What's God doing in Richmond Hill?
I have made Biblical fellowship something of a theme over the last several months. I’m convinced that we need one another to grow. But it’s something that I need to model also. And so I’m trying to get to know other pastors and churches. This morning I attended a clergy breakfast in preparation for the upcoming Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. I was eager for the opportunity to get to know other pastors in the area and learn about the churches that make up our city. And I also wanted to know more about the details around this spring’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. It was a great morning on both counts.
In addition to the informal fellowship around the breakfast table, everyone in the room shared what their church is doing to minister to people in the community. It was a great education in the power of the body of Christ and as Mayor Dave Barrow and the two Councillors were sitting listening, I couldn’t help but think, “I hope they’re hearing what I am!” Here are some of the ways churches in Richmond Hill are seeking to make a difference:
- Volunteering at 360° Kids (http://www.360kids.ca/) which ministers to homeless youth and those who are at risk.
- Hosting a basketball free throw competition for the community.
- Hosting a Christmas tree lighting ceremony with carol singing.
- Running a Science & Faith conference.
- Putting on summer soccer camps for community youth.
- Volunteering at the Richmond Hill Pregnancy Care Centre (http://www.pregnancycarerh.org/) and donating to or volunteering with local organizations like the Yellow Brick House and Richmond Hill Food bank as we’ve done.
- Attending community events like the Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce (http://www.rhcoc.com/), York Region Police Appreciation Night (https://www.yrp.ca/en/community/police-appreciation-night.asp), and Character Community Awards Night (http://www.richmondhill.ca/subpage.asp?pageid=parks_character_community_initiative) and following up with a letter congratulating award recipients, thanking them for their example and inviting them to their church.
- Setting up a booth at Richmond Green for Canada Day (http://www.richmondhill.ca/subpage.asp?pageid=canada_day_celebrations).
- Volunteering as a collector for the Salvation Army’s Christmas “Kettle Campaign” (http://www.yorkregion.com/community-story/6127873-mayor-helps-kick-off-kettle-campaign-in-richmond-hill-vaughan/).
- Providing emergency shelter to homeless in Richmond Hill as part of the cooperative Out of the Cold program (http://miotc.ca/).
- Hosting a Community Spaghetti Dinner at Bond Lake Arena (http://www.onrichmondhill.com/events.php?id=25602) as a way of getting to know people in the community. They say that 200 people attend when they put on these dinners. The next one is April 9 – all are welcome.
- Visiting high-rise apartment complexes and running community dinner events to reach out to the residents.
Of course I shared about our ESL, LAFF and Sew on Fire ministries. The body of Christ is truly amazing. I pray that God will guide the mission vision of the new Life Groups that we’re starting up next month. I think that there are lots of small ways that we can engage our community and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The reason that we were asked to share these outreach ideas with each other was because the theme of the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast this spring is serving the community. Peter Duraisami, former pastor and now CEO of the Scott Mission in downtown Toronto will be coming as the guest speaker. The Richmond Hill Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is a Christian Celebration of Prayer for the Richmond Hill Community. Two to three hundred people from the community attend and Christian ministers lead us in prayer for the community’s leaders with a Christian speaker and musical guest. We have been asked to host tables for this event and would love to encourage as many of you as possible to attend.
Date: Wednesday May 25
Time: 7 am – 9 am
Location: Sheraton Parkway Toronto North
Cost: $30/person (Includes a hot buffet breakfast and live musical performance.)
In awe of Him,