This quarter we are focusing on family, and one of the things that families need now more than ever is each other. How can we be there for our families? Do you feel as if your life is getting just too busy to stop and listen? Today we are looking at the first message in our series entitled “Simplify” where we will look at how to slow down and really be there for each other. Did you know that the US Navy spends about 1 billion dollars annually in extra fuel and cleaning for the barnacles that attach themselves to the bottom of their ships? What are the barnacles that easily attach themselves onto your life that distract you from who you want to be? That distract you from spending time with your family? Let’s explore this topic and what Jesus’ response is for us today!
This is the weekend in Canada when we celebrate thanksgiving. We’ve celebrated thanksgiving ever since the pilgrims landed on North America’s beaches and thanked God for all his provisions. The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 16:8 to “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” When was the last time you shared something you can give God praise for? What has the Lord done for you this week, last month, or in 2019 so far? I hope you can think of something because we’ll all have an opportunity to share it this morning. One thing I think we can all be thankful for as a church family, is the decision Aaron, Brian, Daniel, and Rebecca made to be baptized. There is no greater joy in heaven than someone giving their heart and lives to Jesus Christ… and, along with their families, we can all take part in that joy. Let’s take today to celebrate the goodness of our God and how He’s been working in our lives!
Last weekend was incredible. We had such a beautiful Sabbath and to cap it all off we had something we’ve never had before, a concert outside in the evening air under a tent. It was so nice I can’t wait to do it again! But our weekend didn’t end there. Sunday was also an incredible day! Our Health and Vegan Food Fair was a huge success. Many people from the community came and had a positive experience! I want to sincerely thank everyone involved with these two events, we appreciate you and we couldn’t have done it without you. While there was lots going on, I couldn’t help but be proud of what our church is doing. God smiles when we reach out to our community so let’s keep up the good work and continue creating events that our community loves to come to!
For this week’s Health Emphasis weekend, we have a guest speaker that needs no introduction. He was the previous pastor here, and we’re happy Pastor Daniel Saugh can bring us today’s message. We also would like to remind everyone about tonight’s community concert at 6:30pm in the tent outside. The same tent that will be used for our annual Health and Vegan Food Fair from 12pm to 6pm tomorrow. As you can see, we’re an active church, so we hope that you can attend all of our events this weekend… it will be a weekend to remember. We also encourage anyone, who can, that we are still looking for volunteers. Lastly, we will take a moment in our service to bid farewell, along with God’s blessings, to Vimbai and her family as they transition to Africa. As a church family, we want to say that we will miss each of you greatly, and pray that God will be with you wherever you go. Welcome again!
Last week we looked at some statistics that gave us a good picture of what the community around our church looks like. I was very interested to learn that 17.85% of the 1015 people living in our neighborhood are classified under “No Religious Affiliation”. That’s approx. 181 people! How much do we know or understand about this group? I’m glad you came today because we will be doing a study to help equip you as a Christian believer with tools to better understand this very important group of people. Among those, we’ll review the different faith stages of the unchurched and how to approach them. Hope you brought a pen… My challenge for each of you is to pray for our community and realize that God loves them and gave His life for them too. Welcome – we’re glad you’re here!
OSHKOSH UPDATE PART 2: Though I’m away again this Sabbath, I wanted to share with you something that happened last week at Oshkosh. Last Wednesday evening, at one of these evening programs, I had the privilege of baptizing one of our Pathfinders, Joseph Acosta. It was amazing to be a part of a baptism on such a large scale as there were another 200 young people getting baptized (and that was just Wednesday night alone with many more hundreds since!) We are so proud of Joseph’s decision, we celebrate with his family, and we look forward to welcoming him officially as a member of our church family when we are all back together. Today, as you’re all at Bronte, celebrate the Sabbath with one another, and may God continue to bless each of you as you worship Him.
Our theme this quarter is Closer to Community. What we will focus on in particular is how to fulfill Jesus’ invitation to share his love to people in the community. Our community can be the city of Oakville or even our neighbors or co-workers and in order to reach them for Jesus we first need to know them and understand who they are. Today we will look at the theology behind mission and in the upcoming weeks we will also look at some demographics for our church’s neighborhood in particular and discover methods that will help us share the most amazing message in the world. We also have a few outreach events planned – one of them happened last Sunday where the Pathfinder ministry and the Community Services ministry joined together and put on a successful and free community BBQ and car wash. Through the donations they’ve managed to raise over $1500 to help with the Oshkosh trip happening in a couple weeks. It was amazing to see not only our own members having fun but also the folks from the community that came out. Please pray that our church will be known in this community as a church that serves its neighborhood with love. God bless each of you today!
Our church has a vibrant Family Life Ministry program that has many fun things planned for our church family throughout the year. Last week we had a great time fellowshipping together outside on the grass after service for “Flat Shoe No Tie” Sabbath. This week some of us are spending the day at our church’s camp in the Muskokas. Whether you are here at Bronte or up at Camp Frenda, we hope you have a blessed day as you worship together with us. Our speaker here at Bronte today is one of our Elders, Sister Fay Wellington. She is a vital part of our church leadership and I know that God will use her in a powerful way today as she delivers the message. May God bless you and keep you safe (Isaiah 41:10). Welcome!
I want to take a special moment to welcome you to our flat shoe, no tie special Sabbath today when we celebrate all our graduates. We are so proud of what they’ve accomplished and wish them God’s richest blessings as they continue their journey. A few weeks ago I had a sermon on the topic of fruitfulness where the main point was a call to remain connected to Jesus. We learned that we can do this by reading the Bible and being active in our prayers. When we stay connected to Him we produce good fruit because of Him not because of us. Today’s sermon is the second part in this mini series on being fruitful. We will look at a strange story in the New Testament where Jesus does something unexpected and for some of us it’s down-right strange. Let’s explore a time when Jesus used a fruit tree to teach us a valuable lesson on faith.
Have you ever had someone do something nice for you that was totally unexpected? Something you could say was “out of the blue”? Today I will be sharing a story of someone who did just that to me and my family when I was a young boy, and I never forgot it. Today is a special day for our church. It is a time when once a quarter we remember and celebrate the greatest act to humanity by our loving Saviour Jesus Christ. 2000 or so years ago, Jesus came to this earth and died to take our place so that we don’t have to bear the eternal consequences of sin. This cost Jesus everything and all we have to do is accept His free gift to each of us. Our communion service once a quarter is a time for us to remember Him and to say thank you by washing each other’s feet and taking part in the emblems of his body and blood. My prayer is that here, today, you take the time to thank God for what He’s done for us and what He will do for us someday soon, out of the blue..