Serving Teams

The Things We Do (Students. Part 1)

The thing about being a follower of Christ is that we don’t actually have to “do” anything to earn God’s love. The “Amazing Grace” of it is that Jesus reached out to us and showed us God’s love, with the ultimate expression of that love given when He died on the cross for us. In that amazing act of sacrifice He paid for our sin and fixed the impossible divide sin had caused between us and our heavenly Father.

When we “do” things as a church community it isn’t to earn some kind of spiritual points; we “do” things for others as a grateful response to what Jesus did for us. We “do” things because how could we not? God has filled our lives up with His love, and we want to pass on that goodness to others. SunRidge loves to “do” things because of this.

I want to spend the next few weeks highlighting some simple ways people have been “doing things” during this Fall season…we are inching towards Christmas and if this season highlights anything, it is giving and if there is one thing followers of Christ out to “do” really well, it is give.

As you know we have an awesome group of students at SunRidge. These grade 7-12’s and their leaders actively “do things.” They don’t just happen to “do things” — they actively seek out opportunities to love the community by serving.

Just recently they tackled two jobs around our campus. They raked up the piles of leaves around our property, and they finished up some much needed painting in our Out of School Care rooms and the lower bathroom. Here is some photo evidence:

Isn’t it encouraging to see “the young” setting an example by how they lean in to “doing things”? Our group of students are amazing! They have served in all kinds of ways in our city, on our campus, and even beyond our borders. The future is in GOOD HANDS with students like these.

And, I love this: the next day some of our big people showed up with trucks to cart away the loads of bagged leaves and one dad (Jon) brought his little guy out, starting him down the path of serving too! This made my day:

IMG_4100.JPG

May the “things we do” shine, not on ourselves to give us glory, but shine on Jesus who gave us everything and asks us to share that everything with others.

 Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 

Get a Little Childish

I have a weekly catch-up with Walter Blackwood about Out Of School Care (OOSC) as he finds his way through his first year of being the Director of this program that is now 12 years old. It is always a good time, and I mean that. I love Walter’s heart for his role, extending love to these families in our care, leading our staff to passionately represent Jesus in this setting.

Walter is really getting into his role and embracing the child-like spirit. Check out his new shoes, a smashing success in OOSC last week!

shoesJPG

Every weekday we have up to 30 children spilling through our doors with all kinds of noise and silliness, stories and sorrows. It’s quite the little flock to shepherd, full of variety!

Here is one of the ways the staff work with all those wiggles. Periodically they roll some foam dice and everyone engages with a quick, active energy spender! There are rewards for doing this well (OOSC dollars) and these dollars are so coveted, kids will go to all lengths to win them.

If you look closely at the chart below, you will see that one girl ran on the spot for 40 minutes to beat out the competition. Another child did a 10 minute wall sit (have you ever tried a 10 minute wall sit?)

IMG_4022.JPG

Amid all the fun and games, Walter, Olivia, Julie, Holly, Alecia, and Matt throw themselves into KNOWING these kids and moms and dads so that they are there — like superheroes — on their ready for what is needed: a kind word, a prayer, a listening ear, guidance, mediation, brainstorming, encouragement, a challenge, comfort, approval and most of all, eyes to see them. Have you ever just needed to be seen in this big noisy world?

OOSC is going strong, but your prayers are needed. This past week Walt talked about two girls who are not getting along, each vying to get more attention than the other. How can the staff help these kids work together instead of against each other? We talked about kids who have questions about God and how can we handle this respectfully? We talked about someone in financial need and how we can help. We talked about sad kids, angry kids, kids that seem to get lost in the corners…there is always lots to talk about when you care.

In Matthew 18 Jesus called a little child over, and placed the child in the center of the circle of people. He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

It is a privilege to love and lead the small ones…and to learn from them too, the way of God’s Kingdom. If you want to find out more about oosc or be a volunteer and get in on the joy use this link!

 Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen


Meet The Interns (Part 2)

Last week I posted a little interview with one of our interns, Naomi. This week I am happy to introduce you to Matt De Jong — another one of our wonderful SunRidge interns.

An Internship at SunRidge is an opportunity for someone to come alongside our SunRidge family and staff to serve for a time in a variety of capacities. It is an invitation to explore different areas of ministry in a church, to be challenged and mentored and to allow God to use this time “set aside” to see what new directions, gifts and ideas come from the experience.

If you haven’t met him yet, this blog post is all about Matt!

matt.jpg

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Calgary, AB

3 words a good friend would use to describe you:
Passionate about debate, learning, and sports!

Bible not included, what is one of the best books you have ever read and why?
CS Lewis Screwtape Letters was super valuable in showing me how I tried to cover my own sin

If you could invite 6 people to sit around a table with you for an evening of good conversation, who would they be?

Living: John Piper, Barack Obama, Noam Chomsky, Francis Fukuyama, David Cameron, and Reginald Bibby

Dead: John A. Macdonald, George Washington, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Maximillien Robespierre, and Niccolo Machiavelli

A great piece of advice you have received is...
That Gretzky's "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" quote is best applied outside of sports.

If a SunRidger invited you for dinner, what would your food aversion be?
Not a fan of stir-fry

Cats or Dogs?
Dogs

Country or Rock?
Country

Starbucks or Tim Hortons?
Tims

What was your role at Green Bay Bible Camp this summer?
I was the DTP (Discipleship Training Program) Manager at Green Bay this year

A recent thing God has been teaching you:
God has been teaching me the value of investing in him as a first priority, rather than a last resort.

in 200 characters or less describe your faith journey:
Grew up in the church, doubted my faith from about 12-15, but had an amazing experience of the kind of community Christianity can provide at Green Bay Bible Camp (here in West Kelowna) and have been devoted to my faith ever since. I've gotten to see and learn so much about God in 5 summers at Green Bay, and me being here this year. 

Why intern?
I felt God weighing it on me pretty heavily as soon as the internship was offered. I've been considering pastorship, and so this was a great opportunity.

What is a goal you have as an intern?
To get to explore what pastoring means and what it looks like on a more day-to-day basis.


We are super excited to have Matt serving in OOSC (SunRidge Out of School Care), it’s awesome to have a great mix of men and women in there, loving kids in our community.

SunRidge, hope you will go out of your way to meet Matt, get to know him, feed him, and make him feel like he has been our friend for a long time already!

 Teresa Klassen

Teresa
Klassen

 

Meet The Interns (Part 1)

Hey, did you know we have two really wonderful people who are serving at SunRidge as Interns?

An Internship at SunRidge is an opportunity for someone to come alongside our SunRidge family and staff to serve for a time in a variety of capacities. It is an invitation to explore different areas of ministry in a church, to be challenged and mentored and to allow God to use this time “set aside” to see what new directions, gifts and ideas come from the experience.

If you haven’t met her yet, this blog post is all about Naomi Spoelstra who is serving as an Intern until the New Year before she heads off to YWAM in Hawaii

naomi.jpeg

We sent some questions her way to help you get to know her and here is what she said:


Where did you grow up?

I have moved around lots across the East coast and West coast of Canada for my dad’s work but when people ask me where I grew up I always say most recently, Vancouver. 

Six words a good friend would use to describe you:

Optimistic, Determined, Outgoing, Strong-willed, Understanding, Conversationalist.

Bible not included, what is one of the best books you have ever read and why?

The Artisan Soul by Erwin McManus. Erwin McManus has always been one of my favourite communicators but this book especially is so inspiring to worship ministry. Its bottom line is that us, as Christians, were all created to create works of Jesus in the mundane everyday not just on stages or where our “craft” seems easy. We create because our creator intentionally created us. 

A great piece of advice you have received is...

Seek in your day your daily bread and God will provide. In other words, take days one day at a time and don’t plan your life in one sitting. 

If a SunRidger invited you for dinner, what would your food aversion be?

Any pasta dish ever. 

When you have time off you like to:

Organize my space. write songs. read books. write poetry. 

Something you love to talk about:

I love to talk about what makes a song special. 

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs

Country or Rock?

Rock

Starbucks or Tim Hortons?

Starbucks

What was your role at Green Bay Bible Camp this summer?

Worship Director 

A recent thing God has been teaching you:

God has been teaching me to slow down and be still and know he is present in my everyday. I’ve been realizing that my productivity is not the same as my worth and that not every one of my stressors needs to be figured out within the night. God has been teaching me to lean into him like a backbone when  I am weary and stressed. 

in 200 characters or less describe your faith journey:

The moments my faith became real and tangible to me were the moments I saw myself as a failure. In those moments I was able to take a step back and have my pride broken down in order to see more of how Jesus was actually working in my life. I was baptized at fifteen years old in my home church because as a Christian, I knew that was the next step to publicly declare my faith and to seek accountability. These past two summers I was given the opportunity step into my calling as the Worship Director at Green Bay Bible Camp. This past summer, more prominently than ever I have felt the Divine call to be a worshiper at heart first and then also lead others into the presence of God through worship. I have felt this calling presently in my devotional life and through trusted leadership around me speaking into my life. I love Jesus and I know he is for me and willing to walk along side me and qualify me for positions He has called me into even though I might not feel qualified myself. (Editor’s Note: 989 Characters, but who’s counting?)

Why intern?

Being an Intern at is something that has been on my mind for the past while, especially a worship intern. I believe the practical and hands on learning experience while still being called to a higher standard of leadership is such an journey. I was interested in Sunridge specifically because when I walked into church on a Sunday here, I felt at home. I come from a church of 2000 so its easy to get drowned in a sea of people, but I really respect the community of people here that made it a priority to introduce themselves. I really am so happy to get on board with a community like that. 

What is a goal you have as an intern?

My goal as an intern is to further develop my relational skills so that I may be able to ask God how he wants me to best love of specific people he brings into my life. Another goal I have is to bring more prayer into practice in worship. And have a more sustainable devotional life.


Hey SunRidge, hope this helps to fast-track you in getting to know Naomi. Hope you make the most of the time we have with her to get to know her, make her feel really at home, and help to make this whole experience rich for her!

 Teresa Klassen

Teresa
Klassen


And More Friends Inside!

One fine evening last week, I happened to be within earshot of our Student Ministries Pastor, Kyle Dyck, greeting the Student Ministries Lead Team. As you can imagine, it was enthusiastic! Kyle stood at the door and called out, “My friends!” as they came to the threshold of his door and then he added, “And look, there are more friends inside!”

I smiled to myself; I love a good moment and this was one. How beautiful it is when friends gather around a purpose. The goal of that night, as I understand it, was to move beyond planning to a time of building into one another, to listen to God and prepare for the journey ahead of investing in and discipling students.

I can say, from experience, there are few things so wonderful and so hard at the same time. It is wonderful to stand as brothers and sisters for such a great cause as loving people. And…there is nothing so challenging, because people are people and we all know what that means.

But it is worth the effort and it is worth the risk to welcome people at the threshold and then walk together for the long haul around this mission. Jesus calls these gatherings “His Bride” and He asks us to do what He does: serve with each other in sickness and in health, in good times and bad. Laugh with each other, cry with each other, exhort and encourage each other, keep each other on the path and spur each other on along it.

The Student Team is one way to practice this walking/serving together and there are lots of other ways. You can find out more here. It’s the best way to make a friend and be a friend so do some exploring at SunRidge and find friends inside!

 Teresa Klassen

Teresa
Klassen

 



Smashing Pumpkins! A Student Min Party

Every year is a smash! Literally. Some epic pumpkin carving followed by some epic pumpkin smashing. Pretty sure years from now SunRidge is going to have a thriving pumpkin patch behind the portable.

Thanks for coming out everyone! 

Smashing Pumpkins - A Student Min. Party!

A glimpse into the madness that was our SunRidge Student Ministries Halloween Party!