#thiswayoflife Halloween Activities

If you tuned in to Pastor Amos’ video tonight, you heard about the #thiswayoflife Halloween fun we have for you!

Gather your household together and make some fun pumpkin treats and be sure to save one of your pumpkins to carve a #FlatJesus face in it!

Download a template and print at home!

Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins

These Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins are so cute and they’re really easy to make!

PREP TIME: 20 mins TOTAL TIME: 20 mins SERVINGS: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 bag large marshmallows APPROXIMATELY 40 MARSHMALLOWS
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies
  • Red & Yellow Liquid Food Colouring
  • Mini Rolos
  • Green M&M’s
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil or melted butter in a small bowl TO KEEP IT FROM STICKING TO YOUR HANDS
  • In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat.
  • Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted and combined with the butter.
  • Remove from the heat. Add several drops of yellow food colouring, mix it together, then add red food colouring one drop at a time, mixing as you go. Add red/yellow drops until you reach your desired colour. (I used about 4 drops red and 12 drops yellow). Mix well.
  • Add the Rice Krispies and stir to combine.
  • Coat both sides of your hands with a generous amount of cooking oil or butter, and roll the Rice Krispie mixture into small balls. Set on parchment paper. Add oil/butter to your hands after each ball.
  • While the balls are still warm, gently press a Mini Rolo into the top of each pumpkin for the stem and add a green M&M beside it as the leaf. (Tip: If the pumpkins cool before you’re finished, use the end of a thick marker or apple corer to make a small indent in the top for the chocolate to sit in.)

Don’t forget to tag your creations with #thiswayoflife

5 Minute Thoughts: Autumn Prayer of Acceptance

Join Pastor Lyndsay on Tuesday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. as she shares a special autumn reflection based on this poem by Joyce Rupp.

Autumn Prayer of Acceptance

Gracious God of every turning season, your earth teaches me by her natural turning from one season to another. As she enters into the dying and rising cycle, she welcomes the changes. May I be open to the teachings of this season of autumn, and turn, as autumn does, toward opportunities for my spiritual transformation.

When I accept only the beautiful and reject the tattered and torn parts of who I am, when I treat things that are falling apart as enemies, walk me among the dying leaves. Let them tell me about their power to re-energize the earth’s soil by their decomposition and decay.

When I fear the loss of my youthfulness and the reality of my aging, turn my face to the brilliant colours of October trees. Open my spirit to the mellow resonance of autumn sunsets. Brush your love past my heart with the beauty of golden leaves twirling from autumn trees.

When I refuse to wait with the mystery of the unknown, and when I struggle to control rather than to let life evolve, wrap me up in the darkening days of November. Encourage me to enter into the stillness and silent mystery, to wait patiently for wisdom and clarity.

When I grow tired of using my gifts to benefit others, take me to the autumn fields where earth freely yields the bounty of her summer. Let me become aware of how she allows her land to be stripped clean so her faithfulness will be a source of nourishment.

When I resist efforts to warm a relationship that has grown stale by my chilly indifference or resistance, let me feel the first hard freeze of autumn’s breath in the death that this coldness brings to greening things.

When I neglect to care for myself, and become totally absorbed in life’s activities, let me see how the animals gather sustenance and provide for their winter time. Take me inside the caves of those who hibernate and remind me to contemplative nature.

When I fight unwanted and unsought changes and when I seek to keep things just as they are, place me on the wings of birds flying south for another season. Gather their spirit of freedom into my heart. Let me be willing to leave my well satisfied place of comfort for the discomfort of the long flight into the unknown.

We thank you, God of transformation,for all these lessons that the autumn earth teaches me.

A prayer written by Joyce Rupp, printed in “Out of the Ordinary”; Joyce Rupp, Editor; Ave Maria Press; 2000

Sunday Live Stream: What Really Matters?

“What Really Matters?“
Luke 10:38-42
Sept 20, 2020

-> Have you ever felt frazzled? Have you felt like you were on the perpetual hamster wheel of the busy life with no way off. You just run and run, the wheel squeaks, but you seem to get no where? And the list of things you have to do keeps piling up? Places to go…things to do… hats to wear… Maybe you felt that way PRE-COVID? Maybe the last several months were a nice reset. But now as we have hit the fall season, you feel life getting a bit out of control again? You are maybe starting to feel the pressure again of all the things you could be doing and “should” be doing?
-> I sense that churches have felt the same struggle. For so long, it was about programs, about doing things every night of the week, running ministries for everyone, making sure that there is a busy full calendar of stuff at the church (don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of things that we were doing that was great and needed….) But I wonder if we ever felt like we were just doing and doing, and feeling some satisfaction in all our doing, but knowing somehow that really, we are just running in an hamster wheel and not really going anywhere?
-> If there is one thing that COVID has revealed in churches across North America is our general comfort with status quo in terms of why we run ministry, how we run ministry, and what ministries we run. Are we doing what we think is expected of us, and putting a whole bunch of energy into what we think we need to run because that is just what we do?
-> Have we ever taken the time to ask, in all the things we are doing (whether it be at home or at church) “What really matters?” What is it that I actually should be doing, rather than what is it that we could be doing?
-> As I look at our lives personally, and I look at our lives as the church moving ahead, I want us to ask that question “what really matters?” I also want to look at a passage in scripture that speaks about that very topic.

Luke 10:38
-> On their way to Jerusalem and stop in Bethany
-> This is the home of Mary and Martha and brother Lazarus (remember him? He
would later die, and Jesus would bring him back to life after being in the grave for
a few days.)
-> Martha welcomes them in, plays the role well of hostess. A role that she would have likely been accustomed to playing. In that culture and time, being invited into a home to share a meal was the ultimate sign of deep relationship.

Luke 10:39
-> Mary does something strange… out of place for that culture.
-> Rather than be a hostess like it would have been expected, she sits at the feet of Jesus, much like a student sat at the feet of a rabbi to learn.
-> This is an oddity because women generally were not students of the rabbi.
This was a role reserved for males.
-> There she was, sitting in a place where generally only men would sit, sitting in a room full of men, clearly out of place, not serving in her traditional role.

Luke 10:40
-> Martha was distracted. Martha always gets the bad wrap here… but can you understand why she was distracted?
-> Did she know Jesus and the crew were coming? There was no emails, texts, or phone calls that could be made. At the very most, there may have been a messenger that ran on ahead to say Jesus was coming. But it is doubtful that Martha had much warning (if any). How many of you like surprise dinner guests?
-> She couldn’t just pull out a Lasagna from M&M Meats from the freezer and cook it at 450 for 2 hrs. Or go to the local McD’s to buy 3 dozen Big Macs. There was no convenience available.
-> What all went into prepping food? Did she have to slaughtering animals? Did she have to make bread from scratch with her bare hands? How about building a fire to cook on rather than turning on the gas stove or BBQ?… um no thanks. I cook a lot these days, and don’t mind it, but I wouldn’t want to imagine the stress in front of Martha.
-> She feels more than just a little slighted and abandoned by her sister. Mary has one job to do and will not do it. Ever worked with someone like that? Can you understand Martha’s stress? And now Martha has this huge job to do to make this big meal to honour the Lord, and she is stressing. She needs that extra set of hands…
-> Can you picture the scene in the pantry as she prepares? The heavy sighing, the groaning that got a little bit louder, the self talk under the breath….and she is working herself up to the point that she can no longer handle it.
-> She confronts Mary in front of Jesus, hoping that the teacher will rebuke her and side with Martha, and that Mary will be shamed. It is also a bit of a rebuke to Jesus as in her eyes, He should have known better than to even let Mary sit at his feet when she had a job to do.

Luke 10:41-42
-> Jesus doesn’t seem to be mad or angry with Martha. In fact, His response is loving, and filled with compassion – but He does respond.
-> Paraphrasing, He tells her: calm down, take a breath. Stop and smell the roses…. You are too tightly wound.
-> He reminds her that at the end of the day, not everything truly matters. These details are temporary (the making of the meal), and what Mary has chosen (spiritual growth and nourishment) isn’t.
-> I wonder how transformational this encounter with Jesus was for Mary? It is Mary who would go on, at another visit, to anoint Jesus prior to His crucifixion. Is there something during that teaching time that impacted her heart to prepare her for her act of sacrifice and love later?

-> Have you taken an inventory of your life lately and asked “what really matters?” Are you too busy running in the daily wheel doing a whole bunch of good things and missing out on the God things that you are supposed to be doing?
-> What has God called you to do that you are too busy to do? For example, how are you pouring into your family? Are you too busy to pour into your spouse and children? Is your life out of balance because of all the demands you think you need to meet? Are you spending time mentoring someone and being mentored? How about your own personal spiritual growth? Is there time to spend with God?
-> What are the ‘God things’ He is calling you to that you are too busy to do because you are doing good things?

-> What matters for us as a church? What are the ‘God things’ we are called to that we have forgotten? Are we too caught up in the details of who we think we need to be and what we think we need to do based on what everyone else is telling us that we have forgotten that it comes down to only one factor? Jesus!
-> At the end of the day, as a church we are called to be all about Jesus. The church was created to ultimately make Jesus known to the world, and help people grow in their faith in Christ. It was called to be Christ to the world. The church is all about Jesus.
-> So are we all about Jesus? Is He all that matters to us as a church?
-> Last week I said we were going to talk this year about disciple making. We were going to talk about intentional spiritual growth in you, and then you going and investing that into the life of someone else, who then does the same thing.
-> In order for us to be a disciple making church, Jesus has to be our focus. Following Him needs to be our game plan. Being like Him needs to be our identity. Growing in our faith in Him needs to be our passion.
-> What really matters to us as a church? Are we ready?

HMC Family Update

Family Update
September 16th, 2020

Hello everyone!

It is time for another bi-weekly update! After the last couple that have been a lot lengthier, I promise (if it is at all possible for me) to be a little less long winded this time! After all, I have to save something for Sunday!

I do hope you are all keeping well. For those of you who are parents, educators, or are in school yourself, I imagine that the last couple weeks have been a different September than ever imagined. From hearing from some of you, it has been quite stressful and difficult. And the adjustment has been hard on every front.

Please know that we as a leadership team (Staff and Ministry Council) are praying for you. Also, any one of our pastors are here to talk to you if you need a listening ear and prayer at any time.

Family Updates (congratulations, condolences, and prayer needs)

Please be continuing to pray for Jane and Dawn as Jane is still in the hospital, and both she and Dawn are dealing with numerous adjustments to their daily lives.

Also, please be praying for the Sullivan family (Ross and Nancy) who are connected to many of our congregation through Ethnos. If you are not aware, last weekend their daughter Amberly passed away. Please continue to be praying for the whole family as they prepare in the next couple weeks to gather for a memorial. Also be praying for them for comfort as they navigate this time of deep loss.

Missions Highlight:

This week we want to be praying for Mike Wilson who has been supported by HMC for some time now, and many will know through him growing up here at HMC. Mike serves with Youth Unlimited in Quinte, running a program called “Graphic Word”. His main area of outreach is to those he lovingly calls “nerds”, creating a place for them to be them, and through gaming finding creative ways to help them find faith and Jesus. Please be praying for he and his family (Sarah, Mark, and Hannah). We are thankful how God is using this family for Him!

Financial Update from Ministry Council:

August 31st was the end of HMC’s fiscal year. We serve an awesome God! HMC finished the year in the black. Yes, God is good! And He enabled staff and other ministry leaders to reduce spending, and He enabled the congregation to give in a generous fashion.

Thank you for giving so generously. May we give God the praise He deserves!

Our service this weekend:

This Sunday, as we talk about growing in our faith, and becoming deeper disciples (followers) of Jesus, we will look at the first of many I AM statements of Jesus, and talk about how that makes an impact on our lives as we seek to follow Jesus.

If you are coming to church in person, please make every effort to register by Thursday morning at 10 am. Otherwise, please join us online on our Facebook page, or through the link at www.hanovermissionary.com/live

Whether you join us online or in person, I look forward to being with you at 10 am.

Fall Ministry Launch:

Fall is now upon us, and that means that we are gearing up (all be it looking different) for our fall ministry season.

Our official kickoff to fall begins a little later this year (October 5th). Be watching for information over the next few Sundays and online in these updates so that you can be aware of all the opportunities available for you and your family to grow in your faith!

Thanks for reading!

As promised, this has been a short update!

Thanks for reading and keeping in touch with what is going on at HMC.

Know that we miss you all and pray for you. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out.

See you again in two weeks for our next update!

On behalf of everyone here (Staff and Council),

Pastor Dave
dave@hanovermissionary.com
519-364-1823 ext 30

Sunday Live Stream: I AM…fingerprints

I AM… Who are you?

1 Fingerprints

September 13, 2020

-> If you are anywhere within the sound of my voice (whether it be in person, or at home online, or it is now Saturday night and you are watching on TV), hold up your hand in front of your face, and take a close look at your finger tips… have you ever taken time to see the complexity in your fingerprints?
-> Fingerprints identify you as you. Apparently, the exact design is unique to you. Which is why crime scene investigators try to lift fingerprints from a crime scene. It can point to who was there (when we had our theft last year, the police took stuff to be fingerprinted). It is why when you go to Disney, you have to put your index finger into a fingerprint reader to validate your pass every day (to make sure you aren’t giving your pass to someone else). It is how I can determine when my boys have been digging into some messy food in the fridge when they are not supposed to between meals (because they leave messy fingerprints behind on the fridge door / handle, and sometimes a wall nearby. Anyone else know what I mean?
-> Here is the truth this morning… your life is a giant fingerprint.

Key Idea:

If you follow Jesus, your life is a giant fingerprint

-> Jesus has left a fingerprint on your life. You are the image of who Jesus is (or so we should be).
-> Everything we do (as followers of Christ) is because the fingerprint of the Gospel message (the good news about Jesus) has so impacted our lives. The Gospel message has left its fingerprint on our heart, on our words, on our thoughts, and on our actions. Our whole life is a giant fingerprint.
-> Next several weeks (all the way up to the first Sunday of advent) going to be talking about our direction and vision for this fall. We are talking about you and I intentionally allowing the fingerprints of the gospel message to go deep into our lives, and impact us in a way that we daily reflect more and more who Jesus is and what His message is about so that we can have these fingerprints make a mark on whomever we have a relationship with. And those fingerprints hopefully will take root in their lives, and the cycle continues.
-> We call this discipleship and disciple making. It is where we are intentionally heading in all of our ministries – the driving direction behind all we are doing starting this fall.
-> This is nothing new. In fact, it is just the next step in our vision and mission statement as a church:

VISION STATEMENT: Generations Following Jesus Together (who we want to be)
MISSION STATEMENT: Gather, Grow, Give, Go (how we get there)

-> Last year, we focused a lot around the “Gather” piece. We recognized the importance of being a community and gathering as a community together. The idea of family and belonging was important (and needs to continue to be). We have strived to build community in our Sunday morning services pre-COVID, at the Midweek Meal, through Mom’s and Tots, at Young @ Heart, with G2G groups, One to One groups, Youth, Warming Centre, etc… “Gather” is a particularly important part of our identity and function.
-> Many of these events were also for the purpose of growth – which is great. But as I have been praying these last few months and asking God for His heart for HMC, I have felt that this is the season where we need to take the next step. “Grow” needs to be more of a clear foundational driving force. We need to embrace the fact that the fingerprint of the Gospel is on our lives and it seeks to change us, develop us, grow us. And as we do, we seek to pass that fingerprint on to others so that they will change spiritually, develop, and grow as followers of Jesus who have had the fingerprint of the Gospel impact them.
-> As we press into this idea of “Grow” this year, there are a couple central questions we need to ask as we move along:

Central questions:
->What does “Grow” look like? Everyone has a different idea of what it looks like to be a disciple (follower of Jesus). What does it mean to have the fingerprint of the Gospel on your life? What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus who makes other followers? Is this just another catch phrase the church uses, or is their substance behind it?
->Also, how do we take someone who is not yet a follower of Jesus, or is not as deep as we are, allow the fingerprint of the Gospel to rub off on them, and help them grow spiritually to a point of maturity and reproduction? In other words, how do we “make followers of Jesus who make followers of Jesus who make followers of Jesus?”
-> The best place to figure out the answers to these questions is by following the example Jesus set for us by His life and ministry. So over the next several weeks (until Advent), we are going to each week unpack an “I AM” statement of Jesus where He reveals more of who He is. And we are going to look at how that impacts us (how His fingerprints can be made real in our lives), and how that shapes how we share that fingerprint with others.
-> But first, some background theory….

WHY?
-> Why does this matter today? Why should we care about the “Grow” part? Why grow deeper in our faith? Why share the fingerprint of the Gospel on our lives with others?
-> Simply, because Scripture commands it. Jesus calls us to make disciples / followers of Him. And truthfully, if we are His followers, if the fingerprint of the Gospel is on our lives, that should be enough of a reason. Let me look at a few specific verses that back up what Jesus calls us to:

2 Cor 5:19-21 God has made a way for people to be made right with Him, for relationship to be restored. A way for people to receive mercy and forgiveness and freedom from their broken and sinful past and be given a new hope, a new future that is marked by wholeness. And He leaves a fingerprint on our lives (the message of reconciliation) so that we can share that fingerprint of the Gospel message with others and invite them as well to be made right with God through Christ.

Matthew 28:18-20 These are some of the last recorded words of Jesus. Jesus tells His disciples (followers – those who had been impacted by His personal fingerprint while on Earth) a message bookended with “All power is under my control – so go in my power, and I will be with you forever so don’t fear.” Then says “spread the fingerprint of the Gospel message that has impacted your life with others. Share with everyone what you have learned from me, and let that fingerprint impact their lives so that they too follow me like you are.”

Acts 1:8 My Holy Spirit is going to come on you, give you power, give you boldness, speak through you, guide you, and help you. And when He does, consider that your commissioning to go. Consider that your cue to go in the authority that I have that I am placing in you to share that message, that fingerprint of the Gospel with the whole world. Out of the message of what has happened in your lives, make them followers of me.

-> We are told to make disciples. We know that we are given a mission by Jesus to actively share His fingerprint with the local and global community. Obedience to the call of Jesus isn’t up for debate (or at least it shouldn’t be).

How does this shape us?
-> So how is HMC doing at this? Are we passionate about our faith? Are we growing in our faith? Are we looking to share the fingerprint of the Gospel in the life of someone else? Are we making followers of Christ? What do we hope someone looks like who is growing as a follower of Christ through the disciple making that happens through HMC? My mind naturally goes to the “Way of Jesus” model as created by the EMCC. In years past, we have not been overtly intentional in using this as a criteria for evaluating what we are doing as a church, but that needs to change. Moving ahead, it gives us a solid framework of what a growing and dedicated follower of Jesus looks like.

-> This is not a program. It is not some new fancy philosophy of ministry that is trendy. It is not something we do. It is who we are. It is a natural way of life that should impact everything we do, what we say, and who we are. It is a model that reflects the fingerprint of the Gospel message.
-> As I look at this model, a few character traits stand out to me:

1) They know and love God’s Word.
2) They have clear convictions on how God is calling them to live as followers of Jesus in their everyday life. Their faith isn’t just a Sunday thing, but an all-week lifestyle.
3) They have a growing dependency on prayer.
4) There is an eagerness to get involved, serving within the church community.
5) They know how to share faith and are wanting to do so.
6) The church family is their second family. They are connected with each other deeply.
7) The fruit of the Spirit is evident in their lives.
8) The work and leading of the Spirit is evident.
9) They have a spiritual mentor, and they are spiritually mentoring someone.

What does this mean for HMC?
-> The last few months especially, I have been feeling burdened about things that I long to see happen at HMC. I feel like we are doing a lot of excellent things, we have a great foundation, but at times it feels like we are spinning our wheels and stuck a bit in status quo rut. We want to be a church that is characterized by “Grow” but sometimes, like any church, we struggle.
-> For example, when is the last time that we have heard a testimony or report of someone being impacted by the fingerprint of the Gospel through the ministries of HMC and as a result, choosing faith in Jesus? When is the last time that we have heard about someone publicly identifying with the fingerprint of the Gospel on their lives by going through the waters of baptism? When have we heard stories about how you are growing in your faith and growing as a follower of Jesus? As a pastor that burdens me because I get excited thinking about the potential that is here at HMC! And I see so much potential for HMC sharing the fingerprint of the Gospel message all over Grey Bruce, and ultimately all over the world, coming from a place where we are growing in our faith because we are so greatly impacted by the fingerprint of the Gospel on our lives. I long for us to be driven by discipleship.
-> What this means is that all ministries of HMC will be planned, organized, and operated with your spiritual growth and the spiritual growth of our community in mind. We are unapologetic and unashamed that our goal is to share the fingerprint of the Gospel message that has impacted our lives because: If you follow Jesus, your life is a giant fingerprint. And you and I are called to let that fingerprint permeate our lives so deeply that we reflect that. And we are then called to share that. We call that discipleship. We call that “Grow”. And we need to be about making all our ministries here reflect that goal.
-> It also means that you will be hearing a lot about opportunities, and encouraged to take opportunities to own your own spiritual growth. It isn’t the job of the pastors to make you grow. You aren’t a growing disciple by virtue of just showing up in person, or tuning in online to our services once a week. Grow happens because you are impacted by the fingerprint of the Gospel message, it becomes personal to you, and it drives you to take ownership of your faith and pursue “Grow”. If we are going to be a church that is driven by “Grow” – by us being a disciple making church, it needs to start in us. We need to be deeply impacted by the fingerprint of the Gospel message on our lives.
-> You know what is a blessing about COVID? It has forced us to re-evaluate what we do as a church family. We can’t do programs and ministries like we used to (which by the way, staff are actively planning out a fall line up of opportunities that will be launched for October 5th – watch for details). But in this new normal, we are reminded that programs in themselves don’t make the church grow. We are reminded that gimmicks don’t make the church grow; neither do new philosophies, methods, and fads. Jesus is all that matters. It is about you living your faith, spreading the fingerprint of the Gospel message is what changes lives. It is you and I, practicing “Grow”, being disciples who make disciples that causes HMC to be vibrant, life giving, and grow.