Hanging Around at Green Bay

This past weekend 80+ SunRidgers got to hang out at Green Bay Bible Camp for the weekend for another round of Family Camp! We have been doing this for a lot of years and it only gets better. This year the weather was in full cooperation: the sun was shining, it was hot, the skies were clear, the lake was warm. A perfect Okanagan weekend.

Friday night people arrived, unpacked and roamed about until kids fireside at 7:45. Fireside for kids involves some crazy campfire songs and then a great lesson, this year led by Walter B. who spoke about Gideon and how GOD gave him courage in the face of fearful circumstances. The kids all played field games after this, led by some of our Students! Mike K. picked up on the theme of “do not fear”at the adult fireside, something Jesus spoke of and something the Bible refers to over and over again. After this, we played a community-building game in the Dining Hall until 11 pm — had some great snacks too! Thanks to everyone who pitched in!

In the morning, a great Green Bay breakfast and adult small groups and then the Pickle-ball tournament began in the gym. This is an annual competition that only gets more competitive as the years go by! Thanks to Carla, Kyle, Cole and Monique for all teaming up to make this such a success again. In the end, knocking out all the competition — Tracy & Tiana K. won and accepted the pickle trophies in an emotional awards ceremony.

There was lots of beach time with all the water toys open for play — lots of people in the lake, on the beach, running around the camp all afternoon in the sun! There was a sand-castle building contest at the beach as well with much creativity on display!

For adult fireside on Saturday, Gary Swabey continued the theme of “Do Not Fear” with an emphasis on the “Shalom” peace of GOD followed by another community-wide game and snacks in the Dining Hall.

To end off the weekend, our Sunday gathering was held at Green Bay followed by a hot dog BBQ outside around the picnic tables where people could linger and visit and enjoy the beauty of where we live.

That’s the rundown of what happened, but there was so much more — all kinds of conversations, lots of play between adults and kids, hilarious spontaneous thing that only make sense if you were there (like the second “wedding” we held for Andrew & Liv at 11 at night in an RV complete with a loud sing-along to Celine Dion…like I said, had to be there). There was more random fun than can be recorded here. Family Camp is a very bonding, family building, warm time and something we look forward to every year.

The Green Bay Camp staff hosted us so well…we have so loved being able to enjoy the lake, the toys, the space, the food, the gym, the accommodation. There is something for everyone there and for every kind of weather (we have occasionally been rained out and the gym has been rather handy on those years). Thanks Green Bay!

A big shout-out to Mikaela K. who was busy all weekend managing the schedule and the myriad of questions that came her way…hope you had a long nap after it was all said and done. And thanks to everyone who played a part, big and small, to serving this church family on Family Camp Weekend.

If you weren’t able to come, reserve the weekend in June — it usually happens Father’s Day weekend and we will let you know as soon as something is booked! Be a part of this family gathering — it’s such a highlight!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 

India Calls!

Every year SunRidge partners with Child of Mine in sending teams to India to visit amazing tourist sites across Northern India, which includes a children's home where we can help with practical tasks, hang-out with the kids, meet the staff and connect with the grads! These short-term trips are three weeks long and provide the opportunity to engage in projects some days and explore incredible India on other days! The trips visit one or both of the Children’s Homes and other incredible sites around India.

There are a lot of people around SunRidge who have gone and have had the joy of seeing and serving; there are good things happening in Northern India and it is super exciting to be a part of it.

If this is something that interests you, head over to the Child of Mine website or go to the Connect Center on Sunday to get more info! Link up here to read about the exciting Boys Dorm project. Interviews are happening already; contact Child of Mine ASAP to see if you can still link up!

  • Content from the Child of Mine website

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 4.41.08 PM.png





It Doesn't Just Happen

Thanks to all those who come earlier than most on a Sunday morning to serve others. This week thanks goes out to those on the hospitality/front-lines team who come early to prepare for our morning toast and coffee, and (like this past Sunday) for The Lord’s Supper.

We all know this doesn’t “just happen.” Those of you who serve in this way have made it a priority and do all this in a very unseen way. So unseen that one might not even think about you coming before the rest of us to set up and then clean up when everyone has had their share. Thanks for keeping inventory, thanks for shopping, thanks for standing in when others are away, thanks for setting your alarm earlier, thanks for showing up and carting everything down to where it needs to be, thanks for breaking bread before we do and pouring all the little cups, thanks for brewing coffee and for cleaning up all our crumbs, thanks for hauling everything back up, washing dishes, putting them away and turning out the lights — all without most people even knowing all this is going on.

The way you serve is a gift to the church and such an expression of love. Thank you for doing all this with consistency and humility, towel over your arm, caring for our needs. Thanks for making this welcoming for others (there is something about a cup in the hand that helps set people at ease). It’s a beautiful thing you do…

We want everyone to be involved in “family life” at SunRidge. If you are around SunRidge, find a place to serve alongside others; you can link up here: Where can I serve?

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 



Give An Account

Last week in this spot you saw photos of a mud-fight. This week you are looking at a photo of a Finance Team meeting in progress and though you might not think the two have much in common, they do.

I am guessing you don’t think about the Finance Team and what they do very often, but if it were not for the diligence of this team, it is unlikely that last week’s mud-fight would have happened. How cool is our Finance Team that they would help us steward our finances in such a way that this crazy, messy, hilarious event could happen? How great is it that they love our community enough to make sure there are funds in a Student Budget so that Jesus loving leaders can plan great events to disciple students?

Without a faith-filled Finance Team and their best efforts, we would have a tough time keeping our SunRidge vision and priorities alive.

This team meets and does their best to give an account to the Leadership Team and to our church of where things are at. They report and advise on adjustments when they see shortfalls (or windfalls!). They make sure we are practicing healthy stewardship and generosity. It isn’t just a straight forward role to serve in because there is both practical management of what we currently have and a faith that GOD will do more than we ask or think….or have.

If you haven’t prayed for this team before, take a moment to do so. Come to GOD with thanksgiving for the dedication of this crew and for the way they serve us. Pray they would have sharp eyes, honest pens, good ideas, joy in the assignment and most of all, ears that hear Jesus about what is ultimately His.

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 



In The Meantime

This is just a little Blog to remind you it is the week lovely Liv is getting married to Andrew. It has only been a few weeks since we said goodbye, but don’t you miss her already? Liv always walked around with such a sunshiny smile, joyful steps, always ready to laugh. Having spent quite a bit of time with her, there was something else I really loved (still love) about her: how quick her heart was moved by the things kids said and did. Liv had such a genuine love for all our little rascals. There were so many times she would text with something some little child said or did that was moving…or funny.

So what now, SunRidge? We can allow ourselves a little bit of wistfulness, but we have something in front of us that really matters!

  • Some months ago a letter went out to all our families to pray, pray, pray for a new Children’s Ministry Team leader.

  • All those who get the prayer letter have been praying.

  • Those in pre-service prayer have been praying.

  • Our SunRidge staff has been praying; Liv prayed for her replacement!

At the writing of this blog, I haven’t seen anyone on the horizon coming to save the day but I do know that Philippians 4:19 says “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” So how will He provide for this need? Is there something on our part left to do?

While we wait, there is a practical thing: 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” and for this I get the idea we are supposed to pitch in. This brings to mind an Old Testament story in 1 Chronicles 29 where people brought all their precious jewelry and gave it all together so they would have enough to build the temple. This reminds me of Acts 2 where people shared everything they had for the common good.

Maybe this is the time for that.

Maybe we are to be a group of people putting our talents in a box and seeing what we have to give our kids. What is in our smorgasbord of gifts? Maybe GOD is calling a new willingness out of us. A new heart of service.

Maybe the more we serve “the least of these” the lessons we learn will make us more ready for “the next.” What does the next leader have to lead, if not a team of people in the trenches, ready to be led.

One thing I know about GOD is that He does some of His best work “in the meantime”…while we wait.

May our church be pleasing in your sight, Lord Jesus, with an energy about us, an evident joy, to love and bless the young ones you have entrusted to us!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 






What Happens at Family Camp

What happens at Family Camp doesn’t stay at Family Camp and that is the great thing. Over the years we have had more and more fun, more and more community, and more and more reasons to do it all over again because it pulls us together and gives us stories to remember; and isn’t that what makes life rich?

So much happens in a few days that is unique to a weekend like this and so we make a big point of calling SunRidgers to SIGN UP (early would be nice)! Every person who adds themselves in and engages with others, creates another dimension to what the weekend ends up being. Each person — single, married, young, old — is the family at family camp.

What laughs will happen?

What games will get played?

What conversations will be new to us?

The kids run wild, the adults find their playful side, and in the middle of it all, Jesus does some beautiful and meaningful things (He does love a good party).

So come and kick off your shoes and be campy with us and be part of the “remember when” stories that will come out of it all.

Camp will be at Green Bay Bible Camp on June 14-16; Details can be found at this link: Family Camp

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 

Isn't That Great?

Isn’t that great?

This past Sunday was so encouraging as the Student Team led the morning. They were involved at every level, from entertaining to explaining, to challenging, to testifying, to singing, to preaching to calling us to love the way Jesus loves.

Isn’t that great?

We have so many student leaders with gigantic hearts that selflessly give of their time, treasure, talent to be in the lives of these students with such passion and integrity. They see what is “going on here” and they feel compelled to do their part to stand guard for these students.

Isn’t that great?

We as a church family get behind this ministry by creating space for them, by helping where we can, by giving money, by supplying resources, by applauding and encouraging.

What isn’t that great”

When the lights go out in the auditorium after a morning of joy, it’s what isn’t great that we must remember and this is where we as a church family get to be great in a crucial way.

We know the enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy the younger generation so we must pray. We must pray in the morning, we must pray in the noon-time, we must pray in the evening because these students aren’t tucked away safely in the corner of the week. We must be so acutely aware of what they are facing that isn’t great…

  • What isn’t great is we have students who feel their identity slipping away from them because the world is deliberately confusing. The enemy nudges this along so that they literally do not know who they are and what their purpose is. Instead of hearing the kind and affirming voice of the Father, they think they are a neutralized pronoun without GOD-given shape or form or purpose or uniqueness. Oh how we must pray!

  • What isn’t great is we have students who hurt themselves because they are hurting during the week and this self-inflicted pain seems better then that pain they have no choice over. Oh how we must pray!

  • What isn’t great is we have students seeing things they counted on, erode before their very eyes so that they don’t feel a firm foundation under their feet. Oh how we must pray!

  • What isn’t great is we have students who fear, who doubt, who crave, who cave, who watch, who want. Oh how we must pray!

There are so many things that aren’t great that we better be great at prayer; there is so much at stake! Don’t let the lightness fool you, many of these students are navigating things that aren’t great. Let us not fail them as a family. Let’s adult; let’s pray and not just when we are prompted.

Pray with hope and expectation. GOD will advertise His goodness through their lives and we will live to see it and

Isn’t that the greatest?

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 




Mud On My Boots

“There’s dirt on my shirt
And leaves in my hair
There’s mud on my boots
But I don’t really care… “

— Jeff Foxworthy, Dirt on My Shirt

You may not be aware of this, but recently our SunRidge campus was the site of a large and messy youth event involving water and dirt. Low in cost, but requiring a large sacrifice of time and energy and soap, this was the first, and most likely annual, mud fight.

A week out, leaders spent the day picking up a truckload of dirt (thanks to Cole’s dad for providing high quality dirt) and shovelling it out at SunRidge. There were hours needed for set-up to have different mud-fight challenges (including a duel-pool, an army crawl and slip-n-slide), lots of energy was required for the event itself and even more energy and a pressure washer to clean up.

This is what our Student Ministry Team is willing to do for the students they care for week to week. No one is telling them to do this. On no job description will you find “Mud Fight.” This amazing team is making this up as they go out of a great love for Jesus that spills over onto these young lives.

When you love people you look out at them and ask, “What do they need?” We should all be asking this because it is what Jesus did. At a wedding once, people needed wine so the party wouldn’t stop so Jesus stepped up and provided. Another time, out in the middle of nowhere the crowd needed loaves and fish so that hunger wouldn’t take away from their experience with Jesus — He made dinner for everyone. Sometimes He saw people needed defending sometimes He saw they needed a story. Sometimes He thought the time was right and they needed to get out of a boat, on other occasions He saw they needed to go fishing.

What do our students need? In this time of life where there is so much angst, with this generation where there is so much social disconnection — the team looked at those they love, like Jesus would, and said: mud fight (and couldn’t we make a Biblical connection to Jesus also using mud to show love to people along the way? See John 9)

So all this investment of energy, all this time, all this clean-up, all for the memories, all for the joy, all to build a community who can laugh together and the next week talk about the most serious of things. That is in fact what happened because this week they tackled a big heavy topic: how to deal with the problem of pornography.

SunRidge, please express thankfulness to GOD for those who BLESS our students. Pray for them. Say nice things to them! Pray for the future too, that our Student Team will always be well led, well staffed, well loved. We so value the blessing, the discipling…and the mud-fighting.

PS. I should mention, there were fish involved. Each team was given a large fish they had to carry with them through every event and the fish “most intact” at the end, won. Also, during different mud challenges the students were rewarded with sardines.

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 





One Little Note

Do you have what it takes to BLESS others? You may be reading this and thinking, “What have I got to offer?”

This is the perfect question to ask Jesus and I guarantee you, He will show you what you have to offer and to whom! He has already told us in His Word in John 14:13 “You can ask for anything in My Name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.” Will blessing someone else bring glory to the Father? Yes. Pray with confidence about what He would have you do, this is one of those “sure to be answered” prayers. You will not be stuck for ideas for long, because the Spirit will whisper instructions:

“Try this…”

“Say this…”

“Get that…”

“Go there…”

“Give this…”

“Sit with…”

“Write this…”

“Help them…”

“Cook this…”

“Buy this…”

“Invite them…”

“Listen to…”

Before you know it, you will have done something simple and sometimes sacrificial that will fill you with pleasure at having partnered with Jesus to do some of His favourite things with his favourite walking, talking breathing creation who are made in His image!

Recently our students and Student Min Leaders went to Mexico to build a house. They were there to bless others. On the way back, they made a stop, came back to the van and found this note on their windshield wiper.

BLESS.jpg

Now you tell me. Who was blessed in this story? The students were blessed. The leaders were blessed. The woman who wrote it was blessed. I was blessed to hear about it and now you are blessed reading about it. One little note, written quickly on some notepaper. One little bit of time. One little surprise for those who would find it.

I am picturing her in that parking lot. She sees a van drive up. She sees the kids tripping over each other to get out. She hears the laughter. She sees the logo on the van. She puts two and two together and that could have been it! But no…she listened. She listened and felt the nudge of Someone telling her: acknowledge this. Acknowledge what you are seeing and take 1 minute to bless this team of strangers.

We need to be that pen in GOD’s hand. We need to be that voice in His service. We need to be that smile, that servant, that one who will.

SunRidge…who is the Spirit nudging you to BLESS today? Let’s be passionate about our obedience to BLESS. Let’s be Disciples who are of good use to our Father!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 

Easter Sunday

Not Undercover Anymore

April 21, 2019

Have you ever found yourself hesitate to make your opinions known to your friends? How about when it comes to what Jesus means to you? There are a couple of fellas that were quite hesitant to let their colleagues know what Jesus meant to them. They were undercover followers of Jesus. But as we will see they didn’t stay that way and our hope is that neither will we!  

About The Artwork

The words are all spread out and clean as compared to the Good Friday artwork! Jesus’ death and resurrection cleared things up. His message was personalized for many different groups, Jews and gentiles, young and old which is signified by the different lettering styles. Its black and white, clearly visible, like we, as Jesus followers, are called to be.