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I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

CS Lewis

Hello again from beautiful Dundas, Ontario and your friends at Grace Valley Church. A lot has happened since the last update a few months ago, so let’s get to it!

Remember the property we were trying to buy? Well, after a lot of prayer and consultation, we decided the building would not be big enough to suit our long-term needs and the parking issue would become a serious problem, should God bless our efforts and bless us with many parishioners. Therefore, we did not go through with the deal.

That’s okay, though. We’ve found a place to rent for Sunday services. The Hamilton Airforce Club has graciously agreed to accommodate us on Sunday mornings. They are located at 128 King Street East, Dundas, L9H 1N5. We will be hosting a worship service there on August 28 @ 10 am. We would love to see you there!

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By the way, even though some pages are still under construction, our website is beginning to take shape. Check out www.gracevalleychurch.ca for a sneak peak of what to expect when we go “live” — hopefully — on September 1!

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On June 18, we held a church picnic where we invited friends and neighbours to get to know us better. We had a bouncy castle, volleyball court, and lots of food! We even roasted a pig for supper! One guest brought her pet snake, which was a real hit with both kids and adults alike. The weather was beautiful and the turnout was fantastic. The next day we held our first official worship service as Grace Valley Church in the home of one of our members. It was a symbolic moment of transitioning from a group of Bible study friends to a real church family.

OUR FIRST PUBLIC WORSHIP SERVICE

On July 10, we held our first public worship service at the Dundas Legion. It was an opportunity for our group to experience what it’s like to plan and execute a Sunday service at a rented location. God blessed us with many volunteers so that the service went off quite smoothly. It was very special for our community to experience public worship together for the first time. We even celebrated our first baptism as a church community! Many of our own members were away on vacation, but we were still blessed with an attendance of about 75 people. Praise God!

Five of our guests were actually young people from Louisiana visiting Dundas for the purpose of discovering whether it was a suitable place to plant a church! I met one of their members at Starbucks earlier that week, when he overheard me sharing with someone the vision of Grace Valley Church over coffee. He introduced himself and told the story of how their group was sent by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptists to research church planting in the Hamilton area. He mentioned that he and his group had prayed for guidance and been led to look specifically at Dundas as a place in desperate need of a gospel presence. We were both dumbfounded by how God connected us with each other. He and his colleagues worshipped with us on Sunday and we agreed to partner together should the SBC plan to plant a church in our area. Pictures of our first service are below. See the prayer requests below to learn when our upcoming services will be held. For more information, contact Paul at paulmartinvandenbrink@gmail.com

 

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My residency with Evangelize Today continues bear great fruit for me. Several interviews with non-Christians have helped me to understand better how people think about religious questions in modern-day Canada. I’ve discovered that the image of God in non-Christians is reaching out to understand themselves and the world. There’s more to what they see around them and they just don’t know what to make of it. It’s true, you know — we live in an “enchanted” world! Check out some of the responses I’ve received from interviewees:Q: Where did the word come from?
A: I don’t really know, but seeing a child develop from a kid to an adult means there has to be a plan somewhere.

Q: What do you believe about life after death?
A: One should be reflective about the effects of their lives on other people and making a determination about whether that was a good or bad move; what habits should we rid ourselves of as we live? After all, there might be a reckoning.

Q: What do you believe about Jesus Christ?
A: That’s a tough one for me. He was definitely a prophet. He surely died on the cross, but I don’t know what to make of the resurrection. I have difficulty believing that he made up the idea that he was god; given the balance of what you hear about Jesus the man, you can’t conclude that he was crazy. He was too controlled and directed. If he’s not crazy, what to do about his claims to divinity? I don’t know.

Notice that as they mull over these questions, people tend to discover inconsistency in their own thinking. They see evidence that points to a creator — even a redeemer — but don’t quite know what to do with it. Pray that the relationships forged through these interviews may lead people to discover Jesus as Saviour and Lord.

PRAYER REQUESTS

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