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Celebration Sunday - April 1

Alright, so I've got some catching up to do. Although I'm quite excited for that purely Canadian national ritual of the first game of the NHL playoffs (Go Sens Go!) I will take some time to re-cap three major events that happened in the life of our church in the past 10 days.

Two Sundays ago we threw a huge party to celebrate the end of our BEYOND fundraising initiative. We wanted to do a service that would celebrate the past, present and future of our church and what God has done in the past 145 years here. We also wanted to give an opportunity to thank our children, students and adults for committing to supporting the BEYOND campaign - including an expansion to our building, financing some new regional ministries and partnering with a ministry in Uganda.

Normally on a Sunday morning we run two identical services. Because of wanting this to be a celebration event we thought it would make more sense to run a single service and then give people an opportunity to be together afterwards. To make this happen, we had to go off-site - so on Saturday we had about 30 volunteers move 700 chairs, all of our sound equipment, nursery supplies, rocking chairs, ministry displays - lots of stuff! - across town to one of the high schools.

On Sunday morning we met and the energy was very cool. We brought in a guest artist to paint for us and the whole thing was a huge success. Our time of bringing commitments forward was really moving and the image of children giving their money to buy doors in the new building will stick in my mind for a long time.

Here's the songs we did -
Hosanna - Paul Baloche & Brenton Brown
Blessed Be Your Name - Matt & Beth Redman

How Great Is Our God - Chris Tomlin
How Great Thou Art (chorus) - Stuart Wesley Keene Hine
Great Is Thy Faithfulness - Thomas Obediah Chisholm & William Marion Runyan

There were some very cool historical tie-ins with this service. We found a book that someone had kept in the 1940's and '50's at our church. Every week they would write some notes about what they did that Sunday. On April 1, 1940 - exactly 67 years before our Celebration Sunday - our church gathered and read Psalm 46 together, so we included that in the service. We also showed some pictures of the life of our church dating back to the 1920's - including a picture of T.T. Shields baptising some early members of our church.

Mark - I'd love to talk more with you about what we did (and didn't!) do for this service. Fire me an email or give me a call.

I'll try to call later this week. I'd really like to pick your brain.

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