We were meeting in a larger church building on the south side of Castlegar.
Attendance in that location was averaging around 18 people. In the very same month we received an eviction notice which moved us to the Robson Memorial community church building that we are currently renting for Sabbath worship.
The Robson Memorial community church building is much smaller but provides a more intimate fellowship experience. In moving to the new location, attendance dropped by three.
Church attendance is currently averaging around 12 steady members per Sabbath. Two regular attendees are studying for baptism. Five non-Adventist people from the community come to worship intermittently.
Although the Castlegar fellowship is somewhat small, the membership, however, enjoys a high participation rate in the various ministries to the community.
Once a month, at a local flea market, six of the members cook and serve healthier breakfasts to the patrons of the flea market.
The proceeds, averaging $170, from those breakfasts goes to another ministry called Bags of Love.
This ministry provides a homemade quilt, toiletries, and toys to children and families who are in need.
Bags of Love has been up and running for just over a year and to date has distributed 90 bags.
The majority of recipients have been children who have had the misfortune of being removed from their home and placed in foster care.
These children arrive in foster care without being able to bring any of their possessions from the home they been removed from.
These bags help them in that traumatic experience.
The ministry now has the opportunity to expand to meet the needs of seniors as well. As awareness of the ministry grows, so does the opportunities for the ministry to meet more needs in the community and region.
Many local businesses have provided support through donating items that go into the bags.
Members of various quilting guilds have donated quilts. Members of the Castlegar Seventh-day Adventist church have donated hundreds of hours to sewing bags and quilts, meeting with social workers, collecting items for filling the bags and distributing the bags to those in need.
In each worship service, an hour is given to sharing where the members have seen God working in their lives throughout the week.
What answers to prayer have they seen, what has God been teaching them, how has God been revealing himself to them throughout their week.
Testimonies to God’s ever present care, provision and faithfulness are heard every week.
Struggles and trials are also shared and requests for prayer are made. At the end of the sharing hour prayers of thanksgiving and request are presented before the throne of God.
As we have been practicing this now for two years we have seen within our God, a God who listens and answers. Every week we hear astonishing stories of how the prayers presented before the throne on previous Sabbaths have been answered.
The Castlegar Seventh-day Adventist Church is a very close group and it has become my conclusion that in the sharing time, the sharing of trials, of needs, of fears and struggles, that frictions and contentions among members have nearly been eliminated.
We have come to know each other and ourselves as the imperfect human beings that our Lord Jesus Christ has come to save.
We all see each other and ourselves as people fully needing the grace of God in our lives.
It is our goal and hope that in the coming year of 2014 that we will become a recognized Company.
It is our goal and hope to continue to reach out to the community of Castlegar through Bags of Love and in serving healthier breakfasts at the Robson flea market and to invite others in, that they may experience the close and supportive fellowship that we ourselves have enjoyed.
By Rob Fairhurst, Bible Worker for Castlegar Church Plant
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