Children’s Ministry Needs US!

Recently, a sister school in Canada accepted help from a volunteer who was unfit for the role. The public outrage that followed was discouraging. However, this situation could have been avoided had capable volunteers been available to assist. Private institutions and nonprofit organizations often do not have budgets for paid staff. They rely on God to inspire His people to donate their time and energy to support valid causes. When organizations have a list of willing volunteers who are able and prepared to serve, it prevents moments of desperation.

We are in a similar position at Henderson Highway.

We need help!

Our lower division Sabbath Schools need trustworthy adults to serve in various capacities. While these classes are not new to our church, the ever-changing needs of them are new. Here is a breakdown of the current staffing situations in our Sabbath Schools:

Beginners (newborn to 3 years)
This class is well supported. In addition to their church-appointed leaders, there are numerous parents and guardians who also help. Because the children are too young to attend class on their own, they are often accompanied by at least one adult.

Kindergarten (4-6 years)
The support decreases a bit, but generally tends to be decently staffed, mostly by church-appointed leaders. On occasion, there is additional support from a parent or guardian who accompanies their child to class. Usually, the parents prefer to escort them to the door and return for them after class.

Primary (7-9 years)
The support decreases again. Even the number of church-appointed leaders decreases. Over the last few years, the Children’s Ministry has shared staff between Kindergarten & Primary. Parental support is pretty much non-existent as the children are able to get to class on their own.

Juniors (10-12 years)
We’re at the bare minimum for church-appointed leadership in this class. There is no parental support.

Earliteens (13-15 years)
Due to lack of leadership, this class was dormant for a number of years. It was reinstated in Spring 2017 to meet the needs of the children and to prevent overcrowding in some classes. It’s too wide of an age gap to keep our teens grouped with the pre-teens. Yet, they’re not quite ready for the youth group either. They’re currently down to one church-appointed leader. This class is in jeopardy of being cancelled. Again.

Youth (16+)
There is an increase in leadership support, both from parents and non-parents. Our youth group plans social gatherings in addition to their Sabbath School class and often need addtional drivers to assist.


Why not ask the parents? I don’t have kids that age or I’ve served my time already.
Parents are asked. We are very grateful for the parents and guardians who are able to help out wherever they’re comfortable. But it isn’t been enough to fill all the gaps. When the children reach a certain age, they may not be comfortable to participate openly & honestly if their parent is leading or assisting their class. Many parents are exhausted, particularly if they have served in Sabbath Schools from early childhood and onward. There are also some parents who choose to ‘follow’ their children; they will serve in a division as long as their child is a part of that class. Once they are promoted to the next level, the parent either moves as well, or they stop helping.

I’d love to help, but I’m not a teacher or I’m not good at leading.
That’s fine! If you’re good at sitting, we have the perfect position for you–a sitter. Literally, just sit. As part of our commitment to protecting children in our church, we’ve prefer to have two adults available in each class. One would be the leader, while the second adult would be a presence in the class.

Kids scare me.
Guess what? Kids might say the same thing about adults too! Why not seize this opportunity to get acquainted with our young people and start building relationships. You can still be a part of children’s ministry without directly interacting with children. The Sabbath School classrooms need decorating three to four times per year. Perhaps you have items to lend or donate for the upcoming VBX program. Maybe you have an idea that hasn’t been mentioned here yet. 

I have more questions.
Wonderful! Sheryl is eager to hear from you. Perhaps you have some great ideas as well.

Please continue to pray for this crucial ministry. We want our children to see Jesus to know Him, not just know about Him. We are preparing them for the Kingdom, for eternal life with God. Lessons learned in childhood will impact them for life, guiding them as they make decisions. God does amazing work with willing hearts.

Clearing the Way For the Holy Spirit, Part 10

‘Trustful Versus Negative Thoughts’ was our study this past Wednesday. Too often, negative thinking is akin to a natural reflex. When challenges arise, it takes great effort to talk about faith, let alone walk in faith.

The disciples were no exception to this either. Mark 8 finds them in a wilderness, facing a multitude of hungry people. This is the second time they’ve been before thousands of starving men, women and children without food. The first time, the crowd was larger, yet God provided.

However, it seems that the disciples forgot.

Rather than look to Jesus eager for a miracle, they question Him, asking what He thought should happen out in the wilderness. What role were they to play in feeding this crowd.

Jesus simply asked them what they had.

It is easy to focus on the numerous impossibilities of a situation. In that moment, the disciples failed to see the possibility that was in Jesus. They didn’t have and so they didn’t know how to go about getting. So they didn’t do anything.

Negative thinking is paralyzing. It limits us from seeing the potential and reduces us to only focusing on what we think we can do. But as humans, we are limited. There is only so much we can see and do. By focusing on our shortcomings, we put limits on God and what He is able to do.

Jesus asked  the disciples what they had. He didn’t even stop to lecture them first, reminding them of His other similar scenario. He just went straight into need-meeting mode. He shifted the focus from what they didn’t have to what they had and what they were about to have once He blessed it.

As always, we ended the evening with prayer. Not only do we pray for those in attendance, but we pray for our church family. We want everyone to be free from negative thoughts, focusing instead on trustful thoughts with God. Our prayer time begun with this:
I will fill my mind with the promises and truths from God’s Word. By God’s power, I will take my negative thoughts to Jesus and replace them with His way of thinking. I will speak faith and hope.

We’re in the last couple sessions of our study. Join us next Wednesday, June 21 at 7:00 pm as we study ‘God’s Blessings Versus Generational Sins’.


C’mon Down to Cactusville!

Our time for Cactusville is fast approaching! Here is how you can be involved in our VBX fun this summer:

Online registration is now available, for this summer’s Vacation Bible Xperience (VBX), which will take place August 13-17 from 6-9 pm. If you have children between the ages of 5-12, pre-register them now for a trip to the imaginary Western town of Cactusville, where they will learn that they are called by God and how they can accept and live out this calling in their own lives as they participate in some rip-roarin’, Bible-treasure-huntin’ adventures!

WANTED…VBX Volunteers! Contact Sheryl to discover ways you can help out with this summer’s exciting journey to Cactusville, where Xciting adventures surely await you!

VBX props and decorations: The decorating team would appreciate your help in acquiring items such as wooden barrels or crates, tin tubs, cowboy boots, saddles, ropes etc. If you have anything you are willing to lend or donate to help us create a “Wild West” atmosphere, please contact Sheryl. Your REWARD = A GREAT BIG THANKS!!

Clearing the Way For the Holy Spirit, Part 9

God is profound. There is much work involved in clearing our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit. It’s evident that we are never alone in our mess. God is right there. His Word is full of promises to keep us on task. Some have already been fulfilled; others are in the process of being fulfilled.

In our discussion this past week, we focused on the topic ‘Freedom in Christ Versus Evil Spirit’s Control’. As Christ covers us with His righteousness, we need to understand that the devil is opposed. God’s enemy attacks Him relentlessly, willingly using any pawn possible, including us. Jesus tells us in the book of John that the devil is the father of lies. Everything he does is rooted in untruth. There is no reward for those who choose to surrender to this destructive control.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Jesus. Everything he does is truly rooted in pure love for us. Jesus fights for us and freely offers salvation as a gift. There is nothing we can do to earn it, only accept it. Furthermore, Jesus offers us a reward–eternal life with Him in Heaven.

We are encouraged to suit up with God’s armor, customized to fit everyone uniquely. Ephesians describes our armor piece by piece, helping us understand how to use them in resistance to the enemy. The passage ends with the reminder to pray diligently for ourselves and for others.

Our prayer time started off with this collective commitment:
Jesus, fill my heart with Your presence through the Holy Spirit. Knowing that You, Jesus, have overcome all evil spirits, I will rely on Your power for anything I need and trust You even if You don’t do everything like I ask You to. I put on Your armor and fight in Your strength.

Join us next Wednesday, June 14 at 7:00 pm for part ten, ‘Trustful Versus Negative Thoughts’.


EQUIP 2017 Recap

Last weekend, an EQUIP training event was held at the Silver Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church. The EQUIP training is provided as part of the TMI initiative.

What is TMI?

Too Much Information? In many circles, yes, but not in this case.
Two Member Involvement? That’s a scenario we hope to avoid.

TMI is the acronym for Total Member Involvement; that all members can use their God-given gifts and talents to share the gospel message.

Seminars were presented on ministries such as health, communications, young adult, education, young adults and more. Having seen the work of God in their ministries, the leaders were enthusiastic as their shared information and personal stories with their respective audiences. The goal of these sessions is to empower church goers to share the gospel message. These training events equip us so that excuses are stripped away and we can share the love of Christ freely.

Our church leaders could share their vision and encourage us to tell others about Christ. However, they’ve chosen to take things one step further, by showing us how this can be done. But things don’t end with an EQUIP event. There are numerous ministry resources available on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Conference website. Ministry leaders are also within reach. Our Conference has appointed a director for TMI, Pastor Lynn Ripley.

Visit our Conference TMI website for more upcoming training events, resources and more.

VBX 2017: Cactusville

The theme for Vacation Bible Xperience (VBX) 2017 is Cactusville: where kids are called to follow Jesus. Our leader, Sheryl, is gathering her team, organizing for another memorable event. Listed below are many areas where you can support VBX this summer.

–Attention families with children ages 5-12: This summer’s Vacation Bible Xperience (VBX), will be taking place here at Henderson Highway Church, August 13-17. Plan to join us nightly from 6-9 pm, as we travel to Cactusville. In this imaginary town, children will learn that they are called by God and how they can accept and live out this calling in their own lives as they participate in some rip-roarin’, Bible-treasure-huntin’ adventures! Stay tuned…online registration begins soon!

–Would you like to “travel”, work with children and serve God all at the same time?? Why not volunteer to be a part of this year’s Cactusville VBX program, August 13-17. Contact Sheryl to find out how you can be a part of the volunteer team, where Xciting adventures surely await you!

–The Cactusville VBX decorating team is looking western themed items such as wooden barrels or crates, tin tubs, cowboy boots, saddles, ropes etc. If you have any items to lend or donate to help us create a “Wild West” atmosphere, please contact Sheryl.

Clearing the Way For the Holy Spirit, Part 8

As we met for prayer meeting this past Wednesday, one thing was clear.

There is nothing little about a lie.

The scriptures used in our study ‘Integrity Versus Deception’  make it plain that we are to be honest and truthful. As Christians, followers of Christ, we must be transparent and consistent, living with integrity as we represent Christ. What you say and do in public should match what you say and do in private. Questioned by Pilate during His trial, Jesus was able to confidently state that anyone could be His witness. Because the life He lived was the same whether He was alone in a wilderness, with His disciples or teaching a crowd. Revelation 22:15 states its plainly: those who live a lie will be left outside of Heaven. But this is not God’s desire for us.

Deception can be easy. Sometimes, it feels like the safer option. When a sensitive brethren comes seeking our opinion, sometimes we quickly think of ways to dance around the issue or deflect to avoid answering them directly. No one enjoys a painful feeling. One of the most common uses of dishonesty can be found in our interactions: ‘How are you?’ ‘Fine’ It gets asked without intending to listen to the for a reply. And, for whatever reason, the response is generic and quick.

But God!

God doesn’t abandon us at the first sign of sin in our lives. He has promised to put His laws in our minds, carving them in the lining of our hearts. He forgives us and never again remembers our sins. What a blessed promise from our Heavenly Father. When we ask God to forgive us, it happens immediately. Gone! We have a clean slate after forgiveness.

Our prayer meeting ended with this prayer of dedication:
God, cleanse my heart of all deception and falseness and write Your law of love upon my heart and mind. In faith that You have changed me on the inside, I step out to do what is right on the outside, trusting that by Your power, I can be genuine and honest. By Your power, O God, I will be a person of integrity, doing what is right, when I am alone, with my family, and in public. I will speak the truth in love.

We continue our series next Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Join us as we study ‘Freedom in Christ Versus Evil Spirit’s Control’. Below is a link for the study guide. Even if you’re not able to join the group, you can follow along at home with the same materials. You’re welcome to bring a friend, especially if you’re too shy to come alone.


Clearing the Way For the Holy Spirit, Part 7

This scripture from First Corinthians gave us a new perspective in how we ought to live. In our study about ‘Self-Control Versus Intemperance’, we are motivated to live right in order to provide a more hospitable environment for the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us.

One definition for self-control is refusing that which is harmful and using what is good with moderation. Typically, we think of self-control in relation to food and our appetites. But it goes beyond that. There are many seemingly good things that become harmful when we overindulge in them.

A thought-provoking analogy that came from our discussion was that the Holy Spirit is lives in a space that is in a continual state of renovation. Most of us have experienced the inconvenience renovations can cause; whether it’s to our homes, workplaces, schools, road construction and more. When something is being remodeled or repaired, the environment is messy and chaotic. Being unsettled causes extra stress as tensions are heightened. Regardless of this, the Holy Spirit chooses to live in us. He is with us throughout each stage of our spiritual journey. We are His sacred place. Furthermore, we have the option of whether to use the DIY approach and renovate ourselves by ourselves, or to let a professional–God–handle things.

The study ended with the assurance that despite our temptations, God is faithful! He has promised to never let us be tempted beyond our limits (1 Corinthians 10:13). What a glorious thought! Even when we’re pushed to the edge, God won’t let it get out of control. And He has a way out. We can take Him at His word because He always keeps His word.

We begun our prayer time with this sentiment:
By God’s mighty power, I choose to receive the healthiest types of food and drink into my body. I will speak and act after thinking about what Jesus would do in the same situation. I will use my energy, body, and mind to love God and serve people.

Next week, we’re studying part 8 of this revealing series, ‘Integrity Versus Deception’. As always, our Wednesday night prayer sessions are open to everyone. If you’re too shy to come alone, bring a friend with you. See you next Wednesday, May 31 at 7:00 pm.


Clearing the Way For the Holy Spirit, Part 6

Jesus is pure. Through Him, we also have purity.

Why is purity important? Why does it factor into our relationship with the Holy Spirit? Because an impure heart gives the devil an entryway into our lives, disrupting our connection with God.

As we recapped our study for part 6 of our series, ‘Purity Versus Sexual Immorality’ , we see how this topic also matters to God. Anything that hinders our intimacy with Him is a big deal. Like in our previous studies, we went into the Bible for scriptural evidence of God’s standard.

We appreciated that God and sex are linked together here. In the church, we fail to unite them as they should be. Most times, we’ll discuss one without the other as though they have no business being linked in the same breath. Or we go to the other extreme and only link God with sex when we’re taking more of a punitive or negative stance on the topic.

This is not God’s intention. We have tainted His perfect ideal when it comes to this sensitive topic. What was once an element of worship has shifted to something taboo.

Thankfully, God restores! When we ask Him for forgiveness, God forgives. His forgiveness also applies to the area of purity and sensuality. The sins that have been forgiven are gone, stricken from the record and we’re covered with His robe of righteousness. God erases forgiven sins from our record. If He doesn’t keep a tally, then we too should keep no tally. We need to treat and love each other as God loves us.

Our prayer for this topic was a simple request from our hearts:
I receive a clean, pure heart from God and a faithful spirit. I will focus my mind on pure and loving thoughts. I will keep sexual pleasure only for marriage. I will live to bless others instead of pleasing myself.

Join us next Wednesday at 7:00 pm as we dive into study #7: ‘Self-Control Versus Intemperance’.


Impact Winnipeg Training Recap

Impact Winnipeg.

Imagine if this phrase became as trendy as ‘selfie’ or ‘bff’? That’s why the build up has already begun.

Under the direction of Pastor Elmer Manzanares, Impact Winnipeg’s inaugural event was in February 2017. Events and training will be ongoing, leading up to the main event in November 2018. But Impact Winnipeg doesn’t end after this; we cannot stop sharing the gospel message to the city of Winnipeg and its surrounding communities.

Training was held recently at the Silver Heights Church, from April 28 to May 1. Pastor Chris Holland, It Is Written Canada speaker and upcoming Impact Winnipeg speaker, conducted this training in person. Over eight sessions, he focused primarily on how to give Bible studies. The information and vivid testimonies he shared helped to emphasize the importance of studying the Bible with someone. Before we can lead a study, we ourselves must be in a relationship with God. We need His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us while studying with others. We must be familiar with the Bible for ourselves so that we’re equipped to lead a study.

Overall, the goal of Bible studies and of Impact Winnipeg is to introduce people to Jesus Christ, encouraging them to live life with Him.

The next event is planned for October 18-23, 2017, with an emphasis on Health Ministry. Please keep Pastor Manzanares and his team–the Winnipeg pastors– in your prayers. Spend time asking the Lord what role He has for you as we work together to Impact Winnipeg.