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The Year of 2020


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At the end of each year, I take a walk with God to review. It’s a wonderful journey that includes meditation, journaling, and prayer (which often breaks into praise for God’s faithfulness). For me the top ten is not about the order (what is #1 or #10) or about the best things, but about the most significant things, especially from God’s perspective. Obviously 2020 will be remembered as the year of Covid-19 but even more importantly, who was God moving?

  1. March Covid 19 Priority Pivot – By God’s grace we announced a fourfold priority in the spring that helped us stay focused in troubled times (Online Services, Care for our people, Outreach to the Community, Keeping Langley open for essential services). This allowed us to align quickly to the heart of God in the midst of a storm and to do what was needed to love and reach people.
  2. Staffing – the staff experienced unprecedented times. Short term layoffs, long term layoffs, new job descriptions, new challenges. The 25 staff that we released or that left in the early days of September was a massive adjustment. To be able to embrace this loss with kindness, generosity and efficiency is a testimony to our team. The staff learned new skills / did double duty and put in extra time to keep us steady. The pressures were absorbed with grace. In short, they were amazing.
  3. Creative Adjustments – every pastor, congregation and campus needed to adjust their ministry in a new world. Whether it was staff guided ministries like Kids who created “Camp in a Box” and learned to do Sunday AM online OR volunteer ministries like Monday Night Men’s, we saw creativity and experiments to try and meet needs. Some may have appeared more “successful” than others but all were reaching for “out of the box” thinking. I know Rev Camp will celebrate being back in 2021 but their “Not Camp” must be mentioned for effort and innovation.
  4. Internet Engagement – we invested money and new resources to help facilitate the best interaction with Sundays, website and Zoom meetings. In the spring, all congregations and campuses experimented. In the fall we had a dozen “live” gatherings of 50 or less but when that was shut down, everyone pivoted again to online studies, prayer, and training. Ministry never stopped. So much of it was online. AND so much will continue to be online.
  5. Isolated Not Alone – our Sunday mornings in the spring were excellent. We sent out the first of three community mailouts inviting people to be a part of something that would help them in their fears and anxieties. The consistency of worship, Bible and encouragement brought hope.
  6. Prayer Movement – we have witnessed a growing stirring in hearts towards prayer. Books were given, people rose to new platforms of leadership and new opportunities were seized. Live, online, personal and corporate prayer grew. This can only be seen as one of the benefits of the Covid pandemic. It continues with January’s month of prayer.
  7. Christmas Drive Thru & Miracle on My Street – we seemed to be on the right side of a tight rope in December. With few activities taking place, we were able to push forward with a unique drive thru. Over 1200 cars and 4000 people responded. In addition, we gave out our advent calendars and encouraged our people to live missionally, to bring the light of Christmas to their neighbourhoods. 100,000 invites were sent out for our online Christmas Eve service. Thank you for helping us tell the story!
  8. City Serve Outreach – in a year of darkness and high anxiety City Serve, both in Langley and Maple Ridge, excelled in acts of benevolence and love. In schools, with hampers or Boxes of Love, with gift cards and acts of kindness. I was so proud of the leadership and teams. I must also mention Bus Ministry and Pastor Bill’s “Copper Thread” program that helped CLA people to have ends meet. We did not stop reaching, loving, and helping.
  9. Care Calls – every campus and congregation engaged in reaching out by phone to the 3,000 people who call CLA their home church. The calls made illustrated a sincere love and concern. Opportunities were taken to pray with each other, direct people to beneficial programs and to update our database. Thank you to the teams who have helped us. This work continues. If you are interested in being a part of our phone, care and prayer team please contact me. We want to continue this ministry with or without a pandemic.
  10. Fiscal Management During a Crisis – this is not particularly glamourous, but it helped us survive and thrive. All budgets were reduced. Staff was cut. Everyone had to pull together. Our new manager Neil Muth, our financial controllers at ControllerShip Plus, our treasurer Jeff Chapman, the MLT (Ministry Lead Team), Campus pastors all tightened their belts and provided help to keep the ship steady. Obviously, the Canadian government subsidy helped and our people remained faithful in giving through the crisis. This speaks volumes. Praise God for His faithfulness.
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