As local mission leaders for Resonate and the Christian Reformed Church across the U.S. and Canada, it's our job to engage and inspire you as you seek to live out God's mission in your communities. Here are a few ideas from those of us who live and work in Eastern Canada.
Amazing Race - River City Church in Cambridge Ontario, by Melissa Burmaster
Even for an average person, this pandemic has brought significant financial, social, and health challenges. This can be more pronounced for those marginalized through homelessness in our communities.
Despite being in the RED-Zone, River City Church designed a virtual Amazing Race for the Bridge Homeless Shelter. We rallied church community and their friends together safely and tremendously on Zoom to bless the marginalized. Eleven teams raced through a series of breakout rooms with a number of family-friendly challenges. The Race climaxed with teams delivering $1,400 of the most needed items to the Bridge Shelter in a Curbside Pick-Up Challenge.
Following the race, teams and the whole of River City’s community were challenged to give, and they sure did! Donations from the community rose to $2,030. Combined with the $1,400 of the most-needed items, the grand total giving was $3,430. Can we hear an “Amen?” River City can only imagine what God might do when we can do this race in person next year
Advocating for the marginalized creates opportunities to share the gospel in Halifax, NS - Sam K.
Among my neighbours, presence and working for the justice of our city have been key to holistic gospel witness. How could I express to a neighbour who hasn’t had heat in their apartment for five winters that there’s a God who cares for them if I don’t advocate with them to their landlord? How can I help a neighbourhood youth believe their life matters to God when they’re falling through the institutional cracks?
In my experience and context in Halifax, without working for the justice and flourishing of our community, we have no credible witness. It’s not handouts people are looking for, a small sum of money will not resolve anything. Seeking the justice and flourishing of an individual means working alongside the other person because they are also made in the image of God; working for the justice of a community means seeking its holistic wellbeing (see Isaiah 61).
I find that as our little family of believers seeks to be present and attentive to these things in three different neighbourhoods, we find the God who is present to people, especially to those who the world doesn’t pay attention to—the widow, the Muslim refugee, the homeless—and we are continually surprised at how much Jesus cares and even shows himself through dreams, the Word, and his peaceful presence amidst chaos.
Virtual Prayer Walk - Barrhaven Fellowship CRC, Ottawa Ontario by Helen DeSchiffart
Recently, Barrhaven Fellowship CRC encouraged those in the church to participate in a virtual prayer walk through their new building. They have waited for the chance to occupy their new building, but COVID-19 has postponed that gathering. They have become creative by offering the chance to view the building on the inside as well as pray at the same time for their future. A city-wide prayer initiative happened in January 2021, and this was a great way for us to be a part of it.