Dear Westheights: It is a wonderful privilege to be the pastor at Westheights Church and to serve in partnership with so many amazing people. The spiritual development of children, students and adults only happens as a result of the partnership of so many who generously contribute their time, talents and treasures to the vision of helping people to find and follow Jesus. I truly appreciate being in partnership with all of you in the work of the gospel. There is no more important work than the work of building the kingdom of God that we do together.
As we come to the end of 2016, we have much to celebrate. First and foremost, we celebrate the successful culmination of the Greater Things campaign. Therefore, the focus of this year’s church anniversary service will be the completion of Greater Things. We are now at the completion of the Phase 1 campaign of our 20/20 vision that we have called “Greater Things.” We have based our theme on Jesus’ words when he said in John 14:12, “Those who believe in me will do even greater things.” We are enjoying the benefits of the extra remodelled space for the fulfillment of the vision and mission God has given to this church. Many, many visitors have commented to me that the Westheights facility is modern and inviting. Many of you committed to our building program and I am so humbled by how seriously you took your commitments. We expect the full pledge of $600,000 to be collected by year end.
During the campaign I was deeply touched by a couple of experiences related to this. In the period of a three year campaign, change naturally happens in the lives of families. For example, some of those who were part of the original campaign relocated to other cities. But more than once, a family would come to me and assure me that they would continue to contribute to Greater Things even though they now lived in another city. They were so committed to the kingdom work of our church and wanted to continue to be a part of that, even from a distance.
Of course, our building is just a tool, but it is a tool for the more important purpose of creating environments where people can be transformed into the image of the One we follow. The real impact at Westheights is the one that happens when lives are changed. So many of you continue to tell me that the Sunday services, with uplifting music and down to earth sermons, help you grow and follow Jesus in a deeper way. Equally as important is the transformation that happens in the lives of children and students through the amazing team of dedicated staff and volunteers, and the House Church ministries and many service projects within our church family and in our local neighbourhood.
The ministry to children and students and adults is only possible because of your generosity to our church. I greatly appreciate your consistent financial support to the ministry of Westheights on a week by week basis and over the past year. Therefore, I do not take lightly this request for a financial gift for our 2016 Anniversary offering. Your gifts will allow us to continue to bless the people of our church and of our community, reduce the remaining mortgage from our Greater Things building renovation, and, as mentioned in the recent letter you received from the Church Board, care for the lagging finances of our operations budget.
If you are able, our Anniversary offering will be a time to give a special offering to help us further fulfill our vision. I am confident that you will prayerfully consider your participation and follow God’s leading in this matter. It is not the amount of your contribution that is significant, but what is in your heart. Even the smallest gift when given out of faith pleases God. Remember the story of the boy with two fish and five loaves. He gave what he had to Jesus, and Jesus multiplied it and fed 5000 people. Give what you can and trust God to multiply it.
We will celebrate our Anniversary on Sunday, November 27th. Let’s join together and celebrate God’s faithfulness over the past 38 years and look to the future of what God is still going to do.
Again, thank you for your gracious gifts of service, kindness and generosity. It is a wonderful privilege serving with all of you.
Todd Lester, Senior Pastor