Bishop’s Notes – August 5, 2008

August 5, 2008

Dear Colleagues,

In the Every Day with Jesus daily devotional that Donna and I use, Selwyn Hughes has been in a study of the book of Proverbs and writing about the pillars of wisdom, one of which he says in “generosity.” Recently, he wrote: “I love the way in which Charles Harthern, a preacher of a different generation, described giving: ‘Some give like a sponge—only when they are squeezed. Some give like Moses’ rock – only when they are hit. True Christians, however, give like the honeysuckle – because they delight to give.’ That’s the secret – giving because we delight to give. The generous hand comes from a generous heart. If the heart is not generous then, however much the hand gives, there is no true generosity.”

I believe that the Holy Spirit did something special among the leaders of our movement at General Conference in May and it has been encouraging to see signs of increased generosity in what is happening in the support of Core and the Giving Streams. I was also delighted to hear the observation last week that pastors are mentioning signs of generosity in their quarterly reports. I asked for some samples and please read on to be encouraged by things that various pastors are reporting.

Tithes and offerings have been excellent. In the past year we have paid off a loan, replaced the sign, front steps and back wheelchair access. Also redid siding on the front of the church.

We have done a project of generosity, reaching out into our community to meet the needs we see in front of us, and this has been a most interesting project!

As stated prior, our congregation is very giving. We have a clothing give away, where clothing is being given to anyone who needs it on August 11th.

We have an increased number of visitors. People are increasingly seeing us as a “community church”.

We have seen a little slump in our giving but we have had signs of embracing the spirit of Generosity as we celebrated our Youth Pastor’s 1st anniversary; as well as $1200.00 toward a person’s hearing aids.

Our loan to FMCiC is being paid ahead of schedule. Just completed a week of Bible camp with excellent results. A diverse team of leaders was recruited and trained for the Bible camp. New leaders in the Bible camp are moving forward spiritually as they learn to serve by leading.

Our church was robbed…but we continued to focus on pouring themselves into this ethos of generosity we call FMCiC… we purchased a projector for Eric in Quebec; fund the food bank; fill a LOVE IN ACTION Fund for continuous ministry.

Mother’s Day donation to New Life Girls’ Home in lieu of giving flowers to mothers – enthusiastic response from people. Excellent response from our “$20 Gift Challenge” with $7401.44 brought in to date, to be given (sown) into ministries beyond our church.

Involvement in soup kitchen, ministry in seniors residence etc. Giving continuing to slowly increase – special offering for needy situations etc.

Completion of “Building for Life” commitment. Of funds raised 10% was designated to new church plant in Brazil, to local initiatives, Church Development Giving Stream & McDuff Fund

A church team participated in the All-night walk for Cancer; Good volunteerism; On track for best year financially.

Donations towards the 5/12 China Earthquake; 7 members will complete the EVANGELISM EXPLOSION class training in early July

People gave a significant sum to help a young couple move away to a new job.

I want to express my appreciation to all of you for your prayer support for the team that is leaving for Sri Lanka this week [Pastor Wade Fitzpatrick & Alan Guenther (Moose Jaw), Rev. Ben Gomez, Pastor (Jey) Sritharan Jeyarajah, Dan Sheffield, and myself (August 6-19). I will then be traveling from Sri Lanka to Central Africa – especially Rwanda, going there in full dependence upon God, trusting that He has something in mind that He wants to do. Please continue to pray for Bishop Munyagisaka Philemon and his family and for the conversations that I will participate in while I am in Rwanda.

May Jesus’ deep joy be your strength as you go about serving Him in the neighbourhood.

Bishop Keith