Inspiring Ideas from Canadian Churches May-June 2015

Bible reading challenge
Gloucester Presbyterian Church in Ottawa resolved to increase Bible reading with a New Year’s challenge. Congregants were invited to sign up for a New Year’s resolution to read all of Luke, Acts, Romans and Colossians in January. After a February service the church threw a party, serving a cake with the names of everyone who completed the challenge written on it. “We get so busy doing all the other things around Christmas that the habit of reading the Bible gets shoved off. The discipline of this gets you back on track. It’s like getting in shape for the soul,” says congregant Geoff Matthews. www.gloucesterchurch.ca

Taking a little bit of the sermon home
Côte-des-Neiges Presbyterian Church in Montreal is using simple, tangible reminders to help their congregants live out the Sunday message. On the last Sunday of a sermon series about worrying, the pastor, Joel Coppieters, displayed a collection of riverbed stones. Tying the display into a chorus they sang about “peace like a river,” he invited congregants to take a rock home as a reminder of a concern they were entrusting to God. “One single mom keeps a stone for each of her two little ones on the windowsill, where she looks at them while working in the kitchen. Several of the stones are now sitting next to people’s computers at work and a few are apparently kept in the console armrest of a car,” Coppieters says. www.montrealpresbyterian.com

Backpacks for the weekend
Members of Ross Road Community Church in Abbotsford, B.C., were heartbroken when a local teacher brought attention churchesto the fact that children involved in a school feeding program were not getting sufficient nutrition on weekends. They decided to supply the kids with weekend backpacks containing two breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that are “kid-preparation-friendly.” With very little notice to congregants, the church collected a special offering, and on one Sunday managed to raise enough money to supply the schools with backpacks for almost a year and a half. www.rossroadcc.ca

The mission trip that didn’t leave home
While planning a mission trip, the youth of Winnipeg’s Ness Avenue Baptist Church made a decision that kept their team from ever reaching the airport. They were given the opportunity to choose any destination in the world, but after spending considerable time in prayer, the team felt God called them to reach out in their home city of Winnipeg.  www.christianweek.org

Churches offer severe weather drop-in
On especially cold or stormy nights, many homeless shelters suffer a shortage of available beds, so a group of Abbotsford churches have opened up their facilities, providing hot meals and warm beds. Each church is on call for one month in the winter. Any night the weather dips below 0°C, volunteers stay overnight to greet their guests and provide a snack, games, a movie, laundered sleeping bags and a place to sleep. In the morning a new team of volunteers visits with the guests while serving a hot breakfast. www.rossroadcc.ca –CRAIG MACARTNEY

Visit www.faithtoday.ca/InspiringIdeas for more. Does your church have great ideas to share? editor@faithtoday.ca

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