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These are fabulous ideas!  I keep coming across the Advent Prayer Bag - I think that I'm supposed to do something with that. Thank you!

At Hope Fellowship Church in Courtice, ON, we are blessed beyond belief with Pastor Nicole McLeod, who is our worship pastor, and Pastor Josh Friend, who is our teaching pastor.  Pastor Nicole has been here for 4 years and Pastor Josh is brand new - he came to us in August 2022.   

For the second time, our pastors have chosen to take the themes from our Vacation Bible School and turn them into a summer sermon series.  This year's series has been "When Life is 1. unfair, 2. scary, 3. changes, 4. sad, 5. good, God is good!  This week we will have a wrap up sermon for the series.  It has been amazing!


It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.  

by Mark Wolynn

We said good bye to our beloved pastor and his wife after 13 years this year.  A couple of thoughts:  make sure his wife (or her husband!) is also acknowledged and appreciated.  Our pastor said to us that the only way they could anticipate the farewell weekend was to celebrate the ministry we had done together.  That was our focus.  

We asked several members of our congregation to share a testimony of how he/they had touched their lives and blessed them.  We poked fun at them.  We brought in a group to cater a meal from a local ministry dear to their hearts.  We gave both of them opportunity to share their feelings.  

When our church moved into our own building, our mother church gave us a baptism font created by Floyd Elzinga.  We bought them a smaller piece reminiscent of that font to remember us by.  We took pictures of the farewell events and presented them with a book full of pictures.  

Our high school group presented a dramatic presentation of th gospel.  There wasn't a dry eye in the house when they finished.  

That's a small glimpse of some of the things we did.  Make sure you have a budget and a group of people (we worked from October to June to make it happen) to work on it.  But our pastor also retired, so we celebrated them twice - once as we said good bye as a church family and once again with the broader community, including former churches, to honour the retirement.  

At Hope Fellowship Church, we just finished an Advent Sermon series on the "Five Flawed but Faithful Women in the Genealogy of Jesus".  Our pastor is big on alliteration :).  So our word for 2016 is Faithful.

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