A Word from Pastor Derrick
This week you received a special email and video announcement from me. It was an exciting one to send! Considering the adjustments to the BC Health Orders and clarity on provincial expectations for the summer, CLA released its own exiting Covid 19 priorities. We have four priorities to move our people towards fellowship, worship, leaning and growth. These priorities will improve people’s mental health, encourage connection with God and deepen friendships. It will allow us to connect with each other in meaningful ways and reach out to our neighbours. Here they are.
- Homes – the fastest way we can connect with each other is by opening our homes to Christian fellowship and hospitality. For me, one of the lessons from our sermon series Parables – A Journey Forward has been a reminder of the role of “the table” in Christ’s teaching. He is either at a table or inviting people to a table. “Breaking bread” with one another is affirming, encouraging and intimate. Restaurants are open. You can have a family in for coffee or two families over for an outdoor BBQ. What about hosting a watch party on Sunday morning to participate in the service? Who have you been missing? Who has God put on your heart? Time to invite them over. Let’s get involved to break the loneliness. God wants to use you to encourage someone from our church family or to reach out to a neighbour. Do it today! Imagine. 1500 homes in our region open and sharing Christian love and hospitality. It all starts with us. Each of us on mission to bring the love of Christ.
- Congregations and Campuses – meeting in groups of 50 or less. CLA is unique as we have about 20 congregations / campuses that make up our church family. Many of these are demographic in nature (kids, youth, young adults, seniors), some are geographic like Sooke, Recovery Church, or Maple Ridge and some are special groups like Monday Night Men, For Her, Bus Ministry, Divorce Care, Pure Desire or our staff. Some of these groups are larger than most PAOC churches (average PAOC church is 80 people). We can get these groups meeting live and in person immediately. In fact, on Wednesday I stumbled upon a group of 40 women gathered and meeting with Pastor Debbie. Fantastic. Congregational pastors are already planning services, nights of worship, special outreaches as I write this. You will be hearing from many of the congregational pastors / campus pastors soon. They’ve missed you and are looking forward to seeing you.
- Sunday Morning Worship – At first we announced we would begin in person worship on Father’s Day. But since that announcement, government health orders have changed, now we can start on the first Sunday of June (next Sunday). Today (Sunday, May 30) you will be able to sign up for next Sunday. In Langley, we will have 50 people on the main floor and 50 people in the balcony. You will need to register. Masks and physical distancing are still necessary. But after 14 months, it’s a start that will grow. In Langley, those registered for the main floor will come in through the south foyer (main entrance) and those registered for the balcony will come to the north foyer (back entrance). At the end of each service 9 and 11 am, we will conclude with coffee and muffins. Come join us! Bring your family.
- Special Events – This summer we are actively planning special events. This will include events for Bus Ministry, CLA Kids and Rev. It embraces sending 20 people to our Sooke Campus on a workbee to totally refurbish the outside of their building. We are not able to do our normal camps this summer but will have special in-house events that will be a substitute for that. These special events will bring people together for fun, making new friends, and meeting with God. If you are part of a group at CLA, plan a party. I’ve been so grateful for the care, prayer and phone team that has worked weekly during the pandemic to reach out by phone with every family at our church. Their party is in July. Just another example of a special event.
This fourfold strategy will be a blessing to all who call CLA their church home. This is the light at the end of a dark tunnel. These opportunities will allow us to reach out to those not part of our church. Come join us.