Category Archives: With Our Churches

Pansy: Church Picnic, Baptisms, Website

By Betty Barkman

PANSY, Man.—Summer has its specialties. In our church that includes things like the annual church picnic at the local park. This year’s event on June 11 seemed quite perfect. The weather, the attendance, the food, as well as the activities were all amazing, which we appreciated. (We were rained out last year.)

One thing we tried differently this time: we had the service in the church first before moving over to the park. Haven’t heard the deciding vote on that yet; maybe we started a new trend.

Another big summer highlight is the baptism service and, since our “tank” is down in the river, our best choice is always a summer baptism. The service we had on June 18 involved five men.

Each of their lives is uniquely different as their stories so clearly portrayed. Yet each came to the same conclusion: It was time to commit fully to Christ and to make a public confession of that through baptism. May God richly bless and guide you all five.

Our summer building project is well on the way. The new education wing is taking shape and the possibility of using it yet this fall is definitely rising.

Another new thing this summer is our first ever website. Yes, it’s up and running. Thanks to Gus. You can now follow us online, re-listen to a message, and check the schedules at www.pansychapel.com. I am excited about that.

Steinbach EMC: Additions to the Church Family

by Martha Kroeker

STEINBACH, Man.—We rejoiced on Nov. 20, 2016, as we listened to the testimonies of those who had decided earlier in their lives to follow Jesus and now chose to publicly confirm this decision by taking the next step in their spiritual journey and being baptized. With joy we welcomed them as part of our church family, together with several others who transferred from other churches.

There was a special sense of joy and anticipation in the sanctuary on May 14, 2017, as we gathered, joined by many guests, for a celebration of baptism and welcoming new members as part of our covenant community. Seven young people shared their faith stories of God’s involvement in their lives and indicated their desire to be baptized as a public declaration of their commitment to follow Jesus. Another four people transferred their membership from other churches.

NFC: Kids Club Has Grown This Past Year

by Janice Imrie

CREIGHTON, Sask.—We are so thankful for Pastor Randall and Faith Krahn. The combination of insightful sermons and musical gifts that they share with us is very much appreciated by all.

Lorne and Margaret Moorhead continue to be pillars in our church. Margaret has been dealing with some health issues and we ask that you keep both Lorne and Margaret in your prayers. Marg Cone, another pillar, has also needed periods of rest and we are so thankful for her.

We continue to share our pastoral couple with the Cornerstone Community Church (MB) in Flin Flon and there have been Sundays when we combine services. Joe Buie at Cornerstone has been helpful in helping us plan our Sundays.

On May long weekend we met at Simonhouse Bible Camp for Sunday service. Former pastoral couple Dale and Marge Warkentin shared with us on May 28. It was good to have them in our midst once again.

On June 11 we had a combined service at the Rotary Wheel where we sat around the fire and roasted hotdogs. On July 2, the Sunday during the Homecoming in Flin Flon, all churches in our area had a combined service at the Lutheran Church. On July 9 Trevor Friesen came to NFC while Rebekah rested at the lake with sister Sara Lynne and Dave Koop. They have moved back to Canada and are now settled in Rosenort. We pray for the restoration of Rebekah’s health and for their re-adjustment in Canada.

On July 23 we had a combined service when the Simonhouse Bible Camp staff came to share their experiences; and in August we will meet together when Nathan and Emily Willems come to share with us before they go with their family to Papua New Guinea within the following year.

Our Kids Club has grown this past year. Children come after school on Tuesdays, and we have had 35 on our roster with an average attendance of 21. The hour keeps us hopping with hot chocolate, snacks, crafts, story, game and music. Judy Schmidt has graciously come from Cornerstone to help with snacks. We have appreciated Austyn Davis, a young student, who has come to give a hand. As well, Randall, Faith, Janice, Kristen, Fae, and Yvonne come out to help with clean up, dishes, and helping here and there.

Snow removal, grass cutting, and cup washing somehow gets done by those who almost do these jobs in secret! I do believe that the “behind the scenes” workers are Randall, Lee, Yvonne, Shawn, Barb, Lorne and Jerry. Tom Fehr brings his mother Helen, and we are so glad she moved here from Carrot River.

We appreciate Mike and Deanna Anderson for their presence whenever their work shifts permit them to come. Evelyn (four years old) and Ollie (one year old) continue to enlighten our Sundays and they also enjoy puppets Froggie (Kevin) and Susie (Kristen).

Kristen Imrie often leads the singing, accompanied by Faith at the piano, and Kevin Imrie usually treats us to violin at the closing congregational song.

In closing, I also want to extend a huge thank you to our EM Conference for their continued support. We miss Ward Parkinson who was always so supportive of us up north and say thanks to Ralph Unger, our interim conference pastor. We look forward to meeting with Layton Friesen, who has been appointed conference pastor and began his position this fall.

Fort Garry: New Beginnings

by Elaine Kroeker

WINNIPEG, Man.—Our first potluck of the year was a Chinese New Year event on Jan. 29 with the Winnipeg Logos Church. We are thankful that we can share our facility and do joint events with them several times a year.

For our service that day, a man within the Logos congregation shared his story of coming to faith in God this past year and being baptized at Thanksgiving by Pastor Len Harms. He shared about the many ways in which following Jesus was helping him make changes in his life. He said he has changed from being judgmental to becoming a more gentle and gracious person.

The potluck lunch was a lovely mix of both Canadian and Chinese food. The Logos church had decorated the basement using Chinese New Year’s banners that translated read, “ We are celebrating the Chinese New Year by Praising God.”

A baby dedication was held on Feb. 12, welcoming five new babies to our congregation. Each parent read a prayer of dedication and Pastor David Funk said a prayer of blessing for the families.

We praise God for the confidence that people from all cultures, new believers, and young children can all take refuge and put their trust in the Almighty. All of us are welcome to find shelter under the shadow of His wings for life’s journey.

Aberdeen Seeks to Reunite Refugee Family

by Herb Heppner

WINNIPEG, Man.—Last October, with the help of MCC, Aberdeen EMC applied to sponsor an extended family from Iraq. In total, there are eight adults and two babies in the family. Our hope is to reunite a young couple we sponsored several years ago with their family. We want to invite churches and individuals in our EMC conference to help us with this sponsorship.

On June 3, 2017, Humam Shihab and his wife Sabreen celebrated two years in Canada. They are from the city of Bagdad in Iraq and were sponsored by Aberdeen. They were fortunate to find a home in Winnipeg. Both of them have learned English and are working in the public school system in Winnipeg.

But Humam could not forget about his family still in Iraq and requested that Aberdeen try to sponsor his family. His father has been housebound for years and the family feared for the father’s safety. Two of Humam’s uncles have been taken by militias and never heard of again.

Last October Aberdeen applied to sponsor Humam’s family. This includes his parents, three brothers, one sister, a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, as well as two babies.

The Shihabs have been living in Beirut, Lebanon, as refugees. There they waited anxiously for news about their sponsorship application. Finally, in early May, they were advised that they would be accepted to come to Winnipeg. Upon hearing this news, they were overjoyed that they were being given a new opportunity in a new land. They are now waiting for their visas to be processed and for a flight date.

We are presently preparing a home for them. It is big task for a small church to take on a sponsorship of this size. However, Humam and Sabreen have become a part of our community and we feel compelled to help reunite this family.

Note: Many EMC churches are currently sponsoring or co-sponsoring refugee families. This is in line with the compassion of Jesus as shown in Matthew 25. Aberdeen is a small congregation with a big heart. If your congregation is not involved in such a sponsorship, or if you are interested in helping personally, Aberdeen welcomes your help in this project. Donations may be sent to Aberdeen EMC, 265 Flora Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2W 2R2; aberdeenchurch2@gmail.com. – Tim Dyck, EMC General Secretary

Steinbach EMC: Jason Heide Blessed by the Comradery

by Pastor Jason Heide

STEINBACH, Man.—Jason Heide was asked by Terry Smith to tell us about his ministry as the youth pastor at Steinbach EMC. He began serving on June 1, 2008.

Tell us about where you were raised, educated, and served prior to Steinbach EMC.

I was born and raised in Winkler, Man. After high school I spent a couple of years at Briercrest College and then, after meeting my soon-to-be wife, transferred to Providence College to complete my Bachelor of Arts degree. Throughout high school and college I spent my summers serving at Winkler Bible Camp. After college I spent two and a half years working there full-time as the director of one of their satellite camps.

Tell us about your family. 

I am blessed to be married to my beautiful and supportive wife Paige for the past 11 years. She is such an integral part of our ministry to the youth at Steinbach EMC. God has blessed us with two wonderful boys, Logan (7) and Lucas (5). Over the past seven years they have helped me learn so much about what child-like faith looks like. It has been such a joy to respond to their surprisingly deep questions about God.

How did you hear about Steinbach EMC and what led you to serve here? 

Toward the end of my time at camp I felt God leading me elsewhere. I didn’t know where. I just knew that working with youth was what I wanted to continue to do. Paige and I had just built a new house and I was looking for job listings close to home. When I saw the ad for a youth pastor at the Steinbach EMC, I remember asking Paige (assuming she wouldn’t be interested), “What would you think about moving to Steinbach?” To my surprise she was very positive about the possibility and I applied. Six months later we sold our new house and moved to Steinbach. It’s been amazing to see the way God’s hand was at work in all the details that have led us here.

To understand you as a pastor, what do people need to know?

In 2006, while I was working at Winkler Bible Camp, I remember the director had asked each of the staff to complete the following statement: “I work at Winkler Bible Camp because….” My answer that day is the same answer I have today with the only difference being the place I am serving. “I want to be involved in work that will still be worthwhile in eternity.” One of the greatest joys in my life and ministry is seeing people come to know Jesus and give their lives to follow Him!

What do you think of the EMC?

I grew up attending a non-denominational church in Winkler and therefore had no first-hand experience of what a conference was like prior to moving here. Since joining the EMC I have found it to be a fantastic experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the conference events I’ve been a part of, specifically TRU, the Young Adult Retreat, and Abundant Springs. I have also been very blessed by the comradery and the relationships I have been able to build with the other youth pastors in the region. It’s encouraging to know that we are in this together.

What else would you want to say?

I thank God for how He has graciously worked in and through me. It is a wonderful privilege to be able to partner with our Lord and Saviour in this significant work of reaching people for Him.

 

Resetting Our Priorities

by Brigitte Toews

LANDMARK, Man.—Heartland Community Church has sprung forward into a new season of ministry and service opportunities as we listen and follow God’s leading. Looking ahead, we have recognized the need to add a new part-time pastor of care to our pastoral leadership team.

Duane Froese has been our Prayer and Care service team leader for the past three years and he was affirmed in this new role on March 19. Duane will help mobilize the team at Heartland to encourage, serve, and help all of us connect to God and others in our church and wider community.

On Easter Sunday we hosted a travelling band of Christian musicians from Bellville, Ont., called FM Reset, who led our Easter worship. They have been touring Eastern and Central Canada, playing in schools and churches along the way, encouraging youth to live different. The band got their start as the young worship team out of Pastor Andy Woodworth’s previous church, and they said that Andy’s encouragement to keep practicing helped them stay focused and develop as a group.

On April 30 our church was formally introduced to the Dawood family for the first time since arriving in Winnipeg in December 2016. Al Reimer spoke on behalf of the Syrian Refugee sponsorship group, which is made up of Heartland donors, and a committed group of fellow Christians in downtown Winnipeg who live in the same area as the refugees.

Al said, “The Dawood family—father Mohamad, mother Aisha, daughter Mawlooda, son Mostafa—continue to make progress in settling in a new country, learning English, going to school, pursuing training for possible employment, and create a network of friends. They have maintained a positive attitude as they confront the seemingly overwhelmingly task of creating a new life.”

Mr. Dawood, with the assistance of Sultan Kittened, a translator who volunteered his service for this purpose, shared some of their family’s life experiences in war-torn Syria. He was a farmer by trade and when uprooted from his homeland, not all the Dawood adult children were able to come to Canada, they got separated during the crisis. After the service, we shared a meal with the family and an offering was taken for gardening tools so they can get started on their own urban garden project.

We look forward to more mission opportunities coming our way as we bear good fruit and remain rooted in Christ.