Thursday, June 10, 2010

We pray for life! by Pastor Rebecca

How do you know when a church is dead or alive? There is a church that I pass every Sunday on my way to Sunnyside that looks dead to me. Sometimes I even forget that it is a church. Low and behold, every December, Christmas decorations appear on its front door and banisters. Maybe there is still a church worshiping there, or maybe someone in the community just thinks that a church should be decorated for Christmas.

For so many years our motto at this congregation was "The Spirit is Alive at Sunnyside!" How do we know that our church is alive? How do we know that the Spirit of God is at work in the things that we are doing?

I don't exactly know the answer to those kinds of questions for certain, but I will tell you that I have felt the spirit of God, felt the liveliness of our congregation this week more than I ever have before.

Every morning this week I have left home an hour earlier than usual in order to pick up one of our youth and get to the church before 50 Sunnyside children (and even some friends from our community) and adult & youth volunteers have descended on the church for Vacation Bible School. Did you know that we have not had VBS at Sunnyside for over 10 years!

Many parents have been dropping their children off and driving directly to our Habitat for Humanity House up the street on Campeau, spending the morning working on the roof, siding and porches for Triumph House.

Right around 11:00 a.m. every day another group swings into action in the kitchen, packing lunches and feeding the crew at the work site.

I have left VBS twice this week to go up and work for the afternoon myself on window installation and more siding and have been so moved by working along side Jeremy and Miriam, as well as laughing and spending time with Sunnysiders in pursuit of such a inspiring goal.

On Monday evening, once I finally returned home from VBS, the house build, and a meeting with our Stepping Stones team, I sat down and reflected that while I didn't get to answer many emails that day or take care of so many of the things piling up on my desk or on my to do list, I was engaged in hands on ministry and mission with more Sunnysiders of all ages from 3 years old to 70 years old all in the scope of 12 hours than I ever have before.

The Spirit of God may be a hard thing to pin down some days, but I am sure that it was only by the power of the spirit, that is indeed alive at Sunnyside, that I was able to keep moving through all of that work.

Each morning the children open and close their time at VBS with prayer. While some of them ask me to whisper words for a prayer into their ears as they speak in the microphone, we have some that want to pray on their own.

On Tuesday afternoon, one of our Preschoolers asked if he could pray, and in his small but clear voice, he prayed "Thank you God for today, and thank you for life. Amen."

We thank God for life...for the life of this congregation...for the lives that we are impacting this week...for the life that God has called us to embrace into our future as a church family together. Amen!


  1. Having been so blessed it feels good and right to give back.

  2. I totally agree, Abbe. We had dinner with friends this evening who had not heard of our build, and I described it to them as a celebration of our blessings as a congregation. I hope that you have enjoyed your time helping with VBS this week!

  3. It was a great time at VBS this week. I enjoyed getting to know the kids better and now I can put names to faces:)

  4. And someday those kids will look back with fond memories! I'm glad that Sunnyside brought back VBS. I had so much fun when I attended (long ago) and when I helped out later.

  5. I loved the way Rebecca described the spirit at work at Sunnyside. I am seeing it too.

  6. Thank you so much to Pastor Rebecca, Linda, and all the Sunnyside volunteers for a great VBS! As part of a new family to Sunnyside, I am so thankful to those who embraced my daughter and gave her such a great opportunity to grow her faith and meet new friends!

  7. Jennifer! It has been so wonderful getting to know her. I am glad that you were able to jump right in this past week! We love putting people to work.

  8. I knew a woman who once told me, "Say yes to what God places in your path and figure out the details later. God has never let me down yet!" She was in her early 70's at the time and she continues to say yes to this day! I see that at Sunnyside! So many yes-people, with the spirit leading the way. Is our church alive? Well.... I say YES!


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