Conversion: Starting Over

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For the Easter Season (April 21-June 9) our sermons will focus on the theme of Conversion – Starting Over. The Easter Season is a great time to focus on starting over, because that is exactly what happened with Jesus’ resurrection. New Life. New Hope. New Beginnings. Conversion looks different for each of us. It may have been a one-time event, but it also needs to be an on-going reality. We will explore what that meant for various Biblical characters, and what that continues to mean for us. And we will explore the consequences of conversion – what we are called to as a result of this on-going conversion in our lives.

-Pastor Paul Vanderkooy, April 2019

Footprints Towards The Cross

THE SEASON OF LENT: EVERYDAY JESUS SPIRITUALITY

The season of Lent is an opportunity for Christians to refocus on things spiritual. Spirituality is about attending to the movements of the Holy Spirit in one’s life and community in order to draw closer to Jesus and Christlikeness. Lent is the perfect time to do this.

Traditionally Christians focus on the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, confession, meditation, and scripture reading during the season of Lent, but this year we will focus on “Everyday Jesus Spirituality” – with an eye to the idea that anything can be a Spiritual practice if approached in that way – as long as whatever it is shifts your focus from yourself onto Jesus and his mission. The idea is that there are many practices that can bring us closer to Jesus; we hope to look at those that run us off the beaten path of traditional.

To help us out, we will be using a series put together by Peter Schuurman and taken from Reformed Worship December 2018. Peter suggests 8 different Spiritual Disciplines on which to focus during this season.

1. The Spiritual Discipline of Getting Lost (March 10)

2. The Spiritual Discipline of being grounded (March 17)

3. The Spiritual Discipline of physical labour (March 24)

4. The Spiritual Discipline of saying no (March 31)

5. The Spiritual Discipline of pronouncing blessing (April 7)

6. The Spiritual Discipline of waking up to God (April 14 Palm Sunday)

7. The Spiritual Discipline of feeling pain (April 19 Good Friday)

8. The Spiritual Discipline of starting over (April 21 Easter)

An image we will use during this season is that of footprints towards the cross. This is meant to reinforce the everyday ordinariness of our spiritual practices.

We hope that you will join us during this season as we seek to find Jesus and deepen our relationship with him through the ordinary everyday steps that we take in our lives. 

-- Pastor Paul Vanderkooy, March 2019

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SIGNS THAT POINT TO JESUS

The Gospel of John is like a treasure hunt; follow the clues and you find Jesus. 

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When Jesus changed the water to wine at Cana, he was doing much more than just making sure everyone could have a good time at the celebration.  When he healed the Official's son in John 4, the miracle wasn't so much the healing but that the Official took Jesus at his Word and believed in him.  When he fed the 5000 he was pointing to more than just filling empty stomachs, and when Jesus walked on the water he was showing a new way of coming through the turbulent events of life.  In this series, we will follow the clues to find Jesus.

January 27  - John 2:1-11  Water To Wine 

February 3 - John 4:46-54  Officals Son Healed

February 10 - John 6:1-15  5000 Fed

February 17 -  John 6:16-34  Walking On Water 

-- Pastor Paul Vanderkooy, January 2019

Letters To The Seven Churches

Over the next several weeks Pastor Paul will be doing a series based on the Lettters to the Seven Churches in Revelation 2 and 3.  In this series we will examine what it means to be the Body of Christ - how we are shaped by that reality and empowered to do the things we have been called to do as the body of Christ.  We will focus on Love (October 28) Persecution (November 4) Truth (November 11) Holiness (November 25).  Then we will take a break for Advent and pick it up again in the new year.

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WHEN GOD BREAKS IN: WHAT TO EXPECT AS WE DISCERN GOD’S CALLING IN OUR LIVES

This sermon series will deal with the difficulties and blessings of obedience to the calling God has placed on our lives. As followers of Jesus, we are all called to live out our faith in the context of ‘calling and vocation’ – that place where God calls us to use the gifts he has given us – gifts we may know about or gifts yet unknown. In this series, we will explore various Bible passages and how they inform us in the area of calling and vocation.

1. God Calls: the story of God calling Samuel in 1 Samuel 3

2. God Equips: the story of the calling of Moses in Exodus 3,4

3. God Stretches: the story of Jonah

4. God Does the Impossible: the story of Mary in Luke 1

5. The Guarantee of Conflict: The story from the other side in Revelation 12

6. The Blessing of Faith: The gift of faith as the fuel to obedience (Hebrews 11)

-- Pastor Paul Vanderkooy, September 2018



PICTURES OF THE KINGDOM (BASED ON THE JUNE ISSUE OF REFORMED WORSHIP):

The parables that Jesus told serve as word pictures that push the listener to engage the imagination and visualize God's Kingdom.  These 'word pictures' describe easily visualized scenarios - going fishing, asking a neighbour for bread, sowing seed in a field, hiring an employee, looking for a lost coin - simple everyday occurances that give us a window into God's present kingdom.

In this series we will combine some of these parables of Jesus  with well-known artist's renditions of these parables in order to help the listener capture a deeper dimension of the Kingdom truths that Jesus told.  

As I tell the story of the growing seed, we will admire Vincent van Gogh's "The Mulberry Tree" (1889), painted while van Gogh was a patient at a mental asylum.  van Gogh firmly believed he saw God's kingdom all around him in nature, and in his life he sensed the glory of God. 

When we deal with the parable of the Friend at Midnight, we will view two paintings that emphasize different aspects of that parable - Eugene Burnand's drawing of the Importunate Neighbour(1908) and Jan Luiken's portrayal Parable of the Friend at Midnight(1795).  

Through this series it is my hope that we come to a greater appreciation of Jesus' teachings but also to a deeper understanding that all of our senses play in meeting the Kingdom of God.

June 17:  Parable of the seeds (Mark 4:26-34)

June 24:  Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16)

July 08:  Parable of the Friend at Midnight(Luke 11:1-13)

July 15:  Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35)

July 22:  Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

July 29:  Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) 

-- Pastor Paul Vanderkooy, July 2018