Wednesday, September 30, 2015

An Update From The Claussen's

the following is a verbatim update, sent to us by Andrew Claussen, one of our missionaries in Indonesia

Last month Amberlynne became bedridden and we suspected pregnancy, but took her to town to verify that it was a baby causing all the issues and not a virus. She is doing much better now that she is moving out of the morning sickness stage. We are now in town for the next month because Amberynne’s local OBYGN (she is Aussie), said she needs to stay here and regain the weight lost while sick.

Because of the nature of Amberlynne’s births she can’t deliver in country. Our original plan was to go to Singapore and then come back for the final 3 months in Papua, but after listening to the counsel of our co-workers, we have decided to come home 5 months earlier for our Home Assignment. Initially, we were disappointed that we weren’t finishing out our 4 year term. But as we have processed the decision, we have peace. We are exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually and are looking forward to resting.

Our plan currently is to arrive in the USA the first week of December. Going from 3 years of perpetual summer to winter will be an interesting experience. We will mostly be in Washington state during home assignment (H.A.) I plan to work with my brother (to subsidise our 24k Worldteam salary) volunteer at our home church, and get medical training for the field as well.

That being said, the first couple of months, we want to take a break from ministry. We have spent 3 years pouring into others with without being filled ourselves. We are looking forward to worshipping together with other believers and being fed the word of God by someone other than ourselves. In the summer we plan on being on the east coast with the intention of speaking at churches. We will get in touch when we have figured out those dates! We’d love for the opportunity to share some morning. We're also planning on stopping in a second time, but haven't worked out the exact timing yet.

There are some ways you could help us prepare to come home…

1. Pray for us to end well here. While we are excited and anxious to be home in a culture and language we completely understand, yet we want to finish well. That means taking the time and energy to say goodbye culturally and to make sure our house and ministry is set in order for our year long absence.

2. Pray for our national co-workers (Yohanes and Elies (ay-less). Our team is a mixture of gifts and talents. We all bring something important to the table, and when one is gone the rest feel it. Our co-worker, Delila (Elies’ wife), is also pregnant. If her pregnancy continues, they will also be leaving the village for a time.

3. Pray for our kids. The village is a real struggle for them. While coming home will be a huge blessing for them, please pray that Danokit will have a special place in their hearts despite the hardships and loneliness of Danokit compared to the plethora of family and great blessings that America offers.

4. On a more practical side… our clothes are all sun faded and moldy and are more appropriate for the tropics, not the cold rainy Washington winter so we will need to update our wardrobe . Any gift cards would be awesome! We aren’t picky. Our favourite places are Walmart (yes, we are one of THOSE people), Target, Old Navy, but really… we will take anything. And if people have 3 or 4 bucks left over on a card, we’ll be happy to take those. And on that note, we also wouldn’t be against any restaurant/fast food/gas gift cards :) I’m not really sure how that works with Canadian gift cards? Maybe that wouldn’t work?

Tickets aren’t purchased yet so plans aren’t finalised. I will let you know more as plans develop.

(learn more about the Claussen's on their website or their ministry facebook page)

If you're interested in supporting them, contact us and we'll connect you with our Mission's Planning Team.

Week Two - Lessons From A Young Leader - 1 Kings G2G Curriculum

1 Kings Sermon Series Curriculum

Week 2 – Lessons from a young leader (1 Kings 2:13-4)

(Our G2G Curriculum was crafted in-house and is designed to follow our Fall Sermon Series: 1 Kings ~ A Heart & House Divided. Want to get connected to a G2G group? Contact us and we'll find a spot for you!)

You may want to begin by watching the sermon that goes with this passage.

SUMMARY: In chapter 2 Adonijah approaches Bathesheba, the mother of king Solomon, to request a wife.  The woman of his dreams is none other than Abishag—the young virgin that kept David warm in his bed (1 Kings 1:1-4).  Bathsheba agrees to approach Solomon on Adonjiah’s behalf only her son an unwilling matchmaker.  Instead, Solomon has Adonijah killed.  Solomon then pursues two of Adonijah’s supporters—exiling one and killing the other.  The chapter finishes when Solomon fulfills his father’s final wish—bring Shimei’s grey head down to the grave (1 Kings 2:8-9)!

In chapter 3 Solomon shows half-hearted devotion to God by his choices:  in marriage (Deut. 7:3; 17:17) and worship.  Nevertheless, God meets with him and grants him one wish.  Solomon chooses wisdom.  The full extent of his discernment is shown when two mothers scuffle over a single living baby and Solomon determines the rightful mother.

Chapter 4 summarizes Solomon’s kingdom administration and the joy and peace of the people living under the wise rule of their king.  It’s not only Israel but kings from all over the world that benefit from Solomon’s wisdom.

1.    Why does Bathsheba advocate for Adonijah (1 Kings 2:13-21)?

2.    Is the bloodshed of chapter 2 necessary?  Is God rubber-stamping the anointed king’s actions or is something else going on?  Notice  the last sentence in 1 Kings 2:46.  Now read 1 Kings 2:12.  What’s changed between those two verses?

3.    Imagine if chapter 3 (Solomon’s request for wisdom) happened before chapter 2 (bloodshed).  Would chapter 2 look different?  What chapter in your life do you wish you could redo in light of what you knew later?

4.    Solomon asks for a discerning heart to govern people well and to distinguish between right and wrong (1 Kings 3:9).  What is right and wrong in Canada today?  Is it clear?  Are their grey areas?  What do we do and how do we know when it’s grey?     

5.    Read 1 Kings 3:14.  Do God’s promises always come with conditions?

Lessons From A Young Leader ~ Sermon Video

Watch on YouTube...

Check out the 1 Kings Curriculum that goes with this passage.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Chance to Be The Church and Say Yes

by contributing writer, Kristina Dyck

If you haven’t heard about ISIS and the Syrian refugee crisis (on top of all the millions of refugees there already where from more than just Syria) then you are in the minority. Almost all of us have heard, we all wept over Aylan’s body and the news of so many others who have either perished trying to escape, been caught and sent back to the war zones, or made it to what they thought was safety only to be mistreated in those places. It is heartbreaking and although it is nothing new many of us didn’t really wake up to the problem until recently. We have a chance now to either ignore the problem, pretend it isn’t happening, or be the church, show love and say yes we will obey.

On Wednesday night our church held a meeting for us, the other churches in the area and anyone who was interested in coming to talk about bringing a family over. I have been desperately hoping that we would sponsor at least one family as a church so this was very encouraging. I worried that this would just be more talk when what is really needed now (and was long before this new crisis) is action but left feeling encouraged that this isn’t just talk, it is a plan. It is amounts of money written down on pieces of paper promising how much each person is able to give so we know how many families we can bring over. It was information from someone who has already gone through this whole process and can answer our questions even the ones we didn’t know we had. It was people promising to help teach ESL, to help with all the little things that are necessary to live in a climate like ours.

As I drove home I thought about how God already has a family (or multiple families) chosen for us, He knows what country they will come from and what language they will speak. We can imagine and speculate but He already has them picked out. I thought about how cool it is that I can already be praying not only for the logistics of sponsoring a family but I can pray specifically for the people that we will one day meet. It doesn’t matter to God that I haven’t learned their names yet because HE already knows them.

So as our community embarks on this new adventure that will, I am sure, be difficult and amazing and trying and leave us all changed, will you pray with me for the family God will bring into our lives? Will you pray for us as we prepare to show the love of Christ to a family who has been through unimaginable pain. Will you pray for patience and wisdom and lots of grace for everyone who will be involved in this process. Thanks.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.          (John 13:35)

Kristina Dyck currently lives in Durham with her family. She is a missionary kid who married another missionary kid and wants to serve the Lord wherever He leads which is in Grey Bruce right now.  She has been an active part of HMC for 3 years. She is a photographer, birth doula, and art enthusiast. You can find her over on her own blog, Unashamed Grace.

Visit our HMC website for more information on how you can
get involved and help through the current refugee crisis.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week One - A Surprise King - 1 Kings G2G Curriculum

1 Kings Sermon Series Curriculum

Week 1– A Surprise King (1 Kings 1-2:12)

(Our G2G Curriculum was crafted in-house is designed to follow our Fall Sermon Series: 1 Kings ~ A Heart & House Divided. Want to get connected to a G2G group? Contact us and we'll find a spot for you!)

You may want to begin by watching the sermon that goes with this passage.

SUMMARY: King David is very old.  His spoiled son, Adonijah, senses the time for his kingship is near and he celebrates.  The sneaky son invites his brothers and some tribal officials to join him for a party fit for a king, but he leaves a few important people off the guest list.  Some of the uninvited, Nathan the prophet and Bathsheba, convince the ailing King David to step in and appoint another son, Solomon, to the throne.  David agrees.  He acts quickly: he calls royal officials together and has them anoint Solomon as king.  Another great party—rivaling Adonijah’s—ensues.  Soon Adonijah and his guests discover that their plan has been thwarted.  Solomon, not Adonijah, has been anointed king!  Fearing for their lives, Adonijah’s guests scatter.  Adonijah, himself at risk of death, runs to safety and pleads with King Solomon to spare his life.  Solomon honours his request, for now.  

1.    Was Solomon God’s choice or Nathan’s?  Read 1 Kings 1:11-14 and discuss.  Could David have appointed another leader?

2.    Why did Nathan go to Bathsheba and not directly to the king to make a case for Solomon to be king?  What might have been motivating him?  What motivates you when you avoid confronting someone directly?

3.    David’s parting words to Solomon seem somewhat vengeful (1 Kings 2:2-9).  Was that appropriate?  What if Jesus took David’s place?  What might he instruct Solomon to do?

4.    What other questions come to mind as you wrestle with this text?

Two Parties ~ Sermon Video

Watch on YouTube

Check out our G2G Curriculum for 1 Kings ~ Week 1

So...What is G2G?

Hanover Missionary Church, Groups To Go, G2G
With our new IDENTITY and PURPOSE defined and our new LOGO in place we thought it only appropriate that we revisit our life group branding.

G2G stands for GROUPS TO GO - playing off our purpose statement of GATHER AND GO -  and, though the title has changed, it still encapsulates all the things we believe about small groups (below is the definition as it appears on our website):

We aren’t designed to go it alone, especially when it comes to our spiritual growth! It’s about relationships - with God and others. A relational community can help you grow in your faith. We encourage both our attendees and all those we know to experience their purpose through belonging to a small group.

In G2G Groups (comprised of 8-12 people) friendships are developed and people are encouraged to live out their fullest potential. People in G2G Groups at HMC care for one another and build one another up so that we can reach out to others who need Jesus.

Our G2G Groups meet at different times and in many places. We have materials and resources available to help facilitate discussion pertinent to your group’s needs and stage in life. Alternatively, our church offers standard programs and materials each year that are used church-wide, and often connected with Sunday morning teaching and the current area of growth emphasis the church is promoting.

Last Sunday we rolled out our groups, introducing them at a display in the foyer. There are many different studies beginning very soon and we don't want you to miss out!

Clipboards will still be out next Sunday for you to sign up. Take some time to read through the descriptions of each group (available here) and come knowing where you want to commit your time.  

It is our hope that everyone can be connected in a way that helps them grow and feel supported.

Thinking about starting/leading your own group? Great! Talk to Pastor Lyndsay and we'll add you to the growing list of flourishing G2G groups!

G2G Fall Studies

Hanover Missionary Church, Groups To Go, G2G

 Sermon Series Groups

Following along with the Sunday morning Sermon Series, 1 Kings: A House & Heart Divided, with curriculum crafted in-house.

Hanover Missionary Church, 1 Kings Sermon Series, A heart & house divided
Tuesday Evening 7:00 - 9:00
The Burt's Home
Starting September 22
Led by Paul & Marcia Burt

Wednesday Evening 6:30 - 8:00
Hanover Missionary Church - Upper Room
Starting September 30
Led by Jason Bechtel

Other Groups

Sunday Morning 10:30 am
Hanover Missionary Church - Upper Room
Started September 20
The Christian Community Comes Alive - Acts by David C. Cook

Led by Carolyn Austin

Looking at the first church as the Holy Spirit empowers the disciples to spread the Gospel. Unit 1 explores the beginnings of the church in Jerusalem as the disciples fearlessly proclaim the Gospel, share their possessions, and are then scattered from the city after the stoning of Stephen. Unit 2 looks at how the Gospel goes beyond the first Jewish converts. Philip proclaims it to the Samaritans, Saul is converted to be a preacher to the Gentiles, and Peter sees Cornelius receive the Holy Spirit and is rescued from prison by an angel. The Jerusalem Council then sanctions the mission of Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles. Unit 3 examines Paul’s missionary journey to the Gentiles at Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athen, and Corinth as some receive the Gospel and start churches while others fight the missionary and his message.

Monday Evening 7:00 - 8:30
Hanover Missionary Church - Overflow
Starting September 28
Sacred Rhythms (6 week study) by Ruth Haley Barton

Led by Pastor Lyndsay

Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God? Do you desire a greater intimacy with God? Do you wonder how you might truly live your life as God created you to live it?

Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God's transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives.The disciplines of the spiritual life are the basic components of the rhythm of intimacy that feeds the soul, keeping Christians open and available to God. Each session offers specific practices that allow you to experience each discipline and incorporate it into your life.

Tuesday Morning 9:30
Hanover Missionary Church - Overflow
Started September 15
Extending God’s Grace followed by Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George

Guiding women through Proverbs 31, beloved Bible teacher Elizabeth George shows how God defines beauty and reveals how His "plan for success" is totally achievable.

Insightful and practical, this book reveals how women can make each day meaningful and delight in what God accomplishes through them. Readers will discover how to...experience progress toward goals, manage daily life more effectively, tap into unlimited energy & apply God's principles to relationships

Women will feel greater confidence and enjoy rich daily rewards as they realize who they are in Christ and what they can do when they follow His formula for true beauty.

Wednesday Morning 10:00 - noon
The McCutchon Home
Starting September 28
Signs of Life by Dr. David Jeremiah

Led by Rick & Joan McCutchon

With our society’s sometimes unfavorable view of Christians, it is all the more important that believers display what Dr. David Jeremiah calls signs of life — signs that Jesus has transformed us and that we are committed to Him and His kingdom. They are signs that ought to be detected from across the street, over the fence, down the hall, throughout the office, or in the pews, for it’s not enough to just talk about  Jesus. It’s also not enough to serve Him in secret with our acts of private devotion. We have to display the lifestyle of the Nazarene in the midst of a corrupt and darkened culture.

Signs of Life will lead you on a journey to a fuller understanding of the marks that identify you as a Christian. Signs that will advertise your faith. Personal imprints that can impact souls for eternity and help you become a person of influence who radiates relevancy, authenticity, generosity, and compassion every day — just like Jesus did.

Wednesday Afternoon 1:00-3:00
Hanover Missionary Church - Upper Room
Starting September 30 (8 weeks)
James: Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore

Led by Karen Schmalz

James: Mercy Triumphs provides a personal study experience five days a week plus viewer guides for the 8 video sessions of this in-depth women's Bible study. James, Jesus' own brother, started out as a skeptic. See how one glimpse of the resurrected Savior turned an unbeliever into a disciple. Bible scholars compare James to the prophet Amos. In other ways, James more closely resembles the Book of Proverbs than any other New Testament book. Topics in this study include: joy, hardship, faith, reversal of fortunes for rich and poor, wisdom, gifts from above, single-mindedness, the dangers of the tongue, humility, and prayer.

Thursday Afternoon 1:30-3:00
Hanover Missionary Church - Upper Room
Started September 17
Sermon on the Mount by John Stott

Led by Bob Crawford

What does it mean to "seek first the kingdom of God" in our relationships, values, ambitions, finances and commitments? Jesus' answer to these questions amazed those who first heard the Sermon on the Mount. In this study guide, you'll dig deep into his startling and challenging message--the greatest sermon ever preached.

Day & Location TBA
Armour of God by Priscilla Shirer

Led by Kristina Dyck

All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you — unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life. A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you: your heart, your mind, your marriage, your children, your relationships, your resilience, your dreams, your destiny. But his battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed. If you're tired of being pushed around and caught with your guard down, this study is for you.

The Enemy always fails miserably when he meets a woman dressed for the occasion. The Armor of God, more than merely a biblical description of the believer's inventory, is an action plan for putting it on and developing a personalized strategy to secure victory.

Consider Yourself Called

by contributing writer Heidi Eastman

For the last few weeks, Pastor Amos has been asking for help in child and youth ministries.  Every area of ministry needs leadership.  And obviously, enough of us are not stepping up quickly.

I wonder how many are actually involved in any area of ministry?  And I wonder how many of the rest are too busy, too lazy, physically unable, or too burned out from helping in the past?

And I wonder how many people are thinking "I don't feel called"?

For those of you involved: thank you!  

I am so thankful that I get welcomed every Sunday morning by happy faces greeting me at the door and others taking up the offering.  I am so thankful to have somewhere to take my kids on a Sunday morning so I can sit and hear a sermon.  I am thankful to have a team of musicians on the stage welcoming me in with song.  I am so thankful that our church is a place hurting people can find support and healing.  I am thankful for the lovely people who serve drinks in the foyer.  And I'm thankful for all those other volunteers who help make the church an environment I am proud to be a part of.

For those who don't help: why not?

Too busy? I understand.  I am married to this one.  And if he were to suggest volunteering at the church with his current schedule, I would be the one to say no.  When you are so busy, the last thing you need is adding one more thing to your plate.  You need to take care of yourself and when this busy season ends, the church will appreciate your hard work in whatever area of ministry you decide to join.  But, before using this reason, honestly evaluate your life - are you actually too busy or is it just the first excuse that comes to mind?

Too lazy?  Just stop (or should that be start?).  Jump in.  Not every area of ministry involves hours of time.  For example, the nursery could use you.  Show up on your scheduled Sunday and play with babies.  You can sit in the comfy chairs (unless you have to bounce a crying baby) and read stories to babies if you choose.  It may not seem like a big deal to you but for the stay-at-home mom whose only break from her baby is the nursery, this ministry can be a life-saver.

Physically unable?  If you want to help but have physical limitations, ask the leadership if they can use you.  I expect if you are able to get into the building, the answer will be yes! A few years ago, one of the youth leaders was well into his 80's.  He couldn't play the crazy games, but he cheered on and encouraged the teens.  Perhaps seeing you there will inspire some of those kids.  Perhaps your physical limitations will open doors to relationships you never considered.

Burned out?  I'm sorry.  Sometimes we do have to take time out to care for ourselves and that's okay.  Personally, I stayed in an area of ministry longer than was healthy for me but I found it hard to step out when I didn't see other people stepping in.  I would love to see a church where there is such a strong volunteer base that when one of us needs a rest, we can do so guilt-free knowing that everything is covered.  Everything has a season and I think that applies to ministry as well.  Sometimes we just need rest, and we need to know the gaps are filled to make our time away refreshing.  I hope you find the rest you need and can rejoin us soon - motivated and enthusiastic.

You don't feel called?  I have been involved in some area of ministry since I attended high school.  And guess what?  I don't feel "called" to help - and I never have.

And I think that's okay. 

And I think it might be normal.

This "called" word that gets tossed around in Christian circles gives us an easy excuse not to help.  If we say "but I don't feel called," other Christians don't dare question us. 

But I am going to. 

What if being a Bible-believing-Jesus-loving-Christian is all the calling we need?

I believe God can use us without a clear calling.

But why would I help when I don't feel called?  My current reasons include:
  1.     I love our church.
  2.     I feel most connected to other people when I am actively involved in something.
  3.     I want to set an example for my children of the importance of volunteerism.
  4.     My current job does not use my social work background, and I spent a lot of time (and money) learning those skills, and I don't want to lose them.
  5.     My toddler needs to learn that the world will not end if Mommy is not home every single night.
  6.     But the bottom line is: I am a Bible-believing-Jesus-loving-Christian, and I think that is all the calling I need.

So please - honestly evaluate why you are not currently helping at the church. If you don't have a good excuse then make a change and get involved.   It may surprise you to find that ministry will sometimes impact you just as much or more than those you are there to help.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Heidi Eastman lives in Neustadt with her husband, two daughters, and a beast of a dog. She has been an active part of the HMC congregation from the moment she was old enough to contribute. You can find her over at her own blog, My Sister Told Me To Start A Blog.  [Articles by Heidi]