Please read the following important update from the Westheights Church Board:
In January, Charlie Mashinter from BIC Canada interviewed Pastor Tom Fenske about a new initiative called Lumina. Since not everyone was able to attend that talk, we’ve summarized some of the important points in this short letter.
What is Lumina?
Lumina is a Westheights Church project led by Tom Fenske, in partnership with BIC Canada, that is creating opportunities to have spiritual conversations with people in our community. Jesus went out to meet people where they are; Lumina is our attempt to do the same. Charlie described how the church has a long history of finding innovative ways to carry out the great commission through Sunday schools, hospitals, missions, seeker-sensitive services and personal evangelism. Lumina is a one year pilot project to try out some new ways of engaging with our neighbours.
Why is Lumina important?
We live in a time when people are all too willing to believe the worst about the church. Think of your neighbours and co-workers. Even though they have questions about spiritual things, most would never think to meet those needs by walking into a Sunday morning worship service. While the message of Christ is appealing to them, they are often turned off by their impression of what they think Christians believe. If we simply wait for those people to come through our doors, we are failing to listen to the first command of the Great Commission — “Go!”
While we have long supported missionaries all around the world, we don’t really know how to be missionaries to this worldly culture all around us. Lumina is attempting to find ways to do this.
What does Lumina look like?
The goal is to intentionally build relationships in a safe, neutral environment where people can talk about spiritual things with facilitators who love Jesus. Tom is working with a group of site leaders to develop three gathering locations, each with a different focus in order to engage a different demographic. At each location we will host events that will bring Christians and non-Christians together to develop authentic relationships and meet different needs. In these environments, it will be natural for Christians to demonstrate what an impact Jesus has had in their lives and to have open conversations about what that means.
If we see a vibrant, authentic community of spiritual seekers coming together, where Christians are loving their neighbours and meeting their needs, then we know we are making progress. It is our prayer that many people will be involved in different ways as Westheights learns how to more effectively communicate the gospel in today’s culture.
How does Lumina impact the youth program?
Tom will remain fully committed to the Junior and Senior Youth programs which will continue to run in the same way as previous years. His former responsibilities for young adults have been handed over to volunteer leaders who have started something new that includes both spiritual formation and social activities, and we’re delighted to see how the young adult community is thriving. Over the last few years, Tom’s role has included a significant amount of technical support, as well as regular preaching, but these roles have also been delegated to others to make room for Lumina. As well, Tom has stepped down as the BIC coordinator for the Junior Youth retreat, a role that he has excelled at over the past few years.
We are confident that with these changes to Tom’s role, he will be able to invest in Lumina without losing any focus on the Junior and Senior Youth.
How can I find out more about Lumina? How can I be involved?
If you have questions about Lumina, please feel free to talk with any member of the Westheights Board or with Tom. We are still in the early days and things will continue to change and develop over the next few months.
We do know that the ingredients for success are leadership, congregational support and encouragement, patience and prayer. If you would like to assist, please let us know.
Over the next year, please pray for our church family, for the community of neighbours all around us, and for Tom and his team as they work to develop relationships and demonstrate Jesus’ love to them. We will continue to share stories of what is happening in Lumina through the year, so that you will be encouraged and can pray along with us.
In His Service,
The Church Board of Westheights Church