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I think all of us know that worship and prayer are so much more than the times and spaces we engage together on a Sunday morning. We want to be aware of God's glory, goodness, and presence as much as possible. We want to respond to him always with thanks, honour, and praise, and by presenting our needs and desires before him.

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 34:1-3

At all times. Constantly. This is fostering a LIFE of worship. Much of this happens individually, as we discipline ourselves to seek God and grow in faith. But as David writes, there is great purpose in joining together and sharing in the greatness of God.

I want to invite you to a special time of community prayer and worship on February 26th at 7PM, in the foyer. It's entitled, "Lift," and comes from the phrase, "let us exalt," found in Psalm 34:3. Lord willing, we will have three of these "Lift" events throughout the year to bring the church together to pray and be unified in Christ's glory. The focus of this first gathering will centre around waiting on God and preparing our hearts for the great work of Christ. This time is particularly special as it marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Whether you observe Lent as a spiritual practice or not, I would encourage everyone to come and make room in your hearts as we exalt God's name together.

Posted by Jayson Oldham

Bylaws & Membership Requirements

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As you would have heard at our last business meeting in November, we are looking to make some changes to our bylaws this year. Peter Grierson, one of our elders, is serving as the chairperson of a sub-committee of the elders that is working on bringing proposed changes to the membership. You will receive details of the proposed changes in the next few weeks. All members of SDBC will have ample opportunity to ask questions and engage with the materials that are presented by our Board of Elders. Please note the following dates for two discussion forums that will be hosted by our elders in order to engage with the membership on proposed bylaw changes: 

Wednesday, February 12th @ 7PM 
Tuesday, March 10th @ 7PM

As a part of the overall bylaw changes, we are also proposing a change to our membership requirements. Our current practice is to grant membership to people who have been baptized by immersion. When Christians come to our church from different denominations or different cultures and seek to become members, we ask them if they were baptized by immersion. If the person had been baptized as an adult upon a genuine confession of faith in Jesus but baptized by pouring or sprinkling, we would ask the person to be baptized again. We have had numerous cases of people being asked to be baptized via immersion before they can become members at SDBC. However, we see some challenges in continuing to implement this practice of asking people who have experienced genuine conversion—and a baptism experience that they deem as being tied to their conversion experience—to be baptized again so that they can become members at a local church.

The elders and pastors have studied and thought through the many complex theological and practical implications of church membership and baptism. Having studied and prayed over this issue, we maintain that baptism by immersion is the most biblical mode of baptism, and we are committed to continuing to practice immersion as the only mode of baptism at our church. Membership requirements of a local church, however, are not prescribed in the bible, so we believe there is flexibility that we can have in how we administer membership. Our goal is to continue our strong commitment to practicing immersion as taught in the bible, while allowing other Christian brothers and sisters to become members without the need of re-baptism. There are several theological reasons why we view re-baptism as being a negative practice in a local church. To hear more about our interpretation of Scripture around this issue, and to learn why this is so important for our church to consider, please attend the following discussion forums to engage with the elders and pastors:

January 26th (after Sunday service) 
February 23rd (after Sunday service)

These sessions will also include outside speakers such as Pastor Brent Chapman (Lead Pastor @ Southridge Fellowship Church and Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Fellowship Pacific) and Dr. Larry Perkins (Bible Scholar and Professor @ Northwest Baptist Seminary and former President of NBS). We invite you to attend these two sessions and engage with us on this important issue. 

Posted by Paul Park

60th Anniversary Final Update

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Our 60th anniversary celebration was a fantastic reminder of God's faithfulness and his lavish grace, which we have received throughout the sixty years of our history. To celebrate this important milestone, we set out to raise funds for three projects that would see us invest in the next generation of our community: 1. Improvements to our Youth and Children's facilities; 2. Starfish Pack; 3. SDBC Tutoring.

The designated fund for the 60th Anniversary Projects was open until the end of 2019, and we aimed to raise $60,000 for these three projects. We have tallied up all the funds that came in throughout the year, and we're thankful to announce that we have raised $76,977 for the 60th Anniversary Projects. Thank you for participating in our celebration and giving toward these needs in our community. We also want to recognize local businesses that partnered with us to invest in the next generation together. We look forward to seeing the impact of these funds on families' and students' lives. We pray that God will multiply the impact of these funds so that it would bear amazing fruit for his glory and for the benefit of many people.

Posted by Paul Park

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