The Redemption of All Creation

God’s reconciling purposes are for the “whole” world. His heart is not just for personal transformation, but for transformation of entire neighbourhoods, cities, and nations to once again live out his original intent and purpose in creation.
God calls out a people and gives them a mission—to continue Jesus’ ministry and mission – to partner with him in his plan “for the redemption of all creation.” This mission includes displaying before our neighbourhoods, cities, and nations a transformed way of living, and living together, which is the way God always desired. In so doing, we fulfill Jesus’ prayer that the kingdom would come and his will be done on earth as in heaven.
Everywhere we go and in everything we do in “our everyday ordinary life, our sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life” (Rom.12:1 MSG) is to be transformed by the Spirit at work in and through us. As we live in God’s way, fulfilling his mission, we will change everything we touch—just as Jesus did. Our transforming influence ought to bring change to the problems that plague our cities today—poverty, crime, addictions, divorce, violence. And there ought to be a dramatic increase in the things that characterize the transformed life of the kingdom—mercy, justice, and compassion (especially for the poor).

What does City Transformation Mean?

Our goal over the next several months is to unpack for discussion the major themes that guide ONEchurch. Each month at our luncheons we will be taking to time to discuss the ideas presented in the newsletter. This month, we will explore what is meant by “City Transformation.”

ONEchurch describes its mission as “participating in the transformation of the city.”

What is transformation? Can a city actually be transformed?

Further, can the church be more than just a religious institution, significantly participating in the shaping of the culture, social framework and even the economy of a city? It’s an important question to answer because if it can, and if that’s what Jesus desires of his people, then these questions are not just interesting but mission critical.

This article will provide the basis for our discussion on September 12th at noon at the luncheon hosted at Organized Kaos.

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.

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…

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In Brantford as it is in Heaven: Casting Vision, Part 3

Over the past several months, ONEchurch Brantford has been on a journey to cast a vision for where the Church can have the most impact in the city. In this, the third and final meeting, the goal was to find areas where there is currently some momentum. ONEchurch wants to challenge Christians and congregations to think about how they can participate in the transformation of the city, to make Brantford “as it is in Heaven.” 

How you can bring blessing to Brantford

ONEchurch Brantford is starting a project to map the city into 7 spheres of influence, and to identify leaders in each sphere who want to positively impact the city. The goal is to help churches and Christians identify needs in the field they’re in and to seek God for creative, practical ways to bring blessing to Brantford.

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Packed room at OneChurch Brantford symposium

Sixty Brantford residents filled the meeting hall at Brant Community Church earlier this month, ready to catch a new vision of hope for their city. Members of ONEchurch Brantford, formerly the Brantford Evangelical Ministerial, organized the event. ONEchurch is a gathering point for area congregations, ministries and leaders to increase their unity and effectiveness in Read more about Packed room at OneChurch Brantford symposium[…]