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Pastoral Search Team Update #14

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Before we provide this week’s search update, we, as elders at SDBC, want to publicly thank our pastoral search team for the countless hours they have spent reviewing applicants, listening to online sermons, meeting, discussing, and--most importantly--praying over the search process. The elders and PST have had two combined meetings and both have been very encouraging as we listened and discussed the applicants and progress of the search.

As previously mentioned, on July 17th, the PST presented a short list to the elders. The elders have now interviewed each of these men and are entering a time of prayer and fasting while we reflect on all the information we have received to date. We continue to fervently seek God’s will for our next step. Our desire is to choose one of these applicants to become a candidate at our next board meeting on August 9th. The candidate will then undergo further scrutiny and due diligence for us to be able to discern whether he is the right man to be our next lead pastor. As always, your prayers are gratefully accepted as each of us takes this time to seek the Lord’s will and guidance. We also encourage you to pray for the short-listed applicants as they wait patiently and similarly seek God’s leading in their lives.

Our God is at work at SDBC and His timing is perfect. As elders, we are humbled and privileged to walk through this process of seeking God’s clear will for the future lead pastor of SDBC.

Posted by Peter Grierson

A Gospel-Focused Soccer Camp

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Soccer camp--what an amazing, God-filled week it was! Last week was the culmination of the project that I have been working on with SDBC Kids since January and I could not be happier with how the week unfolded. Despite some confusion going into the week, God was so faithful in the amazing volunteers He provided and how He worked throughout our camp. Because it was a smaller camp, we had a smaller group of volunteers who were able to receive substantial training to coach at our soccer camp. It was evident that they were passionate about teaching the kids not only soccer skills but most importantly about Jesus. It was incredible getting to see the coaches grow in their own skills and confidence throughout the week. Seeing them develop as leaders and followers of Christ was one of the most rewarding parts of the week!

Every day, the kids learned lessons that explicitly mentioned the gospel and Jesus Christ. They learned that they were created complete and that people can be broken and blind but God can show them the way. They learned that we need a radical restart from God and make it through the tough times, but in the end, we have a "cool calling" from God to follow Him and tell everyone about Jesus.

The Coaches Corner time was completely gospel focused and by the end of the week, seven kids came to Christ, most of whom never went to church, and almost every child went home with a bible! It was so evident that God was working through the volunteers and in the hearts of these children at camp. I am so excited to see what God will do with those seeds that were planted at camp and I would love to encourage everyone that reads this to be in prayer for those kids who accepted Christ, especially for the kids whose parents do not go to church as they may not hear about Him at home. They need to know that even though camp is over, Jesus is not done with them! “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Finally, I would love to give a HUGE thank-you to everyone who was involved with soccer camp either directly or indirectly. Thank you to the volunteers who served in every area of camp, thank you to the parents who sent their children, thank you to those who donated snacks, and thank you to everyone who prayed for the camp. God bless you!

Building Community

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The SDBC youth group has been going on the Salt Spring Island missions trip for 20 years. It has a reputation like no other. From the moment I arrived in Tsawwassen, I was constantly hearing about Salt Spring. Teens were always talking about their favourite memories from this trip, and parents were also speaking of the impact it has on their kids. What is it about this trip that makes it so special?

As I reflect back on my first trip to Salt Spring earlier this month, I think one of the most incredible parts about it is that it builds community through every aspect of the trip. During work projects, everyone is split into groups of two to five. The best part about this is that you never know who you will be with. Pulling weeds for three hours can be fun when you have your best friend with you. But when you end up on a work project with someone you barely know, it is a completely different experience. This can be scary for some people, but my favourite work projects were when I was with someone I had never met or had barely talked to. This is building community. Although there is a wide variety of personalities and interests, God can use an activity like chopping wood to bring people with completely opposite personalities together.

It is hard to pinpoint a favourite part of Salt Spring, but some of my favourite moments were during our night time teaching and worship sessions. Throughout the week we studied 2 Timothy. This book challenged us to be unashamed of our faith, to stand up against falsehood, and to follow someone and be someone to follow. Every session, I would preach through a few verses and then we would break into smaller groups to discuss what the passage was saying. There are very few moments that have encouraged me more than to see our community of teens and leaders gather to engage with the word of God and be open to what God was trying to teach us.

I think that’s what makes this trip so special. As a community, we went out to practically display our faith through work projects, but we also took time to grow spiritually. As one teen said at the end of the week, we were able to get away from the craziness of our lives for a week to live as a true gospel community; serving God and growing closer to Him, together. My first year at Salt Spring lived up to all the hype and I’m already anticipating next year’s trip.

Posted by Kyle McDonald

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