Fall 2018


Ray Harms-Wiebe

September 27, 2018


Fall 2018

Dear Willingdon Church Family,

It has been a wonderful start to the fall season!

What will it take to embrace all that God has for us in this new season?

First, we must remember the gospel call:  “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).  Paul’s words remind us of the words of Jesus, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).  This is where the DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAY begins – dying to ourselves (ambitions, plans, desires) and saying yes to Jesus.

When completely surrendered to Jesus, TRUE LIFE begins.  Our lives are then open to the filling of the Spirit.  “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25), Paul writes.  When we are dead to our own recognition and yielded to the empowering of the Spirit, we can keep in step with the Spirit of God.  What would a church family, dead to self and alive to God, look like?  God has created each one of us uniquely for good works and He desires that we walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).  What would it look like for each one of us to walk in the purposes that God has for us?

As a church family, we have one opportunity to make a “first impression” when newcomers visit us.  A new ministry, First Impressions Ministry, was launched in September to serve those who are new to Willingdon.  Our desire is to care for the newcomer from the time they arrive in the parking lot to attending a Willingdon ministry to connecting with the church family.  We desire to welcome people as Jesus did.  Do you have the gift of hospitality or service?  This dynamic, growing ministry might be right for you!

As a church family, we are so excited about those who have made first-time commitments to follow Jesus (we have the names of 167 people, almost all students and adults).  Seven more adults came to faith this past weekend in the worship services.  New followers of Jesus need to learn what it means to follow Him.  They need church family.  What can you do?  Consider inviting a new believer into your home or Life Group.  Consider Alpha or Discovery ministries.

Kids Ministries and Student Ministries began the fall season with increased numbers.  High Voltage and Riptide Retreats saw scores of young people recommitting their lives to Jesus.  Encounter will be on retreat this coming weekend.  We are grateful for God’s goodness to us.  At the same time, caring for children and students requires more volunteers.  Prayerfully consider serving in Kids or Student Ministries.

Jesus is at work among us.  May we join Him in what he is doing!

If you are interested in serving, please go to the Resource Centre and pick up a Serve Catalogue or sign up at a Kiosk.

Many blessings,

Pr. Ray


Bonus notes on the John 2 temple cleansing:  Some argue that the temple cleansing, at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in John, is the same temple cleansing that appears at the end of Jesus’ ministry in Matthew, Mark and Luke.  I would argue for two temple cleansings with a few years in between them.  First, the language of the two accounts is very different (only five words are shared).  Second, John shares stories unique to his gospel.  Third, the religious authorities, while alarmed by what Jesus does in John 2, do not immediately work for his arrest and crucifixion.