At Westheights, part of our identity is a willingness to try new things to reach our community, whether it is developing an innovative all-ages worship experience, collecting food for the food bank or putting on a community carnival for our neighbourhood. We always want to find ways to reach out into our community in a way that meets needs in the name of Jesus.
In that innovative spirit, we want to announce that Tom Fenske will be leading a one-year trial of a new initiative called Lumina, a partnership between Westheights and the Be In Christ Church of Canada.
We live in a changing world. More and more of our neighbours did not grow up in the church and, though they often recognize their spiritual needs, they would seldom consider coming to a church service. The Westheights leadership team, both staff and board, have been asking ourselves how we can engage with these seekers who aren’t expressing an interest in Christianity and may even be hostile to it.
As a church, we have a history of sending out missionaries into foreign cultures, to build bridges that will lead people to Christ. In today’s Canadian culture, we need to keep developing that missionary mindset to understand the culture, learn to speak their language and to build bridges so that they can see the answers that Jesus can provide for their spiritual questions.
Over the last year, Tom has felt a strong call towards this kind of cultural missions work. This pull in his heart, which came at the same time as the Westheights leadership team was seeking a new approach, makes us feel like God is opening a door for us. The strong interest from the Be In Christ Church of Canada in supporting us provides additional confirmation.
As a result, we have made some changes to Tom’s role at Westheights to allow him to undertake Lumina. Tom will remain fully committed to the Junior and Senior Youth programs, but has handed over his responsibilities for young adults to other leaders. After the first year, we will review the lessons we have learned and decide how to proceed.
Learning how to be missionaries to our own neighbours is a brand-new challenge and we don’t have a simple blueprint to follow. Over the next few months, we are looking forward to sharing more information about how Lumina will work, what we have learned about our culture, our vision for becoming missionaries inside of our own community and how you can be involved.
If you have any questions, please feel free to speak to any member of the Church Board or to Tom (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’d love to hear your feedback and provide more information.
From the Church Board of Westheights Community Church
Our Church Board members are:
Doug Braun, Chair