It was almost 28 years ago that the Chouinard family followed a moving van to a house that I hadn’t seen to meet people I did not know. Pastor, they called me. I hadn’t earned that designation yet. But they welcomed me. They welcomed our family. You welcomed me. You welcomed our family. Over the years we have grown together, pastor and congregation, friends, co-labourers in Christ. And Trinity Church has became my church home.
So, in yesterday’s message it felt . . . off . . . for me to say that I was sharing my last annual report with you, even though it was not a secret that we would be moving from Trinity Church later this summer. The decision – difficult to make – had been made. The news had been shared. But it didn’t feel “real” until this weekend. It was still something far off in the distance. Something to think about. Something to come.
But now . . . the time nears. When we made the decision to move, Cindy and I did not know where God would lead us pastorally, just that it was time for us to move. On Friday we accepted an invitation to pastor the Sherwood Park Church just outside of to Edmonton. We are already missing Trinity Church – you have been – you are – our family. It is our prayer that God will continue to use Trinity as a beacon of light in Riverview Park.
Annual Meeting Sunday is a time to look back and celebrate the year past and to look forward with dreams and plans for the year(s) ahead. I shared from Genesis – Noah’s story of life on the ark – and pointed out that someone put it this way: peeking over the deck of the ark, all Noah can see is water. Water to the north. Water to the south. Water to the east. Water to the west. Water everywhere.
I suggested that we – not just the church “we” but society “we” – could identify with Noah. That for the past two years we have found ourselves waiting for the flood waters of the COVID pandemic to wane, frustrated with and by our isolation. And that now that it is ending, we can begin to look ahead and to plan for the future.
We have done more than just survive these past two years. In fact, we celebrate all that we have done at Trinity in the past year. We praise God that He has helped us as His people. We have grown closer to Him. We have shared the Good News of Jesus as individuals, and as a church through our support of missions. We have become more aware of the needs of others and have reached out compassionately. Our prayer emphasis has been rekindled. We look back and see God in the midst of the storm, and we look forward and see God in the midst of the calm . . . and as we walk down the gangplank of the ark into a time of newness – of transition – we go in His power and look for His direction.
As always, you can find a manuscript of the message in the SERMONS section of our web site – click here to download a copy. You can also “revisit” yesterday’s service on our Facebook page (click here) and on our YouTube channel (click here).
Following our service, we shared some updates about church life.
- Pierre gave a financial update, highlighting income and expenses, and proposed a budget for the next church year (please e-mail the church if you’d like a copy).
- Your church board: Pierre Charlebois (chair), Emmanuelle Joseph (secretary), Matt Charlebois, Lisa Praine.
- Your church “transition team”: Matt Charlebois, Pierre Charlebois, Emmanuelle Joseph, Barb MacMillan.
- Emmanuelle Joseph has volunteered to lead missions/take on the role of Nazarene Missions president
- Matt Charlebois and Johania Joseph plan to re-start the teen ministry and begin a children’s ministry this summer (prayers and support are appreciated).
Thank you, Emmanuelle and Johania for organizing a coffee time following the meeting, and for those who supplied cookies. We are becoming more comfortable as the pandemic wanes (although we remain careful); we will plan for a fellowship time of some sort once a month as long as infection rates remain low.
Other church news:
- We offer our congratulations to Pam and David, who are expecting another child this fall.
- We offer our sympathies to Rick and Anna, on the passing of Rick’s sister.
- We remember Yvette Charlebois (Pierre’s mother, Matt’s grandmother) – she has been placed on the Missions “Memorial Roll”.
Many times I have said that we have a great team of young leaders in our congregation – because it’s true! These leaders are maturing and God is helping them to find their way in Him – and He is using them to do great things in the church. Johania will share the message in this coming Sunday’s service.
Please join us in the sanctuary as we worship together. If you do not feel comfortable joining with others in the congregation in person please join us through our Facebook feed (click here) or our YouTube feed (click here) – or link directly from our web site (click here). Please “check in” – let us know if you worship with us “live or delayed”.
I have been the unofficial chaplain of the Ottawa Misfits Motorcycle Group for the last number of years. I stumbled on to the group – by invitation – “lo those many years ago”. When we gather (we didn’t join the Rolling Thunder protest!) the conversation often turns to spiritual matters, and I am welcome and welcomed to answer questions that may arise. This year, with indoor services allowed, the group will join us for our May 29 service. A “Blessing of the Bikes” will follow.
We have been talking about the denominational Half Million Mobilization – a call for people of our denomination to stop and listen for and to the voice of God and to become grounded, to search for God’s direction so that we can be what He wants us to be in the coming days. We pray as a local church within a denomination . . . and wait quietly for Him to speak powerfully.
We are Praying Our Way to Pentecost (June 5). We are praying for God’s protection, direction, and revelation, looking to see renewal and revival in our churches.
This Half-Million Mobilization is a call to Nazarenes to experience unity as a region, to hear from the Spirit in our times of prayer, to share with each other what the Spirit is saying, and to discover His plans for our hope and future. A prayer journal has been developed to help us in our focus (click here, or download your copy from the main mailing page).
An app for mobile devices which will provide the daily devotionals has been developed; it is available at the Apple App Store and on Google Play.
A Holiness Today Special Edition devoted to prayer is also available (please e-mail the church to receive a copy or click here to download a copy). Print versions were made available but were sold out before we could order them; I am sorry that we missed out on them and could not have them for you.
We meet every Wednesday evening at 7:00 through ZOOM to prayer together. We share with one another, we discover the needs of others who are part of our church near and far, and we pray . . . some silently, some vocally. Join us this week! E-mail the church office for log-in information.
Thank you for your faithful support of the work we are trying to accomplish for Christ through what we do as a church . . . for giving generously of your tithes and offerings to the meet the needs of our local church. We continue to receive our tithes and offerings through e-transfer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and through the Canada Helps web site (click here).
Our annual spring Celebration of Worship through Music will be held on June 5. We would like to invite everyone to participate . . . talk with Matt if you would like to sing, to share some prose/poetry/a story, to play . . . to be part of a great time of praise.
It is also Pentecost Sunday . . . we expect a great time of blessing!
I understood that the District “Family Reunion” service would begin Sunday June 12 at 11:00 am and be streamed on the District YouTube channel. With that in mind, we were planning to open the sanctuary for Trinity people to gather but that the broadcast of the District Service would replace our service. However, I misunderstood. The District Service will begin at 3:00pm; hence, we will have “our own regular” service at 11:00am. We encourage you to join us for worship and to watch the District service in the afternoon.
Also note . . . District Assembly will be led from the Rosewood Church in Scarborough June 10 and streamed on the district YouTube channel. The evening ordination service (only) will be “in person” . . . Pastor André of our Ottawa Haitian Church will have his credentials recognized by our denomination (he comes to us from the Mission Evangélique d'Haiti) . . . the church property committee will share a “spring cleaning needs” list soon; we ask that if you can you sign up for a cleaning need, to be completed at your convenience; this is instead of holding a work day . . . a pastoral transition team has been formed, made up of Barb, Emmanuelle, Matt, and Pierre; they will begin working with our District Superintendent in the days ahead and will be seeking input . . . a “transition handbook” is available on the district web site . . . during the transition Johania, Matt, and Pastor Lloyd Rodriguez (and perhaps others) will share preaching duties; we’re working on a preaching schedule.