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Serving with hope

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English class at Saanich Community Church. PHOTO: courtesy Ken Peters

Saanich Community Church is a small Anabaptist-evangelical Mennonite Brethren community just north of Victoria, B.C.

We strive to be the type of neighbours Jesus speaks about in Luke 10 who serve one another and the larger community with joy because we believe our existence is a lived response to God’s goodness. Our relationship with Jesus Christ compels us to be good and do good unto others (Titus).

We are honoured to participate in God’s redemption of one Middle Eastern man (name and picture withheld for security reasons) who has suffered incarceration and torture for his political beliefs. Nearly executed but miraculously delivered, he still lives with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Today, because of his confession in Jesus, he has been disavowed by his family of origin. The church provides him part-time employment and walks compassionately with him toward his wholeness.

He participates in our community-wide free English language classes. He was helpful when the congregation resettled a different refugee family from the same region.

Whether it is crafting blankets and quilts for Mennonite Central Committee, or serving as the start/finish location for the Ride for Refuge that from 2014–2018 raised $500,000 for people who are displaced, vulnerable and exploited, we follow Jesus through the Spirit, engaging God’s mission in the world.

Ken Peters
is pastor at Saanich Community Church, Saanich, B.C.

This story comes from the Anabaptist World Fellowship Sunday 2020 worship resources package from Mennonite World Conference.

AWFS is an opportunity to remind our communities of faith that we are all part of one body made up of many tribes, languages and nations (Revelation 7:9). It is an invitation to visibly proclaim that now there is no discrimination among us on the basis of race, social status or gender (Galatians 3:28). It is a special day on which to show that we are living a new life in a new society where we mutually support one another, carry those who suffer, serve the world and interdependently learn from one another what it means to follow Jesus. On this day, we celebrate that, in Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the cultural and national boundaries that separate us have been overcome by the cross.

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Click here to download the worship package


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