Pastor Derrick's Top Ten
Welcome to 2022 and our Week of Prayer! God’s Word exhorts us to remember the past and exalt the LORD. Today I praise God for all He did in 2021 despite the challenges, changes and unexpected. How was your year? Perhaps my top ten for CLA will motivate you to do your own. Here are a few wonderful things from last year. God is good. There is so much more that He accomplished in 2021, but here is a sample.
- A Year of Prayer – The January 2021 week of prayer turned into a month of prayer and that into a year of prayer. The lay driven prayer initiatives have been amazing. Guided by Vic Friesen and Barry Lelond (and their team of prayer leaders) this group has taught, motivated and guided prayer by their example. We continue to meet daily on Zoom, join us. Last year there was a prayer march around the Langley Campus with prayer stakes put in the ground as a declaration of God’s sovereignty over this place. Bob Lundgren presented a prayer manifesto which motivated and guided prayer. There were special times of mixing the creative arts and prayer. This in addition to other Zoom prayer meetings, and the Fasting and Prayer team and the reengagement of our altar prayer time during a “second set of worship and prayer” in our redesigned Sunday morning format. For me, this is the most important thing to come out of Covid. I believe it has fueled God’s blessing and will anoint the coming year.
- Healthy Staff – In the Spring our staff participated in a survey to assess our work environment health. We looked at communication, conflict resolution, leadership, clarity of values, work atmosphere, and life-giving work vs a toxic work environment. Each person participated. For the first time in CLA’s history we obtained our highest score of 4.42 in their highest category known as “Flourishing (4.25-4.50)”. For me this was the fruit of seven years of work and perhaps a byproduct of Covid pruning and focus. A wonderful result that we must continue to aim for.
- Flood Relief – BC was ravaged by weather this year, first the fires and then the floods. Because CLA moved very quickly in the early hours of the BC floods, we became the “tip of the spear” for many desiring to express generosity and compassion for flood relief. We collected items and finances in order to redistribute them to needy areas by road, helicopter and transport trucks. Over 50,000 lbs of relief supplies were sent to some of the neediest areas of the province.
- First Christmas, Bethlehem Tours – As a church our goal is to keep the story of Christ alive, the Gospel is powerful to change lives. Over 11 nights we guided 3500 people through a 25 minute presentation of the birth of Christ (December 2-12) with emphasis on its meaning and trajectory. We gave away invitations to Christmas Eve, the Gospel of John (Gideon’s Light Magazine) and invitations to Alpha. The event grew from a 150 people per night to 530 per night on our last two evenings. We also had over 200 CLA volunteers. The coming together of Life Groups and volunteers was a wonderful secondary blessing.
- Kids Ministry Online Curriculum – Another Covid “blessing” is the online curriculum that Kids Ministry has put together both for CLA and for others to use. The far reach of our Prayer Covenant series and the partnership with other PAOC churches has been the result of the hard work of Pastor Jenni, her staff and volunteers. A new website at BC & Yukon PAOC now exists to promote this material. More work needs to be done but it’s amazing what has been produced and how Kids Ministry has tried to keep both live in person and online presence alive in their pivots. They need your help. Would you consider volunteering today?
- Easter Drive In – After seven months of no in person Sunday gatherings, the Easter weekend outdoor drive in was a huge blessing. People wept as they gathered in their cars to listen to worship, a testimony and a short message. As people left and informal lines of waving greeters applauded them, people were encouraged. Again, it was a pivot to keep connections alive and to encourage our church in isolation. Myles Koebel’s interim leadership of worship was a great blessing in 2021.
- Rev Youth Ministry Transition – Pastor Peter Yoon’s departure was important for him and Paige and their ongoing growth and development. I was concerned how our Rev summer would go as well as the fall. With Jordan Marcellus’s Maple Ridge resignation I watched and prayed. The pastoral team that came together under Pastor Mark Stevens, Pastor Breanne Newton and Pastor Garrett Markham has been amazing. They embraced summer grant opportunities and used Mark Colwell’s oversight and Student Cadre to its fullest in order to produce a very strong and healthy youth ministry in both Langley and Maple Ridge. I love the synergy. Our future is bright.
- Sooke Campus Renovation – There was something very unifying and encouraging about the fundraiser and short-term team that went to our Sooke Campus to work on the exterior of the building this year. We raised more funds than we needed, had amazing camaraderie on the team and Pastor Marty commented on how much a blessing the experience was for the Vancouver Island campus.
- Over 75 water baptisms, new people and new staff – Coming out of Rev’s summer, through Recovery Church and decisions to follow Christ we’ve had over 75 water baptisms. We ran a new to Christ class (Faith Foundations) and we’ve welcomed newcomers through Welcome to Church lunches and Discovery Class. Due to Covid we saw more transition out of Langley / CLA than we would in a normal year. Susan Larsen’s phoning team has been a huge blessing in keeping track of people’s coming and goings. They are lovingly welcoming new people and praying for people in need. We’ve also welcomed new staff and pastors including Pastor Chad Langerud and his family.
- June Surplus – After the first year of Covid I was thrilled to see CLA end the fiscal year in a positive position. Tithes were down slightly but were more than made up for by wage subsidies that allowed us to bring back many staff after an initial layoff. Neil Muth’s work as manager, the MLT oversight and our partnership with Controllership Plus (our financial controller) all worked together to produce good results.