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Newsletter - November 2021

Greetings from the desk of the Pastor! While the weather can’t seem to make up its mind about whether it wants to be fall yet or not – I have enjoyed those cool fall days where the inside of the church is warm and buzzing with activity.

I have two notes I wanted to put in front of you as we brace ourselves for the end of the year holiday chaos. First, I want to encourage each of you to give yourself grace as we cope with the chaos. This fall we have seen many things “return to normal”, even though we are not quite clear of the pandemic yet. The struggle I have seen is that for so many of us – what would have been “no big deal” two years ago, now feels incredibly exhausting! Because of the shut-downs, and the times where things were closed – we have grown used to our schedules being empty. In the midst of a pandemic, life slowed down for a lot of us. And that’s okay.

But coming back from that… getting back to a school schedule, a work schedule, a sporting schedule and even a church schedule – after so much time away from it can feel very draining! I know a lot of people are so overwhelmed, exhausted and so many are burning out. And so I just wanted to give you some encouragement this month. It’s okay if it takes a while to get back into your groove. You are in the middle of recovering from a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. It’s a big deal – and you are allowed to re-enter life a little bit at a time. Like a marathon runner who one day decides to stop running for a full two years, and then tries to get back out there again… maybe the first time putting on those running shoes will be a little slower, a little more painful than it used to be. Give yourself some grace – because I promise there are lots of people in the same boat. We’re all getting back in shape together.

This idea of grace in light of what we’ve been through leads me to my second point – which is that baby steps are still steps forward. Sometimes when we study the scriptures, we can feel as though our faith pales in comparison. We read about the apostles in Jerusalem and we think “the things I do for God are not as successful or impressive as that,” or we see the strength and courage of Joseph and think, “but in my faith, I sometimes have doubts.” As we wrap up another series in Acts, and make our way back to into Genesis and the story of Joseph – I hope it becomes clear: the faith of those in bible stories is epic, of course, but it is not a straight line. Just like us, the heroes of our faith have good days and bad days. Highs and lows in ministry and in life.

And what I want you to see is that this is completely normal! Faith does not grow in a single direction. Many think that our connection with God is like a gradual, rising slope – always growing closer to glory. But in both the early church, and the story of Joseph – the good and the bad come in waves. Sometimes our journey of growth with God is more like a roller-coaster than an escalator. So celebrate the little victories – even if it’s just a baby step. Baby steps are still steps forward. If we make mistakes, we pick ourselves up, dust off and try again.

On that note, I have a baby step I’d like to celebrate. As of last month we have completed our goal of raising $100,000 towards our Capital Campaign. It’s an incredible victory that proves the reality that together we can do so much more than any one of us alone. However, I still call it a baby step – because the truth is that the first $100,000 was always going to be the easiest to raise. We now turn our eyes towards funding the complete project – a $500,000 upgrade that will make our building more accessible and improve our ability to welcome people and show them the love of Jesus for decades to come. When I look at the full project, it might seem a mountain too high to climb, or a marathon race too long to run. But baby steps are still steps forward. We have taken this step, and I’m very excited to take the next one as well. But until then, I’ll see you on Sunday.

Pastor JJ


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