It is the season when we take time out to be with our families and to reflect on the year in hindsight. Phew…what a year… The challenge for us all during the past 22 months has been to anchor ourselves in Jesus, to silence the multitude of other voices baying for our attention, and to keep focused on the main thing. To stay connected to the Vine.
As a church leader, my mantra before Jesus has been (to quote the words of a Jeremy Riddle worship song) ‘May your voice be louder…may your face be dearer…may your presence be truer…may your light burn brighter…than all the others in my life…please keep my eyes fixed on you.’ God is faithful. In the messiness of the past year, we have begun to sense what the Spirit is saying and doing amongst us. God’s voice emerges in the messiness of life.
2021, Has seen our Sunday Worship Services morph from ‘keeping the church Worship Services going’ to something that is good, and for which we are extremely grateful. Whether we have been partly locked down, numerically restricted in person, or limited to online services only; we now have a way of being and doing church and gathering in different forums.
Some have chosen to gather in small groups or family groups at home and link into the main Sunday feed, and others attend live in person. Some come to worship in their own time during the week. Wednesday seems to be an extremely popular day to ‘come to church.’
More recently our own worship bands have been pre-recording worship in song, which leads the congregational worship in song on Sundays. It has been great to be led by our own worship groups again. This all as it relates to the church as a gathered community.
The church as a gathered community always leads to a missional outcome. The Church is both ‘gathered and scattered.’ Because of our online presence we have discovered people in smaller communities such as Whati, and Tulita in the NWT who link into our feed and in some ways consider themselves part of YKVC.
Apart from some small financial support of communities such as these, we are busy exploring mission trips for 2022 within the NWT. My own thinking has transitioned from us being a small church in the NWT into recognizing that in the context of the NWT we are in fact a significant and resourced church. We need to share what God has given into our hand. If your heart beats for mission, pray into these possibilities, and see what the Spirit might be saying to you.
Continuing with the theme of the church scattered, we have recently established a ministry that focusses specifically on outreach and justice issues and those whom Jesus calls ‘the least of these (Mt 25:40).’ This ministry is less to do with plugging holes by providing short term relief (although it has included some of that) than it is to find the one space for YKVC into which we can minister and make a tangible difference in Yellowknife and the NWT. The space God has reserved for us and we are in the process of discovering. In time to come it will be one thing that we do in outreach that identifies us as ‘those people who do…X, Y or Z, amongst the poor.’
Considering this pursuit, we are currently sponsoring two Eritrean refugees who are in a precarious position in Ethiopia to come into Canada. Please continue to pray for them. The process has been more than a year in the making. If your heart beats for advocacy, ministry amongst the poor and outreach in general, please talk to Nicole Sok or to Jessica Pacunayen.
If you would like to be involved in a worship band, please speak to Theresa Baird or Siyath Sok. If communication via social media makes your heart beat, please speak to Richard Harvey. For involvement with the AV team please speak to Ben Baird. There are many avenues that you can link into as God leads us into a future where a path begins to emerge.
Thank you to all who minister in whatever capacity in the YKVC community. It is a privilege to be your pastor. May you all know his presence and above all his peace, at this time.
The Prince of Peace be with you all.