Derek deVries

Dear Church Family,  

Advent We’re in the middle of the first week of Advent, looking forward to Christmas Day when we celebrate that God was faithful to send His Son.  When we consider all the gifts, all the things that we have wanted, none compare to the gift that He gave in His Son. By giving us His Son He gave us eternal life - and not simply life that lasts forever but living eternally reconciled to Him as His beloved children.  As Christ was born into a human family by the miracle of the Holy Spirit, so can we be born into God’s  family by the work of the Holy Spirit when we repent and believe in the Son. 

For this Advent season, we’d encourage you to anticipate the coming Christmas by digging into this collection of Advent readings: ADVENT READINGS

Lord’s Supper - Communion This Sunday we’ll be celebrating the Lord’s Supper together.  This is one of the gifts of a visible preaching of the Gospel - the other being baptism.  I’d like to encourage you to ask the Lord to prepare your hearts to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with your church family.  We’ve intentionally included the grades 5 - 7 class into our advent preaching as we go through the Christmas story from the book of Matthew.  If you have a child who will be in the service for communion, please take the responsibility to speak with them to together determine if taking communion is appropriate for them.  Scripture indicates that this is an act of confession of faith and should only be taken by those who have confessed faith in Christ, who understand what He did on the Cross and who want the work of the cross to be applied to them.  This means that they desire not only forgiveness of sins but also freedom from sin - they have repented of sin - they are trusting Christ to transform them from living as enemies of God to living as children of God.  This is a good time also to search our own hearts to see if there is any sin that we’ve not yet agreed to renounce.  Is there anything of the old life of rebellion against God that I’m clinging to?  Is there any way in which I am refusing to live as a child of God?  Remember that we don’t become children of God by acting as children of God.  Rather, Christ purchased this for us with His blood, and those who’ve been adopted will also be transformed to love and live as His children in response to His great love for us.   

Care Fund offering/Christmas Hampers It is our tradition to take up an additional offering for our care fund each time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  These funds typically go to providing groceries or rent or professional Christian counselling for both our church family and those in our community.  This time around we will use these funds specifically to support our Christmas hampers.  We are partnering with the Christmas Cheer Board and plan to provide 5 hampers.  We’d encourage you to partner with us by checking out the list of needs posted on the info table or on our website, and also by donating funds.  Thank you for your generosity in the past on this.  This is a great way to help people celebrate the birth of the Saviour.   

Potluck This Sunday, December 4TH, we’ll be having a ‘just because’ potluck!  A great time to get to know each other and connect with newer folks.  We will aim to start the lunch noon, which gives the Road Crew Heroes a chance to bring all the gear to the church building and also time for each of the rest of us to run home to grab stuff or even… to the store.    Looking forward to enjoying the gift of God gathering His undeserving family to enjoy the place at the table that His Son deserves - a gift purchased by His death and secured by His resurrection from the dead.  This is what church is.  This is the gift of being a church family.  And it is ours because God gave us the gift of His Son.  

Your brother, Derek