a note from Pastor James
What are your plans this summer? I hope you take some time to enjoy the beautiful
Alberta summer. Maybe you can plan to meet neigbours you never have before and
invite them to the Stampede Breakfast here at FAC July 7 (8:30-11:00 am). It's a great time
to come and enjoy some yummy pancakes, hear country music, and meet new people.
We host this event to bridge the gap with our local commuinity and we all play a part – I
hope to see you there!
During the summer months we'll be going through a ten-week series entitled "Ten" – a
journey through the Ten Commandments in a way you've never heard before! I can't wait
to journey through this with each one of you.
Thank you for your continued support of FAC and all of our ministries, including Storyline.
Have a great summer!
Pastor James Paton
Connect with Pastor James!
Editor in Chief Heather Wile
Art Director & Assistant Editor Briana Southerland
Editor Cheryl Siebring
Photo Editing Janina Resus & Samuel Campo
Briana Southerland Erik Freiburger
Jeremy Dyck Jill Hopkins
Kathy Lloyd Ken Keeler
Join the Storyline Team
Share your story
A quarterly publication
of First Alliance Church,
Calgary, Alberta of the
Info on Baptism
37 people being prayed
for as they prepare to go
on Short-term missionar
trips this summer!
Oil Change Day
WHEN SOMEONE IN OUR CHURCHES PASSES AWAY, WE TALK ABOUT THEIR LIFE AND THE LEGACY THEY LEFT. BUT
WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO REMAIN? HOW CAN WE LEARN FROM THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED GRIEF AND COME
OUT WITH A FAITH THAT’S STILL STRONG AND RESILIENT? • WRITTEN BY JEREMY DYCK
That’s what I asked Jake Bueckert, a member of FAC
who recently lost his wife, Judy, to a long-term illness 8
months ago. I had the opportunity to speak with him about
how grief affects your relationship with God, His plans for
your life after the death of someone close to you, and your
purpose after the pain.
After your wife passed away, did you feel like God had
changed His plan for your life?
Jake: I worked in the Oil and Gas industry and moved around
Western Canada a lot. Wherever we were, we helped plant
churches and got involved in small churches in various
ministries. Judy would always say that the company I was
working for didn’t know that God was using them to move us
around to help churches. For many years, that’s what we did. I
don’t really know what’s next. All I know is that whatever I get
involved in now will have to be without Judy. My understanding
is that God values perseverance and faithfulness more than He
values success. My job is to be faithful and persevere.
Do you feel you could have done something different to
prepare for the grief?
No, I don’t think so. Other people have said the same thing
about their grief. My sister lost a child. I lost my dad. Grief is
not foreign to me, just like most people. On an intellectual
basis, I thought I was prepared, but on an emotional level, the
keenness of absence is more than I was expecting.
Has your relationship with God changed?
Judy and I had a mutual prayer time, devotions, and we always
attended church together. That was our shared spirituality.
But we both maintained a separate relationship with God. My
own prayer life and walk with God has continued on. In that
sense, nothing has changed. It’s just missing this other part that
Judy and I shared, but it continues on. More than anything, I
understand that God has compassion; He suffers along with
me. Probably more than we know. When I was young, I tended
to think that life went on forever. But now as I get older, I have
a greater anticipation for the Second Coming. The promise of
a reunion and seeing the face of Jesus is getting sweeter and
Your reaction to remain so close to God could be
different from someone who wants to be angry at God
and draw away from Him.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being angry at God.
God is God. He can handle it. Scripture is full of people angry
at God. But that desire has never been there for me, to be
angry. Many times, I’ve wished that this hadn’t been a part of
my journey. In my understanding, He uses it for our healing
process. I understand those who have the reaction of anger to
What advice would you give about finding comfort in God?
I don’t process this in a vacuum. I process this grief with
prayer and Bible reading. I’m also processing this with people.
You have to surround yourself with people. Even today,
eight months after Judy’s passing, I’m humbled, amazed,
and surprised by people coming up to me saying that they’re
praying for me. My nephew, who teaches at an elementary
school, told me that his Grade Six class prayed for me this
week. I have people praying for me on a regular basis. Judy
had a special relationship with so many people, and I’m the
beneficiary of that. I would advise people to get support
because that’s helped me immensely. •
Watch Jake’s story: faccalgary.com/watch/stories
FOLLOWING GOD’S STORYLINE
WRITTEN BY ERIK FREIBURGER
Growing up as a little boy my mother would read
to me from my children’s Bible and I would be
enamoured with the heroes of the Old Testament
while praying for the wisdom of Solomon and the strength
of Samson. As an adult I’ve come to recognize that life is not
always so full of glitz and glamour. In fact, the past year I’ve
felt less like the heroes in those stories and more like the
Ruths who have lost everything or the Rahabs left surrounded
by the rubble of a fallen empire and the ruins of life.
It’s here that First Alliance Church found me and
took me in as one of their own. And like those in my
childhood stories who were taken in by the people of God, I
find myself asking the questions: Who are these people and
where do they come from? Who is this God that they serve?
Taking up the adventurous call, I set out on a sort of FAC
Road Trip, following God’s Storyline as He has led the people
of FAC through the shared stories of long-time members
and the movements of its gathering places in the city. The
hope … to catch a glimpse of some of God’s amazing works
some of the
greater struggles and failures they’ve faced, and embrace the
callings of where God may be calling FAC into the future of His
mission and Kingdom.
Sitting with Ken Humphries and Pat Worsley in the vast foyer
of today’s FAC, I was ecstatically inspired as Ken told the story
of his Mennonite parents being drawn into the small house
church community started by Gordon Skitch with a little less
than half a dozen people in a home just off the downtown
core on 13 th Avenue and 12 th Street in 1939. Just 80 years
ago the vision for FAC started with a handful of
dreamers who, despite the lack of approval from
the Alliance’s head office in New York, embraced
the Kingdom call to be a people here in the city of
A few years later, Ken remembers them moving into a building
off of 13 th Avenue and 8 th Street in 1941 (pictured left). While
trying to reach out to the military service men during the war,
he recalls digging the basement of the church using pick axes
and shovels, and hauling out the dirt and rocks with buckets and
their hands. It was through their tough work and these practical
efforts some 140 service men could find a Sunday evening
gathering space. I couldn’t help but think while the
trenches of war were being dug abroad, FAC was
digging the trenches for peace to find a space here
With its first endeavour of building on 17 th Avenue and 1 st
Street, Ken shared the heartwarming story of his and Shirley’s
wedding being one of the first to be held there and presided
over by Pastor John Cunningham on July 31, 1954. “We worked
like crazy,” Ken exclaimed, “to get the seats down in time”
(17 th Avenue Sanctuary pictured right). I imagine the innumerable
love stories and family histories shaped by FAC over its history.
This reflection reminded me of Greg McCombs’ similar family
story that he shared while we also met in FAC. Dedicated by
Pastor Lowell Young in one of the first dedications in FAC’s
church on Glenmore Trail and Elbow Drive, it become deeply
symbolic for him as a moment when years later his own son,
Brandon, would be one of the last babies dedicated in that
location by Lowell’s son, Pastor Terry Young.
would find a warm meal prepared by his wife as he did simple
maintenance and oil changes to their cars out in his garage. As
Greg McCombs shares, “The world is coming to us, the world is
here … We needed to make some emotional shifts, to be open.”
The journey of FAC is young, though, and while it has been
full of incredible success and growth, it is not without its
struggles and failures. However, when we've experienced so
much growth and success, the failures or struggles we face
can sometimes be a little hard to recognize. As a newcomer
listening to these many stories, the question of FAC’s struggles
was certainly difficult to answer. But underneath the stories
there seemed at times to have been a sense of fear to really
challenge the deeper calls of discipleship and take risks
and see more to Kingdom life than just church growth and
baptismal celebrations. In an effort to maintain a sense of
safe conservativism, the thoughts expressed was that FAC
may have inadvertently created a culture of “Seek not; forbid
not” – in a sense, tried not to venture too far off the path of
what is considered "normal" while not restricting others from
leaving to do what they feel called to outside of community
recognition and acceptance.
Through many of the conversations I’ve had over
the past several weeks it has been deeply stated
that FAC’s greatest running strength has been its
value of unity. While this heartbeat for unity takes on
many expressions, perhaps one of its deepest over FAC’s
history is its presence in missional practice and multicultural
experience. Pat Worsley acknowledges, “First Alliance has been
the largest contributor to the Global Advance Fund supporting
International Workers.” While this may be true financially,
he also shared several stories of those who have gone on
both short-term and long-term missions trips, sharing the
gospel and planting churches, while also building community
infrastructure in devastated countries like Indonesia following
the tsunami in 2004. But as Pat revealed, missions have also
changed a lot since the 80s, saying, “We are becoming a much
more multicultural church than what we have been in the past.”
It's a vision that reveals missional needs within the backyards of
our home here in Calgary and not just abroad.
Sharing a story from the early 90s, Ray Matheson spoke of
how two Iranians came to FAC in need of help resolving the
recovery of their damage deposits. It would begin a social
justice issue for the immigrant population that extends to
FAC’s involvements today. In another FAC endeavour, these
same missional needs began FAC’s hospitality values reaching
into the vision for The House Coffee Sanctuary and my friend
Derrick Mitchell’s leadership and relational presence with the
people of Kensington. Oil Change Days started in Dale Sevcik’s
home over a decade ago when single moms and their kids
As I contemplated this, I thought of the words the angel
Gabriel spoke to Mary as she learned of the growing baby
inside of her: “Fear not! For you are blessed and the Lord
is with you!” The presence of God’s Storyline is rich
throughout FAC’s history revealing a call that we
have nothing to fear. Blessed with the overwhelming
charisma and works of Christ Jesus within us and set for
birthing even greater works than just what we have seen in
past, we can grow excited and rejoice for what the possibilities
of our future can bring.
Just a few weeks ago I spent some
time driving around to the different
sites where the people of FAC had
gathered in past. Praying where the
house church once stood, witnessing
the memorial monuments on
buildings of old, my road trip
revealed something to me that
seemed so radical about FAC. We are a nomadic people,
a courageous people not distracted by the glitz and
glamour of bricks and mortar, but rather filled with
visions and dreams that call us to go beyond the
walls of the church into our greater neighborhoods
and communities through incredible ingenuity and
creativity. As one who walks bravely forward with those who
call themselves part of FAC, I can’t wait to see where our Next
Steps lead us as we strive for the future! •
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE EVENING SESSIONS
Assembly "Deeper" 2018 was launched with President Dave Hearn praying for the Christian & Missionary Alliance
at an evening session.
all over joined
for a week
renewal at FAC.
Kids' Choir joins worship during an evening
author of River
to go all in for
Photos by Daron Young
Ed and Dolores:
The Commitment of Love
Written by Jeremy Dyck
Ed and Dolores Dyck (or as I call them, Poppa and
Grandma) have a marriage that’s been going strong for
almost 62 years. That kind of commitment and dedication
don’t come easy. In a world where ten years of marriage is an
incredible feat, 62 years is a marvel. From a discussion I had
with them, I’ve put together the five points they say are the
keys to a successful marriage full of love and happiness.
Decide What Your Marriage Will Look Like
Your marriage is your marriage. We both had very different
families, different backgrounds. We used the examples of our
parents and decided what our marriage would look like before
we were married. Because of what we had experienced in our
homes, we determined there were a few changes that would
be a plus if we applied them to our relationship. Even as we
were engaged, we talked about how we would enter into
marriage, how we’d behave with each other, the ways we’d
solve conflict, how we wanted to communicate, and even the
ways we would raise our family and what they would look like.
It was purposeful and intentional from the very beginning.
A Marriage Takes Two People
God doesn’t unite two halves to make a whole. He unites two
whole people into a marriage. Each of us had to realize that
we were marrying another individual. Each of us had a voice;
each of us, an opinion. It takes both voices to make a decision.
We had to learn how to accept new ideas, sometimes foreign
ideas, that were different from what we knew growing up. We
had to learn to listen to each other.
Make Commitments Early On
One thing that we decided, even as we were engaged, was
that the door to divorce would be closed. It’s not a decision
you can make afterwards. It had to be a commitment we
made from the beginning. We also committed to never going
to bed mad at each other. That was something that I (Ed) grew
up knowing with siblings, but I didn’t realize until later on
that’s actually biblical. You have to revisit those commitments
each and every year.
Look to Improve Your Relationship
One thing we always do is try to find marriage retreats and
counselling. We have attended week-long retreats and day
retreats to continue to improve our relationship? It helps us
sort out the problems that we didn’t know we had or that we
couldn’t anticipate earlier. It’s not a shameful thing to seek
out help. We could not come up with answers to problems
with family life and career when we were first starting out
our marriage. Life changes and so does your marriage over
time. We had to work on it constantly to find answers for new
problems as they came up.
Appreciate Each Other
I know that this wasn’t the way we were brought up, but we
always appreciate each other. And not just in our home, but
in public. We smile at each other. We give compliments to
each other. We laugh together. We have fun together. We
do this no matter where we are or who we are with. It’s not
something to be ashamed about. We weren’t embarrassed to
display that in front of other people. That had to be learned
and practiced and perfected over time. But we make a point
to appreciate each other anytime and anywhere.
We hear a lot of people our age say that it was God that kept
them together for all
this time. That’s true in
our case as well, but we
attribute a lot of it to the
patience we’ve practiced
with each other for 62
Info for Couples
... through quilting
WRITTEN BY KATHY LLOYD
“Open my eyes that I might see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me.”
Clara H. Scott
The first quilt I owned was made for me by my
grandmother for my sixteenth birthday. The ‘Dresden
Plate’ pattern, made from leftover flannel used for
pyjamas made for her grandchildren every Christmas, was
appliqued on to a background of robin’s egg blue cotton
and outlined with black hand embroidery. It came with
me to Canadian Bible College, brightening and beautifying
the dorm room, even while providing a visible reminder
that Grandma was praying for me. It was my bedspread
of choice during the two years I spent in Fort Nelson, B.C.,
where I met and married my husband Terry. It graced our
bed until it became more a tattered eyesore than a thing
of beauty. A few years ago, I tried to get it appraised but I
was gently informed that my well-loved and overused quilt
now had sentimental value only. Each time I see it, I am
now reminded that it is my responsibility to pray for my
grandson. The torch has been passed.
After receiving grandma’s gift, I decided to make my own
quilt. I learned to sew at a very young age, and quilting
like an easy skill to acquire.
What I didn’t realize was that
quilting took patience and precision,
two qualities I decidedly did
possess as as a young girl.
I still have all the pieces in a box somewhere in the
About ten years ago, I decided to take another look at
quilting. I took a beginner class and churned out a number
of smaller quilts for family and friends, as well as several
queen-sized quilts for myself.
I advanced in my quilting skills really by accident, when
I saw a pattern of a moose head on sale for $10 and
bought it. I’m reasonably good at reading and following
instructions but when I later pulled them out of the
package, I realized that I no idea how to even begin. Some
weeks later I saw a finished quilt of a buffalo head by the
same designer at a local shop. Upon enquiring if this was
a class, I was told, “No, but if you come to the applique
drop-in classes, the leader can show you how to do yours.”
The first month I was instructed to trace every tiny, jagged
piece of the pattern onto double sided fusible applique
paper and then cut them all out. In the months following,
each piece had to be ironed on to the chosen shade of
fabric and then cut out again. Even when I finally started
to put the pieces together, I had to work in sections ... the
eye area first, then antlers, and finally the beard and face,
ironing the sections onto freezer paper. I remember how
proud I was to see it finally fused to the background fabric.
I also remember how my jaw dropped when the instructor
then explained that I needed to carefully match thread
color to each tiny piece and sew around every jagged edge
to hold it all permanently in place and also to give it depth!
The whole project took over a year and a half of four-hour
classes, plus homework. If I had had any idea in that first
class of the detailed, picky work it required, I might have
given up before I began! (continued on next page ...)
The whole project was an incredible lesson in how God orchestrates our lives. We
admire a godly person and hope we become just like them. Then comes the storms
and we end up feeling like rocks tumbling against other rocks wondering if it ever
ends. The trouble is, we are not rocks. We get angry, impatient, and we argue
with God. We want to be finished products instead of God’s masterpieces in
progress. But He leads us one step at a time, giving us all the strength and resources
we need for the moment.
In 2015, Alberta quilt shops participated for the first time in a program entitled ‘Row
by Row.’ Each shop designed a pattern around a common theme and size, and gave
out the pattern free of charge if you physically visited their shop. I suggested to
Terry that it would be fun to collect from every participating shop in Alberta, never
dreaming that it would take me (and a few faithful friends – and one incredulous
husband!) on many jaunts all around our incredibly beautiful province – 26 shops in
all! One friend, who had lived in the north early in their marriage, took a trip down
memory lane as we traveled up to Grande Prairie and over to Slave Lake, seeing the
farming landscape change to forestry – much of it blackened by the raging fires of
a few years previous. I went east as far as Medicine Hat and west to Cochrane. High
River was the farthest southern store to participate. Over every mile, we witnessed
God’s creative beauty as well as His protection as we traveled. The theme that year
was water and I now own a quilt that shows streams rushing down the mountains,
into our lakes, across our grasslands, into our cities and homes. In every row I
cannot help but see the hand of God.
Last year Canada celebrated its Sesquicentennial. Over 1500 quilters from as far away
as New Zealand and many from the States, participated in a Calgary-based quilting
project. Every week designs for three squares arrived in my email, along with a short
biography of three Canadian-born women who have played a part – big or small – in
our history. From Charlotte Small, wife of David Thompson, who mapped much of
northern Canada (she traveled with him and introduced him to many of the indigenous
people’s as well as translated for him) to Elsie McGill, who designed and oversaw the
building of the Hell-Diver Bombers used at the end of the second World War by the U.
S. Navy. (Interesting note: I discovered my grandfather probably worked under her at
Canada Car in Thunder Bay – the dates and details fit perfectly!) Some names are not
so familiar but others like Mary Pickford and Roberta Bondar are more well-known
and respected. So it is with God. Sometimes He uses those whose names become
known to the world – like Billy Graham – but you and I are also necessary as He weaves
His plans both around the world and in our home circles.
The project broadened my knowledge of quilting and deepened my quilting skills, but
it also connected me with other Christian women as we recognized our common bond
in Christ through comments on the internet as we shared each week. We ended up
praying for several going through rough times but using their quilting to keep them
focused, relaxed, and connected.
I am presently working on a very detailed, intricate quilt. Other quilters have
already commented on its beauty, but for me, quilting is really a reflection, I
hope, of the beauty of Christ – because ultimately, the most beautiful thing I
will ever see will be the face of Christ when I stand before Him in glory. •
Poem by Bernice Baugh
Don’t forget me, O Lord; don’t forget me
Call out my name and I will answer
Seek for me again;
I am right where You left me
Call out my name and I will answer
O that I have roots like a tree –
then I could search
For water and began to spring again
But I have not vines or roots
I am dried up; I cannot move
Seek for me again, O Lord
Call out my name and I will answer
My eyes are heavy;
don’t let me sleep like this
O Lord, turn to me again –
You are my only hope!
Seek for me again, O Lord;
seek for me again!
Info on Serving
Serving One Another...
Written By: Jill Hopkins
Jesus commanded His disciples to “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and
with all your mind and with all your strength … Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment
greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
Paul commanded the Galatians to “… serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
Thus was laid down a defining cornerstone of the early church, one that remains an important core value in the mission
statement of the modern church today. Throughout Jesus’ time on earth, He taught this principle over and over again, often
by example, ending by dying on the cross – the ultimate sacrifice and service to all mankind, clearing the path for all believers
to have relationship with God. Just as we’re called to tithe with our earnings, giving back to God what is rightly His, serving or
volunteering, then, is to tithe with our time and our talents. Serving embodies the very spirit of Christ and it's a privilege for us
to join in His work by loving and serving others. He asks that we be cheerful givers, and it’s in the role of volunteer that we can
truly apply our God-given gifts for His divine purpose.
Few understand this as well as Margot Coben (pictured above), a faithful servant with a long history of volunteering. As a young
mom raising three children in Vancouver, she worked in Children’s Ministries, helping with childcare and event planning. When
the family moved to Calgary and as her children grew, she gradually took on more volunteer work here at FAC.
Starting out small, she joined the choir. Ten years ago, she
added Harvest Ministries to her schedule, working in food
preparation and service of family suppers, funeral teas,
and special events such as the Annual Stampede breakfast,
Dinner Theatre, and the bi-annual General Assembly. Margot
is one that Gail Hunter in Harvest can count on when she
needs help. When the floods ravaged High River in 2013, she
worked long hours with the Harvest team, preparing lunches
for the victims and aid workers, week after week, as long as
the need existed.
But it’s the Breakfast Store that has captured Margot’s heart.
For over ten years, Margot has lent her organizational and
people skills to a ministry working out of one of the public
schools that has partnered with FAC to provide hot bagels,
fruit, and juice daily, for a nominal cost, to kids who may
not otherwise have food to eat in the mornings. Margot has
been overseeing this vital operation, recruiting, training, and
scheduling a group of volunteers, as well as taking a regular
spot on the front line, where she works with students behind
the counter as well as serves the hungry students on the
other side. All the time, she’s building relationships, lending
an ear and, as she says, not just spreading cream cheese,
but rather, the love of Jesus. One of her volunteer staff, a
youth pastor, has, through his work at the Breakfast Store
and the consequent friendships that developed, provided
opportunity for 30-40 underprivileged kids to attend Camp
Chamisall each summer.
She believes she was called to this ministry by the Holy Spirit,
drawn to help children in a community where many are
in need. Margot is uniquely gifted to not only manage the
overall process, from ordering food, staffing each school day,
liaising with the school personnel and Harvest Ministries; but
also to provide a safe place for kids to connect, be heard, and
get a hug and a silent prayer.
For Margot, volunteering is part of who she is. Through it,
she says, she receives unseen and unexpected blessings.
She’s rewarded by the feeling that she’s helping out, and is
part of a team that serves the greater community. Personally,
she’s gain-ed many friends through the various areas in
which she serves, and feels so much more connected
within the church body. To those of you who feel like your
schedules are already overloaded, she suggests starting
small so that you aren’t overwhelmed and can truly enjoy
using your knowledge and abilities for a greater cause. You’ll
be surprised, as you meet new people and experience new
things, how much more you’ll want to give and what a true
gift to yourself serving God and serving others can truly be. •
This past year, when teachers from the school identified
families that had need at Thanksgiving, Margot put their
names forward to receive food hampers from FAC. When
one school family experienced a sudden crisis, after all the
hampers had gone out, Margot assumed the task of raising
funds amongst her friend circle, buying food and delivering
the last minute basket to the school in time for it to be given
to the family for Thanksgiving.
Neither Rebecca Hofer nor Lisa Peter felt they had the leadership skills needed to lead a small
group when they gathered together with ten ladies in their 20s and 30s in the fall of 2017.
Building Community on Strong Pillars
Written by Terry Schmidt
They knew the value of community, as a small group
they both belonged to had grown to a point where
three new small groups branched off. So they leaned
into the task with a desire to build a fellowship of
believing women based on FAC’s four faith pillars of
Connect, Grow, Serve, and Share.
“Leading a small group can be overwhelming and I am
certainly not qualified to lead anyone, but we trusted God
with this group and everyone He has brought to it, ”Rebecca
states. “Having a co-leader is a big help to come up with
ideas and balance the time commitment.”
Lisa agrees and is grateful for a church that supports its
“I never viewed myself as taking a leadership role within
the church, but we were encouraged to take this next step”
she shares. “I value our church’s pastors and that they take an
active role in developing the leaders of the next generation. They
encourage us to become better disciples of Christ, and to take
positive steps forward in our contributions to the Kingdom."
The new leaders took advantage of the resources of the church.
Many of their studies came from RightNow media, alternating
between topical learning and books of the Bible. Just this year
they completed Francis Chan’s study on the book of James and
Lisa Harper’s look into Solomon, and will end the year in a book
study of River Dwellers by Rob Reimer. And the girls are finding
community is not only about growth through the study of God’s
“Being a part of a small group not only helps us to connect
with other Christians, dig deeper into the Word, and grow in
our own personal relationships with God," Lisa explains. “We
challenge one another and ‘live life together.’ Our connections
ecome more authentic and genuine. It’s great having a community where we can rely
on one another in tougher life moments.”
“We vary the studies with occasional social nights. We’ve done a prayer night,
dedicated solely to lifting up each other and our communities,” says Rebecca.
And these dedicated ladies wanted to take their group a step further beyond
connecting and growing; a step that took them out of the door of the church and into
the city, away from their regular Tuesday night gathering.
“We recently volunteered with a non-profit organization called Made by Momma. They
help families facing situations of adversity and crisis by providing healthy meals,
baked goods, baby essentials, children’s items, supportive in-home visitors, and
other services to allow mothers the time they need to rest, recover, and focus on
their families and their health.” Lisa was thrilled with how their members pitched in
to serve. “Our small group was able to help in their kitchen preparing meals. It was a
good reminder of how we can directly become involved in our city, serving in God’s
love and letting His hands work directly through us.”
“Serving brought us out of normal day-to-day and used our time to reach others – and
I think doing it in community brought us closer together!” Rebecca adds. “It shows,
too, how the four pillars are so interconnected – I think each one contributes to the
success of the others!”
Lisa concurs. “We wanted to share God’s love with non-believers as we serve
in our community. As we serve, the organizations and their
clients see God working through us and know we are
Christians by our walk, by our talk, by our grace, and by our
love. Our hope is they will see something ‘different’ about us
and spark their curiosity in our faith.”
Lisa and Rebecca have found purpose in their leadership and great
hopes for the future of their group.
“Our goal for our small group is that we continue to grow deeper
in our relationships with one another, develop stronger and
meaningful connections, and continue to ‘live life together,’” Lisa
“God has used this community to influence my faith and show His love for me. It’s had a huge impact on my
life and I want others to be able to experience that as well,” Rebecca enthuses. “I’m all in!” •
Find a Small Group
Cross Cultural Servanthood
Ken Keeler will lead a team in serving an English language camp in Moldova
this summer. In preparation, he read Cross Cultural Servanthood: Serving the
World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer. He was eager to share some of what
he learned with his own team as well as participants from FAC’s other short-term
missions teams – and now with all of us! Here are a few of his thoughts on the impact
of the book.
All of us believers are called to share Christ's love and His gospel with others. Here are some
helpful thoughts and ideas in the context of carrying out that calling in another culture:
1. We must be open and very welcoming to those we want to minister to, making them feel safe in the
process. Intentionally think the best of everyone you meet.
2. Accept them and show you value them as people. So often in our Western culture we are quick to judge
based on how similar people are to us (and we so often look at clothes, possessions and appearance) and we
have to stop that tendency. Romans 15:7 says we are to accept others as Christ accepts us.
3. Build trust into the relationships you form in the new culture. The kids will listen to what we have to say
when they feel they can trust us; they must be confident that we are acting in their best interests.
4. Look to learn from the people you are ministering to; this means actively listening to them. The author
tells us to learn about others, learn from others, and learn with others. Big confession: I have a hard time
with this because I'm very task-oriented and often just want to solve others’ problems and unload my
knowledge. So I have to listen more to my class and see where they are at.
5. Understand others by looking through their eyes. Here’s one great quote: "The key for successful
personal relationships and ministry is to understand and accept others as having a viewpoint as worthy of
consideration as our own." We North Americans can be pretty egocentric and ethnocentric, believing our
culture is superior to others’ and we should often remind ourselves to not compare. See others as God sees
them, as wonderful creations in His own image (which incidentally is our theme for the week). How fitting!
6. Serve by becoming like Jesus Christ to others. Mission must take the form of
servanthood. We’re there to serve not only the Moldovan kids but also the Moldovan
leaders that we love so much. We’re also there to serve and express Christ's love
to the camp staff and last but not least to one another. One thing I love about
my missions experience is how quickly teams gel into a unified body of
brothers and sisters in Christ.
I can't wait till camp! Serving Christ with You,
Order your copy at Cornerstone Marketplace
ENVISION SUMMIT 2018
Written by Briana Southerland
Info on Envision
For the past three years, FAC’s Global Impact Team has been sponsoring young adults to go to the Envision Summit
a week-long training for young influencers to hear from missional leaders and learn what it takes to be an leader who is led by
God. During the week young influencers from all over the US and Canada meet in one location to become better equipped to
return to their local context and live on mission for God. We believe that investing in young leaders is a way to help shape our
future as a church. This Summit is designed to push young influencers to learn what it means to be fully invested in the plan
God has for their lives. What would our influence look like if we fully surrendered to God?
Three years ago, I was sent to this conference by FAC. This conference was a tipping point for myself and Tiffany Ho, now
a close friend. We often look back to this conference and are amazed at how much God has done in our lives and ministry
since we returned to Calgary. Last year, Sara Apostoaei and Jeff Romanuk attended the conference and I know that God is
using them to make an impact. This year, God provided for FAC to send five young influencers from FAC! Each one of these
individuals is gifted in various ways and their names were laid upon the Global Impact team's hearts as we decided who God
wanted us to send. Amy Lemke, Enoch Tseng, Grace Young, Janelle Rice, and Zach Hair – all of these individuals are young
influencers at FAC and in Calgary. When they departed they weren’t sure what God had in store for them. Some of them had
no clue what an Envision Summit was either, but they were up for the adventure. They didn’t know each other well before
departing, yet they all shared the same desire for God to reveal Himself to them.
God heard their heart's cry – and He showed up in each one of their lives through this experience. Their lives were impacted.
At a debrief meeting following the summit, each person shared what they learned and how they grew during their time away.
One of the greatest things to hear was that God was working on their souls and that they learned to grow closer to God. Grace,
Janelle, and Amy all came back with a desire to continue to grow and Amy suggested they go through the book “Soul Care” by
Rob Reimer as a group. It was so beautiful to see how God brought this group of young adults together! Grace says, "One of my
biggest take-aways from the summit is the reminder that I can make simple changes to create margin in my life that will leave space
for the Holy Spirit and His mission." Janelle adds, "Envision was an amazing opportunity to connect with other young leaders in the
C&MA. I was able to learn more about what our denomination is doing internationally and spend time in soul care. It was great to
"One of my biggest takeaways
from the summit is
the reminder that I can make
simple changes to create
margin in my life that will
leave space for the Holy Spirit
and His mission."
see how much Envision and the C&MA value investing in young leaders!" I heard about some of the amazing things God did in Enoch's
life and it was evident that God met him in a new way! He explained, “Envision changed me as it taught me that looking after myself
would make me a better follower of Christ, and a better example to others.”
Zach wrote the following letter to the Global Impact Team,
“I first off would like to say thank you for choosing and helping me get to the Envision Summit in Vancouver this past week. I am forever
grateful, and appreciate your very generous hearts. What can I say about the 2018 Envision Summit? Well, I am glad it came at the time
it did in my life. I went into the week with lots of questions, doubts, and an uneasy heart relating to the realities in my life back here in
Calgary. As I was on the plane I simply stated to the Lord, “What’s next, God?” I was anticipating that the Lord was going to show up
and give me revelation at the Summit, and let me tell you, He did. Envision created an atmosphere that allowed me to be vulnerable
and navigate through personal struggle. They emphasized the importance of soul care. It was at the Summit where I truly found my soul
becoming decluttered and filled with the truth of who I am. As I found my soul becoming healthier I then had a clearer mind to focus on the
question, “What does it mean to be on mission as a leader within the C&MA?” I found this question quite impactful and I still haven’t figured
it out, but it provoked something in me. Another question was asked to us as leaders and it was this: “Is what you do worth the incarnation
of Christ?” This question will forever linger in my heart and mind. It provokes me to truly look at why I do what I do, and what are my
motives.In closing I would say that if anyone can go to the Envision Summit, take it. It truly will challenge and shape your life as a leader.
The skills, knowledge, growth, and impact I had this past week will carry with me for the rest of my life. Again, I cannot begin to describe
how thankful I am for FAC. Thank you. Grace and Peace.”
I'm so excited to see where God leads these five in the years to come – I pray that this is a tipping point in their ministry and
influence here in Calgary. •
If you're between the ages of 21-35 and intersted in attending an Envision Summit please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured from left to right: Amy Lemke, Janelle Rice, Enoch Tseng, Grace Young, & Zach Hair
Serving in your church community is a great way to build new
Serving in your church community is a great way to build new
friendships while meeting practical needs. Step into your area of
friendships while meeting practical needs. Step into your
interest for a few weekend services this summer here at FAC:
area of interest for a few weekend services this summer:
• Infants-2 years old classroom helper
• Preschool (3-5 years) classroom helper
• Grade School “Summer Blast” helper (July 21/22 & August 11/12)
DiscoveryLand Guest Experience Cafe/Bistro
• Greeters • Offering
• Ushers • Information Desk
Cafe / Bistro
at the Information Desk today!
• Cashier Or click • here Helper for • an Barista online sign up form.
• Training provided!