Last Sunday we did something a little different for our sermon and watched Simon Pettit delivering his heart and movement-changing preach entitled “Remember the Poor”. If you weren’t with us last Sunday, or if you’d like to watch it again, it is below. Enjoy!
May 6: we learn that we are an apostolic people
Join us Sunday, May 6 as we gather together in God’s presence in the morning at Yaletown and in the evening at UBC. Benny and the band will lead us in worship. We will be doing something a little different for our preach this week as the late Simon Petitt will continue our Galatians sermon series with his message (on video) entitled Remember the Poor (Galatians 2:1-10).
Kids Church – Adventurers (ages 1-2) is on and will leave at the break; all other children are in the service. We celebrate and thank God for our babies – May 20
God has been blessing Trinity Central with lots of wonderful babies! Join us at Yaletown on Sunday, May 20 as we give thanks for two of our new arrivals: Haven Piper and Una Lee.
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger. Calling on God together – Prayer Meeting May 22
We love seeing God at work in and through our prayer. You are very welcome to join us for our next Calling on God prayer meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd.
When: 7:30pm Where: Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown We welcome new members Sunday, May 27
On Sunday, May 27 during the morning service in Yaletown we are celebrating new members. If you would like to become a member of Trinity Central Church you can begin the process here. New to Trinity? Come to lunch with us May 27
Our monthly Newcomers’ lunches are a great way to meet people from Trinity. This month we’re at the home of Rebecca Bagonza and Kim and Mark Jarder. If you’ve never been to one of our Newcomers’ lunches please do come along. All you need to bring is yourself as lunch will be provided. If you’re interested in coming please let one of our Welcome team know on Sunday or email email@example.com.
When: from 1:30pm Where: 5187 Sherbrooke Street, Vancouver
by Rhys Scott
It was such a joy to hear Benny, Kim and Sandro and Cheri tell their stories of God’s life-changing power and tenderness this past Sunday. As we gathered in our LifeGroup last night it was profound listening to one anothers’ ‘short testimonies’. I hope you found joy in doing so too!
It can be easy to walk into a church meeting, hear the laughter, observe the friendship and see the hands lifted in worship, assume that everyone else has it all together and feel “I’m the only one who doesn’t”.
Stories like the ones we heard on Sunday remind us that God is powerfully at work in the mess of real life, restoring and healing us, bringing joy where there has been pain, giving hope to hopeless people and peace to fearful hearts.Each of us has a story. A God story.
Jesus is a life-giver, and He has given each of us a powerful gift to give away: our story of His kindness to us. He wants to use our stories to reach out to others with his love. He met us in the reality of the gritty reality of our lives, turning failure into freedom and shame into adoption, and people need to hear that.
You may think your story is nothing special – but if you will learn to tell it, with Jesus as your story’s hero, you will be surprised at what God will do through it in the lives of others.
We would love to hear more stories – stories big and small, of salvation, healing, freedom coming, provision, grace in the midst of difficulty. Each one encourages us to believe God for more of His transforming power at work in us and in those around us. It may feel daunting to tell your story, but you never know how much of a gift it is to someone else until you tell it.Can I encourage you this week to take half an hour and write down your story?
Start with trying to tell it in 3-4 minutes (that’s the hardest time frame – because you have to work out what to leave out!). The trick is to make sure you give a good overview of life before God’s intervention – but not to give that so much focus that you don’t have enough time to talk about how God intervened, and what the impact of His intervention has been ever since.
In a conversation you may well only have 3-4 minutes to share your story. But if you will be ready with it you never know what kind of seed you might plant in someone’s heart.
One of Trinity Central’s core values is that we are a family on Jesus’ mission together. So you know that when we tell you we’re excited about our youth stepping into serving opportunities, we really, really, (REALLY) mean it!
Belkin House is a homeless shelter in the heart of Vancouver. The facility can house up to 24 men, women and children, and can feed even more than that, with the help of 114 full and part time employees as well as volunteers. Their mission statement is to “share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence within our community”. This is where WE come in!
Our youth have been serving here a couple of times each year, making meals and serving them to the Vancouver’s most vulnerable. What an honour and privilege for the youth to be Jesus’ hands and feet in this way. It’s immensely inspiring to speak to them and hear about their experiences, so don’t forget to ask them about it!
Here is some of the feedback the youth gave us:
I enjoyed serving because it made people smile and appreciate that we were there helping them
I loved making food and then seeing others eating it!
I enjoyed the opportunity to serve our community in Vancouver. There are so many needs to be met and I am grateful to be a part of the solution to bring hope into people’s lives in a practical way. The staff were amazing and very welcoming, as were the people we served. I look forward to doing it again soon!
(I) liked serving the food and helping those that came along.
(I) enjoyed washing the dishes using the machine. And (I) was happy to serve those that need support to get on their feet
I felt all the youth worked very cooperatively with each other in their assigned kitchen and serving duties and the chef was impressed with and appreciative of them. … During dinner, I sat with a resident, chatted with her and got to pray for her back pain. She returned to find me afterward to report her back felt better. She then invited two other residents to join the Sunday service!
For more information about Belkin House, you can call them at (604) 681-3405.
Stories of Hope – Sunday April 29th
Come and hear how people’s lives have been changed in all sorts of extraordinary ways by Jesus. There will also be an opportunity to receive prayer.
Refreshments will be served after the service
a guest post by Jennie Pollock
As one of the few remaining staff members of Newfrontiers (I’m the Communications Manager) I often get asked – in surprise – whether Newfrontiers still exists, and if so what it is and what it does.
Here are three snapshots to illustrate a part of the answer:1) A unity of apostolic leaders
After a season of establishing their spheres and working through what God has called each of them specifically to, the apostolic leaders have grown, if anything, more united. They still meet together regularly, sometimes as UK leaders and sometimes in international groupings, to support, encourage and pray for one another. There is a really wonderful sense of unity and partnership together. They have a recognition that each has a slightly different focus and emphasis, but that they are a ‘band of brothers’, with a deep, familial commitment to one another.
You may not get to be at their gatherings, but watch their twitter feeds during and after them – there’s a wonderful sense of joy and mutual encouragement there.2) Working together behind the scenes
Alongside the apostolic leaders is a team of men and women who put the vision into practice. For the past couple of years, the UK-based ones have been meeting twice a year to pool ideas, pick each other’s brains, and generally work together in a way similar to the apostolic leaders. And they have kindly invited me to join the group. This is incredibly helpful, as I normally work from home and often don’t see an apostle from one year to the next (and when I do they all come along at once – see point 3). It helps me stay in touch with the big picture, and to hear in more detail what is going on in their parts of the world. Church planting, conferences, salvations, baptisms… there’s a lot of really good stuff happening across our family of families.3) A passion for prayer
In July last year Westminster Chapel in central London hosted the first UK-wide Newfrontiers gathering since 2011. All the apostolic leaders came together with church leaders from across the UK spheres for a day of united prayer for our nation. You can read Steve Tibbert’s update on it here.Fun facts:
Did you know that…
– We now have 22 apostolic leaders across the world? See how many you recognise.
– The website has a ‘news’ section which is updated semi-regularly with news from around the spheres.
– There’s a twitter list of all the tweeting apostolic leaders, their spheres and their spheres’ events? Subscribe to the list on twitter to see what everyone is getting up to.
So, in case anyone asks you, yes, Newfrontiers does still exist, and it’s thriving.
This blog was first published by New Ground Churches
Easter April 1: come worship our risen Lord
It’s Easter this Sunday! Come join us in the morning at Yaletown or in the evening at UBC. Benny and Milly will lead us in worshipping Jesus, our living King. Rhys will be preaching on the resurrection and the mission of the church – the final message from our King & Kingdom sermon series on the Gospel of Mark.
Kids Church – all teams are on this week. Join us for the Week of Prayer April 17-19
Hey everyone, we’re gathering to pray together and all are welcome! Please note that we will be starting 15 minutes later than usual on the Wednesday.
Wednesday April 18
7:45 – 9:30 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre
10 – 11:30 am at Milly and Steve Jones’ house
Join us Saturday, April 28 for an exciting day of seeing the Holy Spirit move in peoples’ lives on the streets of Yaletown. Daniel and Sarah Duggan will lead a time of equipping, worship and prayer and then we will head out in teams to “hit the streets” to pray for people. This is an amazing opportunity to stretch your faith and see the Holy Spirit move in peoples’ lives.
We will meet at the Roundhouse Community Centre for training, worship and prayer from 2:15pm to 3:30pm and then go out to pray with people – we plan to be done at about 4:30pm Stories of Hope Sunday, April 29
Stories of Hope is all about how Jesus changes everything. People from Trinity will share their stories of how knowing Jesus has transformed their lives. Daniel Duggan will preach and there will be prayer for healing during and after the service. Everyone loves stories so this is a great opportunity to invite your friends to hear how Jesus has made all the difference in the lives of real people. Newcomers’ Lunch April 29
Our monthly Newcomers’ lunches are a great way to meet people from Trinity. This month we’re at the home of Dave and Robina Cousins. If you’ve never been to one of our Newcomers’ lunches please do come along. All you need to bring is yourself as lunch will be provided. If you’re interested in coming please let one of our Welcome team know on Sunday or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: 1:30pm Where: 5516 Marine Drive NW, Vancouver V6T 1A2
If you’ve been around Trinity Central for any length of time, you’ll have heard us talking about Thirst, usually with quite a lot of excitement. And maybe you’ve been wondering, just what is it that we’re getting so excited about? Well, here’s a little introduction to Thirst that’ll hopefully answer that question, and get you excited too.
Thirst is a weekend where everyone who is part of the Trinity Central family goes away together. For the past 4 years we’ve booked Camp Sunrise on the Sunshine Coast and spent two nights and two days away from everyday life. We eat together, we play together, we worship and learn together and enjoy the beautiful surroundings in stunning summer weather [we guarantee only that there will be weather, and remind you that “stunning” can mean lots of things, really].
Time to be with God
Thirst is an opportunity for extended time in God’s presence, together. Each day starts off with morning prayer – sometimes outside enjoying the sunrise. We have times of wonderful worship and digging into God’s word, with lots of time given for prayer and ministry. Not having to run off to get lunch or prepare for the next working week, gives us time to reflect on and respond to all that we encounter, to process it personally and corporately.
During our worship times at Thirst we’ve seen some amazing things. God has spoken huge promises to Trinity Central each year. People have experienced freedom in worship – with space to dance and respond freely to the Spirit. And every year we’ve had the joy of baptisms and salvations. Many people point to Thirst as being a pivotal point in their walk with God, of times of breakthrough and healing.
We have excellent teaching, both from our leadership team as well as from special guests who come to encourage and bless us. This year we’ll be joined by two wonderful couples:
Jeremy & Ann Simpkins: Ann and Jeremy have been a strong and loving support to Trinity Central and the leadership team since the church began. Jeremy leads the ChristCentral apostolic sphere to which Trinity Central belongs, and which itself is a part of the larger New Frontiers family.
Terry and Wendy Virgo: Wendy and Terry are both much beloved authors and speakers. Terry is known internationally as the founder of New Frontiers, the family of churches to which Trinity Central belongs. He brings to us a wealth of wisdom, a passion to see the church renewed, and a life proclaiming the glorious grace of God.
We’re so excited to see what the men and women of great faith and large hearts are going to bring to us at Thirst!
Time to be with family
It’s also a weekend as extended family together. Parents can let their kids run free while they sit back and relax, chatting with someone they don’t normally get to see often. Where everyone of different ages and life circumstances just hangs out together.
You can get to know people on a deeper, more personal level as you share a morning coffee after breakfast, or take a walk down to the beach together. Or meet someone new you’ve not had chance to get to know yet. There’s time and space to share and open up, without the rush and bustle of a Sunday morning, where there’s always the next distraction or something else to get to. It’s a time of forging new friendships and deepening old ones.
You may come to Thirst knowing only one or two people, but you’ll leave with many new and stronger friendships. Shared memories give a platform for those relationships to continue growing long after Thirst has ended.
Time to relax and have fun
Thirst is great for getting deeper with God – but don’t think it’s just about long prayer sessions and Bible studies. Thirst is amazingly good fun. During the afternoon there’s free time where you can enjoy the swimming pool, or take a dip in the ocean if you prefer. You can go for a walk or just chill out at your cabin. You can choose to take part in activities such as the Amazing (Not-a-) Race, or just spectate and encourage others instead. Finally, theTrinity Central Talent Show is a must see – be prepared to laugh until your sides hurt!
Thirst is about time with God, time with family and time for laughter. Now that sounds like something to get excited about! But don’t just take my word for it – here’s what some folks have to say about their Thirst experiences –
“I was so glad we got baptised at Thirst. Even though we’d been planning to get baptised for a while, doing it at the end of the weekend after we’d had time with everyone made it feel very comfortable, we were with our family.”
“I love how my kids get excited that we’re going on holiday with the church”
“Last year someone generously paid for me to go to Thirst. My budget was tight, so it wasn’t certain I’d have been able to go otherwise. That someone would do that for me – that’s evidence of family.”
“Thirst is really welcoming and unpressured, to everyone from whatever background or life situation. I really value that.”
“It’s time to be with God and time to be with people”
“I love people watching at Thirst – just seeing all the different families enjoying themselves and having fun.”
“If you want to know who Trinity Central is – you gotta come to Thirst. That’s where you get to hang out together and be family.”
Trinity Central is gearing up for one of our biggest (and favourite!) events of the year – THIRST. Thirst is our annual church weekend away and let me just say, every year Thirst just totally blows me away!! We get together for camp fires and s’mores, talent shows, friendships and fun, but so much more beyond that: God always meets with us and we get to celebrate and worship Him as well as seeing salvations, baptisms, and people enjoying new found freedoms.
God is good! He is so, so good!!
Well, this year is particularly exciting because Terry and Wendy Virgo will be joining us for the weekend! Last week we took a look at Terry and the history of New Frontiers (click here to read about it). We are so excited to welcome them on our weekend away, but before that we are having a whole day before Thirst, on June 16th, dedicated to hearing Terry share something he is incredibly passionate about, something he speaks about with deep conviction, and something he (and we!) desire to see lived out among God’s people: GRACE.
Here is a short clip to whet your appetite:
Trust me, you do not want to miss this, this message could change your life!
Grab your tickets soon because they are selling out fast! For more details and to sign up for the Amazing Grace day conference go here.
Don’t forget to check back on the blog next week!! Milly Jones will be sharing more about our up coming Church weekend away, THIRST!!
Come pray with us on March 21
You are invited to join us for our Calling On God prayer meeting on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre. We’re coming expectant of being in God’s presence and seeing Him work.
When: Tuesday, Feb 20 @7:30pm Where: Roundhouse Community Centre Newcomers’ Lunch Sunday, March 25
There’s no better way to meet people than at our monthly Newcomers’ lunches – this month at the home of James and Liezl Vander Woude. If you’ve never been to one of our Newcomers’ lunches please do come along. All you need to bring is yourself as lunch will be provided. If you’re interested in coming please let one of our Welcome team know on Sunday or email email@example.com.
When: 1:30pm Where: 3398 Rupert Street, Vancouver Get the new Trinity Central app
On Saturday, June 16 at UBC Terry will be the featured speaker at a day conference exploring God’s extraordinary, powerful and unstoppable grace. It’s open to everyone so invite your friends!
by Danielle Earle
If you’ve sat in on one of our Sunday meetings recently, or enjoyed a hot coffee with someone after the meeting, then chances are you’ve heard about Terry Virgo and the Amazing Grace conference. In June, Terry and Wendy Virgo are visiting Trinity Central, and Terry will share an incredibly important message about God’s amazing grace.
Perhaps, though, you’re new to Trinity Central and you’ve never heard of Terry Virgo or don’t know what Newfrontiers is.Well, here’s a bit of the story to get you caught up:
In the mid-1950s, 16-year-old Terry Virgo became a Christian after his sister shared the gospel with him.
A few years later, as a young adult, Terry was filled with the Holy Spirit which transformed his walk with God – and yet his experience of his local church was lacking. Although he benefited from strong biblical teaching, he found less community there than he experienced among his non-Christian friends. It bothered him that prior to becoming a Christian he had experienced deep friendship with others, and yet, in the church he experienced isolation and formality. But what he discovered in the Bible was different: the church was community, togetherness, family.
In the late 1960s, upon completing his theological studies, Terry was invited to be the pastor of a church on the south coast of England. Following through on his convictions, Terry transitioned that church from being a place where people gathered only on Sundays and had little to no relationship outside of church meetings, to becoming more like a family, with regular mid week gatherings and actual friendships among the church members. He fought hard to break the formal atmosphere so commonly experienced in churches of the time, and slowly the relational feel began to change.
Terry surrounded himself with a team of men who he encouraged to practice and grow in their gifting. He partnered more experienced leaders with less experienced ones to help build their confidence and encourage their growth.
In the early 1970s nearby house churches began inviting Terry to speak about the work of the Holy Spirit. In no time, the number of house churches seeking input grew, as did the number of people gathering in these homes. Men were able to leave full time jobs and pastor their house churches full time. Many of these churches gradually moved from homes to larger venues to accommodate their growing numbers.
Terry’s goal was always relationship and family. He knew that if the church were to grow and impact the world, it would be through a mix of fellowship and prayer. And so this family of churches grew organically, because the relationships grew organically.
In 1980, Terry invited a group of men to form an apostolic team. This originally took the name ‘Coastlands’, meaning ‘to the ends of the earth’ but later became Newfrontiers.
In the early 1980s a church in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, in need of help with leadership approached Terry. Terry and the apostolic team sent a full time pastor for 6 months to build strength and health into the Bombay church. Gradually the team began to work with churches in South Africa, Mexico, and other nations.
At a prayer gathering for leaders, a prophetic picture was shared of a “herd of elephants crashing through jungle terrain and going into new frontiers”. Two key prophetic phrases came out of this picture, namely that ‘there are no well-worn paths’ ahead of us and that ‘we can do more together than we can apart’. This prophetic direction fostered an ethic of mutual support and honour as the churches moved forward in new ventures of pioneering faith. It was also out of this picture that the name ‘Newfrontiers’ emerged.
Despite some international connections, most Newfrontiers churches were located in the south of England. One day God gave Terry a prophetic picture of a bow and arrow being placed in the south east corner of the UK. The arrow was pointing toward Europe and the rest of the world, but it was clear that the arrow would not fly far unless the bow was drawn back. The interpretation of this was that we should plant churches right across the UK for the sake of mobilising world mission; and so, in the 1990s church planting became a major priority, with pioneering initiatives led by Colin Baron in the Manchester area and David Devenish in the Midlands of England.
Also as a result of this prophetic picture, the annual Newfrontiers conference (then called Downs Bible Week) was moved to Stoneleigh in the centre of England. The Stoneleigh Bible Weeks drew thousands of Christians each year from New Frontiers and other church groups. About 28,000 people attended the final Stoneleigh in 2001.
The annual Bible Weeks spawned a Leaders Conference, the Mobilise Conference for students and 20-somethings and eventually the New Day conference for teens. All the while, more leaders were being raised up, strategic relationships were being built, churches were being planted, and people were being saved and experiencing what a church family was.
The Bible Weeks were important contexts for shaping a vision of churches which shared certain values:
- an emphasis on God’s grace and acceptance rather than legalism or striving;
- being a family of friends together;
- strong emphasis on teaching the Word of God and experiencing the Holy Spirit;
- Spirit-filled worship and prayer;
- the priesthood of all believers and growth in spiritual gifts for all believers;
- team leadership and ministry by a local eldership team; and
- apostolic teams filled with Ephesians 4 gifts serving the local churches and seeing them grow into maturity.
In 2011, the Newfrontiers family had grown to some 800 churches in over 70 nations. Recognizing that a centralized structure would inhibit rather than release growth, Terry and his team redefined Newfrontiers as a network of independent yet interrelated apostolic spheres, passing the baton on to 15 apostolic leaders. Seven years later, the family has grown to more than 1500 churches and church planting continues unabated all over the world.
And this is where we find ourselves today. The sphere of which we are a part, Christ Central, is led by Jeremy Simpkins who, together with his wife Ann, has visited, ministered, strengthened, and encouraged our church many times over the 6 years since Trinity Central was started.
This is the soil in which we, as a church community, are growing. Be refreshed in your faith as your hear Terry’s words:
“Remember God has accepted us. The gospel of grace is a message of breathtaking freedom. It must be embraced with faith and thanksgiving. You are thoroughly accepted just as you are. Jesus Christ is your righteousness and he is never going to change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When you wake tomorrow, he will still be your righteousness, before you have done anything to enjoy God’s favour. You have to earn nothing.
Your spirit needs to bask in the brilliant sunlight of this reality. You need to know it inwardly and celebrate it on a daily basis.”
(Next week we will focus more on Terry’s Grace message, be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out)
Trinity Central’s Mobile App is a great way to connect, get info, listen to sermons and take notes, give and even read your Bible over the year on your phone or tablet. It’s easy to download, so grab the app and enjoy being a little more connected!
Use this link: http://get.theapp.co/xm3r/
Or text “TrinityBC” (without the quotations) to 206-859-9405
by Danielle Earle
It’s a cold Sunday morning, and as I enter the Vancity Theatre I am greeted with cheek to cheek smiles, people huddled in clusters, some laughing, some having more serious conversations and others holding their coffees close to their faces. There are people of all ages loving one another and children running up and down with squeals of delight… and I am home. It’s a special day as we gather as a church because Trinity Central is 6 years old!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRINITY CENTRAL!
We are looking forward to new seasons, new maturity, new challenges, new lessons to be learned, new encouragements, new places and new people. We are expectant!
The last six years have been a mix of pioneering, challenges, heartbreak, love, babies, reconciliation, partnership, encouragement, grace, growth, faith, salvation, testimonies and prayer. There are so many words we could use to describe the last 6 years. We are immensely grateful to be included in God’s redemptive work in Vancouver – both in our city and in ourselves. Wow, God is faithful!
We spend the morning worshipping God together and we listen to God’s encouragement for us moving forward. We rejoice in His goodness to us as a church in Vancouver. After the message there is a time for prayer, as every Sunday, because at the heart of this church our aim is and always has been to point people back to God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. To be Trinity Central.
Our worship flows into coffee time, enjoying friendships and celebratory cookies, and there’s a sense from people that this year is going to be super exciting. Many conversations are spent remembering times when things looked a little different. We remember the good times, and the harder times, but in all of it we are reminded that God is good.
Our culture insists we just keep going, keep pushing, don’t look back, when actually, throughout the Bible we see an encouragement to “build pillars”, to remember, to look back (see for example Joshua 4:1-10). Because when we look back we are reminded of God’s faithfulness, and that gives us the gusto to go forward in triumphant faith. So looking back at our history, we cannot help but feel completely fired up and full of courage and expectancy going forward, because, indeed, God IS faithful and He IS so undeniably good!
To listen to our full Vision Sunday’s message, click here, and go to VISION SUNDAY 2018.
Come celebrate our 6th Anniversary this Sunday
We’re turning 6 on Sunday! Join us in the morning at Yaletown or in the evening at UBC as we celebrate God’s faithfulness to us in the past and anticipate his goodness to us in the future as we enjoy His presence together. Rhys will explore our Vision in his preach, Sam and the band will lead us in worship, plus we’ll be welcoming new members. It’s going to be great! We’re praying together on February 20th
Come join us for our Calling On God prayer meeting on Tuesday, February 20 at 7:30pm the Roundhouse Community Centre. We’re expecting a great time of worship and hearing from God.
When: Tuesday, Feb 20 @7:30pm Where: Roundhouse Community Centre New at Trinity? Join us for lunch on Sunday, Feb. 25
There’s no better way to meet people than at our monthly Newcomers’ lunches. If you’ve never been to once of our Newcomers’ lunches please do come along. All you need to bring is yourself as lunch will be provided. If you’re interested in coming please let one of our Welcome team know on Sunday or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: 1:30pm Where: to be announced Check out the Kids Church schedule for February
As our Kids Church teams are still some way from being fully stocked there will unfortunately be some weeks when some of the Kids Church teams will not be running. This is so that we don’t over-work our volunteers.
- Adventurers (age 1-2) running
- no Explorers (age 3-kindergarten) or Trailblazers (Grade 1-6)
- Adventurers (age 1-2) running
- no Explorers (age 3-kindergarten) or Trailblazers (Grade 1-6)
February 18 – all teams running
February 25 – all teams running Save the Date
June 16 – day conference with Terry Virgo
June 22 to 24 – Thirst 2018
by Danielle Earle
Since the previous blog post went up, I have had some immensely encouraging conversations with many people, and one of the the main topics these conversations keep coming back to is that of offence. In fact, I had a conversation with one of my dearest friends today, and she reminded me of a simple but incredibly powerful truth:
Grace is not being easily offended.
Wow, let that sink in for a second….
I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot the last few months, and I was reminded of something that God used in my life years ago to illustrate this very issue.
First some backstory: I grew up as an only child to divorced parents, went to a private boarding school, and well, let’s just say I was both a little spoilt and a little lazy when it came to household chores. Fast forward to adulthood and getting married and, oh boy, was I in for a surprise. Chores? Housework? Laundry? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Mike is and always has been really, really helpful around the house, but you know, the poor guy just couldn’t do it all. Ha!
So, let’s get on to the mortifying story then, shall we?
Mike and I had just gotten married and I was well on my merry way (or so I thought), cooking and facing the many challenges of “domestication”. I was in total denial. I had created a little subconscious “challenge” with myself to see how long I could leave the dishes – either till Mike did them, or until they annoyed me enough to finally do it (mental note: apply same concept to laundry). Mike, as gracious as he is, realised that I was never going to learn the lesson if he just kept stepping in.
Cue the Showdown!
Mike didn’t do the dishes.
Neither did I.
And then… (drumroll please)… MAGGOTS!
Gag, gag, gaggity gag. Clearly there was lots of gagging. I am often struck how God uses our daily life experiences to teach us about our spiritual lives. This particular lesson has always reminded me of a verse in Song of Solomon 2:15:
“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”
Just like foxes will destroy vines that are blossoming, not dealing with the “maggots” in our lives will spoil us, and our relationships.
Although the “outside” lesson was simply about not being lazy and getting on with those chores (gasp!), the “inside” lesson was about not being lazy in my relationships – with God first and foremost, but also with others. To be actively fighting for the relationships around me, and protecting them fiercely. And to not be so easily offended, but rather, to be someone who extends grace. Over, and over, and over, and over again. Because that’s part of what grace looks like in our relationships – it is loving, and forgiving, and assuming the best, even (and especially!) when it is undeserved.
When we are lazy in our relationships and “let things go” without addressing them head on, they become a bigger, more gory issue, just like foxes who come and spoil our vines. Or maggots! Maggots are pretty disgusting. Our offenses are just like those tiny, almost invisible, fly eggs…
When we let them go, they grow.
They grow and grow and the problem is perpetuated. Because maggots become flies, and flies lay eggs, and eggs become maggots, that grow into flies. See what I’m saying?
We are currently working through a sermon series titled “Thriving in the City” (you can find that here). We’ve looked at friendship and stewardship and finding our purpose, and we’ve hashed those life lessons out in our LifeGroups. This series has been phenomenal for many reasons, including many people finding tremendous breakthrough and freedom in many areas of their lives (including me!).
However, in order to continue to change and grow we have to clear out the clutter and ruthlessly purge the offense which is taking up space in our hearts. The offenses that consume our time, thoughts and energies and leaves us feeling worse off than we started. We need to clear out the junk so that we can make space in our heart for people, for mission, and for the purposes for which we were created.
Matthew 18:15 tells us that we should go sort out our issues:
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
God’s plan has ALWAYS been for redemption: our own, yes, but also for our relationships!
Don’t learn the lesson the hard way like I had to, don’t leave your dirty dishes out. Wash them as frequently as you dirty them, (by this point I hope you realise I am not just talking about actual dishes), you will be surprised how good it feels to have the mental space and clarity to think without your grudges wriggling around like worms in the sink.
Practice “airing the dirty laundry”: talk about your problems and struggles. Take out the trash, the spiritual trash, and be ruthless in your pursuit of keeping the junk that clutters up your heart and mind out of your home. Address the offenses in your heart. Don’t let them fester. Confess them, work on them, and then leave them at the feet of Jesus where only His blood can wash them away.
by Danielle Earle
Do you ever feel small?
I’m not talking about the kind of small you feel when you’re out in the desert, or on a mountain top, looking up at the night sky and all its stars and your feelings of smallness instil wonder and awe at the bigness of it all; the world, the cosmos, God.
Towards the end of last year, Trinity Central had a couple of weeks where we worked through a preaching series on friendship, (you can listen to them here), and it really got me thinking about that question:
“Do you ever feel small?”
It’s the kind of smallness you feel when you’re in a crowd, at a party, in the mall. Surrounded by so many people and yet your smallness makes you feel invisible and thoroughly alone.
Loneliness is very real. Do you feel it? Do you see it? There are so many lonely people all around us, in our schools, businesses, marketplaces, grocery stores, neighbours, church.
So much of my last two years was characterised by this feeling of smallness, loneliness and inadequacy. I kept asking myself: Why is it so exhaustingly difficult to feel connected, build meaningful relationships, not feel hurt when plans don’t work out, and not get offended when I am excluded?
Something God has been pressing on my heart lately is that we all experience seasons of loneliness. We all long to feel connected. We all need community.
Everybody needs a friend. Not just me! And not just you either.
Sadly, my initial response to those around me in my season of loneliness was far from perfect… put simply, I got offended. I hardened my heart towards some people I love because I was tired of getting hurt.
And then God convicted me: At the end of all those raw and painful feelings, it is what we do with those feelings that matters most. Was it wrong of me to feel hurt or sad or overlooked? No! My feelings were totally valid, but my offence and my actions were not.
Thankfully God is so good, merciful, kind and oh so patient! He didn’t just leave me there wallowing in my self pity: rather, He spoke to me about intent. Not just my own, but the intent of others. My mind kept drifting back to this one question: Were these people intentonally excluding me and trying to hurt me? Were they “out to get me”?? Not at all.
Here are four things God has taught me about building new friendships and navigating feelings of loneliness and neglect:
- We can’t get mad when we have unmet expectations if we never expressed those expectations in the first place (mind blown);
- No one is out to get me/you/us – we need to give others the benefit of the doubt;
- We need to look out for other people who are like us, others who might be lonely and looking for a friend;
- And that if all else fails there is One who is always there, always near, always watching, always kind and always compassionate. One who is always ready and waiting to be my/your/our friend
When we lift our gaze from ourselves – our needs, our wants, our hurts and our pains (dare I say offences?!) – to reach out to those who might feel the same then that is where our needs are met: in serving others.
If you have an unfulfilled need then serve someone, sacrifice. Our joy increases when we lighten another person’s load and walk the road alongside them and forget about ourselves.
This is a part of the answer to our loneliness: LIFT. YOUR. GAZE.
Lift your eyes from yourself, from your problems, from your loneliness. Lift your eyes and really have them open to see the needs that are around you. I guarantee your heart will ache for people around you – those who are lonely, those who are destitute, those who have had a difficult life, those who are poor, and also those who are rich.
You are not alone in your longing for relationship. Is the antidote not in our hands? Are we not able to reach out? I believe we are – but it takes intentionality, and communication, and a soft and eager heart.
And remember, even when we are truly lonely, truly isolated, there is One who knows, One who has felt utterly abandoned and alone. He not only sympathises but fully empathises with us. And when you voice your loneliness to Him, He knows exactly what it feels like, and He will meet you in that place, and He will help you lift your gaze – He is there, He is waiting, He is your Friend.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Come join us for worship this Sunday
We’re back! We’re excited to see what the Lord has in store for us this year. Sam and the band will lead us in worship and Rhys will kick off the new year with a new Thriving in the City sermon mini-series on Finding Your Purpose.
Our next family meeting is Wednesday, January 10, 2018. We will gather for prayer and worship and then we will provide updates regarding various matters including church finance and Kids Church, and look ahead to a very exciting year including Terry and Wendy Virgo’s visit.
Where: Roundhouse Community Centre When: 7:30 pm Join us for our Week of Prayer January 16-18
We’re gathering once more to pray together. We want to hear from God and celebrate His goodness to us. Everybody is welcome to attend as many prayer meetings as you would like.
Tuesday January 16
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Scott house (3756 2nd Ave W)
7:30 – 9:30 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre
Wednesday January 17
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Jones residence (Unit 517, 518 Moberly Rd)
7:30 – 9:30 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre
Thursday January 18
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Scott house (3756 2nd Ave W)
7:30 – 9:30 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre We have two Alphas to invite people to this term
We are involved in running two Alpha courses this term:
UBC Campus Alpha – Launching Monday, January 15
Saturday Morning Brunch Alpha – Launching January 20
- at Doreen Aquino’s home (#27 – 2425 Cypress St, Vancouver)
- from 10:30am to 12:30pm
- contact Doreen at email@example.com or (604) 710-6287 for more details
- you can register HERE
If you are new to Trinity Central then we would love to see you at the next Newcomers’ Lunch on Sunday, January 28. This is a great opportunity to get to know people in the church over some delicious food. You don’t need to bring anything except your appetite. If you’re interested in coming please let one of our Welcome team know on Sunday or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where: TBA When:1:30 pm Save the Date
Feb 4 – 6th Anniversary / Vision Sunday
Feb 25 – Newcomers’ Lunch
June 16 – day conference with Terry Virgo
June 22 to 24 – Thirst 2018
New to Trinity? Come to lunch Dec. 3 at 1:30pm If you’re new (or new-ish) to Trinity Central then you are warmly invited to our Newcomers’ Lunch. This is a great opportunity to get to know people in the church over some delicious food. You don’t need to bring anything except your appetite. If you’re...
We are delighted to welcome our old friend, Joe Crummey, amongst us from November 15-21. He will preach at Yaletown and UBC. Joe is a part of Christ Central Church in Fredericton, NB. As part of a team of elders, Joe led this church for many years until his role transitioned recently into providing apostolic support...
We welcome new members Sunday, November 5 We’re very excited to welcome several new members during the morning service at Yaletown. Interested in becoming a member of Trinity Central? You can find out more about applying for membership here. Donate supplies for homeless people in Yaletown The youth of Trinity Central are once again collecting...