by Jo Poirier
STEINBACH, Man.—“God Is Able!” That was the theme for Stony Brook Fellowship’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Sunday on Oct. 16, 2016.
It was a time of fond reminiscing, happy tears, and warm applause; bringing glory to God for what He has done; and praising God for what He is doing in our church and through our church today.
Bev Plett shared about praise and worship technology over the years, from hymnal to PowerPoint, surprising everyone by bringing out an overhead projector, from which we sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” from an old transparency.
Wes Kroeker and his wife Myra were among the original 18 people who started Stony Brook Fellowship in 1996. He related the story of how SBF first started out, growing from a group of St. Vital EMC attendees who had recently relocated to Steinbach.
Caroline Unger then shared about how she and Pastor Earl came to join SBF in 1998, how God led them from Calgary to Steinbach at just the right time. “Only God!”
We then heard testimonies of people who have come to SBF over the years. Rheal Perrin, attending for 15 years and a member since 2011, shared his conversion experience.
Jordan Martens is a new attendee and member, having connected with the small community feeling of the church and opportunity for youth to get involved in serving and ministering. Fran Harms, an original member of the church, reminisced about the “cautious energy” of that first meeting in 1996, being sensitive to God’s leading, and appreciating the wisdom and accountability of being a part of a larger conference.
A written greeting from Steinbach EMC was read, congratulating SBF on 20 wonderful years, sending blessings as SBF celebrates this important milestone, and looking forward to what is to come in the next twenty years and beyond.
Pastor Earl then shared thoughts on “the value of small things.” For the past 20 years, Stony Brook Fellowship has been meeting in the modest chapel at Steinbach Christian School, which would otherwise remain empty on Sunday mornings. “God loves to start with small things,” he said.
Pastor Earl reported that from its humble beginnings, Stony Brook Fellowship has had an average of three conversions a year and over 500 new attendees—a testament to this humble church’s openness and unique ability to reach people. For many, SBF has served as a safe place to heal, grow, and serve God. It is reaching people who may otherwise fall between the cracks of a very connected community.
The service closed with everyone in attendance forming a large circle that went from the stage to the foyer. Everyone joined hands and sang the Doxology. This was followed by a time of fellowship over lunch in the gym.
An offering was taken up in support of Roots and Wings Daycare in Mazatlan and SBF’s adopted missionary couple, Dallas and Tara Wiebe.
“All Your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all Your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and tell of Your power, to make known to the children of man Your mighty deeds” (Psalm 145:10-12).