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Missionary Update: Jack and Carolyn Teeter

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This week we get to hear from Jack and Carolyn Teeter about their life and ministry in this season of COVID-19.

What is your current location and missions work?
Our current location is Blaine (Birch Bay), Washington. We serve with NAIM (North America Indigenous Ministries) in member and pastoral care, and also do pastoral care ministry with two First Nations organizations. I (Jack) also sit on the board of InterAct Ministries and do some member care with them.

How is God working in and through you during this unique and challenging season?
It seems like the Church is well situated to deal with the uncertainties and anxieties of this pandemic. We have the answers the world is searching for during this time. Both Carolyn and I are involved in marriage and family counselling and encouragement ministry, and are ministering to ailing NAIM staff in Washington state.

How have you been impacted by COVID-19?
While we have not been impacted by COVID-19 physically, it has certainly impacted our ability to visit staff and First Nations friends in Canada face-to-face. Connecting through Zoom and by telephone has been a blessing for contacts, workshops, etc., but it doesn't take the place of face-to-face visits.

How can we pray for you?
Please pray that we would maximize the positive benefits of the COVID-19 restrictions for both ministry outreach and personal growth. This is the time for the Church to shine to a world in need. Pray also for Carolyn's grand-nephew, Journey, who is living with us, and his schooling during this challenging time. Pray that he would make wise choices and concentrate on his grade 11 school year.

Please remember Jack and Carolyn in your prayers this week. You can email them encouragement by clicking here.

Posted by Mary Grierson

What to Expect When You Attend Worship on Site at the Church

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Starting this Sunday, our church will transition into a hybrid worship service format for the foreseeable future with some people worshipping at the church and others worshipping at home via livestream. This is an important transition for our church since we have not gathered regularly at the church for worship services since March. If you are planning to attend any of our live services, you will have to register online here. Our services will not exceed fifty people per service as per the Provincial Health Order. Please also read the following details so that you know what to expect when you come to the church for worship:

  • You can register for either the 9AM or the 11AM service. The service will be approximately an hour long, and we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with a special communion service at both services.

  • When you arrive at church, please park near the main courtyard where you will find our Welcome Team at the welcome tent for registration. Everyone must check in upon arrival before entering the church, and you will be able to pick up your individually packaged communion elements at this time. If you wish to drop off your offering when you come to church for worship, you can drop it off in the offering box at the welcome tent.

  • When you enter the church building, you will have access to hand sanitizers in various locations. Please sanitize your hands as you enter and respect social distancing guidelines to help everyone feel comfortable.

  • We are implementing a new policy for our worship times: We are asking everyone to wear a mask in common areas of the church (e.g. lobby, welcome tent, gym, etc.). When you arrive at the church, please put on your mask before heading to the welcome tent. Once you have registered and taken a seat in the main auditorium, you can take off the mask for the duration of the service. If you plan on singing during the service, you will need to put on your mask for that as well. If you forget to bring a mask, we will provide a disposable mask for you when you register.
    We understand that people have differing opinions on wearing masks. However, in conversation with our church family, we have found that many people will feel safer to attend our services at the church if people are wearing masks in common areas as is the norm for many public areas in our city currently. Please remember our heart behind these policies—to keep our church family as safe as we can and to practice the biblical humility that we find exemplified by Christ in Philippians 2:5-11. If we can help others feel more confident in coming out to worship with us by putting on a mask and respecting social distancing guidelines, we must do our best to create a safe and confidence inspiring environment around our worship experience so that we remain a hospitable church that loves like Jesus during this pandemic.
  • Lastly, in order to abide by the strict cleaning guidelines given in the Provincial Health Order, we need to start the cleaning process as soon as the 9AM service ends, which means vacating the auditorium immediately after the service. If you are attending the 9AM service, please head to the gym if you want to enjoy a socially distanced time of fellowship after the service.

We look forward to seeing you at the services and worshipping our great God together. Even if you are not planning to attend these live services for now, please pray for our church as we make this transition, and please continue to engage with our church online. We will be livestreaming the 11AM service from now on, and we will be offering more online opportunities for you to engage with our church in addition to the Sunday morning services. Worshipping, praying, studying the bible, giving, and having fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ (even through Zoom or over the phone) should not be suspended for Christians during this pandemic. We may need to do them in different ways, but we must continue to live for the glory of our God and in obedience to his word. Let's press forward together in Christ and ask him to lead us during this time!

Posted by Paul Park

Missionary Update: Greg and Laura Hamilton

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This week we get to hear from Greg and Laura Hamilton about their life and ministry in this season of COVID-19.

What is your current location and missions work?
We are living just north of Calgary, Alberta, close to our Canada office. We are serving with InterAct Ministries which has three fields serving Indigenous people across the North Pacific Crescent: Western Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. I (Greg) serve on the leadership team for Canada as the assistant field director, primarily giving oversight to Human Resources and new appointees to the Canada field and supervising Indigenous ministry staff in Saskatchewan and the BC Interior. We also are part of the teaching and coaching team for our summer missions' program, and Laura oversees and implements the vulnerable sector protection policy.

How is God working in and through you during this unique and challenging season?
I will not soon forget the weekend of March 15th. We were just returning from a weekend retreat with our BC staff in Kamloops. Our kids texted and let us know that the church service here was canceled! That Monday, as I returned to the office, it seemed like it was a waterfall of news from one area or another that was being closed. The world had suddenly changed!

The Lord has given me several opportunities to teach and preach during this season. Using technology has become the means by which we have stayed in touch with our staff and ministry partners. I have continued to be challenged by the level of fear that so many are facing during this time. Though I have had many different reactions, when I remain focused on the faithfulness of the Lord rather than on the fear of the circumstances around me, I am able to continue to move forward in obedience and service.

How have you been impacted by COVID-19?
Our work in most of our communities has been deeply impacted. We are a highly relational ministry that relies on the opportunity to be side by side with people. Being totally locked out of communities has brought a new level of isolation and loneliness to our staff and an even deeper level of being cut off from the people we love. Though not talked about, suicide and abuse have continued to increase because of the lack of safe places in many of our communities.

COVID-19 has also brought challenges to our leadership team as we have had to figure out how to best encourage our missionaries who were isolated, many in remote communities. Again, technology has been a way for us to connect our staff from Siberia and Alaska to Canada. Online prayer meetings continue to be a way to connect and hear from each other. We are in the midst of planning a virtual staff conference this year as a way to maintain the fellowship amongst our staff. Extended times for training have been utilized.

Along with that, as we begin to see a relaxing of physical distancing, we are seeing brand new opportunities arise. The change in tempo and different patterns of life have allowed for new relationships to develop. Praise the Lord!

How can we pray for you?
We have two key items that I would ask prayer for. The first would be BOLDNESS; that we would have the boldness to proclaim the gospel! We do not know what lies ahead and this is an important time to give people who live in fear everlasting hope.

Second, I would ask for creativity. There are many methods of ministry that we return to often. I believe both generational and societal norms are in upheaval. We need to change as well. The message does not change, but our ways of communicating need to adapt. May we find creative ways to proclaim the true message of salvation.

Finally, as always, we are grateful for our church in South Delta. You commissioned us to service TWENTY years ago and have been a faithful partner in so many ways!

Please remember to pray for Greg and Laura this week as they continue to serve and love their community. You can send encouragement to the Hamiltons by emailing them

 

Posted by Mary Grierson

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