If you're thinking of joining other BCCers in running or walking the Global 6K for Water to raise money for clean water in the Congo, you might want to consider registering by April 15th, in order to save $10 on your registration. Just visit our team page, click on "Join Our Team" and enter the coupon code SPRINGSAVE when paying! Looking forward to run/walking with you on May 20th!
This May, Bellingham Covenant will be joining with hundreds of other churches across the country and around the globe to participate in the World Vision 6K for Water. As a Covenant Church, we have the added benefit of the funds we raise going toward Covenant Kids Congo, supporting children in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the Evangelical Covenant has had a presence for over 80 years.
For your registration fee of $50 ($25 for kids under 18), you get a T-shirt, a finisher medal and a personalized bib with the photo and name of the child for whom YOU are helping to provide clean water access. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome, and varying route options mean that you don't need to finish all 6K if you'd rather not.
To register, visit our BCC race page and click "Join Our Team." If you're unable to attend the event but would still like to support the cause, you can visit the page and click "Support Us." You can also sign up at church following our Sunday services through the rest of April and the first couple weeks of May.
As you work to prepare physically for the 6K, this helpful, informative 6-week prayer guide will help you prepare your spirit as well.
DATE: Sunday, May 20th, 2018 (NOTE THIS DATE IS DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD VISION PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS)
TIME: 12:00 noon -- check-in, registration
12:30 PM -- 6K starts, picnic to follow
LOCATION: Lake Padden
Friday, April 6th
Trinity Western University (Langley, BC)
BCCers Rhonda McEwen and Steven Shetterly have coauthored a paper on epistemology and missional discipleship which will be presented in the afternoon workshop session at the upcoming Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS) Conference, to be held Friday, April 6th at ACTS Seminary/Trinity Western University in Langley, BC. The theme of the all-day conference is "Missions and Evangelism in a Secularizing World." Additional workshops will be held in the morning, along with a video stream of plenary speakers. Workshop topics include:
- Do Missionaries Destroy Culture?
- The Exodus of GenX’s and Millennials from Canadian Churches: Implications for Evangelism in a Secular Multicultural Context.
- Secularization, Globalization, and Terrorism: Realities, Implications, and Imperatives for Christian Missions and Evangelism in the 21st Century.
- Their Eyes Were Opened: A Holistic Epistemology for Missional Discipleship.
All are welcome to attend. Tickets may be purchased at the door or beforehand at the event website.
Engagement Opportunities with Love INC 2018
1. Phone Volunteers
Clearinghouse Call Center is where people with needs call seeking assistance. We are looking for volunteers to answer the phones with a listening ear and a kind heart, record the need and pray with the caller. We will train you and you’ll be serving on a team.
· We have one open chair weekly on Mon, Tues, Wed, or Thurs from 9AM-1PM. That can be filled by four different individuals, one on each day or any other combination.
· Also we are looking for bilingual speakers to serve on-call / as needed for translation; currently looking for bilingual Spanish speakers.
2. Financial Coaching Team:
In our 1-on-1 Managing Your Money program you work life on life with people. This program teaches the skills necessary to achieve financial peace. This is an 11 week course that runs quarterly with summer breaks. Meetings are held on Thursday evenings 6:30-8pm at Bellingham Covenant Church. We are looking for individuals to serve as assistant coaches. We provide training support. Next Steps: Please go to our website to complete a Volunteer form at www.whatcomloveinc.org/volunteer. Also, please contact Joan, the Program Coordinator: email@example.com.
3. Share Your Skill
Volunteer by sharing a skill or service or resources to local residents in need. The Clearinghouse call center will connect and mobilize you to serve local neighbors in need when they call in for help. (e.g., minor home repair; auto repair; hair care; moving assistance; transportation assistance; yard maintenance; attorney or legal services etc!) This is an opportunity to tithe your talent for the Lord’s use. Email the resource/skill you’d like to offer to the volunteer coordinator’s email listed above.
*See examples below of teams already developed of those using their time, talent and treasure to lovingly serve others.
· Drive Team: Transportation Volunteer
Serve your neighbor in need by driving a client to a medical appointment. Would you be available to serve on call and as needed and during week day, daytime hours? We aim for two week notice for this service. Give us the best way of contacting you; we’ll connect you with someone to bless. Next Steps: Please go to our website to complete a Volunteer form at www.whatcomloveinc.org/volunteer.
· Build-It Team: Volunteers for small home construction jobs.
Are you skilled in construction? We are currently networking a team of contractors and construction workers who are passionate about using their skill on local mission through Love INC. Would you be available to serve on call and as needed and during week day, daytime hours? Next Steps: Please go to our website to complete a Volunteer form at www.whatcomloveinc.org/volunteer.
· Fix-It Team: Volunteers for household maintenance and repairs.
Calling all handy-men or women! Are you skilled with home repairs? Would you be available to serve on call and as needed and during week day, daytime hours? Next Steps: Please go to our website to complete a Volunteer form at www.whatcomloveinc.org/volunteer.
1. Furniture Team: “Furnished With Love”
Furnished with Love receives gentle used donated furniture for local families in need. Hours of this operation are Saturday 9AM-1PM and Wed 9AM-1PM for Admin and warehouse work. We are looking for teams of 3 people available to deliver furniture and use that opportunity to love others to Jesus. Great opportunity for both individual or for a small group of 3 people to serve together one Saturday a month!
2. Love INC Events Team
Good for a group or individual. Do you like coordinating or helping at events? We’re looking for a few more volunteers to serve on an events planning team. These key players help with all the behind-the-scenes coordinating of our big annual events. Next Steps: Please go to our website to complete a Volunteer form at www.whatcomloveinc.org/volunteer.
3. Encouragement Visits
Visit, Listen, Encourage, pray. Local nonprofit ministry workers are local missionaries that serve on the frontlines in Whatcom County. Every day staff faces the heaviness and darkness of poverty, shame, hopelessness, crisis and trauma in the lives of those we serve every day. It takes the light of Christ and joy of Holy Spirit burning in our hearts to strengthen us with hope and endurance to share with them. A little encouragement and prayer goes along way. We love it when a partner church group comes down to visit our office, meet our staff and volunteers, learn a bit about what ministry looks like that week, and offer some friendly encouragement. We welcome visitors just to encourage. We begin every day in our office with prayer at 9AM Mon-Thursday. Email Shannon@whatcomloveinc.org to schedule a time for your church group to come visit Love INC staff and volunteers.
Offered nationally and internationally for the past four decades, Perspectives is a 15-week course designed to expand participants' understanding of their role in God's global purpose. Utilizing local, regional and national practitioners as instructors, the course provides a biblical, historical and cultural analysis of the impact of the world Christian movement.
Further information on the Whatcom County Perspectives course (beginning January 2018), is available on their website.
After a Black Friday weekend full of "last chance" and "this deal expires soon!" emails and ads, let us drop just one more into the mix: We want to open up applications for our March 2018 work and Church history trip to France for one more week. There is still space available on the team, and we would ask you to consider taking part but you'll need to tell us of your interest no later than this Sunday, December 3rd.
Since one week of the trip will consist of helping with some much-needed work projects at the La Costette retreat center (run by the French Free Church, the Evangelical Covenant's partners in France) we are particularly looking for those with skills in landscaping, carpentry, painting and the like to consider joining.
In addition to the work party, part of our time will be spent learning about the rich Christian history of the area. Lyon, our base of operations, was the first city after Rome to have become an established stronghold of Christianity in Western Europe. Indeed, Irenaeus--one of the earliest and most important Christian theologians in the post-apostolic era--was bishop of Lyon. Additionally, the Central Plateau (where we will be spending time at the retreat center) has long been a center of Protestantism in France and was influenced by the teachings of the Reformation as early as the 1530s.
We are excited to announce a unique learning and service opportunity for both BCC and Lettered Streets Covenant Church next March in France. Hosted by Bellingham natives and ECC Serve Globally regional coordinators for Russia and Europe John and Letha Kerl, we have been invited to spend twelve days around the city of Lyon and the central plateau of France, learning about the early church (Lyon was one of the first centers of Christianity in Western Europe outside of Rome) and then taking part in a service project in the central plateau.
Space on this trip is limited, so please let us know soon if you're interested in learning more about it by filling out our brief online form.
Further details about the trip are included in the letter from John and Letha below:
Dear friends at Bellingham Covenant and Lettered Streets Covenant,
Letha and I would like to extend an invitation to you to prayerfully consider the possibility of joining us in Lyon, France for an extraordinary opportunity to see our place of ministry and to gain understanding of the history of the Church in France and to better understand its current place in today’s culture. We are putting together a twelve-day experiential visit to Lyon and to the central plateau of France from March 7th to 19th 2018.
Upon your arrival we will take three days to explore Lyon, visiting many historical places relevant to the history of the church in Europe. Lyon was founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, just before the birth of Christ. It became the first stronghold of Christianity in Western Europe after Rome. We will look at the history of the church in France and understand more deeply the history of this complicated country. We will worship in the French Free Church that Letha and I attend.
We will then proceed to the Vivarais-Lignon Plateau, located an hour and a half southwest of Lyon, where we will partake in a work project at La Costette, a camp where the French Free Church has many activities. We will be collaborating with the local French Free Church in a work project for the camp. This project will be the repainting of their main meeting hall and helping the camp get ready for the next season of campers. This region was first touched by the Reformation as early as 1535. We will visit the Museum of Chambon-sur-Lignon where the French government honors the Christian activists of the plateau in helping hundreds of Jewish children to escape certain death at the hands of the Nazi regime. We will also visit the historical city of Le-Puy-en-Velay.
Here is the challenge. Space is limited. We very much would like to have this be a joint Bellingham Covenant and Lettered Streets adventure. The cost of this experience is $1,125 plus air fare ($800-$1,000) for a total of approximately $2,000 per person. Departure from Vancouver will be March 7th, arriving in Lyon on March 8th. Departure will be Sunday evening, March 18th, arriving in Vancouver on March 19th.
We hope to see you in France!
John & Letha
Two local organizations serving the needy in Whatcom County will be hosting important events this month.
First up is Love INC's annual Fall Fundraiser, with a silent auction, a live auction and desserts, as well as an update on the direction of Love INC's ministry. The Fall Fundraiser will be held this Friday, October 13th at Bellingham Covenant (1530 E. Bakerview). Tickets are available for $35 through Love INC's website.
Next week on Tuesday, October 17th, the Interfaith Coalition is holding their Annual Meeting, which is free and open to the public. From Interfaith's description on their website:
Come. Be inspired. Share our hope and our work for a better future for everyone by attending our annual Hope Meeting, held each October. Congregational reps and friends are warmly invited to join us as we share highlights of the past year and look ahead to ambitious goals. Come for fellowship, inspiration and opportunities for how individuals and congregations can join in our work and mission.
This year's Annual Hope Meeting will be Tuesday, October 17 at 7 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church's Grace Center, 119 Texas Street in Bellingham. Please come and hear from families and volunteers who share stories of compassion and hope. Learn how you can help us serve additional homeless families through Family Promise.
Please consider attending one or both of these events to support the important work being done in Bellingham and around Whatcom County.
This May 13-20 and/or June 10-17, host families are needed for campus ministry student leaders from across the country who will be coming to Bellingham for the Student Institute of Campus Ministry (SICM), hosted by Campus Christian Fellowship. Please see the info sheet below for more information, or visit the SICM website (choose “Host” and then “Sign Up”) to learn more and to register as a host family. Thanks for considering supporting this vital ministry!
We will take time to pray for this issue during our service on Sunday, 3/12, but wanted to get this time-sensitive information out as soon as possible.
International Christian ministries in India face growing pressure from a nationalist government suspicious of the influence of “foreign religion.” Since the new government took power in 2014, over 10,000 nongovernmental organizations providing foreign aid to India have had their operating licenses revoked. The most recent casualty of this battle is the Christian charity Compassion International, which has been prevented from distributing funds to its affiliates in India for months now. Compassion will close its doors in India on March 15th absent any change in government policy. In the world of private foreign aid, Compassion is a giant, providing close to $50 million annually to India in support of children’s nutrition, health and education. 145,000 children receive services through Compassion affiliates in India, which has operated in the country for 48 years.
What you can do:
· PRAY – Ask for God’s grace and provision for these children and their families, as a tremendous source of support is cut off. Pray as well for Compassion and the many other Christian charity organizations which are seeking ways to continue ministering to India’s most vulnerable in an increasingly hostile environment.
· ADVOCATE – Compassion is asking for Americans to write their senators and representatives to raise awareness of this issue and to encourage them to petition India’s government for a temporary reprieve from the funding restrictions. (It only takes a minute to fill out the online form using the above link and register your petition with your legislators).
February 19th from 11:00-11:30 AM in Classroom B
**** Note that this is a make-up meeting for those who weren't able to attend our meeting on January 29th. If you came to the earlier meeting there's no need to come again! ****
This June, BCC has the privilege of serving at the Lummi Reservation by helping to staff and support the Lummi Bible Camp from June 22-25.
This is a camp for 7-12 year-olds which has been held for a number of years each June on the reservation. The camp hosts between 30 and 60 youth each year.
We hope to gather a team of 8-12 adults and perhaps as many as 6 children (who could participate in the camp alongside the Lummi youth). Consider attending the interest meeting if you have:
- An interest in working at the Lummi Reservation or…
- A heart for involvement missions or…
- Children in the age range of the camp’s participants or…
- Experience working with youth
We will have an informational meeting for anyone interested on Sunday, February 19th during our Life Together time (11:00-11:30).
Please contact Steven Shetterly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
These are some of the questions that the fascinating documentary Between a Shoe and the Roof explores. Join us for a screening of this hour-long film and a time of sharing and discussion facilitated by Dr. Rhonda McEwen (a visiting scholar at Regent College) and Steven Shetterly (BCC’s Local and Global Outreach Director).
When: Sunday, January 22nd from 12:15 to 2:45
Where: BCC Dining Room (located between the kitchen and the multipurpose room) ** Lunch will be provided **
What: Documentary film screening and discussion time.
Who: Anyone interested in culture, Christianity, outreach, theology and the way they interact.
Why: To help equip yourself and our church to live for Christ in an increasingly multicultural world, and to explore the ways in which culture shapes our thinking and practice as Christians.
** RSVP REQUIRED - PLEASE EMAIL STEVEN (email@example.com) IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND **
Dr. Rhonda McEwen, a visiting scholar at Regent College, has over 25 years of intercultural teaching and training experience, living and working in a variety of countries.
Steven Shetterly is the Director of Local and Global Outreach at BCC. He has lived and taught overseas and has worked extensively with international populations here in the United States.
Skookum Kids, a local ministry serving children who are entering the foster system will be hosting Seattle-area band Kings Kaleidoscope at the Mt Baker Theater on Saturday, Nov 19th at 7:30 PM. Director Ray Deck will take a few minutes on stage between sets to give an update on Skookum Kids and bring awareness to this wonderful ministry. Samuel Hebert, a singer-song writer from San Diego and the Ekklesia worship team will also be playing.
VIP tickets are available which includes a pre-show reception with the band, early entrance and concert poster. If you can rally a group of 10 or more people, there are group discounts - call the Mount Baker Theater for these tickets 360-734-6080.
For more information, see the Mt. Baker Theater website: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com/shows/kings-kaleidoscope-2/
Andy Larsen, a BCC supported peacemaker, photographer, and filmmaker will be visiting Bellingham Covenant Church on May 8th. Join us during our Life Together hour on May 8th for a screening of Larsen's new documentary, Blessed are the Peacemakers: A New Look at The West Bank and Jerusalem.
For ten days in November, 2014 Larsen and Emmy Award-winning documentary producer John Yeager travelled to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron and across The West Bank shooting their documentary. What they came back with may change the way you look at this age-old conflict. If there is a chance for an end to hostilities in the region it would be found in the people Larsen and Yeager met along the way—ordinary Jews and Palestinians who simply want to live in peace.
Roy and Aleta Danforth, Covenant missionaries in the Central African Republic, will be visiting us on Sunday, March 13th. They will speak briefly about their agricultural ministry in the CAR during the service and will be invited to share more in-depth during a luncheon afterwards. We will gather at the meeting room in Jalapenos Restaurant (Barkley Village) at 12:30 Sunday afternoon. Please RSVP by Thursday (3/10) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 360-527-5176 so that we can have a final count for the restaurant.
Bellingham Covenant contributes an auction item each year to the Interfaith Coalition Annual Auction. Interfaith provides emergency and transitional housing for homeless families as well as shelter in extreme weather and support for our marginalized neighbors in Whatcom County.
This year we will be donating a Supper of the Month. Therefore we need 12 volunteer cooks to prepare a fully cooked and "ready to heat" meal for 4, including dessert. You can do it with a friend, or with your small group. Think homemade lasagna, salad, and breadsticks or Enchiladas with chips and guacamole. You decide what you are willing to prepare, you will be assigned a month, and then you simply bring the food to church on the first Sunday of your month and we will deliver it. It would be great to have dishes that are family favorites.
To sign up for a month please email or talk to Nathan Dwyer (email@example.com). We need 12 cooks to volunteer to put together this tasty item for the auction.
For those of you who were in our Sunday service on Nov. 8, you'll recall we participated in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, standing with our brothers and sisters around the world who face discrimination, intimidation and even violence for their beliefs. As a follow-up to that time, we encourage you to check out two very worthwhile websites focused on revealing the persecution of Christians worldwide: Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs. Both have a plethora of resources to help you know how to pray for and support specific countries and believers who are facing these challenges.
Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3)
This Sunday (11/1) the guest speakers for our Living Missionally class will be Joey Kelly and Kristin Sale, the campus pastors with Campus Christian Fellowship at Whatcom Community College. These are some passionate, gifted, fun individuals who will be sharing their heart (and God's heart) for the local/global missions field right down the road from us. Hope you can make it!
Hello friends--a quick announcement to let you know about International Talk Time, a wonderful outreach to international students from Whatcom Community College that YOU can be involved in.
Talk Time is a relationship-building time in which native English speakers get together to share a meal, play games and chat with international students from all over the world. It's been popular among the students (averaging 30-40 students each week) and is a fantastic way to learn about culture and build bridges with students from cultures and backgrounds vastly different from ours.
Although it's hosted by Campus Christian Fellowship, there are a number of folks from BCC involved. We meet once every other week (Fridays from 5-7 PM) near Whatcom's campus. Feel free to show up and check it out--no commitment required and no strings attached (though fair warning: You might get hooked after just one meeting).
If you're the type who enjoys cooking for large groups, we always need people to prepare meals. Contact Steven (link below) if you'd like to get involved.
Anyone recognize this? Maybe it's not the most exciting picture to start your Missions News blog off with, but it's an important one. This is, in fact, the exit from our church parking lot onto Bakerview Road. It's the route most of us take as we're heading home or to lunch (or to Costco) after service on Sunday. And I hope that we also come to see it as the entrance to the mission field. As we gather to worship Jesus, hear from God's Word, pray and have fellowship with one another every Sunday morning, we are then scattered into the world again to be the Church for those around us.
While you're here, you might want to check out our Mission Updates page, with the latest newsletter updates from missionaries that Bellingham Covenant supports (please have patience as we add them on one-by-one). You might also be interested in reviewing the materials from our Missions Classes, the first of which is currently meeting on Sundays during our Life Together hour.
I hope you'll check back here every so often to see what's happening in our church, our community and our world in terms of outreach and missions. And I pray that, as a church, we'll begin to see ourselves as the missionaries we are.