Streetlight
Address:
82 Ferguson Avenue North
Hamilton, ON
L8R 1L4
Church Service:
Sunday at 10:30am & 6:30pm
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Professions of Faith – Spring 2017

The Lord delighted the Streetlight congregation with the addition of four people who joined the church through the profession of their faith on April 30. Three of these individuals have been worshipping with us and serving in many ways for several years, while one of them had not yet heard of Streetlight a year ago.  We praise God for using this little church to gather his people together and adding strength and depth to our fellowship. Welcome Day Day, Tammy, Rob and Rudolf!

Farewell Aaron Korvemaker – by Danielle Heemskerk

“Having an amazing day. I am going to tim hortons to talk to my buddy about stuff on my mind. I would like to thank him for all the help—Aaron Glenn Korvemaker—thanks man for being here when I need to talk” – excerpt from Facebook status of teen boy connected to Streetlight, age 18

Over his four years working as a youth worker at Streetlight Ministries, Aaron has met, mentored, and discipled many children and youth in the Beasley neighbourhood and surrounding area.

Aaron is a deep thinker and a reader. He loves to pore over books on theology, church history, and evangelism. He is passionate about Christian musicians spanning many genres. He loves to learn about and teach others about Jesus. You can find Aaron out and about downtown, sharing a bowl of Pho or a slice of pizza with a group of teen guys, talking about faith, friends, and anything and everything.

You might also find him lying on the pavement next to the church while chubby little fingers trace his outline in chalk and invite him to join in on jump rope games during Kids Club. Or maybe he is strumming his guitar as he plans to lead a group of 20 plus children in song of praise to our Lord. Or you might see him walking or driving down the streets of Hamilton, helping a single mom bring her large group of little ones to a Sunday service.

Working with youth can bring a lot of ups and downs, highs and lows. We meet children and teens of all different ages, coming from all kinds of backgrounds. As we come alongside them and their families, we witness a lot of pain and heartbreak. But we also witness God’s redemptive power as he works in the hearts of the kids we serve and in our hearts too.

Sometimes we are pushed away by kids we have come to care about very much. But often we are counted as constant and consistent friends in lives full of upheaval and inconsistency. So much of what we do is just being there.

Over the four years he has served at Streetlight, Aaron has been there for so many in our congregation, for fellow staff members, and for the kids who attend our programs. I think he would agree that, most of the time, it was far from easy. But I think he would also agree that it was worth it and that it has helped to set him on a path to pursue future ministry opportunities.

While we will all deeply miss Aaron’s presence at Streetlight as he heads off to seminary in the fall, we are also excited for him and trust that his faith in our heavenly father will continue to lead and guide him always.

Farewell for now, Aaron. But remember that your Streetlight family will always welcome you with open arms whenever you find yourself back in the Hammer.

Mentoring – Erik and Tracy Lynn Hoeksema

Throughout our lives we are shaped by many forces. We are formed by our particular family dynamics, by educational institutions, and of course, by an array of cultural influences that often go unnoticed as they constantly chip away at us.

While we know that many of these forces can have a negative effect on individuals, it is a great comfort and encouragement to know that God’s power of transformation is far greater. By word and Spirit we are being shaped into the very likeness of Christ (1 Cor. 3:18).

While we know this to be true, it is a particular challenge at Streetlight as we seek to shape and disciple the people God has placed on our path. We often witness the results of competing forces on individuals. On the one hand, the beauty of being shaped by the gospel, and on the other, the pain and ugliness caused by this broken world. Much time and patience are required to address the many challenging questions and concerns voiced in our community: What does it look like to live a Christian lifestyle when your parents aren’t Christian? How do you offer Christian advice to your young adult children when you are just learning and discovering the Bible yourself? What do I have to give up to become a follower of Jesus?

Indeed, becoming a Christian or beginning to discover the gospel can be an exciting and overwhelming process. And so, when helping individuals faced with all these emotions, it is important that we acknowledge their growth for what it is: a process. A shaping process. A discipleship process. A process that must be governed by God’s word and strengthened by his Spirit.

At Streetlight we want to find ways to best serve the spiritual formation processes happening in our community. In 2015, Tracy Lynn moved from the position of youth worker into the role of mentor. She can now devote her time to individual new Christians and seekers; encouraging them to mature in their faith and walking with them in their journey. She even hopes to reunite a group of young adults who were once part of the Kids Club that started nearly twenty years ago at our old James Street North location.

For the past four years, Aaron Korvemaker has also been a large part of molding and shaping the youth who attend our programs. As Aaron moves on, his work will be passed on to Erik, who had been the outreach director at Rehoboth URC since 2014. Erik is looking forward to joining the Streetlight staff and working with Danielle to disciple the Streetlight youth. Indeed, it is exciting to see God constantly at work in this community.

As for our family, we have been blessed in serving God’s kingdom at both Streetlight and Rehoboth. We too have been shaped by the gospel as it is preached and taught and studied. As we look forward to (re)joining the Streetlight church on a full time basis, we are humbled to be used as God’s tools as he shapes his followers and changes their lives.

Pastor’s Note – Summer 2017 Newsletter

Pastoral Care for a Mission Church

A mission church, you might be thinking, is what every church should be. That’s true, of course. But I use the term to describe a church that has no office-bearers except a missionary, and is under the care of the sending church. Streetlight is such a mission church.

Pastoral care for a mission church is challenging for two reasons.

1.        The pastor is a missionary, not a pastor.

Pastoral duties are huge in a mission setting. Every person who comes to the faith needs lots of encouragement and personal contact from a spiritual leader in the church. And as the community of the faithful grows, so does the demand for pastoral care. The community Christ gathers here has far more pastoral needs than the regular congregation I served in the past.

But the spiritual leader in a mission church is a missionary, not a pastor. So he is oriented toward new contacts—connecting with them, deepening relationships, responding increasingly to the problems in their lives to help bring them in submission to Jesus Christ and thus experience the joy of living under the freedom of the Saviour.

The pastoral needs of the congregation he serves are secondary. They are extremely important; but because this flock is led by a missionary, they will be neglected somewhat, by comparison, to churches with constituted consistories. The members of that church often will feel somewhat neglected. That is not strange but it is bad and it needs to be remedied.

2.        As long as the church does not have elders ordained from among the congregation, the members will receive care either from elders of the sending church, or from volunteer elders—men who have the qualities necessary to serve as elders, but who have not received ordination.

These are provisional arrangements. They need to change as quickly as possible because they are not biblical. That is why the form for ordination and installation for missionaries states that the missionary has a primary duty to train and ordain elders.

We are struggling here at Streetlight. We have nearly 60 members in the church and a host of contacts beyond. There is some feeling of neglect among members. We pray that soon we might become as you are, a church with a mission, because we cannot remain for long as a mission with a church.

Lessons from the Materially Poor

The disciples were indignant at what they regarded as wastefulness when a woman poured expensive perfume on Jesus’s head. Jesus replied, “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.”

Is Jesus suggesting that the poor are his ambassadors; something to remind us of the values he represented when he was with us? Remember: “Inasmuch as you did it for them…”

The poor have been just that to me during the ten-and-a-half years of my ministry as pastor of this downtown urban church. I’ve been challenged nearly every day by the needs of the materially poor.

This is unique. I was a pastor for 18 years in a rural congregation before coming to Hamilton, and I was only occasionally called upon to help the poor. The deaconal fund of that church grew and grew until we decided that we should start releasing money to Christian ministries. The poor were almost absent. We had lost out on the lessons that the poor have to teach us.

Here are a couple that I’ve learned:

  1. The poor are willing to admit they are poor. To confess your neediness requires considerable courage. The need does not take away the courage of asking for help. That’s why Moses said, “Do not be tight fisted toward the poor.” They have suffered enough not to endure the suspicion of those who have the means they need.
  2. They endure poverty without complaint. Of course they often complain that they don’t have much money, but I have seen very little evidence of resentment or anger toward people who earn $50,000 or more and drive nice cars.
  3. Their level of contentment is not less than rich people. Some people downtown walk about with a garbage bag in hand. That bag may contain all the material possessions they own – a Frisbee, a couple of DVDs or VHSs, some clothes, etc.
  4. The help that the church gives is never very much – a $10 grocery voucher, a couple of $3 bus tickets, a bag of fresh fruits or vegetables once per month. When these gifts are given with some grace, the response of gratitude is sometimes overwhelming. I have often felt that I’ve received far more than I’ve given.

People are not more righteous because they are poor; but those who are poor have taught me a lot about righteousness, humility, contentment, and gratitude. We should honour and respect the poor and thank Jesus for putting them in our path.

by Pastor Paul Aasman

Change of Location for Sunday April 30

Our morning worship service on April 30th, 10:30 am, will be held in the Romanian Baptist Church.  Nursery services will be available.

This church is located at 130 Victoria Ave. N., Hamilton.

(between Wilson St. and Cannon St. E.)

Street parking is available on Victoria Ave. N.

The Streetlight bus will be running the regular route Sunday morning.

Our 6:30 pm service will be held at our regular building at:

82 Ferguson St. N.

 

 

 

Streetlight Board Report

As we arrive at the Streetlight building on Thursday evenings for our monthly board meetings, the Girls Club program is running in the main room. Bibles are being opened, and staff and volunteers are bringing the gospel to the teens gathered downstairs. It’s an acute reminder of the importance of the work at Streetlight-the light of the gospel is shining in downtown Hamilton.

Over the last few months, the board has been busy with a number of exciting initiatives. This past December we held our corporate meeting with Ancaster council, where our annual budget is approved. While budgets certainly don’t sound exciting, it is a reminder of how each expense is carefully weighed and spent on the kingdom-gathering work of Jesus Christ. It is both humbling and encouraging to be reminded how so many churches, businesses, and individuals give to Streetlight. Thank you all for your partnership.

The new building is moving forward as our architect works with the City of Hamilton, the fundraising committee continues their work, and the board works to get financing in place for your pledges. These are exciting times for Streetlight.

As the board continues to labour, we are reminded that unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain. And so we covet your prayers that God will continue to bless this work-gathering a great multitude from every nation, tribe, and people and at last presenting them without blemish before the judgement seat of Christ among the assembly of God’s elect.

“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. […] I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one” – John 17: 18, 20-21a.

by Ken Vanderboom – Chairman

Christian Education Scholarship

For nearly 20 years Streetlight has been running Kids Club, an afterschool program for the children aged 4-12. Through it, many neighborhood children have been introduced to the gospel. We also hold Cadets, Girls Club and Youth Group for teens during the week. On Sundays children and teens from the neighborhood come out to our church services – many without their parents.
Streetlight also enjoys a vibrant relationship with Campfire. For over a decade, children and teens from Streetlight have attended Camp. In a speech at the 2013 Campfire banquet, Tracy Lynn spoke about this relationship:
“One of the ways we have been able to connect the Streetlight youth to other Christians is through Campfire. Two years ago (2011) we had a young man who attended Streetlight, speak at the Campfire banquet about what Campfire meant to him. He said that when he thought about Campfire he just thought about love. Being told about God’s love and being shown God’s love… Through Campfire and through Streetlight, many youth have learned three important things. They are loved, their life has a purpose and there is hope.”
For over a decade Streetlight and Campfire have worked together to plant the seeds of the gospel in the lives of youth from downtown Hamilton. The seeds of love, hope and purpose. And while we are still planting new seeds each year, seedlings are beginning to grow and mature.
Now we have a new challenge. How are we going to foster this growth beyond programs at Streetlight and Campfire? How will these young seedlings be rooted and equipped with a robust Christian worldview? Where can the godly friendships formed at Campfire and Roots Youth events flourish?
This issue has been weighing on our hearts and minds for some time. And it is with this in mind that the board is excited to announce the Christian Education Scholarship Fund. Already a number of youth from Streetlight have had the opportunity to attend either Guido or HDCH through the efforts of private individuals. Through the scholarship fund, we are seeking to build a sustainable relationship with these schools so that together we can be effective partners in Christ’s kingdom-gathering work.
The board and staff of ask that you prayerful consider supporting in this initiative so that barriers might be removed and Christian youth might be rooted and established in their young faith.
Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
– 1 Peter 2:10
For more information please email christianeducation@streetlightministries.ca.