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Stephen Ministry: The Sanctuary Course

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In January 2020, Stephen Ministry will be hosting a course developed by Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries. Clergy from the Vancouver area founded Sanctuary in 2012, in order to equip the church to make a difference in the lives of individuals struggling with mental health problems. The ministry continues this mission by raising awareness and providing faith-based educational resources and training to promote mental wellness.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, all Canadians will be affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives, either through experience or through the diagnosis of a relative or friend. In fact, one in five Canadians faces a mental health problem every year. Mental health issues are increasingly prevalent within our society. Perhaps you are looking for ways to support a loved one, or perhaps you are in search of answers for yourself. Either way, you want to better understand the complex dynamics of mental health.

There is more to it than just understanding, however. As Christians, we want to discover the role faith has in mental health and hear what God, scripture, and the church have to say regarding the unique challenges and experiences of mental health problems. The Sanctuary Course is designed to assist you in this process of discovery.

Over the last several years, Stephen Ministers have come alongside Care Receivers experiencing a mental health challenge such as depression and extreme anxiety. Currently, our Stephen Ministers are being prepared to offer this course to our congregation. Our plan is to offer The Sanctuary Course beginning on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 for eight consecutive Tuesdays, between 7–8:30PM. The cost of the course is $10.

For more information about this course, visit the Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries website. If you are interested in attending, click here, or sign up in person at the Spotlight Table this Sunday, October 20th. Registration will close December 13th.

Posted by Doug Thomson

Community Group Highlight

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Joining a community group has been crucial for me in making connections at SDBC. My wife, Megan, has been a part of this church for almost 20 years, so connecting for her is easy. But I just started attending this church in May, coming from a church of around 60, to one of nearly ten times that, and not knowing anyone but her. We were placed in a group of married couples with a span of ages and it has been great to have support in a cross-generational setting. Being in the group has also led to more connections being made at church on Sunday morning, along with opportunities to serve.

Moving to a new country, new province, new city, or new church is difficult, even in the most ideal situations. Often the hardest part is connecting and getting to know people, even for those who have come to church for years. One solution is to join a community group. It is hard to find time in our busy schedules but this is something you need to intentionally make time for and it is so worth it. I have never met a community group who was not friendly and welcoming. Community groups are places we can build our faith in Jesus Christ. Not only can we be encouraged, but we can encourage others as well. We need to pray for other people and have people pray for us. Community groups help to connect us to God, the church, and people beyond our community group. They are for everybody, whether you are 18 or 99.

If you are interested in joining a community group, click here for more information. 

Posted by Jamin Sprinkle

Thanksgiving Offering

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When I was a child, I remember my parents helping my brother and me form a habit of giving a Thanksgiving offering each year on Thanksgiving Sunday. When I was younger, I didn't think much of it, and I kept doing it as a young man just out of habit. However, as I matured in my personal walk with Jesus, I realized the importance of expressing our gratitude towards God.

In 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, Apostle Paul writes, "He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God." Notice how Paul teaches the church in Corinth to express their thanksgiving to God. He points out that God is the one who supplies the seed to the sower. God is the one who provides everything in life, and one of the reasons he chooses to enrich you in your life is so that you may be "generous in every way," and through our generosity, we will help produce a culture of thanksgiving to God; recognizing his grace and mercy in our lives.

Thanksgiving offerings are not the only way in which we express our gratitude to our Lord, but it is a great opportunity. Sarah and I continue this tradition of giving a Thanksgiving offering each year, and we hope that our son, Nathan, will also grow up in a culture of thanksgiving and a humble recognition of God's providence in our lives. This year, our Thanksgiving offerings will be going to our 60th Anniversary Projects. You can choose to give a Thanksgiving offering this year by using one of the green Thanksgiving envelopes provided in the pews on Sundays during the month of October, or by giving online. I encourage you to consider making this a healthy tradition in your life.

Posted by Paul Park

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