Albright Church

Service Time

Sundays: 10:00am

Service Information

Begin, Belong, Become

Phone: 204-334-5873    Email: info@albrightchurch.com

3400 DeVries Ave, East St. Paul, MB - View Map

     We are looking forward to this upcoming Sunday morning, as we commission those travelling to Gens de Nantes, Haiti on July 2 to continue in partnership with our Hatian church family. Through commissioning, we commit this team to the work that God will do through each one, and we are reminded that we too have a role to play in living on mission right where we are.

 

All of us are being sent by Jesus to bless others and to invite them to follow Him!

 

 

                                                            

 Lorna Woroniak    Rob Runtz    Lindsey Runtz    Laurie Nemez

 

     This team will be primarily focused on teaching English within the AEM school and continuing to build strong relationships with the leadership of the church, as well as in the community. We are so glad that we can continue to be a source of encouragement within the community of Gens de Nantes as they take ongoing steps towards development in their community, giving all praise to Jesus!

 

     Continue to check this blog to see more updates as the team heads out from Winnipeg and as they send news from in country.

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It was so amazing to celebrate the baptisms of four of our young adults: Jerry Ezekwem, Matt Goings, Jen Jablonski, and Steven Michael Gagne, Sunday morning, June 4. We had a great time of celebration as we heard testimony from each one of how they had begun a journey with Jesus, accepted His grace in their lives, and continue to desire to become more like Jesus every day.

 

It was so encouraging for us as a church to share in this time together and it has been great to hear how many others were encouraged through the testimony of these four.

 

God continues to be good to us, even through times of struggle and doubt, He is our ever present hope in times of trouble. God remains faithful.

 

Sunday, June 11, we have the joy of meeting our candidate for the position of Associate Pastor of Discipleship, Nathan Kinsey. We are looking forward to meeting him and his family and encourage you to join us for a time of connecting following the service!

 

We continue to thank God for all the ways He continues to prove Himself faithful as we prepare to join together again this Sunday to worship, to praise, and to continue on the journey of learning to follow Jesus more and more every day.

 

Hope to see you on Sunday!

Pastor Nathan

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From Cap Haitien, through Miami to Toronto, and then home to Winnipeg the team traveled their last three flights.  Sharing their last meal together as a team, this once in a lifetime opportunity to be together in this time and space, bound together by their common experiences. 

Winging their way gave them opportunity to think, consider, discuss, and process the experiences and adventures that now lay in the distance behind them. Will they be forever changed? What will happen to those in Gens de Nantes who are suffering?  Will the English lessons be remembered?  These and many more thoughts tumbled in their minds as they transitioned to thinking about home, and their family, church, and loved ones.  

And then, there they were, their families and friends, standing by the Hug Rug, wearing, smiles, grins and warm jackets, sharing greetings, welcome banners and hugs. It's good to be home!

To hear more stories, join us at Heart for Haiti on April 23 at 6:30pm as they share from their heart to yours!

Please see Upcoming Events for more information on Hears for Haiti.

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Day 7

Thank you Lord, you hear our prayers. Thank you for wisdom, peace, and unity. Amen. The Maternity bed is now assembled, and there were smiles all around.  McGyver demonstrated how the bed works for us. 

As you know Stephen’s hope has been to help Dr. Emmanuel to grow in his medical knowledge. Well today he asked to learn more about reflexes so they began a teaching session before clinic and they started checking normal reflexes.  Stephen was hoping God would provide someone with abnormal reflexes and in walked a man who had had a stroke in the past.  They were able to examine him and learn.  He was a leader in a nearby church and was pleased that "the Spirit of God" had led him to the clinic and they were able to improve his stroke prevention care as well.

They also saw a 5 year old boy named Joseph with advanced retinoblastoma in both eyes with spread.  He is in a Christian family.  He has seen all kinds of doctors and mission surgeons but his disease is too advanced for any kind of treatment.  Some of the team prayed for him and gave some meagre anti pain meds and a small bear. 

One of the tests that they use a lot in Gens de Nantes looking for typhoid fever is really quite a useless one which is resulting in antibiotic overuse and likely the development of resistant organisms in the community.  Stephen hopes to be able to start a discussion about this next week.

Please pray for little Joseph. There are many children like him in Haiti.  Pray for Dr. Emmanuel, Se Kettley and Paste Andre that they will have wisdom and knowledge and physical strength to run the clinic and provide compassionate care for their community and that Jesus would be seen through them.

 

Day 8

Everyone had a great day.

Classes went well, and gearing up for lesson six and graduation tomorrow.  Rob and Eric just back after showing the Jesus film to a very full house (at the church).  Praise the Lord  for multiple gifts and ability's all working well together to the Glory of God.  

The heat has been oppressive, very humid today, with lots of mosquitos this evening.  

Jenn has had many requests for contact information. She has been a star this week, such a great attitude and always excited about each new experience.  Eric still on critter control. He was in the ceiling of depot today spreading mothballs. Marilyn K worked in clinic, organizing and cleaning, a never ending job.  They are going to have morning clinic to follow up on some patients they saw during the week.  The team is still waiting for the new maternity bed to be baptized!  

Today was day five in the clinic.  It was a quieter day today and Stephen and Dr. Emmanuel were able to discuss "appendicitis". This seemed to be a new subject for Dr. Emmanuel and he was very keen to learn what to look for in the patient's history and physical exam.  They also discussed more about heart failure and some more specific findings. He was interested in learning more about heart murmurs. Dr. Emmanuel is curious and conscientious and hopefully he can find the resources to continue to learn and grow in his knowledge and understanding of medicine. He is very good with patients and has a professional attitude which will be very good for the clinic.

Hypertension is a common problem in Haiti and with poor compliance secondary to a lack of resources and education heart failure can be the end result. A lady they saw earlier this week came in for reassessment of her blood pressure and it was gratifying that her new meds were helping and she will be seen again next week for more adjustments.

Their young mother with hypertension and heart failure wasn't doing much better so they gave her some iv diuretic and increased her heart meds and prayed for her. They will see her again next week.

Marilyn was helping out in the clinic this morning doing a dressing on a five year old girl who almost chopped her thumb off with a machete.  It's looking good but there was no way she was going to let them take out her sutures today.

Stephen is having a very good experience here.  He hoped to provide teaching and mentoring and that is happening and that the clinic will benefit from that.

Thank you for your prayers and support. God has never forgotten Gens de Nantes and He is still supporting and providing for them.

  

Day 9

Psam 71:3 ~ Lord be our rock and refuge to which we can always go.

Easter blessings to our Albright family.  Greetings from Pastor Andre and all our friends in Gens de Nantes.  Praising the Lord for the living hope we have in Jesus. Praise the Lord for God moments today.

The team is so thankful this morning for the ladies who are hauling their water as the guest house water was not running this morning.   Praise the Lord for running water and it all had to do with a shoe, another awesome God story to share when the team gets home.

Wonderful grad celebration this morning and so exciting for the team to see how much the students have learned in such a short period of time. The words of appreciation spoken and written are a true inspiration, and worth all the time, effort and preparation. Stephen and Marilyn followed up with a few clients in the clinic. Eric continues to amaze the team with his joyful servant’s heart; he is working as a cobbler making aloft for a shoe for a fellow who broke his femur 8 months ago. Pray that his fellow will recognize the need to work and not use his limp as an excuse not to work.  

Marilyn and Eric are off to Ouanaminthe in the morning for church.  The rest of the team will stay in Gens de Nantes and worship with our church family there.

Saturday's clinic is meant to be only for emergencies so it wasn't very busy.  They saw an 8 year old girl with a fever that turned out to be malaria.  The clinic has a simple rapid test that requires only a few drops of blood and she was sent home with her medications and a teddy.

Elainise is the young woman with heart failure, she looks much better than yesterday.  She lost a lot of swelling and was able to sleep lying flat for a change and her blood pressure was down to normal.  She was very happy about her improvement, as were all in the clinic!

A 60 year old farmer came to the clinic with a complaint of back pain. He has quite significant scoliosis and deserves to retire but he has no choice but to go back to his heavy manual labour. No disability payments for him.  Only a few weeks of Acetaminophen.

The common thread running through all these clinic updates is the presence of advanced and essentially barely treatable disease, in children and adults. They have no choice but to suffer with their problems.  Pain management is limited to short courses and NSAIDS and Acetaminophen.

Psychiatric care is also highly deficient in Haiti. The team brought some psychiatric meds with them for Marilyn M to use but otherwise the meds are nearly totally unavailable.  Yesterday Stephen saw a 5 year old boy with a pretty severe social phobia. The poor fellow was beside himself with anxiety.  He has been unable to attend church or school and his current behaviour doesn't bode well.  Perhaps "immersion therapy" will help but Stephen can see it’s going to be awful for the poor little guy.  Even if they had some meds he could use he would run out soon enough and be back in the same place.

  

Day 10

He is risen, He is risen indeed!  What a blessing for the team to celebrate the resurrection with our Haitian Friends at an awesome Easter Worship service.  They send many thanks to all their family and friends for their cards, pictures, Easter greetings. Much laughter and tears of joy, especially from the little Easter Bunny Autumn.

The cooks had prepared a Haitian Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings to celebrate Easter. The cooks had really out done themselves.

The team had a very full evening with so many blessings and memories!

After the teams awesome feast, they tried to walk off the few extra carbs and walked up past the town square and visited our dear elderly lady.  She was overjoyed to see them and she is doing well, continuing to sing God's praises. She asked after Kallen and was thrilled to see his picture with pregnant Melissa.  They sang a few choruses with her and prayed for her and her family before moving on to Elizanne's home.  Elizanne was very gracious and hospitable, apologized that her husband wasn't there to greet the team as he is in the DR. She gave them a tour of her new home.  The team sang and prayed for them and their new home, trusting the Lord for many blessings.  Then the Easter Concert at the church!  A picture truly is worth a thousand words. An awesome celebration of the resurrection and hope we have in JESUS. 

  

Day 11

FAT encore! The teams plans are not always Gods plans.

Today was a very busy and full day in the clinic and a tragic one at that.

Nucola, a previously healthy 17 year old boy who was brought to the clinic at 9:00 am. The clinic staff quickly realized that he has diabetic ketoacidosis and was in a semi-coma from that.  They gave him iv fluid and sent Elamine to Ouanaminthe to buy insulin. The family spent everything they could scrape together for one vial.  They gave him over 50 units of insulin and were not able to lower his glucose to a level that the glucometer could register. They then decided to send him by Ambulance to Ouanaminthe for what it's worth. Even if they are able to turn things around there the family cannot afford the cost of managing the Type 1 Diabetes for the long term.  Please pray for Nucola. (He is a believer.)  Doctors here would never treat Nucola like this here in Canada, as this is treatable here in a Canadian ER.

The clinic staff saw an emaciated elderly man with a long history of smoking. The list of possible causes includes cancer, malnutrition or chronic liver or kidney disease. Dr. Emmanuel is frustrated that the simple lab here is only set for so few problems.

They also saw quite a few little kids with coughs and colds and very low weights for the kids ages. There were patients with anxiety, young woman with menstrual cramps and people with vague abdominal pain. So there were lots of typical Canadian family practice patients. Of course though the clinic had to check for worms, parasites, malaria and typhoid.

There are so many issues in Haiti with health care to ponder and great wisdom will be needed to know best to help out there and what God is teaching them as individuals and a church.

Blessed Assurance . . . The team just finished singing, praying and chatting about their day. Today they talked about it being a good day for "being", not only doing. God allowed them to see and experience so much. Opportunities to follow Jesus, sharing pain, loss, and sorrow through touch, singing and assurance of ongoing prayers.

Eric finished his list and then some and the team had a barn raising to install the shelving today. Jen finished the photo list and then some. Lorna and Rob completed the inventory and Eric is working on the tool inventory.  Laurie and Marilyn prepared all the hostess gifts and cards. Rob working as a techno geek for Marilyn M. Lorna doing the finances. So much for just being, they are all busy doing. What an awesome team the Lord put together for His Glory. 

Thank you for all your prayers. 

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Day 1 and 2

Early Friday morning, March 18, the Albright Haiti team of 8 departed Winnipeg to make their way to Gens De Nantes, Haiti. After connecting in Montreal and overnighting in Miami the team touched down in Cap Haitien Saturday morning and made their way through security to meet up with Marilyn McIlroy. 

They enjoyed the ride from Cap Haitien to Gens de Nantes in an air conditioned bus, snacking on crackers and cold soda. After stopping in Ouanaminthe, so Eric could check out the local hardware store for supplies, they carried on until they arrived at the Guest House in Gens de Nantes.

The guesthouse staff and clinic leadership had prepared for the teams arrival by scrubbing the house, making beds, washing the mosquito nets, planning menus, purchasing food and snacks, and made other preparations for their ministry there. So, after so much preparation, it was no surprise that the team arrived to a wonderfully dinner prepared just for them. 

Saturday, March 29, after dinner the team settled in to do the initial tasks of unpacking suitcases and supplies, hanging mosquito nets, and then discussing the unfolding plans for their time there. Although their travels went well they looked forward to a good night sleep.

 

Day 3 ~ March 20

Chita tande mache we!! (Haitian Creole) = Proverb of the Day!! (English)

This is the day that the Lord has made and we are rejoicing and will be glad in it!!!

After a good sleep for most of the team, they shared breakfast together enjoying the good food and extra good coffee. Eric (McGyver) caught a mouse the evening before so the guesthouse was one resident short that morning, much to everyone's relief. Before walking to the Palm Sunday service they had devotions and a time of prayer.

An awesome time of worship was followed by a time of greeting friends and familiar faces, practising creole along the way. Their day was spent playing and reading with the children, troubleshooting and fixing the clinic fridge and listening to their translator Guy, who is new to the team and to the community of Gens de Nantes, share his testimony and joy at being with the team. 

They shared a well prepared dinner and then debriefed at the end of day sharing highs and lows; it was a productive yet relaxing day. There was great joy for the team members who first met Elizanne in 2014 and met her again. There was great disappointment for some students in the community who were turned down from attending the English classes due to class size and other criteria.

 

Day 4 ~ March 21

There was much to do as the Haiti team got into full swing. The Haitian proverb of the day, Bitay Fe w avanse - stumbling moves you forward, has never been truer. At least that's what it felt like for Eric Handyman McGyver, who trapped mice, obliterated an ant infestation, finally found the ever so important Dewalt charger, and attempted to work on plumbing at the Medical Staff house with Haitian handyman Lolance. The HOT weather provided an extra challenge.

The English class moved forward with Laurie and Jen teaching in the morning. Even the afternoon class, with Rob and Lorna, moved forward despite the delay as the clinic staff found it hard to leave their tasks there. In due time they made their way and the class carried on. 

The Health Team moved forward today, the first day in the clinic for Stephen and Marilyn working with the new Gens de Nantes doctor, Emmanuel. Marilyn spent her day putting together iv bag setups in the clinic so everything is in one place when someone needs an urgent iv, and organizing meds for the pharmacy. She provided a finger dressing for a young woman with an infection and generally delighted in reacquainting with staff and being back in the clinic.

Presented with three cases of severe Congestive Heart Failure, Stephen relied on his clinical skills and best judgement as there are no options for advanced investigations or management. He was able to show Dr. Emmanuel some physical findings in patients with Advanced heart failure. Two of the patients were young, 40 and 25 and only one was able to receive treatment. With no medical treatment to offer the other they prayed with him to turn to God and seek Him for salvation and eternal healing. Other patients attended the clinic and received care.

The evening meal of pizza, fries and salad, was a welcome reprieve from the tasks of the day. In the evening Lindsey visited with Dr. Emmanuel to get to know him a bit better and learn his story. The children who dropped by the Guesthouse grounds enjoyed seeing Evan's creative book on life in Canada. The teachers spent time preparing for the next day and Lorna and Marilyn McIlroy worked on the team's finances. The team is doing well, they are being Flexible, Adaptable, and Teachable!! 

 

Day 5 ~ March 22

Lindsey did inventory at the clinic which is an ongoing process. Eric and Lolance had a successful shopping trip and returned safe and sound. The two Marilyn's and Lindsey were on motorbikes to a vaccine clinic that morning. 

Supper was delicious, rice, beans, goat and beets. They all had a good day, busy with various tasks. English classes are going well. Dr. St. Hillaire is speaking a little English at supper, a good opportunity for him to practice. On their walk about with the community health avant Sante they visited 5 newborns who received the bcg vaccine.

Day 2 in the clinic. Dr. St. Hillaire is apparently very appreciative for the opportunity to learn more in depth about some of the patients they are seeing together and Stephen is enjoying the teaching component very much. Stephen is able to free Dr. St. Hillaire up in the afternoon so he can attend the English language classes. He is very attentive and patient with his patients in the clinic.

They saw a very beautiful two month old girl this morning. Big inquisitive eyes filled with life and beautiful features but she's going to die soon. She has some kind of congenital thoracic problem and has had noisy breathing from birth. There is an obvious rib cage problem but the family have been told after they've spent too much money that "there's no problem". Gens de Nantes is in reality the end of the line as far as health care is concerned for the people here. If the clinic here can't provide the care the great majority have no option available to them so they will die of disease we can usually forestall or cure in Winnipeg.

It is hard to tell people there is nothing further they can do, knowing that in Canada we would never have to say that to someone in their situation.

 

Day 6 ~ March 23

Praise the Lord! So many blessings and answers to prayer, God is Good. So good to hear the hubbub of preparing for another day. Laughter and singing inside and out.

So day three in the clinic was really busy for every. There was a prenatal and vaccination clinic in addition to the usual medical clinic. Marilyn K and Lindsey watched a delivery, tiny baby boy. Then worked as a team in prenatal Clinic assessed about 20 pregnant moms, including a mother working on her 11th baby! They did brief abdominal exams and used the Doppler machine to check on the babies heart rates. 

Dr. Emmanuel and Stephen had a teaching time on the physical signs of heart failure and the second patient of the morning had all the physical findings. Since there are no diagnostic modalities it is critical to have good clinical exam skills. It was so neat that God placed the curiosity to know about CHF in Dr. Emmanuel's mind and a patient in the clinic to help solidify that knowledge. There were numerous kids with intestinal parasites (giardia, worms and salmonella). These are such a problem there as the water is not treated. They saw a young woman with very enlarged lymph nodes in her neck and sent a swab to look for tuberculosis and started her on treatment as they await the results. She has already lost a lot of weight. (She looks like Elizanne from last visit but this lady's teeth are pretty normal.) Dr. Emmanuel said that in the Haitian Medical System physicians will get no organized continuing medical education once they graduate. There is no official way to keep up with the latest advancements other than decrees from the department of health. Medical Journals are relatively expensive and for the most part irrelevant in a resource poor health care system. So it's a great thing that Stephen can help him out like this.

Eric got the cement finished, and assembled a new maternity bed and fix some drawers at the Clinic. Laurie and Jenn were brought to tears by a student praying blessings upon them this morning. The teachers are planning to do 6th lesson on Saturday with graduation as school starts on Monday. Bon Bagay! (Good Stuff)

The team had a delicious fish and chip dinner and enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship around the table. Eric built an aid for the shorter members of the team, full story and pictures to follow!! Stephen and Jenn so blessed to have an affirmation of purpose. Laurie and Jen skipped with the kids in the sunshine and heat, awesome to hear the laughter and joy. For their daily devotions they have been discussing the names and characteristics of Jesus. Today: Jesus our strength. They are all working in the joy of the Lord. They have been laughing and sharing tears of joy together.

 

Thank you to all the family and friends for all their prayers!

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Youth Summer Camp – Echo Lake 2015

On July 3rd Albright Youth filled a bus with 19 students, 2 leaders, and our incredible bus driver Marty Ryan, and took off west to the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan.  Excitement was evident for our destination of the beloved Echo Lake Bible Camp. Before we left we invited the parents and staff to join us in a time of prayer. With the covering of Christ on our group we left excited to see how God would reveal himself yet again to our group at camp. With a six hour one way trip, Friday was a travel day in preparation for a busy work day on Saturday.

 

For the past two years our group has arrived at camp two days early so that 

we can put some good ‘sweat equity’ into the camp and help out where needed. This year our group was given the task to do some preventative maintenance at the beach, so that high waters wouldn’t cause havoc in the spring. When I heard the task that was saved for us I chuckled, thinking, ‘there was no way we were going to be able to accomplish what the camp manager, James, had hoped’, but our group was up for the task. They were eager to pick up a shovel, pull weeds, haul rocks and whatever else needed doing.  Even though a downpour made us take an early break, many were back out working as soon as the rain let up.

 

Here was the task at hand. Along the entire beach (about 50-70 feet) we 

needed to carve out the land so that we  had a flat foundation to place the retaining wall. Secondly, we needed to place pre-made cages along that foundation and then fill them with big rocks. This would have been much easier if the rocks had been conveniently located, but that was not so much the case. We took what rocks we could from the nearby beach but, after those rocks were all used up, our group then had to go into the water, feel for large rocks with their feet, pick that rock up and either throw it to the dry shore, or carry them in. This was not an easy job and took hundreds of rocks to fill up all those cages. Lastly, when the cages were full we spread out about eight yards of sand onto the beach so it could be enjoyed with a bit more comfort. Finally the task was complete! 

 

Our Albright Youth did that job proud! After nearly seven hours of hard labour, infused with many laughs and outstanding teamwork, the task was completed just in time for dinner. No longer will the high waters wash away the land by the beach. Because of this work the survival of the camp’s beach will live on for many years to come.

 

So, what would motivate this group of young people to do this type of work?

  1. Young people love to work hard together to induce positive change.
  2. Young people have experienced God’s life changing presence at this camp so, when given the opportunity to do some hard work to help further ministry of the camp, the ask is easy and the task becomes easily enjoyed.
  3. When you get incredible youth together the hard work asked of them is an opportunity to create memories together.
  4. This group is amazing!

 

I am very proud to have such an amazing group of young people who bonded together to do what I thought was laughable just a few hours earlier. They put in incredibly hard work and I don’t remember once hearing any controversy. I was so blessed to be in the midst of such people.

 

 

Echo Lake named the beach ‘Albright Beach’, at least for this summer, and they were ecstatic to see what had been done. In the end, we were happy to do it and every single person there knows that Echo will continue to be a place where life transformation happens because Jesus is leading the way.

 

Written by: Russ Klassen, Youth Director of Albright Church

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A Message about Expansion from Pastor Alan

 

In 1990 Albright Church took a step of faith to pursue God’s vision by selling its former property and meet in a school for 3 years. Since that time, the tag line for that faith step “Our Sacrifice – God’s Miracle”, became a reality. 

 

In response to the significant sacrifice of Albright people, we now have a wonderful piece of property and a fine facility that is mortgage free.  But God’s miracle has been far greater than providing us with this building and 5 acres of prime land.  His greatest miracle is evident in the lives that have been changed and continue to be changed.

 

Albright planted a daughter church in 1985 and, after moving into this facility, planted another daughter church, River’s Edge, in 2006.  Since then, we have continued to grow numerically as well as have seen our impact for God’s Kingdom reach far beyond Sunday morning.  The number of people, at all stages of spiritual seeking and maturity, who call Albright their home, far exceeds the Sunday morning attendance numbers.  We are a community of faith that not only gathers together but also lives each and every day in a way that is making Christ known to a world that needs Jesus.

 

As we continue to live out our Vision and Mission Statement, we continue to grow numerically.  When comparing month to same month attendance, we regularly see a new highest monthly average since River’s Edge was planted.  But we are so much more than a Sunday-gathering congregation.  While we have space on Sunday mornings within our two services and could add a third service to accommodate continued growth, we are often maxed out during the week in the evenings.  Our building is heavily used throughout the week and it can be difficult to find a meeting space.  When space is available for such ministries as Grief Share, Marriage Course, Foundations for Life, etc., the space is often less than ideal. 

 

One of the great motivations behind the site plan and expansion design is to bless our neighbourhood.  Blessing not only the immediate neighbourhood of Countryside Crossing, but the neighbourhoods in which we all live, work and socialize.  By creating a campus with facilities that we can bring our friends to and make available to them, we regularly remind ourselves that we have a mission assignment to engage with the world by breaking down barriers.  Whether it is a plaza area, comfortable meeting rooms of various sizes, or a café where relationships can be built, this expansion says to everyone that Albright Church is about people and relationships.

As we arrive once again at a historical moment, similar to the moment when courageous and obedient decisions were made to make it possible for us to be the type of church we are today; we are facing a huge step in our life as a faith community.  I am calling you to embrace the vision of expanding our facilities so we can engage with those around us and provide space that is needed throughout the week for current and future ministries. I invite you to join in the excitement about how an expanded facility can be used as a tool in providing life-changing ministry environments for those who are part of Albright, as well as those who are not but are loved by God and by us.

 

As it has been throughout Church history, when it comes to decision-making we are motivated and inspired by God’s grace in our own lives, and the sheer joy of being able to witness God’s grace at work in the lives of many.  So, would you continue to pray for Albright’s leadership, ministry and expansion?  Specifically pray about how you will lend your support to approving the motions the Elders bring to the Annual General Meeting on June 11/15, as well as your ongoing generous financial support to our budget and the future Capital Campaign.  God will continue to do even more than we can ask or imagine.

 

“I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work

in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.”  © Ephesians 3:20-21 (CEV)

 

A Message about Expansion from the Elders

 

We want to express our sincere appreciation for the conversations that are occurring in response to the various changes in the life of Albright Church. We are so excited by the great momentum that Pastor Nathan is contributing to as he embraces his new role of Associate Pastor: Community Initiatives and Worship Arts. In response to Pastor Alan’s expressed desire to retire by July 2016, we are looking to replace our Lead Pastor.  We are also in the middle of developments around our property. There are very recent developments and announcements regarding the overpass at the Perimeter Highway and Lagimodiere Boulevard/Highway 59, and connecting the walking trail that runs parallel to Gateway and Raleigh on either side of the Perimeter Highway. Homes are also popping up in the Countryside Crossing Development.

 

Adapting to these changes requires flexibility, and trust. During the years leading up to the move to this property in 1993, the congregation of Albright believed wholeheartedly that this specific location was where God wanted this church to settle. At the time, we were in the middle of a field, on the outskirts of both the City of Winnipeg and the RM of East St. Paul. The congregation did not know exactly how God would use them in this new location, but they trusted in God and His plan. Only now, 22 years later, are some of the answers to those kinds of questions coming to light. God continues to lead this church and build His kingdom. He has more in store for us as we fulfill His calling to be His light and salt in this part of His community.

 

Starting in 2004, Albright has been operating according to a very clear vision given to us by God.

"As a Great Commission Church, we will consistently reach un-churched people for Christ, welcome them into our caring church family and equip them to become reproducing disciples.

Albright will become a church where people are encouraged and empowered to develop their personal ministry based on God’s call and gift, with a mindset of multiplication.

All ministries taking place in and through Albright Church will be built upon personal and corporate prayer in reliance on the Holy Spirit.

Our leadership model will be team ministry with a Christ-like servant attitude. Small groups will be part of this well-defined leadership development process.

Cutting edge technology will be utilized to reach people both in and beyond our community.

Anticipating the needs of a growing congregation, we envision multiple weekend services, additional staff and expanded facilities.”

 

This vision of maximizing our impact in the world, and of raising up disciples of Jesus, directs all of our decisions and initiatives. This vision gives Albright Church direction to accomplish God’s commandment to:  make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all of His commands (Matthew 28:19-20).


Our direction is already set. The expansion that is being discussed is another tool to use as we continue to implement our vision. The new Lead Pastor will not alter this vision. He will further it. He will bring us all closer to accomplishing this vision.

 

In 2004, the Elders decided that Albright Church would be a vision-driven church, not a church that follows the leader. Instead, the leader follows the vision.

 

Since our last conversation at the Family Chat on April 7/15, we have received some very valuable feedback. We want to take this opportunity to convey our appreciation to all of you who took the time to approach a staff person, Design Team member, or Elder to discuss the vision for the expansion.

 

The process that the Design Team and Verne Reimer Architecture (VRA) have been undergoing for most of the past year has established a proposed two phase expansion Site Plan.  Phase 1 will include renovation of the existing facility, construction of a new link building with ministry & office space, and exterior site work.  Phase 2 includes a future Worship Centre.

 

Through the process of determining priorities to accomplish our vision, the Elders believe that Phase 1 is the most efficient and well-stewarded way of accomplishing Albright’s vision.

 

Since our last conversation at the Family Chat on April 7/15, we have received some very valuable feedback. We want to take this opportunity to convey our appreciation to all of you who took the time to approach a staff person, Design Team member, or Elder to discuss the vision for the expansion.

 

We do anticipate and pray for growth in our Sunday morning attendance as we all become more intentional in being whole-hearted disciples of Jesus, and in doing life with our friends, co-workers and neighbours. However, these expansion plans are not driven in the least by a desire of using a new building to increase our congregation size. We believe that God will draw people to Himself, and we must be His willing workers to minister to them. Our vision is not at all driving us to become a ‘mega-church’. We are simply following the leading of our Lord to be good stewards of all He gives us, and to live a life fully devoted to becoming and making disciples of Him. All of these discussions and plans are for His glory.

 

We believe that it is important to reiterate the cost of the proposed Phase 1 (the renovation and addition to the existing building, the new link building and all site work around those two buildings). The grand total is very close to $10 million, once taxes are included.

The breakdown of this price before taxes is:

  • Site work:                                                                                 $2,105,173
  • Renovation and additions to existing building:           $1,280,354
  • Link building:                                                                           $5,904,303

VRA has supplied us with a very complete breakdown of these prices. The Design Team has and will continue to work with these numbers to advise the Elders on various options for moving forward. They have been instructed to examine whether it is possible and cost-effective to break down Phase 1 into multiple steps. Any multi-step approach would take the overall site plan into consideration in order to ensure that all work that is necessary for future steps (including the worship centre) happen at the appropriate time in the process.

 

Throughout the coming months and years of transition and progress in keeping with our vision, the Elders are committed to continue the dialogue with you and maintain strong stewardship values. Please address any concerns or ideas that you may have to an Elder. We want to ensure that everyone is cared for and heard as we navigate these exciting changes together.

 

As we get ever closer to these expansion plans becoming a reality, here are several milestones that need to be accomplished along the way. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to give you a realistic idea of the upcoming steps.

a)     Determine which option to choose: expansion, church-planting, or multi-campus setup. 
(Accomplished by the Next Steps Team in June 2014)
.

b)     Commission an architect to develop a picture of our property that conforms to our vision. 
(Accomplished with VRA and the Design Team in 2014-15).

c)     Approve proposed site plan as our future goal.

d)     Secure necessary variances and approvals from the surrounding community and the RM of East St. Paul.

e)     Funding from the congregation begins to accumulate in the Next Steps Fund.

f)      Establish a Capital Fundraising Campaign.

g)     Develop construction documents.

h)     Tender most aspects of the project.

i)      Put a shovel in the ground.

 

 

Proposed Expansion Motions from the Elders

 

Following a multi-year process of prayer, waiting, planning and dialogue, the Albright Elders are currently considering bringing the following motions to the membership of Albright at the June 11, 2015 Annual General Meeting.  These motions may be adjusted to reflect our Family Chat conversations on May 11th, 12th and 21st, 2015.  With these motions, the Elders are calling for the membership to support the site plan, as presented by VRA, as our long term expansion vision.   As well, the Elders are asking for approval to begin the process of implementing parts of the plan that will assist Albright in:

­     - moving towards its current priorities of engagement with our new neighbourhood environment and

­     - creating more effective space for Albright’s many current and future ministries on and beyond Sunday morning.


Proposed Motion #1

That the site plan be approved as our long-term expansion vision so that all incremental projects to develop our campus will be done with the site plan and good stewardship practices in view.

     Note regarding motion #1: In approving the site plan it is recognized that the drawings are not yet         construction plans, so adjustments and realignment of certain spaces may still take place.


Proposed Motion #2

That the membership authorize the spending of up to $100,000 on projects to develop our campus in keeping with the site plan.


Proposed Motion #3

That authorization be given to proceed with securing the necessary variances and approvals which will be required for the expansion project outlined in the site plan to allow for the development of our campus over the coming years..


Proposed Motion #4

That funding for our expansion begin by encouraging people to start donating over and above gifts to the Next Steps Fund and secure a Capital Campaign Fundraising company at an appropriate future date.

Note regarding motion #4: Possible target date of April 2016 is being considered by the Elders to secure a Capital Campaign Fundraising company.

 

The Elders are not ready to bring further motions at this upcoming AGM, but looking forward, we anticipate seeking authorization to proceed with borrowing a specified amount of money to complete our priority expansion projects:

  • installing the approach to Maxwell King Drive,
  • adding the parking/plaza area including a maximum of 3 community engagement activity elements,
  • renovating our current facility to provide storage and mid-size meeting rooms.

 

 

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Spring has arrived.  The sun has been breaking through the clouds and warming up the earth below.  The melting snow revealing all that it has covered up over winter.  As the seasons change we also begin to see, if only from a distance, neighbours that we have not seen all winter long. We may have a deep relationship spanning many years with some of these neighbours; some we may not even know at all.  But regardless of how long we have known our neighbours, it should be our desire to build relationship with them so that we can love them in the way Christ has loved us.


“This is the message that you have heard from the beginning. We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11


As we enter this Easter season, we are reminded of what had been done for us.  We have been redeemed from an eternity apart from God and all of His goodness.  We have been shown an abounding love by our Saviour Jesus Christ.  A love that is as wide as outstretched limbs nailed to a tree.  “For this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:24.  Through His sacrifice, He has conquered sin and death; He has made a way for all  who believe in His name to be saved.

 

The truth of Easter weekend is not just for us.  As much as we receive the good news of Jesus Christ with joy in our own lives, we are not called to stop there.  As we have come to know what love is by the servant sacrifice of Jesus, we are called to reciprocate that love to others.  “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything.” 1 John 3:17-24.


As we have experienced the love of Jesus in our own lives, we are called to love others in a way that addresses their needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually through action, not only in words.  As we continue in our journey together as a church body, we seek to not only begin and belong, but to BECOME more committed followers of Jesus; and this is what Christ has asked of us, “…to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded.” 1 John 3:23.  It is my prayer that collectively we grow in our willingness and ability to love others in all areas of our lives.  Whether among co-workers, our neighbours, our families, or strangers, we are called to look beyond ourselves to see the needs around us.

 

How do we discover the needs?  We need to first be growing in our ability to listen.  As we talk to people in all of our relational spheres, we can serve them by listening to them.  Hearing about their past, inquiring about their families, asking about their hobbies and interests, being concerned for their well-being, celebrating their victories.  Listening is the beginning of building any trusting relationship. Intentionally building relationships is so important as we seek to share the life and love of Christ with others.  As we build relationships continue to pray that God would soften the heart of those you are walking with and that, by His Spirit, they would begin to explore the truth of Jesus.

 

So, wherever you are over this Easter Season, take time to consider ways that you might build relationships with those around you who are uncertain what the Gospel means in their lives.  One opportunity you have is to invite a friend to the movie night on April 10.  Whether you choose this or not, seek ways to bless those you have relationship with.  The goal being that they would know the love of Christ alive in us, for this is where we are called to start in relationship with those who do not know Him.  As we seek to be active in blessing, we will continue to rely on the work of the Holy Spirit in those around us; that God will build His kingdom as we open ourselves up to be part of His work.

 

- Nathan Wachal, Associate Pastor Community Initiatives and Worship Arts

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Albright’s 7 person English Teaching team left Winnipeg on July 10, 2014 with 11 suitcases filled with teaching materials, Picture Dictionaries, Bibles, thank-you gifts, and many other supplies. Joined in Toronto by EMCC missionary, Marilyn McIlroy, the group continued their journey to Haiti to serve the people in the community of Gens de Nantes. 

 

In previous blog articles we shared stories and updates from the team.  In this article, Team Leader, Laurie Nemez, shares with you an inside view on the team’s experiences, where the true ‘heart of the story’ can be discovered. 

 

‘Our mission was focused on teaching beginner level English to young people and adults. God had given our 38 students a dream, and they were filled with enthusiasm and very eager to learn! We divided them into 3 classes, with each class having 2 teachers who worked together as teaching partners. Russ planned and led our wonderful chapel times during the last ½ hour of every day, and helped us out with a variety of tasks as needed.

 

Our students attentively listened, and willingly participated, while we taught them vocabulary and 

conversations relating to such themes as: family relationships, days of week and months of the year, clothing, parts of the body, colours, numbers, occupations, and other relevant words and phrases that would come up during our teaching. We also taught some reading, using Bible stories and memory verses. Games and songs were interspersed to add variety and fun to their learning, and our students enjoyed learning in new ways – quite a contrast to the rote method of learning that they are used to. Sometimes this more interactive style of teaching and learning was a bit of an adjustment for them, and they would wonder “What is the purpose of this game?” 

 

We were privileged to be able to get to know our students and develop relationships with them as we spent 5 ½ hours a day with them, for 7 days. We also shared on a more personal level through “Dialogue Journals”, which were like letters that we would write to our individual students in English, and they would write back to us in Creole. These were translated by our hard-working translator, Willie.

 

We enjoyed being able to eat lunch daily with our students, as our guest house cooks prepared and sent a bin of delicious sandwiches and a cooler of drinks each day to the church where we held our classes. Chapel time, at the end of the day’s lessons, was always a lot of fun, and a very special time, as Russ led the group in a variety of activities such as: praying and singing together in both English and Creole, learning the Lord’s prayer in English, sharing faith stories and testimonies, having question and answer periods where students could ask us questions about Canada, and of course playing large group games like “I love Jesus”. In this game, our students were divided into several groups and attempted to out-shout each other while saying: “I love Jesus, yes I do! I love Jesus! How ‘bout you?” When the shouting game was over, Russ said to them, “Now, all of Gens de Nantes will know that we love Jesus!” I’m pretty sure that was true!

 

After a day or so of teaching, our translator told us that our students were really enjoying and benefiting from our classes, and that they wanted us to stay for a month! Near the end of our first week, a number of them were asking us “When can you come back to teach us some more?” One young man initiated a conversation with us about how we might be able to help him continue to improve his English following the course. This sincere Christian young man and very bright student, already has certificates in construction and in videography, but is unable to find work. Improving his English was something he desperately wanted. When he asked us when we would be back to teach again, we had to honestly say that we did not know, but that God did. His face sank and he turned away for a moment. We encouraged him that God had a plan for him, and we promised to pray for him, and to seriously consider how we might be able to direct him in continuing his learning. A few days later, he gave us letters that he had written, one to his teachers, Meghan and Elaine, and one to the rest of the team. The following is a slightly shortened version of one of his letters:

“This day, it’s with a big joy for me to take my pen to write this letter…. But I am very sorry for us, because you are going to leave us, to be back home, and I know truly you cannot stay with us for a long time. Before going, let me tell you something about all the Haitian students, the way they feel about this course.... I try to speak in their name and I think everybody will be glad when I tell them what I am doing. And I know God does not miss to bless us, especially all the staff Canadian, for the way you Canadians are helping us. I am sorry because your mission will stop. You cannot stay anymore. But you are going to help us by your prayers, and we can do the same. Because prayer is the key. Nothing is impossible for God, because we are the children of God. May God bless you. Good travel.”

 

Our team was blessed beyond measure by our students’ gratitude and by their hunger to learn English. We were deeply humbled, as the extent of their gratitude seemed to far outweigh what we had done for them, from our perspective. The heart of the story is that God had been working, and He multiplied our efforts in the well-prepared soil of our students’ hearts and minds. It was an incredible blessing…something we never dreamed would occur during our short time in Gens de Nantes.

 

It was also very humbling to hear Pastor Andre and members of his church pray for Albright Church, for our team, and particularly for our team members who fell ill with the chikungunya virus. He expressed deep gratitude for the people of Albright and the sacrifices that are made in order to send a team to Haiti. 

 

As a team, we want to thank you for your prayers, your support, and your encouragement. Without you, we would not have been able to bless Gens de Nantes and be so incredibly blessed by going on this trip. Please know that Albright’s regular presence in Gens de Nantes shows the people that God has placed them on our hearts and that we have not forgotten them. This gives them hope, and encourages them to keep pushing forward even in the face of much adversity. Please continue to pray for Pastor Andre and his church, for our students, and for the Haitian people.  Mesi (thank-you)!

- Laurie Nemez,  English Teaching Team Leader’

 

Learn more about Albright’s Partnership with Haiti and how you can be involved!  

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As Albright’s first Mission Team to teach English is wrapping up their time in Haiti they are eager to share their journey of this pioneering work with you!  As you read of their experiences, prayerfully consider how God would have you be part of ‘Albright’s Partnership with Haiti’.

 

“We have been blown away by the hospitality of the people of Gens de Nantes. 

As we walk to school in the morning, we are greeted with a friendly 'bonjou' or a 'Chou-Chou' from the children. We have learned that this is a special way of saying, 'I love you'.  

 
Our teaching day goes from 8 - 1 with a break in the middle and chapel time at the end of the day. It was so neat to sing the familiar chorus ‘Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God' together in chapel. Margo led half the group in English, while Marillia (Pastor Andre's wife) led the other half in Creole, and we sang the song in a round. What a joy it is to worship together!

 

We are amazed at how much our students have learned and how thankful they are that we are teaching them.  We know that there are many more who are desperate to learn. Classes were originally scheduled to end on Wednesday, but we learned that some of the Haitian teachers taking our class would not be able to attend after Monday, due to a conflict. Not wanting them to miss out, we altered the schedule and held an additional class on Saturday.  We will now teach our last class on Monday. 


Our meals have been delicious and we have been well fed. Two of our cooks are recovering from chickungunya, a virus carried by mosquitoes, and we have met several people who are suffering from the fever, aches and pains of the disease. Please pray for healing for those afflicted, and for God's continued protection for the team.

 


We woke up extra early Sunday morning to make the trip to church in Acul des Pins, a community about 6 miles north-west of Gens de Nantes. A few of the team members stayed back as they were not feeling up to the long journey over the mountain, but we were joined by Pastor Andre and our translator, Willie. 

 

In Acul de Pins, the church is located a short ways off the main road, bordered by a lush tropical landscape all around. Our team was given seats on stage and we were pleasantly surprised to have a fan oscillating above us. The church service was just over three hours long and included Sunday school, prayers, singing and a message from both the local Pastor and Pastor Andre. As the service ended we were warmly greeted with hugs and handshakes from the congregation; we felt such joy in their church. Afterwards, the team took a walk down to visit the family who received a new house last year, financed through Albright donations. It is set in a beautiful area, tucked away from the main street.

 

Returning to Gens de Nantes, we enjoyed a delicious supper of fish and chips.   There is lots of preparation to do before Monday’s last day of class. We are excited to celebrate with our students, but we know saying goodbye will be hard.

 

The last day of teaching was emotional.  It’s Graduation Day!  A special celebration was held in the chapel where each class sang a song that they had prepared. Each student was presented with a ‘Certificate of Completion’ and class photos were taken.

 

There was a special presentation of Creole Storybook Bibles and a gift of school supplies for each school represented in our classes. We also awarded ESL Dictionaries to the students we felt could best use them.

 

The students sang for us in gratitude and many wanted to speak in front of the group and give thanks. Team Leader, Laurie, spoke on behalf of our teaching team and told our students how humbled we were to teach them and how thankful we were to God for the opportunity to come to Gens de Nantes. She also encouraged them to share their resources and to continue practicing their English.

 

We encourage you to join us in praying for these students - that they would have opportunities to continue learning and practicing their English, as many have a deep desire to do.” 

 

As the team now prepares for a trip to Cape Haitian before traveling back to Puerto Plata on Thursday, we ask for your prayers for overall health of our team and for safe travels.”

 

The English Teaching Team will be returning from Haiti on Friday, July 25/14.  Follow their most current updates on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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The sun is barely up as the team rises to begin their day.  The cook is already stirring in the kitchen preparing the day's meals.  One-by-one the team gathers at the table to enjoy the breakfast prepared for them.  Then, with water bottles filled and teaching materials gathered, they head off down the dirt road toward the school, greeting passers-by with a cheerful ‘bonjou’. Up the hill, at the AEM Church and School, their students are arriving from various parts of the community, anxious to learn their next lesson in English.

 

Our English Teaching Team has settled in to their new daily life in the village ofGensde Nantes, Haiti.  In a recent update from the team, they gave us an inside look at their day. 

 

 ‘After arriving at the school, our team began the teaching day in the chapel, where we prayed for our students and for God’s guidance on our teaching.  We then headed to our three classrooms where we’ll teach in teams of two:  Laurie & Julia, Heidy & Margo, and Meghan & Elaine.  Russ helps out where needed in each of the classes. 

 

Today’s lesson was focused around weather, seasons and dates.  We used flashcard pictures and vocabulary word strips to help the students visualize as they practice repeating the words and phrases in English.  One exercise is to have all of the students tell us their birthdates and write it on a piece of paper with a picture of a birthday cake on it.  They practice speaking the dates and numbers while matching the birthday to the person. 

 

The students have told our translator, Willie, that they are so happy to have us teach them, and that they would like us to stay for a month!

 

At the end of our lessons, we gather together with our students in the chapel, which is always a special time. We sing and pray together both in English and in Kreyol.  Today, Russ shared a personal story from his faith journey, translated by Willie. It was a steamy 38 degrees inside the chapel as we said good-bye to our students for the day.

 

Heading back to the guesthouse, we stopped by the AEM Medical Clinic where EMCC Missionary, Marilyn McIlroy gave us a tour of the clinic buildings on the compound.

 

For dinner we enjoyed a traditional Haitian meal of rice, beans and plantains.  There is a lot of lesson planning to do each evening, but some are able to take some time to go exploring or play with the children.  We feel very welcomed by the community.  Meci anpil (thank you so much)  for your prayers!

 

 The English Teaching Team will be returning from Haiti on July 25/14.  Follow their most current updates on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

  

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Albright Church is thrilled to send its 5th Mission Team to Haiti!  The seven-member English Teaching Team departed on July 10/14 ready to serve for two weeks in the community of Gens de Nantes, Haiti, under the direction of the EMCC.  Armed with suitcases full of teaching materials and supplies, the team left prepared to conduct daily classes teaching English language to young adults and others from GDN and nearby communities.

 

Their flights took them to Toronto, then on to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic where they traveled the next day by ground transportation to Haiti.  The journey by road went well and the border crossing into Haiti, along with all of their supplies, went smoothly. The team was met by Pastor Andre from our sister church in GDN, (the AEM Church) and were unexpectedly spoiled to ride in style and comfort from the Haitian border town of Ouaniminthe to Gens de Nantes in two air-conditioned vans!  The roads were bumpy, with a few rivers to cross, but they arrived at the guesthouse mid afternoon and got straight to the task of unpacking and settling in before enjoying supper. Their first night in Haiti was filled with anticipation of worshipping alongside their Haitian brothers and sisters at church the next morning.

 

Albright’s Mission Team was warmly welcomed by the Haitian church.  Mission Team Leader, Laurie brought greetings to the congregation on behalf of Pastor Alan and Albright Church, and shared her testimony through the translation of EMCC Missionary, Marilyn McIlroy. The service was vibrant with much speaking and singing followed by a very passionate sermon from Pastor Andre. What a joy it was to experience Haitians praying for the people and ministries of Albright Church.

 

A tour of the classrooms and lesson prep filled the afternoon, but still left room for the team to spend time with the local children playing, drawing and taking pictures. 

 

The team is ready and looking forward to their first day of teaching!  While a class size of 30 students was anticipated, God led the team to prepare and bring enough materials for 40 students. They were so excited to learn that they will have 39 students attend their classes, all anxious to learn English!

 

The July temperatures in Gens de Nantes are tropically hot, ranging in the mid to upper 30’s with the humidity.  For a team of Manitoban’s, they are facing some challenges adjusting to the continual heat, as it does not cool down at night.  They have asked for your prayers for the team's endurance as they deal with the heat and teach a large amount of students.  At the time of this writing, thunderstorms are forecast for this evening – pray for cooling rain, and restful sleep.

 

If you would like to be part of Albright’s next Mission Team to serve in Haiti, applications are now being accepted for March 2015.  Plans are underway to form a team with mixed skills to serve for two weeks at the end of March.

If you have gifting in the following capacities, you could be used by God as part of our team:

  • work with patients in the clinic
  • help with organization within the clinic
  • doing some community health work, home visits
  • maintenance and electrical work on the clinic and guesthouse buildings
  • interact directly with children in the school and around the clinic and guesthouse

 Apply now or contact Missions Director, Stephen Moore for more information.

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We spend so much time and energy on developing our skills for our careers and hobbies, but often our most important asset doesn’t get much attention. Consider setting aside time, energy and effort for your marriage relationship. You will be glad you did!

 

“The Marriage Course started good conversations and allowed us to discuss topics

 that we simply would not start on our own.” – Marriage Course Participant

 

Albright Church believes in and affirms marriage and the Marriage Course is just one way which we are actively investing in the marriages around us. Marriage is foundational for our church, children and community, and we encourage couples to make an investment in their marriages. This includes couples with a strong relationship and those who are struggling, those who are newly married and those who have been married for a 30-40-50 or more years. Every marriage can be made better.

 

“The Marriage Course provided practical strategies and activities to help

move our marriage in a positive direction.” Marriage Course Participant

 

The Marriage Course provides eight ‘date night’ evenings in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. There is no group discussion and you will never be asked to share anything from your private discussion. As a couple attending, you are encouraged to set aside these evenings to focus just   on you, your spouse and your relationship.

 

“We enjoyed the special care and concern shown to us. We felt cared for!”

 – Marriage Course Participant

 

The evening begins with a romantic candle-lit dinner for two, complete with music and privacy. After dinner you will be presented a different practical topic to help with discussions between the two of you. The materials used are from the Alpha Marriage Course and topics include:

•    understanding each other’s needs;

•    communicating more effectively;

•    growing closer through resolving conflict;

•    healing the ways you’ve hurt each other;

•    recognizing how your upbringing affects your relationship;

•    improving relationships with parents and in-laws;

•    developing greater sexual intimacy;

•     discovering each other’s love languages and much, much more!

There is a discussion book included with a number of exercises and questions to help guide the conversation between just the two of you/

 

“I would highly recommend this course to couples wanting to build on their marriage.”

– Albright Participant

 

The next Marriage Course starts Sunday, September 28, 2014 and runs until Sunday, November 23, 2014 (with no session on Thanksgiving Sunday, October 12). Each Sunday evening starts with dinner at 5:30pm and finishes about 8:30pm. Course fees are $125 per couple, which includes the eight amazing dinners-for-two and the course workbooks.  Registration is on a first come first served basis – so don’t wait!

 

Here are some other quotes from couples who have taken the course here at Albright:

“Reminded us of the ongoing need for meaningful communication and time together.”

“Our marriage has a stronger foundation, and new insights for a new beginning.”

“This has brought attention to certain areas in our marriage and got us talking again.”

“Improved our communication and showed us how important quality time together is.”

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Loving God and loving our neighbours is an adventure! Our Neighbourhood Service Weekend is a great opportunity to step into that. At Albright we believe in the value of ‘walking across the room’ to get to know people and to love as Christ loves us. It is a privilege to bless people in ways that demonstrates God’s amazing grace. It is also a faith step to be open to what God wants to do in and through us.

 

Not having a usual Sunday Morning Service radically reminds us about the high value God’s calls us to serve. We can become so comfortable with the rhythms of life that we forget that God wants us to connect with our neighbours. Sunday morning worship should be a reflection and celebration of a life devoted to God and to loving others. Our vision for that weekend is to help us re-focus and re-engage with God’s calling to love our neighbours. Taking the time to pray about what God would have you do, and then doing it, will lift our Sunday morning worship times to a whole new level.

 

We are purposely freeing up time on the weekend of June 6th – 8th to provide space and encourage intentional serving. Of course, you can serve your neighbours anytime; it doesn’t have to be during the exact time of Albright’s usual Sunday Service. There is a sense of fellowship in knowing that we are allowing God to challenge us together in this area, but the timing is completely up to you.

 

Who is my neighbour?  The simple answer is: anyone and everyone we connect with in life.  They are not just people who live on our street, but those we encounter in our workplace, at school, through activities and sports, even those who provide a service to us.  Our neighbours are people we may not even have met yet.

 

If Sunday morning isn’t the ideal time to connect with neighbours you could use that time to walk around your neighbourhood, pray for your neighbours and be open to what God might reveal to you. You could go to a coffee shop and pray for what you see and be open for any conversations. Or, you could visit someone and bless them with a word, gift or action. The main thing is to be open to what God wants you to do, or might show you, as you step out in faith. This is as much about being with God and hearing Him as it is about what you do.

 

You don’t have to do something big.  In fact, often loving and serving others begins with being willing to see and do the small things.  Praying for your neighbours by name is a huge start. Introducing yourself or checking in to see how they are is a step. Being purposely open for ‘one minute more’ conversations is another great step. Asking God to reveal a need you can meet or a way that you can bless is a great step. Learning to listen and hear from God as to what is the next step is more important than the size of what you do.

 

The last thing we want to do is avoid making our neighbours a project. That is why what we do needs to come out of who we are in God and not any form of guilt. We are blessed to bless. We are freed by God’s love to love. That means we are still his children even if people do not respond in the way we think they should. It also means that we can leave the final outcome with God. Only he can change hearts. He simply calls us to love Him and others.

 

On Sunday Evening, June 8th at 6:30pm, we’ll be meeting at Albright for a Worship Celebration to praise God, to reflect on what we have been learning and to pray for our neighbours. This will be informal and is open to all ages. If that happens to be your planned time to meet with neighbours then you are free to do that.  We are purposely keeping this celebration time simple to avoid any extra responsibilities on that day. So just come, bring the family, and enjoy the ice-cream and being together!

 

Pastor Sam Devine

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Recently, the Winnipeg Free Press published an article written by Gordon Sinclair Jr., revealing how our Winnipeg Police Service Chief Devon Clunis demonstrated how important community is. 

 

On the day before Chief Clunis was scheduled to visit a Winnipeg Grade 6 class, he called a news conference regarding a serious situation that had recently transpired.  Considering the circumstances the teacher was not sure if Chief Clunis would still be attending their class the next day.  But right on schedule, Chief Clunis showed up.  When the teacher asked Chief Clunis about that, “He said: ‘No, this is important. The children are important. Community is important.’”

 

Police Chief Clunis went on to share with the class of his own experience in Grade 6, of a teacher who went above and beyond to help him out, the big impact it had on his life, and her prayer that might surprise you!   You can read the full article on the Winnipeg Free Press’ website: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/police-chief-earns-an-a-for-effort-after-911-affair-259336211.html 

 

As part of the challenge to Love Your Neighbour, Albright Church is participating in a 365 Police Prayer Watch initiative from May 19th - 25th.  We are doing this in partnership with other churches in the City who have each been allocated a specific week.  You are invited to pray each day for our Winnipeg Police Service using the prayer guide below and remain open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  You could pray as part of your devotional time each day, at family meal times, when you meet with friends, or in your Small Group.  Who knows how God will respond to your prayers!

 

1. Pray for Chief Devon Clunis:

  • For wisdom and courage to lead
  • For complete dependence upon the Holy Spirit
  • For acceptance of his vision for changes in the way policing is done
  • For grace and favour to be upon him in all his relationships
  • For his Family – to be able to balance the responsibilities between work and home

 2. Pray in general:

  • For an enduring partnership between the churches and the Winnipeg Police Service
  • For strengthening of relationships with community organizations and eliminate factors that cause crime
  • For unity and trust within the Police Service
  • For smooth transition into the new Headquarters onGraham Avenuein the New Year
  • For financial provision to meet the budget and Police Service needs

3. Pray for the Police Officers:

  • For safety and protection as they deal with dangers everyday
  • For protection from the emotional and mental stress that can come with policing
  • That officers would have wisdom to be able to deal with people effectively
  • For success in preventing and detecting crime, catching offenders and bringing them to justice
  • That they would exhibit integrity, honesty & dedication in the face of temptation
  • That they would carry a heart of compassion for people & not become hardened
  • That they would embrace a more holistic way of policing and serving the community
  • That they would be honoured for doing their job of upholding the law

 4.  Pray for the Police Officers Families:

  • God’s blessing over families, that they would know peace when their loved ones are on duty
  • That the families have understanding when the officer they love is under stress
  • That officers would be able to separate work and home, and that their families can support them in times of stress
  • That they would trust God for their health and welfare

5. Pray for the City of Winnipeg:

  • For crime, including violent crime to diminish dramatically
  • For peace to reign in the streets of our city
  • For Mayor Sam Katz and City Hall
  • For righteousness and unity to reign and for right people to fill positions in Government
  • For increased funding of Community Enhancement Projects (ie: Endowment Fund)
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One of the things I love to do is meet up with other family members, so as I flew into Calgary, this was what I was looking forward to the most.  ‘Wait,’ I can here you say, ‘Are there Devines in Calgary?’  Maybe, but the family I am referring to is our extended Church family connected through the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada.  Every alternate year we have a Regional Gathering and a General Assembly, primarily so the family can meet.  Often that includes some of our Missionaries who serve in various parts of the world.

 

This year the theme was ‘Following Jesus Together: Disciple Making in Community.’  Our Guest Speaker, Caesar Kalinowski who has just written a book called, ‘Transformation’ challenged us to first practice living out of our new identity in Christ.  We were reminded that, “The world says, we do to be. The Gospel says, we do out of who we are.”  Mission flows out of who we are in Christ.  The experience of His love motivates us to love others. 

 

If we are to respond to God’s command to make disciples then we need the Gospel, Community and Mission.  “As a family we extend God’s family out to others by inviting people into our lives where we imitate Christ.”  Ceasar told many stories of how God has used him and his family to do that intentionally where they live. 

 

Often it started with simple connections that were part of the normal rhythms of life such as sharing a meal, helping to paint a deck, mowing a lawn, having a one more minute conversation and asking someone how they really are. 

 

Missional living is something we all can do because it is who we are: people who have been brought into family and restored to life in God.

 

I am thankful for the challenges and also the opportunity to connect with family again.  It is such an encouragement to know that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and that together, within community, we can make disciples through Christ.

 

Pastor Sam Devine

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Jeriah Nickerson is a fun-loving, artistic and very creative 4 year old boy who LOVES to colour, use stickers, paint, and create bead crafts. When using his stickers his parents have made him aware that not all children are blessed with endless amounts of stickers - some children have none.  This news made him sad!

 

When Jeriah found out that his Grandma, Carol Nickerson, was going to Haiti - a place where they don't have stickers, he wanted to do something.  His mom suggested that, since he had a lot of bead projects done, maybe they could try selling them and he could use the money to buy stickers to send to Haiti with his Grandma!   Jeriah loved this idea and was very excited! 

 

Jeriah went about selling his precious crafts to friends, family and people from church.  His parents were impressed at how well he could answer everyone’s questions, and came to realize that this was something that meant a lot to him. He even got some special orders that he had to create for the following week.

 

Jeriah raised enough money to purchase a whole stack of sticker sheets from a dollar store and, from the sounds of it; the kids in Haiti were thrilled to receive them!


    

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We don’t usually think of getting to know our neighbours as a work of art!  Maybe you don’t see yourself as very artistic in the first place.  God is.  He is the master artist who is painting the story of our lives.  Every day he adds another dimension to the picture which is being painted to reflect who He is.  Incredibly that includes the exact place where we live (Acts 17:26). 

 

While it is true that God is painting a very unique picture of our lives He is also painting the family picture of the Church.  You and I are part of the big picture of God’s plan to love Him and to love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).  But why?  Why can’t I just love myself?  Because that is not why we are here!  We are here to reveal Jesus.  We are here to see people added to the big picture.  Every day is another day to work with the master artist.  So, how can we do that?

 

From May 4th and over the next 5 weeks we will be looking at “The Art of Neighbouring” in our Sunday teaching series which will build towards a Neighbourhood Service Weekend from June 6th-8th.  On that Sunday we are encouraging the Church to leave the building and serve their neighbours!  We won’t be having our Sunday Morning Service so that you are freed up for the whole weekend.  We are planning an Evening Celebration Service to share stories, praise God and to pray for our neighbours. 

 

A Neighbour Resource Team will be available to help you with ideas to serve, how you might go about that and to connect you with helpful resources.  You can be as creative as you like!  You could set up coffee connection, set up a walking date, invite a family for lunch, plan a game of golf, pay a visit with a gift of cookies, offer practical help or host a block party.  You could do this with some friends, as a family or as a small group.

 

Here is what we are asking.  Begin to pray for your neighbours by name.  Create a list.  Walk through your neighbourhood and pray for what you see.  Ask God to show you how you can serve your neighbours and be open to hear what He says.  Painting that first brush stroke can be both fearful and exciting.  We don’t know exactly how the painting will look like when it is finished.  But remember God is with you.  He is the master artist.  He wants to use you and He will if you make yourself available.

 

Pastor Sam Devine

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Easter can become so familiar to us that we easily lose the wonder of its significance.  We need to stop and remember.  Sharing in communion helps us to do just that and we will have that opportunity on Good Friday. 

 

But again, it can become nothing more than a ritual that we go through that fails to impact our lives.  So what does it really mean when we break the bread and drink the cup?  Something that I read from Tim Keller recently helped me to consider the wonder of communion and Easter in a new light.

 

“When Jesus said, I am the bread of life, he says, I am God made breakable for you.”  Wow!  The Almighty creator and sustainer of the universe and our lives purposely and willingly made Himself breakable for you! 

 

This is the message of Easter and what we remember when we share in communion.  As Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples he said, “This is my body given for you.”  Luke 22:19.  Previously he had said, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry.” John 6:35.

 

The wonder of Easter, which we celebrate in communion, is that Christ allowed His body to be broken that we might be made whole in Him.  God made himself breakable that we might share in His wholeness.  In our brokenness Christ feeds us with Himself and gives us life. 

 

Such is the mystery of His grace and the vastness of His love that He should be broken for us! 

 

Don’t let this Easter be just another holiday or communion be just another ritual.  As you break the bread remember that God made himself breakable for you.  As you drink the cup remember that God allowed Himself to be poured out for you.

 

Fall on your knees like Thomas and cry in worship, “My Lord and My God.”  John 20:28.

 

- Pastor Sam Devine

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The Clinic Team's last Sunday in Haiti provided a couple of worship opportunities. The team divided into two groups, one headed to the town of Carice to worship with the AEM church there, and the other remained in Gens de Nantes worshipping once again at Pastor Andre’s church.

 

It was communion Sunday at the Gens de Nantes church.  There were hopes that Elizanne (abscess patient) and her family would be in church but they did not come. Please keep praying for them.  After church the group returned to the guesthouse for lunch and began the task of packing, each taking turns soaking their feet in a tub of water to try to cool down.

 

Carice is located south west of Gens de Nantes and is much higher in altitude. The group climbed into the back of Lolance's 4x4 Toyota Pick-up truck and off they went, hanging on for dear life. They stopped at a local petro stand to purchase gasoline at $6.00 a gallon, then bumped along for most of the trip, with EMCC Missionary, Marilyn Mc playing tour guide. As the frequency of switchbacks grew greater the scenery became more beautiful and they marveled at God’s handiwork. Lolance stopped at a stream to pour water on the overheated brakes and on the engine. Soon they were on their way again enjoying their mountaintop experience, driving through small towns and weaving past washouts and ruts. Arriving in Carice, the church service had already started, so after a quick change of clothes they were ushered to seats near the front and then participated in the service. Marilyn Mc brought greetings and introduced the group. The service was very long and it was very warm.  After the preaching, communion was served. The bread and the small communion cups were uncovered and the members of the congregation came forward to take the bread and cup with them back to their seats. Then, just as we would at Albright, they ate the bread and drank the cup. When the group asked Marilyn Mc whether or not it was safe to participate, she said, "Jesus will make it so."
After the service the group greeted many people. The church committee served them soft drinks and crackers, and told the team that they had been encouraged by their visit - it is good to know they are not forgotten. The group went to see the new home Albright provided funds for. The home belongs to a Grandmother and Grandaughter, who welcomed them to take a tour. It is very well kept and they are grateful for the home. Soon it was time for the return trip over the mountain back to Gens de Nantes. They found the trip back more difficult as it was hard to keep from slipping forward into each other. Standing up seemed to be the best option and they took turns standing behind the cab hanging onto the rack for dear life, all the while trying to take the perfect photo, much laughter ensued. At one point the truck died and they gave Lolance their water bottles to cool the overheated brakes and engine once again. Soon they were on their way and received a cheery welcome from the remainder of the team sitting out in the guesthouse yard trying to catch a non-existent breeze.

 

Once back together the team did more packing, tidying, and organizing. A delicious supper was enjoyed - fried chicken, fried plantain, potatoes and carrots in sauce, sliced tomatoes and onions, and rice - what a feast! After dinner the guesthouse staff was presented with a token of appreciation for all they did for the team. Once more, the neighbourhood children stopped by to play, soon skipping ropes, beach balls and rocket balls added to the fun.  Marilyn Mc led the team through a debriefing and it was time for bed.  Their last night in Gens de Nantes was a most humid and hot night.

 

The Clinic Team is now traveling through the Dominican Republicand is scheduled to arrive in Winnipeg at midnight on Tuesday, April 8th, on WestJet #535.

 

Thank you for your prayers of support as you’ve followed the experiences of the team.  You can anticipate learning more after their return.  

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