Summer Slam Sunday – Sermon Video


Thank you HMC for investing in the Summer Slam VBS ministry! A wonderful, committed group of leaders made the week run smoothly. Thank you to everyone involved: those who helped with snacks, games, groups, crafts, music – and to everyone who donated food or kept the team and children in their prayers throughout the week. Great things happened and that was only made possible through the grace of God and the work of His people!

Honoring our Children

…Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these… 
                                                       Luke 18:16

One of my fondest memories of growing up in the Hanover Missionary Church was the moment in any service when the children were called forward.  My friend Megan and I would race to the platform, determined to be ahead of the pack so we could each hold Pastor Chris’ hand as we joined in a circle and were prayed for before going downstairs to our program.  On extra special weeks we would gather at the base of the stage stairs, our mothers waving their arms to remind us to keep our dresses pulled down over our knees as we sat on the carpet, listening raptly while Linus told us another one of his timeless bird stories.

These memories may seem trite; but as simple as they are, these moments were very powerful.  They instilled in me, as a child, that this was my church – that I was as much an important part of it as any adult that sat in the pews and it made a huge impact on the way I view Hanover Missionary Church and my role in it today.

Now I am raising my own children here and I know they already feel a deep sense of ownership over this place.  They are at home within these walls.  They know they are free to ask questions, dig deeper, and be real.  I am proud to be part of a congregation that has always honored children and it makes my heart swell when I see them invited into a Sunday service.

It was a complete joy on Easter Sunday when Pastor Amos called the children forward and read them a story he had written.  I was flooded with memories of sitting there myself and as I looked out across the congregation and saw smiles beaming from the faces of all those adults, I knew I wasn’t the only one who believes our children deserve our very best.

This will not just be their Church someday.  It is their Church right now and it’s important that we never forget that.

Alanna Rusnak shares her life with her husband, three children, and a cat she’s trying hard not to love.  She has attended HMC for her entire life and been on staff since 2003, currently fulfilling the role of Creative Communications.  You can find her over at her own blog, SelfBinding Retrospect.

Memories From Vi

{Vi MacKinnon passed away in the Spring of 2011. She had been a vibrant piece of HMC for years. The following is a collection of some of her memories, transcribed from her hand-written notes for a publication that was released for the 100th anniversary of HMC in 2001.}

flash back friday

My family and I joined the Church in 1962. It has meant a lot to us. I felt a very loving, caring, friendly place to worship.

I have to say that my fondest memories were being a Sunday School Teacher. I would like to call it ‘serving the children’. I started out as Dorothy Schmitt’s helper in her class of 4 & 5 year old’s. I loved working with God’s precious jewels…so I started Junior Church. Then the Church decided to start a bus service. I took part in the visitation that it required. We ran the Bus Ministry for several years.

I would need a lot of notepaper to record all the fond memories of so many things about the children. We had singing of choruses, Scripture memorization, children becoming kind to each other, and just loving to get on the bus for Sunday School and Church.

Lynne Crossman was a great helper. She was always there for the children. There were different bus drivers but Gary Schmidt was our last one. The children all loved Gary and Lynne. I was very grateful to God for their help. I always felt so blessed by how the children would take part in the singing (on the bus rides).

One Sunday morning stays with me. It was a fall morning and we were on our way to Sunday School. We had our usual sing-songs and action songs and fall colours were at the Master Painter’s best. Driving through Allan Park, there was such a great spirit on the bus, Gary turned and said, “I think we should stop here and have a service.” I quite agreed. It was a beautiful ride and a beautiful feeling to go into Church with.

Corn roasts, hayrides, and barbeques brought old and young together for great times. There is such a great blessing when one decides to work with God’s children. The work was a joy to me.

Welcome Back Sunday BondFire

We had grown comfortable with our annual Welcome Back; with it’s after-church gathering on the front steps, it’s fry truck, it’s tradition… But this is a season of change.  This is a season of seizing the moment, of looking each other in the eye, of connecting on a level far exceeding the Sunday morning ‘turn and greet one another.’ 

Our summer BondFires brought us into the fall with a growing feeling of new connection and community and we were loathe to see that ended; and so, we ‘Welcomed Back’ in good old country-charm fashion with a BondFire finale at the DeVisser Farm.

Fresh air lingering with the scent of a just-ended summer welcomed us warmly as we shared a simple meal.  Laughter drifted as children ran and tumbled across the lawn and the tractor rumbled along, giving hayrides through fields awash in sunshine, culminating in a charming song-a-long around the little fire pit while s’mores were roasted and jackets zipped against the evening chill.

This is community.  This is family.  This is the church.

Many Hands Make V.B.S A Tremendous Success!

It only takes a willing heart to be used by God:
if people show up, God will take care of the details.  

We definitely saw this in action during our week of Hometown Nazareth, a morning children’s program exploring Where Jesus Was A Kid.  Averaging around 68 children per day, our church was filled with the sounds of laughter, singing and team cheers.  Throughout the five day program over 1000 crafts were made, over 300 snacks prepared, over 30 volunteers (plus the many who brought in snack items, helped with decorating or supported us through prayer), and each child received their own New Testament Bible at the end of the week.

Pastor Lyndsay shared that she was so moved to see the Body of Christ at work.  It took many hands and many hours of preparation but God filled all those needs, from someone to slice the cheese for snack to volunteers to run games in the gym.  Children as young as four years old were active participators, learning all the songs and singing their hearts out in praise.

Throughout the week, children were encouraged to look for God in their daily lives.  These encounters were written out on little sheep and set to graze in the God Sightings Pasture.  About 40 sheep were filled with evidence of God.  The Bible speaks of having faith like a child and this faith Jesus speaks of was evident in the ways our V.B.S children saw God.  As adults we tend to overlook so much and sometimes it takes a child to remind us that God is in all things, like something as simple as a butterfly, a rainbow, or a hug from a friend. 

Thank you to all the volunteers who made our week of V.B.S. a huge success!

And a very special thank you to Angela Peeters for organizing, recruiting and blessing our children with the wonderful experience of the body of Christ in action.