Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Story

Hey look: a new post, with actual words, and not on a Sunday!

Okay, this evening I was teaching my smallest student. She's about 4 1/2. We were working on making words out of syllables. I would give her the word broken into syllables, and she would say the word. For example, I would say "bas-ket" and she would say "basket!" She was always very happy when she got the word.

And then we tried hap-pi-ness.

She left off the first syllable.

At first I thought I misheard, since I was teaching 2 other students and was a bit distracted, so I turned back to her and tried again, emphasizing the first syllable: hap-pi-ness.

She again left of the first syllable.

Her eyes were very big when she said it. At the same time she giggled a bit and then shook her head and said "no" very softly. We were not supposed to be saying that word.

I finally had to change what I was saying to "happy-ness" so she could get it.

I'm glad she speaks very quietly so the two grade 3 boys at the table didn't hear her.

I really hope she doesn't tell her parents about this.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Christmas is Coming!

Yes, yes, it's still more than a month away. Whatever: it's coming soon! We're getting ready for the Christmas concert at church, there's snow on the ground, and Mum will be here in 31 days! It's time for Christmas music.

Enjoy!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

7 Years

Seven years ago this Sunday we started Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Edmonton. We had found a couple conference rooms in a hotel and about 50 or so of us gathered for the first service. It was exciting and challenging and fun. Everyone played a role in doing "church stuff" and somehow we started a church.

Now...a lot has changed. We have upwards of 200 people on any given Sunday. There are still a lot of children. We meet in a school now and have our own space (although space is getting tight). This morning I was teaching Junior Church. I don't do that much now; I have my Sunday School class and have trained a group of other people to teach my wee ones. This week, however, the teacher needed me to fill in. The girl who was helping me was in my Junior Church class that first Sunday.

The people have changed. The children are all much older (but there are new ones). People have come and gone; some have died in the past few years, others have married, gone away to school, moved, or just disappeared. One family we lost through church discipline procedures; I know Pastor Lyle at least still prays for them.

We gained a new pastor, generally known here as our "young associate pastor." At the end of the year, Pastor Lyle, who was with us from the beginning, is retiring from full-time Christian ministry. I suppose I'll have to refer to James as the pastor then; he won't be the associate anymore.

They announced this week that we're also changing our name to "GraceLife Church" in the upcoming months. They want us to be defined by us, our people and our ministry, rather than our name; they don't want people to see "reformed" or "Baptist" and judge without listening to us. I spoke with one of the elders about it (they were around to hear any questions or concerns). He assured me that we are not becoming "seeker sensitive" and that everything about the church will remain the same. I knew that we weren't planning to change our doctrine or beliefs, but starting to think like a seeker sensitive church can be a very slippery slope. I was assured that the purpose was to keep people from judging us too quickly; this way, they'll have to visit the website and look around before deciding what we believe. We joked a bit later with James that he just wants people to work more (or at least think more) and he agreed; when someone said that people won't bother doing that, he pointed out that we don't really have room for more people, so it's all good! Once the elder addressed my concerns about whether we were moving in a dangerous direction, my main issue with the name change is that it's a change. I'm not a huge fan of change, but I know that and account for that in my response to changes.

So...it's been 7 years and a lot has changed and a lot has not changed. Even with my general dislike of change, I can see that the things that changed were okay, and the important stuff -- who we are, what we believe, what we teach -- isn't going to change.