serving opportunities

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

 



The Things We Do (The Last One To Leave. Part 6)

Someone said something to me recently that I thought was SO beautiful and so true about servanthood that I decided to end my little “The Things We Do” series with what they brought to my attention. We were talking about serving in the church (the joy and the struggle of it — both are real), especially when you find yourself staying to the very end of an event or gathering. This person said, “What many people don’t understand is how often the best things happen right at the end when you are the last ones to leave.”

Did this ever trigger memories in me from the last 21 years at SunRidge!

How many times have I been a part of the small group of people who have made it to the very end of all the tidying up after an event and the best conversations happen right then? Or how many times has the funniest thing happened when someone among the few tired stragglers says or does something hilarious and it becomes legend? Or, when we have been left with the last of our comrades, how many times has someone said, “Let’s meet up somewhere for a drink.”

How many times have the “last people” leaned on a counter and talked another hour in the semi-dark? How many times have a few people recapped the whole evening and felt the warmth of a job well done?

It’s not always that way. Sometimes you are the only one left to lock up and you do it and you turn off the lights and you walk out to an empty parking lot. Sometimes everyone has scattered, or everyone has gathered somewhere that you are unaware of. It’s not like staying to the end and being “that guy” always feels amazing. Servanthood does not always feel amazing, in fact sometimes it is just very quiet.

Still, there are the golden moments that some of you have stayed to see when someone turns the music up loud and dances with the mop; I wouldn’t trade seeing that for the world.

I have not always been the one to stay to the end, but I understand it.

Often in the things we do, the best things happen when you are the last one to leave.

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Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 

The Things We Do (Over and Over. Part 3)

There is something we have done for 16 years at SunRidge, over and over, because sixteen years ago we looked at each other around Christmas time and asked, “Do we really need a Christmas Banquet for ourselves?” As we considered what we were putting our effort towards at Christmas we thought about how most of us were well provided for, well fed, and well cared for in a loving community. That was the year we decided our Christmas party wouldn’t be for ourselves.

Every since, we have hosted a Community Christmas Dinner and have filled our building with whoever comes. Our guests may be neighbours from down the street, someone new to West Kelowna, friends we are connecting with at the Westbank United daily Lunch Program, those who may top up their shelves at the Foodbank, strangers we bump into and invite on the spot…its a wonderful collection of people mixed in with our own wonderful community.

Every year we plan out a great meal, decorate the “house” from top to bottom, gather up door prizes, put together gifts for each family, plan fun games that anyone can play, sing songs, and have wonderful and entertaining conversations around the table with new and old friends . We have had many repeat guests — some have come every year! We have celebrated birthdays, given hugs to those who have lost loved ones, staged free portraits for our guests (and their pets), laughed a lot and eaten well. Who comes to serve? Everyone from soft-hearted Senior Citizens to our sweet and spirited students; there are even places for kids to practice loving others.

There are lots of ways to connect with the wider community in big and small ways, and this is just one way. It is one way to say, “No matter how well or how little we know one another, let’s be together and have a lovely time.” It is something we have invited over and over, for sixteen years.

This year our kitchen team cooked up an amazing Ukrainian meal (home-made pirogies, cabbage rolls, meat-balls, orzo salad…). It was a hit!!

Thanks to Lisa K. for being the lead-lead for our 16th Community Christmas Dinner and thank you to all those who worked on this weeks ago, who showed up days ago, who came early and stayed late. Thank you to all of you who looked people in the eye, hosted a conversation, took a photo, brought a cup of tea, sang your hearts out, loaded a dishwasher, swept the floor, and closed the doors at the end.

Merry Christmas!

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!

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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