOK FOR THE “LOST” LOOK  If someone looks like they don’t know where to go, then they probably don’t. Step out of your comfort zone and ask if you can help.  As an added challenge, don’t just tell them where to go, show them!

3) SHOW GUESTS AROUND  If you are bringing a guest or see a guest help them find their way in the building. If they have children, help them through the check-in process and show them where the children go.

4) BRING YOUR SMILE  A smile may be all a person needs to feel welcome. Guests feel more at ease when they see smiling people.

5) MOVE TO THE MIDDLE  Move to the middle of your row so guest don’t have to walk over you. Trying to find a seat is part of what is awkward for newcomers – it’s hard enough to come in and just sit down!  Your new spot will be terrific too.

6) MAKE THE FIRST MOVE  Guests may be overwhelmed by the newness of their experience. Trying engaging them in conversation, ask them about their family, their occupation, and what they do for fun.

7) REMEMBER THEIR NAME   Everyone likes to hear their name. Imagine visiting a church and on the second visit, someone you meet the week before calls you by your name? You would feel noticed, remembered and welcome!

8) HELP THEM FILL IT IN  We will invite guests to fill in a communication card during the service so that we can follow up with a personal welcome and a “thank-you for coming.”

9) THINK THREE  Challenge yourself to talk only to those you don’t know for the first three minutes after the service – that is as long it takes for guests to leave after church. We want to let them know they are noticed and welcome!

10) INVITE THEM BACK  When saying goodbye to a guest, it’s a simple thing to say, “Thank-you for being here. We’d love to have you come again!” Many people are looking for a place to belong. Let’s make New Life that place!

 

FUTURE MINISTRY PLAN UPDATE

New Life Ministry Plan Update

The Board of Elders has been meeting over the past few months to develop a future ministry plan for New Life.   It has been a busy time for the Board, but we would also testify to the blessing of coming together to pray, discern, discuss, plan and become excited about where God will lead New Life through this process.

TIMELINE

June 2017

  • The Board hired Dave Blundell, ED of Hungry for Life to facilitate the Ministry Planning process
  • Board Retreat – Dave Blundell led the board through a process of reviewing our mission/vision statement, our core values and our strengths/weaknesses as a church. We also made plans for the congregation to participate through focus groups

September – October 2017

  • The congregation was invited to participate in focus groups that were held over three evenings in order to gather input around our three vision statements: A Changed Life, A Diverse Community, A Radical Impact.

December 2017

  • Dave presented the summary of the feedback from the focus groups to the Board of Elders

December 2017

  • The focus group summary and next steps were presented to the congregation at New Life Live

January – March 2018

  • The board and staff have met numerous times to develop a draft plan. There is a sense that the board and staff want to continue forward movement but not to fast and compromise prayer, discernment and wisdom.
  • Nathan O’Hare, one of the facilitators of the focus groups who works with Dave Blundell has helped to facilitate our planning meetings and guide our process.

WHERE ARE WE TODAY?
We aren’t finished yet.   We’ve made great progress, but also have come to realize this is a big undertaking and want to do it well.

WHAT’S AHEAD
We will have something to present at our June meeting.  Our hope is that a draft of the plan will be complete, however if we find that our timeline is a challenge, we will continue to complete the finer details of the plan into the fall of 2018.

PLEASE PRAY
Together as a congregation, board and staff we have invested in this planning process and we ask that you continue to pray for the board and staff as we formalize the plan.

QUESTIONS?
We would be happy to hear from you.   If you have further questions about the plan feel free to ask a Board member, or contact Pastor Mike (mvanderkwaak@newlifecrc.ca) or Pastor Nathan (nelgersma@newlifecrc.ca)

 

 

EASTER SEASON – PART 2

The Easter season is fast approaching. We are anticipating an awesome time as we prepare to celebrate our risen Saviour. There will be two services. The first one will be on March 30th, Good Friday, at 10:00 AM. This will be a shared, multicultural service with New Life, New Life Korean, and Zion Chinese CRC. Then, the second service will be on Easter Sunday which is on April 1st this year (no, that is not a joke)! However, here at New Life, Easter Sunday is also “Invite Sunday.”

During the weeks leading up to Easter, we are taking about the value that we as a community share for “nurturing relationships for gospel encounters.” God has put relationships in each of our lives with people who desperately need to hear the good news that this season brings. This week, we would like to take the opportunity to share a few practical tips for connecting with those unchurched people that God has put in our lives:

  • Use the giftings that God has given you. If you have the gift of hospitality, take a plate of cookies over to a neighbor or invite someone over for coffee.
  • Take the opportunity to do random acts of kindness for people and then let the Holy Spirit lead in the conversations that follow.
  • Pray that God will give you opportunities to have conversations with people at work or in other places of connection. The Holy Spirit is very faithful to lead in these situations. Often times a unique question will be asked or a comment will be made that can lead conversations in spiritual directions.
  • Look for Holy Spirit led moments wherever you go. Let the compassion you have for others spill out into your world. Look for people who need a touch of healing or who are in distress. Then offer to pray for them. Jesus is at His best when you are reaching out to those that He loves.

In all of these situations, there is one thing to keep in mind: be yourself. Don’t try to conjure up things, led Jesus lead you. You are the only person who can carry His heart for your world. Let His heart lead you as you release His love into the world in which you have influence.

EASTER SEASON

The Easter season is fast approaching. We are anticipating an awesome time as we prepare to celebrate our risen Saviour. There will be two services. The first one will be on March 30th, Good Friday, at 10:00 AM. This will be a shared, multicultural service with New Life, New Life Korean, and Zion Chinese CRC. Then, the second service will be on Easter Sunday which is on April 1st this year (no, that is not a joke)! However, here at New Life, Easter Sunday is also “Invite Sunday.” Over the next few weeks we will be taking about the value that we as a community share for “nurturing relationships for gospel encounters.” God has put relationships in each of our lives with people who desperately need to hear the good news that this season brings. This week, be in prayer over who the Holy Spirit might be prompting you to invite to church on Easter Sunday!

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