In 2016 we responded to the global refugee crisis by sponsoring a family of 4. In the following years our work continued in the form of two more resettlements.
An abundance of factors temporarily put our refugee work on hold but recent events in Ukraine have compelled us to step back into action.
We believe that the most effective way to help as many people as possible is to partner with non-profits working on the ground with refugees and the internally displaced.
As a community we feel a particular burden for three countries: Ukraine, Ethiopia, and Myanmar.
The crisis in Ukraine is well-known, an estimated 12.5 Millions people have fled their homes since fighting began.
In Ethiopia violence is spreading throughout the Tigray, Afar, and Amhara regions. Countless people are fleeing their homes: the need is dire.
In Myanmar a military coup and subsequent violence has resulted in many seeking refuge in the jungle with no access to clean water or food.
We are inviting you to help us make a difference in these three hurting countries by donating to our campaign. The funds that we raise will be divided equally among three partners: MCC Ukraine, MCC Ethiopia, and Global Neighbours Myanmar.
MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) has a stellar reputation and was our partner in our prior refugee work. Global Neighbours is a non-profit that is completely volunteer run, and our interim Pastor Jodie’s parents sit on the board. Their previous work includes building schools and hospitals.
Donate today and help us reach our goal of raising $30,000, (10k per country). All donations $50 or more are eligible for a tax receipt.
Please include the word “refugee” on your donation if you’d like it to go towards this campaign. Donations can be made via e-transfer (email@example.com), by mailing a cheque to 4951 Rutherford Rd or dropping by the office during office hours (Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm) for debit/cash donations.
Stations of the Cross – Wednesdays at 7pm
Starting March 9th (and every Wednesday evening until Easter), we are having a liturgical service and walking the stations of the cross. This is reflective and contemplative service preparing our hearts for Easter. Each service will be under an hour long and all are welcome to attend.
Sermon Series – Esther
Jodie will be preaching on the book of Esther this Sunday. Read ahead or click here to watch The Bible Project video.
Young Life Partnership – Approved
Following a good discussion after church, the members of Neighbourhood voted with 95% favouring a partnership with Young Life. Travis will give an update on Sunday morning on what this means for the congregation and what our next steps will be.
Games Night – Friday, March 11 at 6:30pm
We want to welcome you to an all ages games night – there will be something for everyone! Please bring a game or two to play and a snack to share, if you’d like. Please RSVP here – we have lots of spots open for sign up. We’re only asking so we know how many tables to set up and how many snacks to bring 🙂 If you have any questions, please call or text Stephanie Spracklin at 250-714-4411.
Save the date – Wednesday, March 23
Our next youth event is happening March 23rd! Stay tuned for details.
Neighbourhood Church Team
The Minor Prophets
Travis will be preaching on Zechariah this upcoming Sunday, February 27. Read ahead or click here to watch The Bible Project video.
Calling all teenagers, grades 7 to 12, join Isaac tonight February 23 from 6-9pm for pizza and games in the youth portable. Please RSVP to Isaac if you’re able to come, text him at (403) 412-4232 or reach him by email. If you haven’t had a chance to RSVP, please come anyway, all are welcome.
Ladies’ Bible Study – This Friday, February 25
Ladies’ bible study is starting back up on Friday February 25th at Janet Toew’s house (6415 Invermere Rd) from 9-11am. We’re asking that all ladies in attendance be double vaccinated. Please contact Tasha for more info, (250) 667-3404 or by email. Also let Tasha know if you’re bringing kids and she’ll arrange for childcare.
Book Club – Monday February 28
The next meeting of the book club will be Monday February 28, from 7-9pm at the church. The group will be covering chapters 4 to 8 of N.T. Wright’s “The Challenge of Jesus.” There will a zoom group on Tuesday March 1st from 730-900pm, covering the same material. If you have any questions or need the zoom link, please email the book club.
The next book will be “Reading While Black” by Esau McCaulley. This book will be discussed in March and April. Order online so you can start reading. The church has a small number available to loan out as well.
Welcome Baby Maria
Congratulations to Shannon and Simon Holding on their new baby girl. There are a few empty spots if you’d like to bring them a meal. You can sign up here.
Ash Wednesday Service – March 2nd
Join us Wednesday March 2nd at 7pm for a service to begin the Lenten season. This will be quiet and contemplative service.
Young Life Meeting – March 6th
We’ll have a short meeting right after the service to answer any questions you have about our Young Life partnership.
So much to talk about this week!
The Minor Prophets
Join us Sunday morning as Travis teaches about Nahum. Read ahead or catch the The Bible Project video here.
Book Club – this Monday!
The first meeting of NC’s newest book club will be happening at church Monday, January 31st at 7pm. This week the group will be tackling the first four chapters of “The Challenge of Jesus” by NT Wright. Please contact Mike and Simon for questions.
Questions about Vaccines
There are many feelings out there about vaccines and booster doses. Dr. Jim Francis, a long time member of the Neighbourhood family, has offered to answer any questions that people may have around vaccines for covid. Please email him to connect.
Update on Myanmar
A few weeks ago, Jodie asked for prayer for the people of Myanmar. We wanted to share some information, as well as an option to help out if you’d like to.
Jodie’s parents have been working in Thailand/Myanmar for over 15 years with a humanitarian aid organization that they founded, Global Neighbors Canada Inc. The conflict in Myanmar has been described as one of the world’s ‘longest running civil wars’. Currently, the elected government has not been allowed to rule and the military has taken over which has caused massive chaos, bombing and people fleeing for their safety to the Thailand border. Jodie’s parents are currently in Thailand now to assess how to care for the people who are coming across the border. Global Neighbors is trying to provide some emergency food and assess the best way to help. An appeal to the Canadian Global Affairs was presented in January but currently no action has taken place.
Please take a moment to strengthen and advocate for the voices of the oppressed in Myanmar. If you would like to contact Global Affairs Canada to push for action, here are the directions:
1) Visit the Government of Canada Global Affairs website and choose in the drop down menu “Foreign Affairs”
3) Under “other” write “Attention Canadian Foreign Affairs: Myanmar
4) Under “Question/comment” copy and paste this text:
To the Global Affairs Canada,
I support the people of Myanmar in their choice of their duly elected Democratic government. I call upon the Government of Canada to recognize the National Unity Government (NUG) as the true government of the people. Our Canadian government has drafted and adopted Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and we urgently ask that action be taken to care for the people of Myanmar.
5) Under “do you need a response” = choose “yes”.
6) add your email address.
The Lord’s Prayer – Revised
If you joined us this past week, you heard Jodie introduce an updated version of The Lord’s Prayer. The version we chose is from Complete Jewish Bible. We’ve included it in the weekly email so that we can all learn the new version that we’ll recite/read each week.
Our Father in heaven!
May your name be kept holy.
May your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth
as in heaven.
Give us the food we need today.
Forgive us what we have done wrong,
as we too have forgiven those
who have wronged us.
And do not lead us into hard testing,
but keep us safe from evil.
For kingship, power and
glory are yours forever.
Thanks for sticking with us to the end of this full update. How wonderful it is to have so much to share.
Neighbourhood Church Team
The Minor Prophets – Micah
This week Travis will be speaking on Micah. Take a few minutes to read the book before Sunday, or catch the Bible Project video here.
Book Club – ‘Faith Seeking Understanding’
Readers, get reading!! Only 13 more days until the first meeting of the NNC Book Club! All the information is below.
Purpose: A book club for people looking to read theological books together in community. Open to anyone and everyone! The plan is to read one book every two months. The first book will be ‘The Challenge of Jesus’ by NT Wright.
Facilitators: Simon Holding and Mike Jordan
Time and Place: Last Monday of each month, at Neighbourhood Church at 7pm. Starting Monday January 31st.
Contact & sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Pastor Job Search
The search is on! The job listing is up on our website and we’re posting the listing far and wide. Please share this link or point any interested parties to our website: nanaimoneighbourhood.church.
Sermon Series – The Minor Prophets
This week Jodie will be preaching on Hosea. If you find yourself with a few quiet minutes this week, you could read Hosea, or you could watch the overview here.
Sunday School help needed
As we all adjust back into routine, we are looking for some help with our Sunday school program. We’re looking for enthusiastic people to teach and to assist with classes from preschool to grade 5. Message Kayla if you can help with preschool to grade 1 or Stephanie for grades 2 to 5.
We’re also looking for people who would like to provide snacks for the kids in grades 2 to 5. Something baked, cut up fruit or veggies, cheese and crackers or use your imagination (no nuts please). Please let Stephanie know if you can contribute in this way.
And finally, a note on covid
As you know, we’re limiting our in-person capacity to 50% which works out to 110 people on Sunday mornings. This has been working well and we’re thankful we haven’t had to turn anyone away. Starting this Sunday, we’ll be blocking off every other row, as a reminder to be physically distanced when possible. While we’re grateful that we can still come together to worship and fellowship, we’re mindful of doing all we can to keep each other safe.
blessings for your week,
Neighbourhood Church Team
We take no pleasure in writing another COVID update. Honestly, it’s challenging to know what to say beyond acknowledging that living through a pandemic is exhausting and challenging.
The Omicron variant brings a lot of unknowns and the spike in cases creates a lot of stress and fear. When we combine this with the stress of Christmas and the bleak mid-winter we find ourselves in, it only magnifies the need of our church family to do the work of caring for one another.
Let’s all do what we can to check in, hold space, and care for one another: send a PM to a church friend on Facebook, text someone that you are thinking about this week, or even kick it old school and make a phone call. If you’re feeling alone, scared, or angry, please also make the effort to reach out. Jodie and Travis would also be happy to visit with you online or in-person. Send us an email or call the church office at 250-758.2242.
In terms of our Sunday gatherings, we know that the new variant may change people’s comfort levels with attending church. We encourage you to follow your gut. We are also available to talk with you as you discern what you want to do in this next phase.
Neighbourhood continues to follow the guidance of public health and that means our gatherings will continue to have a 50% capacity limit as well as mandatory masks for everyone school-aged and older.
We are pleased to be able to continue to offer our livestream which provides an opportunity to stay connected even if we are not physically together.
Sunday School Pajama Day – January 2
This Sunday, we invite all the kids from preschool to grade 5 to wear their pjs or comfy cozies to watch a movie during Sunday school.
New Sermon Series – The Minor Prophets
This week we’ll begin a series on the minor prophets – 12 short books at the end of the Old Testament. We’ll be looking at one prophet per week, starting with Jonah. In preparation, you could read through Jonah, or take a look at the Bible Project’s videos on Jonah, and also the minor prophets (or see videos below).
The snowstorms unfortunately caused some flooding in the church foyer. A wonderful clean up crew worked hard at minimizing the damage.
Thank you to Whitney for cleaning up inside and to Luke Barbour, Mike Jordan, Dave Wilms, and Russ Bueckert for helping Travis unclog roof drains and clear the flat roof of snow. Shout out to Gerry Boy for finding us an industrial fan to help dry things out.
Blessings to our Neighbourhood family as we head into a new year.
Neighbourhood Church Team
Travis’ Christmas Wish for our Family
Over the past four weeks we have been waiting and anticipating the coming of Christmas. During this time we’ve been focusing a lot on the “in-between” acknowledging that in this world darkness and light exist alongside each other. With the arrival of a new, highly-contagious variant and with new public health orders in effect, not to mention the usual stress that Christmas brings at the best of times, it’s easy for us to lose the light and to feel overwhelmed by the darkness. Let’s remember that the great gift of Christmas is that Jesus is our “Emmanuel”, God with us, meaning the light of God cuts through even the darkest night, and is with us in all things. This year, let’s allow ourselves a moment to lament the darkness but to also make a conscious effort to notice and reflect on the light. I invite you to ask yourselves these questions:
Where do I see evidence of God’s work and light in my life?
Where do I see God at work in the life of our church family?
Where do I see God at work in the world around me?
Many of us have been participating in advent this year using the candles, log, and take-home package that Jodie provided for us. Please send a photo of your advent candles/log to Whitney (email@example.com) as she would like to share them with the community.
Christmas Eve Services – Friday December 24th
We’re hosting two in-person services at 6pm and 645pm. We know that with the new variant, many may feel nervous about attending in person. We know that making these decisions aren’t easy, and we support you making the decision that feels most comfortable for you.
As a reminder, we are adhering to 50% capacity limits. To ensure everyone who wants to can attend, we would love for you to sign up you and your family via the link here. Be sure to sign up soon. The 6pm service is filling up, but there’s lots of space in the 645pm service. There will be a limited amount of walk-in space for both services. A huge amount of gratitude to Glen Friesen who will be live-streaming the 6pm service, and it will be available on our Youtube channel after that.
Church at Home – December 26th
Our service on the Sunday the 26th will be online only. However, Travis and Whitney Barbour invite you to join their family on Zoom at 1030am, as soon as the service is over to chat, wish each other a Merry Christmas, and to enjoy a hot drink together. The zoom meeting can be accessed by clicking here and will also be sent out on Sunday morning.
Merry Christmas NC family,
Neighbourhood Church Team
We have a special service planned for you today that features our kids’ Christmas play in video format. Below we have links to our livestream, a video of the play, and the program.
Live Stream Service | Click here
*you can always watch the live stream at a later time by clicking on the same link
Kids Play video
Merry Christmas everyone,
Neighbourhood Church tech team