It heals relationships, restores peace and renews hope. It reduces the power of shame, expresses love and heals our soul. It is the antidote for bitterness, the beginning of a relationship and the soothing balm for minor irritations. Often misunderstood and viewed as the choice of the weak, meek and simplistic it is nonetheless what we all need to personally experience sooner or later. What is it?
It is not the same as trust, although you cannot grow to trust again without it. It is not identical to reconciliation, although you cannot be reconciled without it. It is not an escape from justice although some people assume so. Forgiving is a decision, choice and action to live like Jesus and is very hard to do. Forgiveness is central to our Christian faith and life, part of the Lord’s Prayer and prescribed in the scriptures. It is absolutely foundational to everything in our life and so we are going to spend eight weeks studying it. Prayerfully, we will refresh our understanding of the forgiveness God offers us and grow in our understanding of why forgiving one another is very important. For individuals or small groups who desire to do so, there will be a study guide available. Douglas Connelly has written a helpful study entitled Forgiveness: Making Peace With The Past. Each week the sermon will follow the assigned passage and the study will reflect on the Biblical passage. We will probably struggle at times with this series because living out God’s Truth always takes both courage and grace and that is especially true when it comes to forgiveness. Are you ready to explore the greatest and hardest gift you will ever receive?
Oct 2 Our Forgiving Father - Luke 15: 11-32
Oct 9 Why We Need Forgiveness - Ephesians 2: 1-10
Oct 16 Confessing our Sin - 1 John 1: 5-2:2
Oct 23 The Shout Of A Forgiven Man - Psalm 32
Oct 30 Out Of Debt - Matthew 18: 21-35
Nov 6 When We Are Wounded - Matthew 18: 15-20
Nov 13 As We Forgive Others - Matthew 6: 5-15
Nov 20 Forgiving When We Don’t Feel Like It - Philemon
In the first week of August, the field at Glenfir was transformed into an Olympic playing field, filled with middle school youth from our church and wider community. Campers at SBC’s Summer Games camp were divided into four teams who competed throughout the week in a variety of events which included soccer, road hockey and capture the flag. Using sports as a launching point, we also hosted devotions, called “Coaches’ Corners”, talking about what it means to follow Christ and discussing sportsmanship, courage, perseverance and God’s love. It was a fantastic week and I’m sure that many of our youth are looking forward to participating again next year!
Reviews from participants:
"It was amazing! You got to do lots of different activities. There was also a devotion part as part of a break. My favourite part was the water fight at the very end."
"Friday was my favourite part because we had a water fight. I wasn’t expecting that!"
"It was a really cool way for kids to learn about God while playing sports! My favourite activity was field games and watching kids chuck the chicken. I also loved it when Cory and Danny dumped a whole bucket of water on Lee - that was good."
Rachel, camp volunteer
"It was so great to see our interns run a successful sports camp! Rebecca, Carson and Cory did a fantastic job creating and running this week long event that impacted middle school youth of our community. Such a great combination of organized sport like soccer and football and fun activities like ultimate Frisbee and field games. Great job team!"
Photo Credit: Erna Schram
When I boarded my plane to the Okanagan back in May, I had no idea what exciting opportunities my summer would hold here at SBC. Now that my internship is coming to an end, I would like to share some of the things I’ve been involved with this summer.
From the beginning, I was able to dive into leading our Middle School youth group on Friday nights. Our summer theme has been “Bible in a Summer.” Each week, we learned a new part of God’s big story, starting with creation, moving to the entrance of sin into the world, and continuing with God’s work to redeem the world. One highlight was “Easter Night,” where the resurrection story was paired with traditional Easter activities, such as egg decorating and an egg hunt.
It was also great getting involved with our high school youth. Pastor Lee selected a video series on the book of James to work through. I loved the opportunity to lead a couple of the conversations.
Something new at SBC was our “Wednesday Afternoon Adventures” for middle schoolers. On every other Wednesday, we held events such as climbing Mount Cartwright or the Messy Olympics. It was great having our middle school youth come out to engage on a weekday, and it wouldn’t have been possible without our high school youth volunteers.
SBC has an amazing high school youth group. They are willing to get involved in serving others. A real highlight from my involvement with the high school youth was taking groups to volunteer at Kelowna Gospel Mission on two different Thursdays in August. Participants helped to prepare and serve food, and had opportunities to interact with the guests at KGM. It was amazing to see our youth get excited about helping others!
This summer has been such as blessing. I am so grateful for how welcoming and encouraging the SBC church family has been, and have loved the opportunity to work with your youth. I will miss you!
“When you walk, nothing will slow you down. When you run, you won’t trip and fall. Hold on to my teaching and don’t let it go. Guard it well, because it is your life.” Proverbs 4:12-13.
This was the memory verse at our Walk this Way VBS, where campers learned the importance of following God’s teachings. We focused on the life of Paul, using his story to learn about how we can also follow Jesus. It was amazing to see the energy and enthusiasm of the campers as they explored truths about God through stories, skits, singing, games, and crafts. We are also incredibly grateful to our volunteers - we couldn’t have done it without you!
Photo Credit: Erna Schram (Thanks so much, Erna!)