Hear again

“When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.’”

Acts 17:32

There are certain things that are so incredible that even those who desire to believe need to hear it again—perhaps need to hear it again and again. This “we will hear you again about this” attitude, this willingness to entertain even the most outlandish suggestions because they stir a certain hope of truth inside of us, is what the Christian practice of weekly gathering and weekly storytelling is all about.

Every week we hear an incredible truth: that Jesus did die and rise again, that life to the full and without end is freely given, that God's love for this world is better even than the love that the world desires for itself, or that we are a people of truth and justice.

But then we return to the world of dead-meaning-dead, of conditional love where nothing (not even lunch) is free, and the doubts creep in - the questions about who we are and who God is manifest themselves once more. This is natural. This is not to be ashamed of—and it is in courage that we say repeatedly “we will hear again about this.” Despite the scoffers in our midst and the world that is so sure we’re fools for considering anything but its ways to be true or right: we choose to hear stories of truth again, to consider them in fresh ways each week. We choose to come, even with doubts and questions, because there's something beautiful that draws us to this incredible truth.

These Athenians who said “we will hear you again about this” were not uniquely incredulous or critical. They were a model for us of simple faith lived out, models of a genuine response to the unfathomable nature of God’s good truth—the truths of stories we never dared believe before. Stories that give us reason for hope and longing for the future.

This week, you are invited to come and hear again. Hear again about the kingdom of God that is being made real here, wherever you’re reading this, and everywhere where God’s people are. Hear again about how our church is following Jesus (even when you feel like you lost Jesus a long time ago), how we are loving the city (even though you are dismayed at the violence in our streets), and how we are serving the world (even if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of it.) Hear again these good truths for your soul.

Whether it’ll be for the first time in a long time, or one of countless times remembering together. Come and hear. Come and see. Come and believe.

I can’t wait to hear about God’s goodness again with you tomorrow.

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Postponed: Site Renewal Info Session

The Building and Property Committee is very sorry to share that the Site Renewal Information Session that was scheduled for this Sunday, September 30th, has had to be postponed. We are waiting on some important information that directly affects the site renewal, and the Motion that we will be putting forward to the congregation to vote on. The Building and Property Committee is committed to putting forth a viable plan to renew Knox Church site and facilities, and we are unable to do so until we have the pending information. Please note, as a result of this, the Q & A Session on the Site and Facilities Renewal scheduled for October 18th is also being postponed.  Both of these events will be rescheduled. The Committee thanks the Congregation for its patience and understanding, and continues to ask for prayer as we work through this complex and important site renewal process.

Has your September been busy?

Dear Church,

September always seems to come upon me with a rush, landing in my world with a “hit-the-ground-running” sort of urgency. Just as I feel I’ve really hit my easy summer stride, September shows up—out-pacing me at every step, challenging me to keep up. Usually, at this point in September—if I’m being honest—I’m not sure I can.

Perhaps you can relate.

Perhaps your first week of September was jammed with frantic morning lunch-packing, frenzied back-to-school shopping and adjusting to a new rotation of pick-ups, drop-offs and after-school childcare. Perhaps your September began with renewed volunteer commitments, a ramp-up at work, and all the sports teams you thought you could handle starting up at the same time. Perhaps you moved to a new city, started school and found your first apartment. Or, perhaps your September has been a leisurely stroll towards autumn (in which case, enjoy the pace!)

September—for many of us—is a season of new beginnings, full of excitement and possibility. At Knox we call this season “September Launch” because we get to throw ourselves into all that God has for us this year with energy and hope, certain that He will move among us. What an amazing season! It’s also true that with beginnings come transitions, which challenge us, disrupt us and invite us into deeper dependence upon God.

For me, this has been a September of multiple beginnings. I’m preparing to get married in a couple of weeks, while my fiancée, Fran, and I have moved across the country, leaving community and ministry roles to start a new job, and a new program of study, in a new city. It’s full of excitement and possibility, and I feel certain that God is leading us into something extraordinary … and I have learned that we can’t do this alone!

As we began our vision sermon series this month with the call to be followers of Jesus’ way, I found myself so grateful to be serving a God who leads us. That, in the midst of our Septembers, we are not left to flounder in the chaos of “launch” season, but we can lift our eyes to the One who sets our course. The good news, church, is that we don’t just learn about, sing about, talk about, pray about Jesus, we follow Him. Through new beginnings, through transition, into the future He has prepared for us, we look for the footsteps of Jesus and follow His trail. He is going somewhere we can’t see yet, inviting us to trust that His way is good and true, and to fall into step with Him. Instead of promising to remove the challenges that come with new beginnings, Jesus calls us into and through them, promising to be with us - leading us and calling us forward for the sake of His kingdom and for our flourishing. Isn’t this good, church?

Whether your September so far feels like chaos or calm, I invite you to practice lifting your eyes towards the One you follow this week. In the 5PM service this week, we sang a simple chorus that a friend taught me for when I feel overwhelmed by the rush and swirl of life:

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full on His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.”

Jesus is leading you through this season. He is ahead of you, and behind you, on your right and your left. He knows where you’re going, and knows exactly how to get there. Let us rest, and walk, and trust, and hope, in that good promise, my friends. And let us live our Septembers in the light of His glory and grace.

Much peace,

Pastor Kristen

Knox Pastoral Staff Team

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4)

Session approved reorganizing our pastoral staffing team with the goal for staff to equip and engage God’s people for ministry. The pastors and ministry directors will be leaders who build and lead ministry teams of volunteers who carry out the ministry. Each pastoral staff leader will focus the bulk of their efforts to equip, develop and disciple leaders, teams, and volunteers under their direction and supervision.

Here’s an overview of the current pastoral staff team along with areas of ministry. Please contact any of these staff with your ideas, thoughts, and questions about ministry at Knox. We are eager to partner together!

Ministry Directors

Staff members directing specific ministry programming:

Children’s Ministry Interim Director - Betty Reinders: is responsible for children’s ministries from 0 - gr. 8, including nursery, Tiny Tots, 252’s and Junior High Ministry.

International Ministries Interim Director: Colin McCordic: provides leadership for English as Second Language ministries and International Bible studies.

Young Adult Ministry Interim Director - Fiona Jack: is responsible for providing leadership and discipleship for our University ministry, engaging students in the life of Jesus.

Pastoral Lead Team

The pastors providing primary ministry leadership for our church:

Senior Minister - Rev. Dr. Phil Reinders: has primary preaching and teaching responsibilities, and provides key leadership for the overall Knox ministry vision and strategy, working closely with staff and Session.

Assistant Minister - (soon to be Rev.) Nick Renaud: shares preaching responsibilities, provides pastoral care and prayer ministry leadership, as well as ministry supervision to senior ministry staff (other than Sr. Minister).

Worship Pastor - Kristen Westwood: oversees all elements in the design and development of dynamic, biblical worship across all worship services, connecting worshippers to the story and presence of God, while developing leaders and a culture of participation within the worship ministry.

Discipleship Pastor - Ashlee Campbell: provides ministry leadership to Discipleship Ministries at Knox, including Home Church and Adult Discipleship programming, along with Youth Ministry oversight and direction.

Connections Pastor - Peter de Koning: this newly developed staff position is responsible for creating a culture of welcome and hospitality for all guests and church members, ensuring people are incorporated into the Knox Church family and shepherded into engagement in the body life of the church. Until December 2018, Peter will continue in a half-time role as Communications Coordinator. In January 2019, Peter will add the role of volunteer development, providing leadership for equipping, training and developing ministry volunteers.

Reflections on Alpha

by Tatiana

Why did you decide to try Alpha?

I heard about Alpha through TTC ads, a sign on the lawn of St. George the Martyr, and, most importantly, after being invited by close friends who are members of Knox and were hosting a table.

I wanted to try Alpha for a variety of reasons. I had, a few years prior, committed my life to Jesus, but despite this commitment and much “shopping around” I hadn’t been able to enter a church community. Also, a couple months before the start of Alpha I had been diagnosed with chronic trauma, and not only the symptoms but the shock of the diagnosis meant life was overwhelming and almost unmanageable.

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