Proud of our own Pastor Rolly Rangno along with Tanya Ovelson and Caleb Drew McAlpine who helped play and sing for a kids musical album written by our friend Sandy Baldwin from Calvary Chapel Kelowna. Wonderful opportunity for parents to purchase for their kids this Christmas. Take a listen on ITUNES here:
As we prepare for our big Christmas in the City celebration December 24th, 4:00pm & 5:30pm, we wanted to remind you that God can use gatherings like this to draw people to Himself. Here's the story of one of our family members, Nancy Tordiffe, of how it was a Christmas service that made the difference.
It’s December 1997 and I just wanted to see Christmas like a child. I wanted to hear those old Christmas Carols that I sang at Central Elementary. I remember all of us lined up by grade on the old staircases, singing “Away in a Manger”. Life in 1997 was complex and very dark. Despite a successful career in the investment industry with all the bells and whistle money could by, I was lost, hurting and alone. There was no joy or hope because apparently money can’t buy joy and hope at the mall. TV Christmas specials weren’t playing “Away in a Manger” so I decided to try a local church. I’d only been to the church once which was for a child’s funeral, a celebration of joy and hope. So I thought if they could do that for a child’s funeral, what would that church do with Christmas.
I came to a service on the last Sunday before Christmas so desperate for hope and joy that life didn’t seem worth living anymore. If I could only hear the Christmas music of my childhood, maybe the darkness would lift.
My first three months in Nepal have been a remarkable journey. Since my language training finished in October, I’ve been working at the MCC offie, visiting our development projects in rural villages, assisting our partner organizations in developing their communications, and teaching a bit of English on the side. It has been a very enriching and at times challenging experience, and my perspective on life is continually being transformed.
I’m surrounded by what I might once have called poverty, but my idea of what constitutes wealth has changed. I’m in a very different faith environment, but I’ve learned to see Christ in simple acts of love and generosity, and I’m daily inspired by the faithfulness of the Nepali Christians I know. I often don’t understand people’s words, but I can easily understand their gestures of kindness, generosity, and welcome. Life in Nepal is extremely different from what I’m used to, and I still struggle with the feeling that I’m bad at everything – including some things, like crossing the street, that I never even realized it was possible to be bad at.
Grateful for the opportunity technology avails us to make the sharing of the Gospel even easier. Each Sunday we live-stream our entire 8:30am & 10:00am services. We have people connecting in literally from around the world, and you can share the link here:
Here's a photo we received of a "relaxed" viewer being able to take in the service from home. Feel free to share your story, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks to Galen Bond and the technical team who helps make this happen each week!
Our family (Mark & Julie Kent, Abigail, Parker, Naomi) has the amazing opportunity and blessing to travel for the second time to Roatan, Honduras to participate in the Christmas 2014 holiday food drive.
Bob and Debi Cowan are full time missionaries on the island. We will come along side them and help wherever needed. We are thankful for Soles4Souls, Kelowna who have provided us with boxes of new and used sandals. Last year we brought down over 300 pairs of sandals. (Watch a video interview from last Christmas' trip here:) We are also bringing small toys, candy, and soccer jerseys to share with the kids this Christmas.
Last year, the goal of the Christmas Food Drive was to give a week's worth of groceries and supplies to as many of the poorest families as we could. The children also received a toy and candy. We have seen and experienced the joy and smiles that this brings.
The Cowan's like to say.... "People who have so little are prone to despair, so the Christmas Food Drive is an avenue to bring them hope, to let them know God has not forgotten them".
As I reflect on my first semester at Columbia Bible College, I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to study here. Though it has been difficult at times, it has also been one of the most valuable experiences in my life.
Before arriving on campus in September, I did not know what to expect. Everything was so new, it was like nothing I had experienced before. It was all quite overwhelming at first, but I knew that this was somehow part of God’s plan for me.
What I had not expected was how difficult it would be. The first couple months I found to be very challenging. I missed my family and friends much more than I had anticipated. I did not like living away from home, and found campus life to not be as fun as I had hoped. Though I did have some really fun experiences, mostly I felt lonely and drained.
Mark your calendars for Sunday, December 14th! We are having a Christmas Party in the Hub from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., featuring gingerbread house building, a carol sing-along, and a chili potluck. This is open to the entire KGF church family and will be taking the place of the Monday Night Meal for the month of December.
Our society is trying to convince us Christmas is all about us. The reality is Christmas is the ultimate picture of love in action, and an invitation for us to do the same. What would it look like for us to live a Christmas of Compassion Not Consumption? More in this 3 minute video introduction with Pastor Mike.
We have an amazing opportunity this December to get our eyes off ourselves and onto others. Throughout this month, we are going to be encouraging and celebrating a Christmas of Compassion, not Consumption. We invite you to look for and lean into tangle opportunities to come alongside individuals that could use some extra love, and non-profit organizations that are doing exactly that!
Sunday, December 7th, we are transforming the HUB into an Opportunities EXPO. Download Booklet of the 13 amazing organizations who will be present here: We are going to make it easy for you to connect with some fantastic organizations in our city that have tangible ways for you to be part of a Christmas of Compassion Not Consumption. Here’s who’s on tap for this Opportunities EXPO in the HUB:
Our prayer is that God’s Spirit will provide you with the opportunities and the desire to indeed live a Christmas of Compassion Not Consumption. So excited to see how God is going to use each of us for His kingdom purposes.
Pastor Mike Penninga
Some photos from our friends, Mark & Julie Kent and their kids as they spend a Christmas of Compassion in Honduras with friends Bob & Debby Cowan. This is a Christmas food & gift basket blessing for the people in the area. Way to go Kent family! More in this video - https://vimeo.com/107220654
I’m not sure if worry has a grip on you this Christmas season. There are no shortages of things that could leave our hearts and lives bound up in worry. Family, finances, friends.
The amazing thing is that God invites us to replace worry with trust. He cares for us.
Jesus tells us this in Luke 12.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!
25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
I saw this on my daughter's classroom white board, and thought it beautiful to share!
Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake, Amen!"
Loved this! A 7 year old from KGF's kids ministry shares her Christmas list. . . love the first and last especially!
One of our family members, Sandy Campbell, has been named this year's honoree for the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories, representing caregivers of those journeying with this disease. Here's a speech Sandy shared recently on her journey.
I am privileged to be the honoree for the Walk for Memories this year, and to represent caregivers in that role.
You see, Alzheimer’s and dementia are not just about a disease; they are about people. There are spouses, children and close friends who care for loved ones and suffer as they see them gradually disappear in the symptoms of their disease. I am both a spouse and a daughter, and am losing both my husband and my mother to dementia.
Pastor Mike enjoys a Christmas visit with one of our most "seasoned" family members, Jake & Mary Bartel, in their mid 90's! Watching them interact with tenderness and kindness for each other is a tribute to marriage for the long haul.
We encourage you to take time this Christmas to visit with those who's circumstances keep them from getting out as much as they would like.
If you know somebody who would benefit from a visit, drop us an email, email@example.com
An amazing Wednesday morning Women's Bible Study came to a close this week with great sharing, community building and of course, treats! Stay tuned for the next study (on Francis Chan's "Crazy Love") beginning in January 2015! Thanks to everyone who made this such a kingdom win.
We are very excited to launch 2015 with a city-wide week of prayer, beginning Sunday January 4th @ Willow Park Church and continuing for six nights in six different churches. KGF will host Monday January 5th, 7pm in the Sanctuary. Join us as we seek an increase in Kingdom Impact in our community this year! Going to be amazing! www.kgfchurch.com
A group of women from IMPACT put together 20 blessing bags to present to Theresa White and the Okanagan Valley Pregnancy Care Center. What a great picture of a Christmas of Compassion Not Consumption. These will be given out to clients at the Center's Christmas event next week Awesome! www.ovpcc.com