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Live Courtyard Service

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Living under the current circumstances with COVID-19 has been challenging for many of us, and we have repeatedly said that we miss seeing you and worshipping alongside you in an in-person gathering. The watch parties have been great and the fellowship and connection at the watch parties (with proper social distancing) have been precious opportunities. However, we have not been able to gather for live worship for several months now, and I know many of you miss live worship. Our church has been keeping the provincial health authorities' guidelines since the isolation measures came into effect in March. We have operated safely and responsibly under these guidelines, and we will continue to do so.

Having said that, we are excited to announce our plans to offer a live outdoor service in the church courtyard on August 30th. We will set up a stage in the main courtyard and spread out chairs according to the normal social distancing measures. We will be observing all the safety protocols for gatherings at our church including a maximum of fifty people per event. On Sunday, August 30th, we will be gathering at the courtyard for live services at 9AM and 11AM. You will be required to pre-register for these services, and we will add services as needed to accommodate everyone. In order for us to plan well, please help us by registering early for the outdoor service. Registration is now open and you can register online here or calling the church office during office hours (M-TH, 9AM-4PM; 604-943-8244).

If you're not available to join us for live worship on this date, or if you are not comfortable coming out to a live service yet, please join us via livestream on our usual Church Online platform at 11AM on August 30th. Please note the change of time for the livestream service just for this one particular Sunday. We look forward to worshipping with you whether in-person or online. For those of you who are able to join us at the church, we look forward to seeing you!

Register online now!

Posted by Paul Park

Paul's Letter to SDBC

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Dear SDBC:

My brothers and sisters in the Lord; my joy & crown; my fellow colleagues in the gospel work; my dearest friends, I miss you and desperately long for the day that we can gather again freely.

This global pandemic has taught me to appreciate you even more. It has also taught me that it takes intentionality for relationships to thrive. We can't leave it to chance for relationships to strengthen, which is why I believe the book of Philippians has been a timely sermon series for us. As Apostle Paul expresses his affection and longing for his friends in Philippi, I, too, want to express my longing for you.

Even at a distance, I have heard and seen some of the pain that several of you are struggling with now. Some of you were in the hospital with health concerns, and I could not even visit you, which caused deep sorrow in my heart. But friends, please know that Sarah, Nathan, and I spent each evening praying for you at night; for all of our brothers and sisters who are sick and in need of medical care, and we will continue to pray for you.

I also know that many of you are struggling with depression, anxiety, stress, and fear. I see you and hear you as you struggle through the pain, but more importantly, I want to remind you that God sees you and God hears you in your pain. Just as he heard the groaning of the people of Israel in the bible, our God hears you when you call; he sees you when you cry out to him. Please hold fast to the faith you have in Christ and press forward with the eschatological hope that we have.

If the current challenges have caused you to forget who you are in Christ, let me remind you again: (straight from the bible) You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

This is who you are. You are the bride of Christ. You are so precious to our Lord Jesus that he carried the cross and paid the penalty of our sins with his own life so that he could purchase us for his glory.

So, I encourage you brothers and sisters: Press forward with confidence. If God is for us, who can be against us? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8).

SDBC: Let's live; not just surviving or barely making it; but let's live with this confidence and assurance in the good news of Jesus Christ. Let's press forward and trust our God.

I really miss you, but until the day we can gather again, I trust that Our Lord Jesus Christ will be with you and lead you. May he bless you in your walk today and in the days to come.

You brother in Christ, 
Paul

Posted by Paul Park

Missionary Update: Debbie & Patrick O'Connor

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In our second interview of our "Checking in With Our Missionaries" series, we connected with Debbie and Patrick O'Connor to find out how they have been doing and what changes, challenges, and victories they have experienced in this season of their lives.

What is your current location and missions work?
We serve with e3 Partners to train internationally for new church planting movements. We mentor/train individuals in Latin America, Africa, and India. Our relationship with e3 Partners is also in collaboration with Canada-based Action International of Calgary. Our home base while we are not traveling is on the north side of Seattle.

How have you been impacted by COVID-19?
COVID-19 has dis-allowed international travel for the time being. Therefore, we now must interact with others internationally through digital telecommunications, by God's grace. As well, COVID-19 has required that we spend more time cultivating very good and deep relationships with local individuals. Usually our ministry relationships are with people in Africa or other places very far away.

How have you seen God glorified during this time in your personal life and your ministry?
We have essentially been non-stop go-getters since the 1980s when we were saved. This COVID-19 time has been like a sabbatical, in part, as it has required me (Patrick) to slow down. In many ways it has been a good thing, allowing our wells to go deeper.

Sometimes I (Patrick) am a little bit antsy, wanting to get on an airplane to North India or South America, but COVID-19 and other circumstances (Deb's cancer) have allowed us to slow down a bit.

How can we pray for you?
Please pray that we may be faithful in the small things as we all wait out this COVID-19 virus. I (Patrick) am eager to travel but at the same time I want to be patient and gracious where God has us. A second prayer request is for Debbie, as she is undergoing a seven month treatment for her advanced carcinoid cancer.

Please remember Debbie and Patrick in your prayers as they navigate health concerns and new COVID-19 realities in their daily lives and ministry. Click here to email encouragement directly to the O'Connors.
 

Posted by Mary Grierson

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