Communicating on a Tight Budget

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Communication is driving our world like never before. It’s coming to the church, but often it typically doesn’t get financial priority when the budget is being made. If your church doesn’t have a lot of money to support communication, Kem Meyer has some suggestions for you.

Kem is a communication specialist, who serves at a large church in the US, and she has offered some tips for churches that have little to no budget for communications. There are some great ideas here that just about any size church could benefit from:

Check out her article.

How important is communication to your church? Are there volunteers that could help you embrace this goal? How are they being deployed? Comments are open!

What 6 Questions are Newcomers Asking?

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Outreach magazine just posted a good article to their site that asks us to think about what our churches look like to new attenders. This is helpful to keep in mind as we all hope for our churches to grow in healthy community.

The article describes 6 questions that they found to be common within the first year people attend a church — 3 that concentrate on first impressions, and 3 that focus on longer-term participation.

Check it out here.

If you’d like to add your own perspective on church from a newcomer’s eyes, please feel free to comment below.

Japan: Continued Quake Recovery and Developing Homeless Ministry

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Kurt connected with Home Office on Skype yesterday, and shared a thumbnail sketch of what’s happening right now in Japan.

CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support, and Hope) has obtained the Geiger counter that Kurt recommended. Starting in mid-March, CRASH will be using his experience to train personnel how best to use it as they continue to serve in the regions affected by the nuclear meltdowns. A Geiger counter informs its users what the radioactive conditions are in an area, which promotes safety and prevents the effects that more serious contamination would cause. For example, minor contamination on one’s hands can be taken care of by thoroughly washing them with soap and water. (We were not aware of that!)

Kurt would like to especially thank Ludlum Measurements Inc. — not only have they provided a wealth of training and support for the Geiger counter, they have pledged to provide support on an ongoing basis as well. With their help, CRASH was able to get the Geiger counter for far less than it would cost locally, and other partner organisations are planning to purchase their own units as well.

If you’re interested, this video describes the measuring device very well.

Please pray for CRASH. Japan’s immediate relief needs have been taken care of. But it seems like every day that local news announces a new threat of radioactive contamination which is affecting everything from residential construction to food supply. It’s putting everyone in every sector on edge, and people don’t know who to trust. There is a lot of fear, depression and despair. This is actually the most pressing need that CRASH has perceived.

CRASH is in a development phase. They are providing counselling, establishing coffee-houses, and building bridges to local churches where people can find real hope, despite their daily turmoil and uncertainty. Dale and Ann who recently returned to Japan, will be heavily active in this work as well.

In unrelated news, Kurt gave a mini-report of the growing homeless ministry in Japan, and there are exciting things happening!

Over Christmas, Santa showed up to offer the gospel message to the homeless people assembled.

McDonald’s gave the homeless ministry vouchers – enough to feed all the people that attend. This is a change from their typical bento boxes, and the novelty was appreciated by all.

An invitation was extended to several local churches for a clothing drive, and Kurt said this is the fullest his van has ever been!

It is exciting to see God at work, as he stirs hearts in his church to engage the needs in their city.

MEMO Progress Update

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Sadly, MEMO was turned down by CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) for the sizeable grant it had applied for. They were hoping to grow the breast-cancer screening program by two mobile mammography units per year over the next five years. Not receiving this grant means that MEMO (Medical Equipment Modernisation Opportunity) cannot proceed with the swiftness that it hoped. Long story short, it just means that MEMO will proceed as it has from the beginning, with its network of private supporters and contributors.

The mammography clinic already deployed in Cuba is currently examining 4,000 women a year. The goal is to detect breast cancer early enough to treat it with minor surgery. If not found early, the implications become much more of a concern. According to Dr. Jerome’s calculation, this one clinic is preventing the untimely deaths of 40 women per year.

Indeed, it’s working so well that MEMO is now building another one!

The clinic is a custom-built trailer that houses an x-ray machine which can be hauled from village to village by a tractor. Such a rig in North America would cost somewhere between $350,000 and $400,000. The clinic that MEMO is assembling costs about $3,500 for the construction of the trailer (which has been provided already), $7,000 for the mammography unit and $10,000 for shipping.

Through the witness of the leaders and supporters of MEMO, the whole medical team connected with this mammography clinic have chosen to put their faith in Christ. Each day now begins with Scripture reading and prayer. Everyone connected to this knows that Christians are responsible for this living-giving medical help — a solid witness to the practical love we’re called to!

If you would like to contribute finances to the completion this clinic, or its shipping costs, you can use our donation page and use project code 2-5055.

Low Stakes Mistakes

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• Are you interested in learning about the Muslim faith?
• Are you keen on initiating meaningful dialogue with Muslim people?
• Are you considering serving among Muslim people full-time?

One of the newest churches within the EFCC family is made up of Iranian-Canadians. They are former Muslims who have converted to Christianity – several of them through prophetic dreams!

This church is looking for a couple who are making plans toward full-time ministry to join them as interns. They want your help in perhaps a preaching role. Or in worship leading. Or just about any service you can offer.
Learning a language and a culture is a process that inherently involves mistakes. Among Muslim people in foreign countries, these mistakes can carry extensive consequences. Here is a church welcoming you to make your mistakes amongst loving, caring people who are eager to see you live up to your calling and God-given potential.

The church is located in Richmond Hill, in the Toronto area, an area they refer to as the “Middle East of Canada”. If you would like more information about this opportunity, please contact us at Home Office.