May 2015
Vol 9, Issue 2
Family Picure Fall 2013May 
I remember memorizing a poem when I was in the third grade called "The Village Blacksmith" - I don't know if you know this poem, but it talks about the village blacksmith working hard, faithfully every day. And how he enjoyed the simple pleasures of his hard work and his family following God, the fruit of his faithful labour.

This is much how I am feeling in this moment. We are starting to see the fruit of faithful work in this community. People who remember us serving them or their friends, people who are in need or asking spiritual questions, people who were watching to see if were going to stand  are discovering that we are still here.

Faithfulness - there is more we want, but nothing is more fulfilling than to see faithfulness yield its reward. As the writer of the poem said:
        Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,          

For the lesson thou hast taught!

Quick Links
Prayer Request
Worship Leader for CoH
Youth Leader for CoH - Answered!
Pastoral Team Member
Elders Learning to Lead
Ministry Leaders Learning to Lead
Interns - (Potential long-term)
The Village Church in Milton
Grasslands Church, Medicine Hat
Neighbors, especially Brian
Philip's role at CoH & GBCanada
Palm Sunday Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Egg Hunt 2015

One of the things we have done as a church for the past 5 years is to put on an Easter Egg Hunt.  It's amazing to see our people come together to stuff over 3,500 eggs and then show love and serve together that morning!  Last year, we decided to change the day of the hunt from Easter Sunday morning to Palm Sunday morning so that we could keep Resurrection Sunday as a more sacred observance, and were happy that it didn't cause too much confusion or disappointment for people.  


This year, we had a terrific turn-out for the Egg Hunt; over 200 guests came to the hunt, and we were so happy to see how many friends and neighbors of our people attended!  Two families from our boys' school came; one we met through the park program over the summer, and the other had also attended last years' hunt.  Both have told us they wanted to come to church; they haven't come yet, but the door is open, relationship is ongoing, and one of the moms signed up for a ladies event - Elaine attended, had a great time, and it turned out that her son and the son of the family hosting the event were both at the same Cub Scouts event that weekend.  Both boys came back chattering non-stop about the new friend they had met - very exciting!  Pray for Elaine and her family, and Kim and her family; we would love to see them join our family at CoH; but even more, we want them to join God's family.

Summer is Coming!
Several years ago, we came to the conclusion that our church was in a winter season - a time of pruning, barren branches and roots going deeper.  About a year ago, we began to be able to identify new signs of life, seeing spring come.  Then just last week, as we talked about various things that are happening in the church, one of our lay leaders said,  "You know, I think summer is just around the corner."  And we have to agree!  We are beginning to see the signs of fruit and answers to prayers that we (and you!) have brought before the Lord for years.  This is a very happy, hopeful time at CoH!

Summer Intern 2015
Emily Robertson
We have made some significant changes; the week after Easter, we moved our service start time back by 30 minutes to allow for a fellowship time after the service.  It is requiring adjustment for our ministry teams, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  We are also seeing God add new families and new leaders; He has answered our prayer for a new youth leader - we are thrilled to have Jon and Gail Pedersen joining our team!  Jon had been part of our church for several years helping with youth, Awana and many other things, then went back to his home church for a few years (and found a wonderful wife!), and is returning to us.  We're looking forward to their investment in our young people.  Also, God has brought Emily, a young woman from Trinity Western University, originally from Milton, Ontario, as a summer intern for youth (thank you, Government of Canada!).  She has been helping/leading a TWU ministry for youth in Vancouver, and in just a couple of times with our teens, has engaged in a very positive way.  We would love to see her stay past the summer internship commitment, so please pray with us for that!  Pray for us as we enter into these new relationships.

One other thing is that we are seeing the benefit of longevity in our community; CoH has existed here for 7 1/2 years, and we are beginning to hear,  "Oh - you're the church that meets in the theater.. has the bench signs... does the summer park program... does the egg hunt in the theater."  Our identity in the community is being established, and we are being recognized as part of the community.  Please keep praying that we continue to show love and build bridges into our community.

And please continue to pray for us as we seek a shepherd/teacher leader to add to the team here.  A pastoral search committee has been formed to seek out and screen applicants.  We know God has someone for us - it's just a matter of when and who!

In Our Neighborhood
We have asked you to pray for our neighbors, and specifically for Philip's opportunity to conduct the memorial service for our neighbor Phyllis.  That ended up taking place in April, and it was just lovely.  Her sister, Margaret had worked so hard to put together a beautiful, meaningful service, and succeeded.  Nearly 200 people came, and Philip had the opportunity to share the Gospel very clearly.  The whole family chipped in with Beth, Lydia and Alissa putting together a reception for 140 people, and Alissa managing the boys for the whole day (she did a great job!).  We don't know what fruit will come, but we do know that many felt very much loved and appreciated the opportunity to remember a lovely woman.  

We are fairly certain that she went into eternity without a saving knowledge of Christ, but are prayerful that seed was sown or watered for others that will bear fruit.  Pray with us for Margaret, her son and daughter; her daughter is battling cancer, and we would love to see them find hope in Christ.  A number of our neighbors were also in attendance at the service - pray for us that we live out Christ and ring true as they see us day in, day out.  We are also gearing up for our annual block party.

And continue to pray for our neighbor, Brian.  He was in a car accident over the winter that he should not have survived, and doesn't really have an explanation for why he did.  It's made him think about many things over the past few months, and we pray that more opportunities will open.
Girls April 2015
Girls at Watershed Park

Pray for our daughters as they seek to bring Christ into their schools; they are each so unique, so we would appreciate prayer for wisdom as we encourage and coach each of them to live out their faith within how God made them to be.

This June in Toronto - Missions Trip
Still time to come join us!
We will be working with several inner city ministries in downtown Toronto, spending a day in the mix of the world's most cosmopolitan city with over 160 languages spoken and a great need for God's love.

We will take some time to visit a Hindu temple, a Buddhist temple and a Mosque, experiencing firsthand the world religions that are taking hold of many in our community.



And much more - you can register online at 


Please be sure to have your church place these in your bulletins. GCA 2015 Bulletin Insert or put up these posters at your church, ABF or youth group wall GCA 2015 Poster

We would love to have you join us next summer in Toronto! 

Thank you for praying for us as we navigate this transition. Some of our people at CoH still don't quite understand that when we say Philip is transitioning, that we don't mean we are leaving. This has created a bit of concern for our church. Pray for this clarity for our people as we are looking to add the gift of shepherd leader to our team. Our goal is to see Community of Hope grow and be healthy so it can reproduce and start other churches in this area. 

Pray with us as we continue to seek a new Lead Pastor at CoH. If you know of someone with those strong shepherd/leader and perfecting skills, someone who can take something and make it even better is what we are looking for. Be sure to refer them to our search team here at CoH:  

Philip has been traveling a fair bit this spring and has enjoyed visiting several of our supporting churches. In his trip in March he had the privilege of taking Ana along with him and that was just great fun. Great father - daughter time. It was a real delight to visit with friends and supporters and to bring a live report to some of our churches that have been so faithful to us. Pray with us as we desire to get to all of our supporting churches in the next year. Philip is working a plan and will need prayer for wisdom and open doors and scheduling. As my travel increases we will need to raise our support for an ongoing additional $20,000.  These funds will help us transition monies that the church was giving us to help with our ministry and travel expenses so that the church can be focusing on  funding the new lead pastor at CoH. To give online: Give Online

Pray for our upcoming sermon series "Life is Relationship" - praying we can touch many with the good news of Jesus and how He can transform the relationships in our lives.

Pray for some of the bridges that are being built. We are working to set up a stronger partnership with Grace College & Seminary to bring interns and Go Encounter teams up to partner with us. 

Pray for this summer's GCA as I will have Alissa coming this year to help with food prep. And for the teams to have a great experience and to bring back home the things they are learning about evangelism. 
Pray for Ryan Giestbrecht.  He has been a great pastoral intern this past year and he is ending his formal role with us in July. He has a great future ahead in ministry.

Continue to pray for us to reach our neighbors and to make disciples. We know that God is able and is willing to use even us. 

Yours for the kingdom,  

Philip, Beth, Lydia, Anastasia, Alissa, Elijah, and Josiah Bryant

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GBCanada USA, P.O. Box 836, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622