Abbotsford Church unity events
by Debbie Cazander
In the centre of what is commonly referred to as the “Bible Belt”, the City of Abbotsford is home to many churches, denominations and groups who worship weekly. For the past few years the Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network (ACLN), has organized an annual communal time of worship, open to all Abbotsford churches and people. The event, TOGETHER City Church Worship & Prayer Gathering is under the leadership of ACLN chair and Heritage Alliance Church Senior Pastor, Tim MacIntosh. “In Abbotsford we’ve got churches dotted all across the map, with so many different expressions. How great to have so many outposts of Christ’s body scattered into every corner of the city!” says
MacIntosh. “But equally, how good to come together as a united community – that’s what TOGETHER is about. We’re in this together, supporting each other. What an encouragement to stand shoulder to shoulder, in worship and prayer.”
The gathering will include brief devotionals from three different church leaders including Abbotsford Pentecostal Assembly’s pastoral couple Clark and Kim Moran. Various leaders will pray for the Church in Abbotsford, the needs of the city and the joint mission of sharing the good news of the gospel with the community. A team of worship leaders from several local churches, under the leadership of Kevin Boese and Brayden Pichette, will come together to add to the musical expression of worship. “I’m hoping the churches of Abbotsford will see this as a priority,” MacIntosh says. “We’ve all got our own areas of focus and ministry, and rightly so. But an evening of worship together strengthens us all.”
The TOGETHER event is Sunday, April 30, 6:30 pm, at Abbotsford Pentecostal Assembly, 3145 Gladwin Road, Abbotsford. An offering will be taken in support of the Abbotsford Food Bank. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, churchofabbotsford.com
Annual City Prayer Breakfast
Abbotsford’s 28th Annual City Prayer Breakfast is on Wednesday, May 17. The event provides opportunity to meet with others over breakfast, as well be inspired by a motivational speaker and music, and also pray for leaders in the City of Abbotsford, including Mayor Henry Braun, council, staff, police, fire department, paramedics and the school board.
Hosted by Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network (ACLN), MacIntosh shares: “The Scripture tells us to honour those who serve in positions of authority, and to pray for them. The City Prayer Breakfast is an opportunity to do both. The food and conversation over breakfast will be good, but the bigger point is to tangibly express support for our civic leaders, and at the same time remind ourselves of our responsibility to pray.”
The guest speaker will be Vijay Manuel, Mennonite Educational Institute’s Head of Schools who will speak on the theme “Faith For Future Generations”. Raised in a Christian home with his father a long serving pastor at South Abbotsford Church, Manuel dedicated his life at an early age to follow the Lord. He says he “then took a series of steps in my faith in Christ at age 14, 19, and 21 when I was baptized.” Manuel and his wife Sarah both graduated from MEI and have a 14-year-old son and three daughters ages 12, six and two. Both Manuel and his wife are involved in their church, leading worship and serving as Life Group leaders.
When asked what led him to become an educator Manuel responds: “I believe the Lord led me to this type of work. I have always loved working with students and believe in the absolute critical role that teachers play in the lives of our young people…The joy of seeing a youth come alive with something they have learned or an opportunity to lead is inspiring and very rewarding. I believe this profession requires people called by God to make a change and that is how I feel as an educator to this day.”
As the MEI Head of Schools, Manuel oversees all aspects of the organization including the learning experience from Preschool to graduation. This will be foundational for his presentation at the breakfast. “Many of us are asking ‘How can we best prepare our young people to lead in this ever changing environment?’ For our Christian youth, how do we prepare them to stand unwavering in their faith while having a place of influence in their communities?”
Manuel is also a founding member and Chair of Character Abbotsford which has provincial and national influence. characterabbotsford.com
Abbotsford Homeschool Children’s Choir will provide musical enjoyment, led by founder and director Betty Lieuwen, who says, “There is nothing quite like the voices of children singing and bring joy to others! ”
The breakfast begins at 7:30 am at Quality Hotel & Conference Centre, 36035 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased through Event Brite, or at the House of James, 2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford. eventbrite.ca, churchofabbotsford.com