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Catching up With Staff: Jayson

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This week we hear from Jayson Oldham, also know as "Jays," or "the smiley worship guy." He is the newest member of our team and we have absolutely been blessed by his presence here on staff. Jayson can always be found with a coffee in hand and any number of instruments in tow. In the one year since he started at SDBC, we have seen an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar, a mandolin, a banjo, an accordion, a xylophone, a cello, a jingle johnny, and a tambourine all cross our stage in a worship set due to the resourcefulness and talents of Jayson. If you spend even two minutes with him, you will soon learn how caring, passionate, and team-oriented he is. So, I would recommend spending those two minutes getting to know him.

What is your role at SDBC and how long have you worked here?
I am the Worship Arts Director here at the church. I work alongside the pastors and staff to creatively and collectively serve the church and encourage an ever-growing heart for worship. I have very much enjoyed learning and growing in my role since I started here in December 2019.

What is something about you that people in the church might be surprised to discover?
Good question! My life is pretty much an open book, however, I think it might surprise many people that back in my teenage years (the 80s) I had longer and blonder hair than most women at the time! I can remember the looks I got when I started going to church back then: some of horror and some of delight!

What are some of the things you love most about being part of the SDBC community/family?
I always love seeing and hearing how Jesus has transformed the lives of the people of this church family. I have barely scratched the surface of getting to hear these stories (in light of the times we are in) but I have been super encouraged by the staff and families I have had the privilege to dig a little deeper with.

How has your role shifted and changed since the start of COVID-19?
There have been a few major shifts, while at the same time, the heart behind the role has remained the same. For the first few months, I fumbled through learning how to lead a church and worship alongside the church, without seeing (or hearing) the church. Even though grabbing a guitar and singing to Jesus has been both a personal discipline and a joyful pattern in my life, it has still been an adjustment moving to cameras and digital connections. Things certainly got a lot more technical with audio recording and production and learning some ropes in those areas. Now that we have settled into a groove of in-person and online gatherings (thanks to an AMAZING group of volunteers), it's continuing to think about how to inspire, encourage, and foster a heart for Jesus and the worship of his name, and how to best raise up a new generation of creative servants who will grow in their gifts and be willing to offer Jesus their talents.

What are some of the challenges and triumphs you have encountered in your life and work since the beginning of COVID 19?
Well, I don't want to compartmentalize too much here, but I try to keep things pretty simple and prioritized in life, even though I think A LOT about it!

1. My walk with Jesus: COVID-19 has certainly been cause for both deeper faith questioning and deeper faith following. God has met me with his love and goodness throughout the past nine months, and has protected me from fear and the stress of isolation.

2. My life as husband and father: these unique times have both strengthened and challenged family life. Yes, we have each other, but sometimes close quarters with those you love most and feel most comfortable with lead to a big old mess of emotion, frustration, and annoyance. Thankfully, we haven't given up on each other, and nor will we!

3. My calling and role as one who points the church in joyful hope, to the highest of all human endeavours, giving glory to God: thankfully, though extremely challenging, the Holy Spirit has reminded me daily that this is his job and has been from the beginning. I do not bear the weight of spiritual transformation, in myself or in others. I need to keep trusting God in this, and join him in obedience and love, humbly learning along the way. Hopefully, by grace, I will continue to lead by example.

How can we pray for you in this season of life?
I would always welcome prayer! I have had some health issues and a recent surgery that I would love full recovery from. I am thankful that even during COVID-19 this has moved along fairly quickly.

Regarding my family, Juli and I are well into the process of adoption. It's truly a wonderful story of how we feel God has been using us and blessing us, as we have fostered this little guy for more than three years now, and things are moving towards permanency. Please pray for strength and guidance.

I would also love all of us to be mindfully praying for one another. As we may very well be physically disconnected, the reality of the spiritual battle is still very much evident, and our SDBC family needs to rise up and pray together, that we would not shrink back, but be more full in our faith and persevere! (Hebrews 10:39).

Click here to email encouragement to Jayson.

Posted by Mary Grierson

Catching up With Staff: Richard

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Richard Staples is a crucial member of our staff team, and this week we get to hear from him! Richard's ability to cook impressive meals for his family and friends is almost as incredible as the love and care he shows for his team members here at SDBC. Whether your computer mouse stopped working randomly, or the internet at the church needs rewiring, or a lightbulb 60 feet in the air needs changing, Richard is there to help and to serve and to love his team. He is an incredibly generous person and a very hard worker. We highly value Richard on our SDBC staff team.

What is your role at SDBC and how long have you worked here?
I started volunteering on the tech team in April of 2015 and eventually was brought on staff in January of 2016. The "sound guy," the "tech guru," the "donut guy;" I've surely been called many different things, but ultimately I oversee all the tech aspects at the church. This includes working with the computers, managing the internet network, upgrading or fixing the lighting in the auditorium, and keeping the sound and video systems operational for all the Sunday services and other events at the church. But I also love to help out with other ministries and tasks around the church that aren't tech related.

What is something about you that people in the church might be surprised to discover?
I studied civil engineering at BCIT and work full time at a civil engineering firm in Vancouver. I surely miss getting to work with the SDBC staff during the day times so I look forward to Sunday mornings, where I can work with the staff while worshipping/serving God.

Another interesting thing is that although I can be seen 99% of the time wearing shorts, I do own a few pairs of long pants!

What are some of the things you love most about being part of the SDBC community/family?
The love, care, and encouragement everyone has for each other. Whether it's working alongside everyone on staff or catching up with other church family members on a Sunday morning, time spent with everyone at church is always a highlight of every day.

How has your role shifted and changed since the start of COVID-19?
In some ways it has changed, and in others it hasn't. When COVID first hit, and we had to stop in-person services, we switched to a recorded service format. So, for myself, with the tech side of things, I had to learn how to use some new equipment and software so we could record all the audio and video elements of a Sunday service so it could be edited in post-production. Then we switched to a livestream platform so had more equipment and software that myself and our tech team had to learn so we could bring a Sunday morning service to everyone live online.

What are some of the challenges and triumphs you have encountered in your life and work since the beginning of COVID-19?
Since I work at an engineering firm during the day time, I was super thankful that they were completely understanding that on Wednesdays I would have to leave work shortly after lunchtime so I could head to the church and help with the tech setup for the worship rehearsals and service recordings in the evening. Some days I would be busy at work and many of my colleagues would say, "Richard, don't you need to get to church?" I was super thankful they were always understanding of my other commitments.

How can we pray for you in this season of life?
You can surely pray for the health and safety of everyone on the worship team, tech team, and pastoral team. Every week we are devoted to bringing the Word of God to everyone, either in-person or online, but we do need all of us healthy to make a service happen.

Click here to email encouragement to Richard.

Posted by Mary Grierson

Catching up With Staff: Paul

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Paul Park. It actually took me a few tries to get Paul to submit something for this series because he didn't think that he needed to be a part of it; he wanted to leave the space for the others on staff. This is the kind of leader and friend that Paul is—caring, loving, and totally self-less. After meeting you once, Paul will remember your name and something about your story, because he cares and he wants to get to know you. We on staff are 100% blessed to have Paul as our boss, leader, and friend. Now, let's hear from Paul!

What is your role at SDBC and how long have you worked here?
I joined the staff at SDBC seven years ago and I have been serving as Lead Pastor for the last three years.

What are some of the things you love most about being part of the SDBC community/family?
I love sharing God's word with our church family. Our church takes the bible very seriously, and it is an honour to preach to such an amazing group of people. I also love the opportunity to walk alongside people during some of the most important times of their lives like when they're getting married, grieving the loss of a loved one, or accepting Jesus for the first time as their Saviour and Lord. I count it as a true privilege to share life with our church family. I also love working with the staff. They are the best teammates I could ask for, and I truly enjoy working alongside this great team.

How has your role shifted and changed since the start of COVID-19?
I have been working primarily from home since COVID hit in March. I am thankful to have the space and internet speed required to work effectively from home. My workflow has become somewhat inefficient as things that I could have done easily in-person must be done virtually now, which usually takes more time and effort. Nevertheless, I am still enjoying my job and I remain grateful that I can still serve my church family in meaningful ways. I have served people through weddings, funerals, baptisms, counselling, and teaching throughout the pandemic, and I have learned to use different technologies and creative ways to do all of these tasks in our current reality.

What are some of the challenges and triumphs you have encountered in your life and work since the beginning of COVID-19?
Many things have changed in my role since we began to adjust to our current reality. As lead pastor, one of my responsibilities is to make decisions on many aspects of our church life. I usually like to have lots of information available to me before I make important decisions, but with COVID, things are constantly changing and decisions made after much careful thought could be overturned in a matter of days. Because I enjoy having control of situations, these highly uncertain times have been challenging to me personally. However, this is a great opportunity for me to learn and grow. God is in control, and I need to learn to submit to his leadership and his sovereignty rather than feeding my desire to be in control.

The greatest challenge during this time has been the lack of meaningful interaction with our church family. I really miss my church family. I wish I could see you all and enjoy your presence. I know this day is coming, so I patiently wait, but I must admit that it is difficult.

But it's not all bad news. I have seen tremendous growth in our church over the last nine months. We are more resilient and pivotable than I imagined. Our team on staff is devoted to Jesus and his church. We are learning to support one another through the toughest season of our careers, and we are appreciating one another's presence more deeply. We also have learned many new skills. I am now much better at preaching to a camera than I was when this all started. Our media team and worship team have grown exponentially in our technical and creative capacities. I am discovering weaknesses in my leadership on which I can improve, and I am also learning that some of my strengths can be better utilized to serve God's people. I am learning new ways of preaching, leading, and thinking. I daresay that I may have experienced more growth in the last nine months than ever before, and these challenging times are proving to be some of the most fruitful times.

How can we pray for you in this season of life?
Please pray for our staff and our church to continue to find hope in Christ; that we may stay missional and that we may persevere. Let s pray that when we come out of this pandemic, we will have an unprecedented desire to gather to worship our great God, and to have grown so immensely in the Lord that we will be prepared for some amazing things for God's glory.

Click here to email encouragement to Paul.

Posted by Mary Grierson

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