This Sunday is our Fall Kick Off.  I hope you will be able to join us after the service for a wonderful barbecue and an opportunity to connect and reconnect.

Connecting is important isn’t it?  Many of you know that our eldest, Emily, has started a Master’s program in Scotland.  Brian, Tyler and I went to get her settled in.  We flew over several days before her start date which gave us an amazing opportunity to spend some quality time together before getting on with the task of settling Emily into her new flat.

As we helped her unpack her three huge suitcases (not sure how she’ll bring it all back) it became clear, as others began to arrive, that we needed to leave so that Emily could make connections with the other students in her building.  

There was an activity planned for the International students, but Emily showed no interest in going.  I hated leaving her so soon but I knew that we had to so that she would start connecting with her new colleagues. 

It is in connecting that we find community.  Jane Addams said it well, “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

After a very teary goodbye, Tyler, Brian and I (Tyler wants me to make clear that I was the only one crying) made our way back to our apartment. Emily made her way to the International students event and has since reported that “my classmates are really nice”, “my flatmates are great”, and “oh, by the way, I have been elected the Social Chair for my program”.   Emily is fine, she is getting connected and, consequently, too busy to call home.

Connecting, whether it’s at school, or work, in our neighborhood, or at church is so important because it creates community and community gives us a sense of belonging and security.  Community is also a place where we can find encouragement and empowerment.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrew 10: 24-25

To be a part of a community also teaches us the importance of Christlike serving and selflessness.  In Matthew 22: 37-40, Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So how can you connect at Amberlea?

I am so glad you asked!  There are a number of ways to connect at Amberlea Church.

  1. Participate in a Small Group - many small groups meet throughout the week, either at the church or in people’s homes.  
  2. Ministry Opportunities -  One of the best ways to meet people, develop relationships, and grow as a follower of Christ is to serve the local church.  And it’s not just on the weekends! Serving opportunities are available seven days a week.  You are uniquely gifted!  Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Exciting isn’t it? 

So what ministry opportunities are there?  Here are just a few to consider:

Family Ministry Team - To help families raise fully devoted followers of Christ, Nursery and KidsZone provides small group interaction, worship, age-appropriate Biblical teaching, and fun for newborns through 5th graders. You can make a difference in the life of a child by serving as a KidsZone leader, emcee, children’s worship leader, administrative support, and more.  Or perhaps the teens are more your speed... come join the youth team where students are challenged to become fully devoted followers of Christ. There are several ways for adults to serve junior high and high school students including small group leadership and student mentoring. 

Small Groups Team - In a group environment individuals can grow in their relationship with God and others, their career, their financial life, and their physical health. Small group volunteers can gain leadership skills and support personal growth by serving as group leaders, hosts, or administrative support. 

Communication/Training Team -This ministry serves as a support system for the entire body by providing the congregation with information on upcoming events, workshops, conferences and general inquiries. Volunteers are needed. Would you like to use your computer skills for the Lord?  We need people to help maintain our web-site.

Missions & Outreach Team - From going on a short-term trip, organizing food drives, Operation Christmas Child, community outreaches, there is a place for you to help get the gospel to all nations!

Hospitality Team - Often the very first contact people have with Amberlea Church is the person that first greets them at the door or the parking lot.  Or perhaps you love to throw a party, organize community outreaches, or bake casseroles that can be taken to the sick.  The opportunities to serve though hospitality are limitless!

Pastoral Care Team - A very practical and beautiful way to care for the hurting among us.  If you have heart for the hurting and would like to visit shut-ins, or the sick this ministry is the one for you.

Worship Design Team - If you would like to “Sing a new song unto the Lord,” consider auditioning for the worship team, or being part of the sound ministry.

Property Team -  Are you good with a paint brush?  Know your way around electrical wires?  Love to build?  Amberlea can use your skills.

Finance Team - Do words like "receipt","accounts payable", and "financial statement" cause your heart to flutter?  Then this is the team for you!

So many options!  So much good work to do!  Connect!