ONEchurch planning to feed the city

At the leaders’ luncheon on January 9, 2019, the ONEchurch Community Action Team announced an innovative plan to mobilize the churches of Brantford to feed the city.

The summer months represent an annual “dry spell” in terms of donations to the Brantford Food Bank.  This ongoing problem results in a significant drop in the amount of food available for families in the months of July and August, when their need is greater with children home from school.  Plans are underway to meet this need by coordinating the biggest food drive in Brantford’s history, mobilizing churches to go door to door in 12 “zones” within the city.  This two-part, city-wide event is slated for June 1 and 8, 2019.

Churches are getting on board right now to partner with this initiative.  You can join the excitement!  Email the ONEchurch Community Action Team to become a contact for your church or community, or to get more information.

Carrying the Momentum Forward! A letter from our Executive Team

ONEchurch is a gathering of persons from local churches, parachurch and other ministries who have come together to do what we could not do separately to see that vision become real: Many congregations as ONEchurch participating in the transformation of the city.
We encourage you to participate with your congregation in praying for our city, weekly and at our Annual Civic Prayer Breakfast; Serving as part of projects like the Canada Day clean-up or the food drive we are planning for the coming year; Contributing your creative energy and wisdom to the work of the Community Action Team; Participating in various speaker/training/worship events.

ONEchurch congratulates…

Brantford Christian School on the opening of its new expansion! by Susan Zuidema Five years ago, Brantford Christian School began planning for an expansion to meet increased interest in Christian education in a growing Brantford-Brant community.  On November 16, 2018 the ribbon was cut to officially open its new wing, with all glory and thanks to Read more about ONEchurch congratulates…[…]

When Kids Use Kindness to Change their World

Why do we have such a big problem with bullying in schools?  Nicki Straza, children’s pastor at Freedom House, believes that bullying is a symptom of a bigger problem, namely that children do not understand their own worth.  This means kids don’t know how to be kind to themselves, let alone others.  This leads to bullying.

Nicki is passionate about empowering kids to use kindness to bring change to their world.  She has developed a program called “Superhero in Me,” which she has used in almost 20 public and private school classrooms.  Children are taught to distinguish positive and harmful messages that they give or receive and the “superpower” they have within themselves to be the creators of kind words and actions in the world.

Why Churches Matter in Communities

What difference does a church make in a community?  In theory, it should make such a difference that the idea of a church shutting its doors is unthinkable.  Yet it happens.

At least three Brantford churches have closed in recent years.  In 2006, the River of Life Church on Dalhousie Street became 17 housing units.  St. Jude’s Anglican Church was approved to become 12 condo units, and Heritage United Church transitioned into a private high school in the fall of 2018.  Housing and schools are good purposes too, but what was lost with the closing of these places of worship?

A community’s church should be as vital to the neighbourhood as the local grocery store or school. 

TOGETHER (ONEchurch Leaders Speak)

On the second Wednesday of the month, pastors and Christian ministry and business leaders from Brantford get together for lunch, but receive so much more than a meal.

Leaders need other leaders.  Developing those relationships is important because without them, it is easy to feel alone.  Setting time aside to meet with others in leadership cultivates the reality that the Kingdom of God is bigger than His church (if you define church to mean “congregation” or “building”).  It is His people doing His work, wherever they are.  This includes parachurch ministries whose work could never truly be accomplished within the parameters of a single church facility or congregation.  It includes business leaders who are bringing kingdom principles to their daily dealings.  That’s why leaders from the many invaluable Christian ministries and businesses within Brantford join with pastors and other church leaders at the table.

The group recognizes how important it is not to see each other as competition but as partners.  When they gather, they can strategically plan how to work together effectively to make things happen.  There are some things that simply can’t be accomplished independently that become possible when God’s people collaborate.

A Vision for Education and Business

On October 18, 2018, a group from a variety of churches and ministries within Brantford gathered at Brant Community Church.  Together, they tried to envision what an education system and business community could look like if it was truly transformed by the love of God, expressed through his people.

A few key principles emerged.  First, if you want to have influence in an area, you need to have involvement.  Second, that there are no truly closed doors if you are willing to start where there is a need.

It’s important to recognize that transformation takes time.  In our culture, doors can close quickly when we push hard on topics of faith at the outset.  What can open doors, however, is genuine, ongoing concern to meet actual needs over the long term.  Introducing the motivation behind your involvement (faith) comes as you earn the right to speak through relationship.

For example…

Celebrating Lasting Relationships started by a Carnival Day in the Park

For the past six years, Living Water Reformed and Redeeming Grace Reformed Churches have partnered to run a “Carnival Day in the Park” outreach throughout the summer.  Carnivals take place at Lynden Hills Park in June, Edith Monture Park in July, and Tutela Park in August.

The carnivals grew out of a desire within these churches to be a light in the communities of Brantford, to go beyond being a group of people who meet in a brick building.  This means they aim to share the good news of Jesus through whatever means may be at their disposal. 

Pastor Kerby Stivene

Transformation and revival with Pastor Kerby Stivene

Kerby Stivene was 22 years old when he first preached in his church in Montréal, Québec. He remembers being nervous but calling on the Holy Spirit to take control. “I preached for an hour and a half,” he laughed. “Now that’s my prayer whenever I preach. God, take control.”
In 2016, Kerby followed a call to Brantford with his wife Marie to become the Young Adult Pastor at New City Church. They found the first few months of transition difficult but have grown to love the city and especially the ministry.