The Gathering

Sunday June 9th, Winnipeg Evangelical Free Church collaborated with their inner-city ministry, Grace Point Church, for what has become an annual outdoor church service called The Gathering. Our theme for the event was: “Who is my Neighbour?” Invitations were hand delivered to every single door in the North Point Douglas neighbourhood of Winnipeg. Hundreds of people from the community attended the service and enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, ice-cream and games for the kids. We wanted our neighbours to know that we are a church that is present in this community, for this community, so we might be a blessing to this community. We do this event to make the mercy and love of God known to our neighbourhood by being Christ-like neighbours ourselves.

“Who Is My Neighbor” was addressed by Pastor Joel Cormie with the following considerations:
An insincere lawyer learned the hard way in Luke 10: 25-37 when he approached the Son of God thinking he could play games with the most important question in the universe. “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” That’s a very important question. Jesus points the man to the Scriptures, a summary of the whole law: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” “Do this and you will live”, says Jesus.

The lawyer must have felt very guilty in that moment. He couldn’t obey God perfectly. None of us can. So, looking for a loophole, he asked, “Who is my neighbour?”
What follows is the story of the good Samaritan. A story as relevant today as it was then. The story:
• features the brokenness of this sinful world,
• exposes the emptiness of religion without love,
• challenges the racism and prejudice we can all feel, and
• requires sacrifice and risk.

The lawyer never in his wildest dreams thought that God would define his neighbour as a hurting man in a rough part of town from a different ethnic group who needed his compassion. God the Son came into the world to be this kind of neighbour to us. Jesus is the True Neighbour that the good Samaritan only symbolized. He saw us in our brokenness and he didn’t just pity us. No, He took the necessary action to relieve our distress. Jesus rescued us from our hopeless situation by obeying God perfectly for us, taking the penalty for our sin, and granting us his unblemished righteousness. He rescues us, heals us, and pays for our needs by his grace.
Please be in prayer with us that God will continue to draw many of our neighbours in North Point Douglas to put their faith in the True Neighbour who crossed every class and racial divide to make us one people in Him.

More New Christ-Followers

The southeastern corner of Manitoba, literally feet from the Canadian-USA border, is where the folks of International Christian Fellowship gather on Sundays. The June 2 gathering witnessed two of it young people follow Christ in baptism. Here, in their words, is a summary of their faith journey.

My journey with God started as a kid. I grew up in a Christian home and went to church most Sundays. As a kid I always knew about God and he had worked in people’s lives and saved them. I believed in him and enjoyed going to to church and Sunday School, but his teachings never really applied to me and I never understood what people were talking about.

That all started to change a few years back when I started to seek out the Lord for myself. Through youth group, Youth Quake and friends I’ve started to see the Lord working in my life. I’ve found great joy following the Lord, learning about him and knowing that he loves me and seeing how he provides through answered prayers and my daily life.

Just like in Matthew 6, when the Lord tells us, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life. Look at the birds in the air, they do not sow, reap or stow away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them, are you not much more valuable then they? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. After about a year of the Lord working in my life, I’ve started to see his beauty in the little things around me, like this beautiful land that he has given us and all the friends and family in my life. This has made me want to become a better person and I now strive to obey the Lord and to become a better Christian.

About a year ago I asked the Lord to come into my heart and I felt like I was on a cloud because I was so happy and I had felt truly blessed. But after a while I began to stop praying at night and I would stop finding time to read my Bible and soon I stopped finding time for the Lord altogether. A couple months later I started to feel a longing in my heart but no matter how much I tried to find answers and tried to reach the Lord I could never seem to get their. He seemed farther from me then ever. Soon I had just given up entirely and I told myself that I was given a chance to serve the Lord and now it was to late. I thought that … the Lord no longer loved me anymore. A few months later we went to Youth Quake and when we went to our first sermon I was surprised and filled with renewed hope because it felt like I was getting a second chance at having a relationship with the Lord. I knew he had sent me their to find him because he was speaking to my heart once again. After that night I knew that I couldn’t give up. I went to all of the other sermons with an open heart and soon I had found the Lord and was filled with such an unexplainable joy I just couldn’t believe it. I was crying yet so happy at the same time but it was the most wonderful feeling in the world to know that he does want me. He really does love me and as soon as I realized that I knew that I just wanted to spend the rest of my life serving him and living for his glory because I knew then and I know now that it is the only way to true and eternal happiness ….

But the most important thing I have learned since then is that I cannot have a relationship with the Lord without love and that was what I was trying to do the first time I wanted to have the Lord as my personal Savior but I did not trust him and because I didn’t trust him I didn’t love him. So I just did what I wanted to which left me feeling alone, unloved and empty.

Since I’ve found him again I have started to find Bible verses to have much more meaning in my lie and when I read this one it was so truth and applied directly to me and my situation. 1 John 4:8 – says: whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love … and that is why I want to be baptised because I have seem him do miracles right before me. And I feel his love very day. I want to spend the rest of my life living for his glory.

New Christ – Followers

December 2018
April 2019

There is good news of the Spirit’s work.   Two baptismal events took place in the Iranian Church of Richmond Hill (EFC) in the north of the Greater Toronto Area.  Only five months separated these two special days.  These new believers are a part of this growing work.  Locating the gathering place of this body of believers is a bit of task as they meet in a what is a side street off a side street which is off a main street way north of Toronto proper.  God, though, through His unique means, continues to guide new people to this group.  Pastor Siavosh Sedeghi serves as the pastor of this ethnic work.