Freshwind Christian Fellowship

Following Jesus Together

May Schedule

Yesterday we did some listening together and decided it was time to stop public services early. That version of Freshwind has died and we are letting it go. Here is what is happening for May instead:

Saturday May 12: Drop-in Waffle Party at Greg and Tracey McKone’s house. Bring a waffle topping if you are able. Come any time after 6:00. Email Tracey at traceymckone@gmail.com if you need directions.

Sunday May 13: No service

Sunday May 20: No service. Come hang out in the park together instead. 10:30 at Mill Lake Park, near the picnic shelter at the Bevan Ave entrance. Map

Sunday May 27: Soup Sunday at our usual location. This will be the last official Freshwind function.

Blessings on you in this very strange season.

Nicole

Group Bible Study #2

This Sunday we are continuing with looking together at what the early church actually taught about the cross and salvation. Our questions are the same as two weeks ago:

  • Who is saved?
  • What are we saved from?
  • What are we saved for/to?
  • What are the roles of God/Jesus/us?

There’s a bunch of passages again, but this time they are mostly really short. If you can, have a look at them before Sunday and see if you notice any patterns.

Colossians 2:11-15, 1 Peter 2:21-24, Romans 6:8-11, Colossians 1:19-20, Ephesians 2

Nicole

Musing on Money

I have been thinking a lot about what to do with my tithe money now that Freshwind is shutting down our bank account. Maria said she was considering tithing to Abbotsford Community Services, and that set off all the gears in my brain. Community Services is doing Jesus stuff, whether they recognize it as that or not. What if we all started supporting groups doing Jesus stuff, regardless of whether or not there is a fish on their bumper? What would change in our town?

Then I started looking at all the church buildings in town and the huge sums of money they represent. What if Christians in general stopped investing in buildings and started putting that money in to affordable housing, clean water, poverty reduction, mental health care, drug and alcohol rehab, youth care workers, opportunities for women… How many huge world problems could we solve?

And what if we stopped worrying if God got the credit or not? What if we considered clean water funded by our taxes as just as good as clean water funded by a Christian charity? How would our view of God change? What if we stopped worrying if we got the credit or not and just gave generously, with or without tax receipts or recognition? What would change in us?

So I encourage you to make this a listening prayer exercise. Jesus, where would you have me send the money I used to give to Freshwind? Let’s see where this goes!

Group Bible Study #1

For the rest of April and May, we are going to do something a little different. Instead of a sermon, we are all going to dive into scripture and see what we find together. Our mission is to discover what the apostles and early church believed about the cross and salvation. We have four questions to answer:

  • Who is saved?
  • What are we saved from?
  • What are we saved for/to?
  • What are the roles of God/Jesus/us?

This week we are starting with a survey of Acts. Passages to look at are Acts 2:16-40, 3:12-26, 4:8-12, 5:29-32, 10:34-43 and 13:26-41. I encourage you to read these ahead of time and give them time to rattle around in your brain a bit. With much love,

Nicole

Sermon Audio – The Gospel in Chairs

This may be my last Freshwind sermon recording, and if it is I am glad to end off this way. I still remember the first time I saw this and how it set fireworks off in my brain!

Unfortunately, the visual effect of the chairs is hard to transfer with an audio recording. If you have trouble following the movement of the chairs, I recommend you view Brad Jersak’s video version, found here.

In Jesus name, I bless you to understand how much bigger and grander and kinder and more beautiful God is than we ever imagined. Much love,

Nicole

Announcements

Dear Freshwind Community,

It is with sadness but also with joy that I let you know that the Freshwind leadership has decided to close Freshwind Christian Fellowship as a Canadian charity and to end public services effective May 31, 2018.

This decision has been made together and in response to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we best understand it. There is no fight, no scandal, and no division in the church.

Since Geoff and Eric stepped down as pastors, God has been clearly saying not to add to the leadership team. Since then a number of longstanding Freshwind members have felt directed by God not to attend anymore, and though they have no quarrel with Freshwind, they have acted in obedience and left. Those remaining on our leadership team have been serving for many years and were feeling the need for a rest. This month, all four members of our leadership team individually felt directed to step down on April 30. This will leave us without the board of directors needed to maintain charity status and the decision has been made to let that go.

The good news is that we have also been receiving many encouraging words about Freshwind not ending, but changing form. We have been told that a pruning is different than an ending and reminded that a seed must die before the new plant can grow. So though we do not know what our community will become after the end of May, we are acting in obedience to let what is here now die, and looking forward in faith and excitement to see what God will do with us next.

For those who have called Freshwind home, we are having a celebration on Sunday May 27 at 10:30 at our current location, 2631 Cyril St. It will be the ultimate Soup Sunday, so bring something to contribute to the meal and expect a lot of hugs.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to freshwindoffice@gmail.com.

Nicole

The Gospel in Chairs

This week we are talking about the most important thing we ever can, in my opinion. It’s the gospel and our understanding of salvation.

The reason this is so important is because it permeates everything. Our beliefs on who is saved and how, are reflected in our beliefs about the character of God. The God we believe in is the one we try to emulate. This determines our character, our actions on a day to day basis, our politics and the causes we get involved in.

Our beliefs on salvation also direct our beliefs and practices around evangelism, and evangelism can be helpful, ineffective, or downright harmful as a result.

So on Sunday I am going to do my version of a presentation of the gospel that I learned from Brad Jersak, called the Gospel in Chairs, and then we are going to talk together about what salvation means. Bring your ideas and your questions. See you Sunday,

Nicole

Audio found here.

Participating in Easter

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We are going to do something tactile to participate in Good Friday and Easter this morning. Here is the outline in case anyone wants to participate from afar.

Death and new life are very closely linked in the gospel. On Friday we remember that Jesus died as the ultimate example of co-suffering love. God in Christ participated so fully in our human condition that he allowed us to kill him, and then he defeated sin and death from the inside out. As we remember, as we participate, as we identify with Jesus in his death, the defeat of sin and death come to fruition in us as well.

Jesus pointed to this in John 12:23-26 when he said “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.”

Both Paul and Peter picked up this theme. One example is in Romans 6:3-11. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Ask Jesus how he is asking you to die to sin or yourself today. That might be a sin issue he is asking you to let go of. That might be a dream or goal he is asking you to walk away from. Or he may wish to show you how you are already dying to sin and self on a regular basis.

Jesus, how would you like me to die to sin or myself today? How can I participate with you in your death? How am I already doing that?

When you hear something back from Jesus, write it on a small piece of paper. Sit with that for a few minutes.

When you are ready, crumple up your piece of paper and put it in a small plant pot, along with a small scoop of dirt. This is your seed.

Death is connected with new life. Crucifixion and resurrection. So I have another question for us to ask Jesus. Jesus, what is the new life you are bringing to me? As my seed dies, what new life is going to grow?

As you hear from Jesus, get a marker and write or draw something on your pot to represent what you heard, and then plant a flower in your pot. We are using pansy plants. Sit with this for a few minutes too.

No plant grows without good soil and water. Our water is the love that Jesus showers us with. So ask Jesus, “what does your love look like for me today?”

As you hear Jesus, use a marker to write or draw something on your pot to represent Jesus’ love for you. Then give your plant some water and allow yourself to experience the reality of God’s love for you.

Happy Easter. You are well loved.

Easter!

This Sunday is both Easter and Soup Sunday. Come with your reusable dishes and your thoughts about death, resurrection and new life as we celebrate together!

Nicole

Indigenous Peoples in Canada

This week we are privileged to hear from Brad Jersak and Charles Littledale on the history and current reality of the relationship between Canada and our Indigenous peoples.

Some questions to think on before you come:

  • What do I know about the way Canada has dealt with its Indigenous peoples? What gaps are there in my knowledge?
  • What do I know about the lives and cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada? What gaps are there in my knowledge?
  • When I think of Indigenous people, what generalizations or attitudes come up? Where do these come from? What is their fruit?
  • Can I think of an Indigenous person who inspires me?

Come prepared to feel uncomfortable together and to learn together. See you Sunday,

Nicole

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