Bring Joy To Someone's Life This Christmas Season

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Pastor Drake challenged us, this past Sunday, with the idea that the gift of joy is not a gift at all if it isn't shared

When we think about the potential that Christmas has for impact in the lives of people it is truly exciting! Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to bless someone's life and give the gift of joy in their life this Christmas season? If that idea resonates with you, we are putting together a special team just for Christmas. We have some fun and exciting opportunities for you to be able to be a gift to someone on December 23rd and 24th.

Here are some of the opportunities available and if you are interested in joining one of these teams or just want to help, contact info@gateway.ac:

1. Parking Lot Team (3 spots still available): This team not only will help control the flow of traffic but help create a welcoming environment as people drive in and realize the personal touch you are bringing to their visit. 

2. Chair Set Up Team (2 spots still available): In the effort to create a welcoming environment we want every person to have a space to sit and in turn be able to belong! This is a key team in making this a reality. 

3. Activity Station Teams: A huge part of the Christmas experience is making memories and what better way to make memories but through fun & friends? Being a part of one of our activity station teams means you will be able to deliver a fun and exciting experience for people coming to our events and also be the human connection to the whole experience God wishes to bring into their lives. Here are some of the activities table teams we are looking to build!

2 people for cookie decorating station
1 person for sleigh ride line
1 person for our snowman building, snow painting and snow castles
2 people for our foyer games
2 people for the maple taffy station
5 people to be on our clean-up team


Some of these things may seem like no big deal but know that these teams make a HUGE difference in the lives of the people who will be our guests and could be the catalyst towards a journey of experiencing God's love. One small act can be a part of God's big story for that person.

Did You Hear? Pastor Martin Has A New Book Out!

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Hi Gateway family,

I wanted to share the news of my new book with you. Starting in January/February I will be teaching a mini-message series from Part 1 of this book, (and I will be teaching 3 mini-message series in total from the book, during the first half of 2019). If you want to read in advance, or read the book along with the message series, then you can get it on special offer this week as the Kindle version is only 99 cents ($1.32 Canadian) FOR THIS WEEK ONLY. 

For more information on the book, click here - https://martintrench.com/eyes-wide-open/ 

Or to go directly to buy the book, click here for Kindle - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07KY4S9ZL 
and here for the paperback - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1723910120 

Martin Trench
Lead Pastor

Are You Searching For Significance?

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There is this simple yet amazing verse in Luke 10. Jesus sends out 72 of His followers to do ministry and they come back and are pumped. Verse 17 says: "The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

Could you imagine being in their shoes? You have been following Jesus, hanging off every word and one day Jesus says it is your turn. There would probably be a mixer of excitement and fear. But what is amazing is the disciples come back and are full of joy and excitement! Not only that but they carried a power with them that even saw the evil of the world being pushed back simply because they were marked with the name of Jesus (as His followers). These 72 got to experience seeing the power of the Kingdom of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace impact the lives of people in a real and tangible way. They became part of something significant and Jesus is inviting you to the same thing.

The reality is that the same mission and power to see a change in our world exists today. Maybe this idea of being on mission with Jesus excites you. Are you searching for significance in your life? 

Jesus is calling every one of us to a significant life and He has equipped us with the skills and gifts to be a part of that significance. The question is: Will you accept that invitation? Following Jesus was never meant to be a spectator sport but involves action. But maybe you are wondering where to start. At Gateway we believe everyone has a place to BELONG and BECOME all that God meant for them to be and this is why we want to give people a place for significance. Let us partner with you in finding your place, your gifts, and your significance! 

Here are a couple easy options that could be the beginning of your journey of significance:

1. GatewayGroups: Are you someone that enjoys opening your home and hosting people? Are you someone who would love to create a space for people to be able to make meaningful connections and grow in their faith? 

We are looking to launch some new GatewayGroups and we need people like you! Don't worry, we will train you, give you all the tools and resources needed, and build into you as people. What we are looking for is people who have a desire to explore further of what this could look like. 

Contact Pastor Jackson (jackson@gateway.ac) today and he will get you more details and connect further.

2. Ronald McDonald House Toy Drive: What we do at Gateway isn’t just about what happens in the four walls of our church but also in the city we live. We look to impact our city in a way that not only shows love and gives hope but meets the needs of people and empowers the people and organizations working in the trenches. We do this through small and big actions. 

During the month of December, we will be collecting gifts for the Ronald McDonald House. This may seem like a simple act (and it is) but has a profound impact on the lives of the kids and families they serve. 

Starting this Sunday you can bring new unwrapped gifts for kids ages 12-17 which can be dropped off in the foyer (we will be collecting until December 16th). As well, if reaching out to people in our city is something that you are passionate about, or you want to learn more about what #ForEdmonton is all about, you can learn more about you can partner/join our #ForEdmonton team as they will be standing by the drop-off area this Sunday and would love to connect.

3. Christmas Invites: There is power in a simple invitation! Jesus invited people to follow Him and their lives were never the same again. I am sure you can share your own story of how you came to meet Jesus and experience this life we call Christianity. 

What if this Christmas season you were able to share that experience with someone else? This Sunday our Christmas invites will be on the seats and you can use this as a tool to be able to encourage people to experience Christmas in a way they may have never before. 

We have geared the entire month of December to be a place that your friends and family can experience the HOPE, LOVE, JOY, and PEACE God wishes to offer to people in our new Advent series 'UNWRAPPED'. You don't need to wait for the 23rd and 24th to bring along a friend. 

Get your invite this Sunday and also use the site christmasedmonton.com as a way to invites your friends and family. 

Start your journey of significance today! If you would like to explore all the options we have in partnering with you in your journey towards significance, simply email Pastor Drake today (drake@gateway.ac)! We believe everyone has a place for significance. 

LEELAND is coming to Gateway this Thursday and YOU get a special discounted price! 

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Writers of the modern worship anthem 'The Lion And The Lamb' and many others, Leeland have become one of the most important voices in a new generation of worship music. From their homes in Nashville, TN, they carry a long history of songwriting and passionate worship. Their lives, ministry, and music are a true extension of their passion to simply worship God personally and in the context of their community of family and friends.

Joining Leeland for this special night of worship is Pastor, Poet & Preacher Jacob Cook, and Canadian Worship Leader Brooke Nicholls.

This is going to be an incredible evening of celebrating and singing that you won't want to miss. Join us and get your tickets today!

THE DETAILS:
Use the promo code: "GatewayAC" (not case-sensitive), and that will give you25% off ticket prices. Simply head to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leeland-edmonton-ab-tickets-50136240846 to get your tickets and get all the important information. :)

Doors open @ 6:00pm, Concert @ 7:00pm. 

VISION SUNDAY: SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM PASTOR MARTIN

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VISION SUNDAY is just around the corner (November 18th). We will be sitting down with Pastor Martin for a special interview THIS SUNDAY (in the first ten minutes of the service). You will want to make sure you are early as you won't want to miss this. Clocks Fall Back this Sunday so you have some extra time ;)

We also wanted to share this this special message from Pastor Martin with you all as we look forward to Vision Sunday: Light the Fire.

"Hi church! I just wanted to remind you that in three weeks time we have our next Vision Sunday (November 18th). Over the past few years we have been holding two Vision Sunday services' each year--on in the spring and one in the fall or winter. And this is our second and finale Vision Sunday of 2018. This is going to be a very important and exciting service as we share not only what we have accomplished so far but the fresh word that we feel that God has given us for the next phase of our journey. And because of that fresh word we are calling this event 'Light The Fire'! 

It is time for us to come together as a church family and get fired up about the things that God is doing and has promised to do in our lives and in our church. So make sure you are a part of Vision Sunday. 

As usual, we will be taking up a special Vision Offering on that day to enable us to accomplish all of the things that we have set out in our Vision Statements. So, this time we are looking for an offering of $35,000. Now that might seem like a lot of money but remember this is a one time gift we are talking about. When you break it down it is not very much at all. It's...

35 people, couples, or families giving $1000
70 people, couples, or families giving $500
140 people, couples, or families giving $250
350 people, couples, or families giving $100

All we are asking is that you seriously and prayerfully consider what your contribution will be to the Vision Offering. There will also be pledge cards available (this Sunday) if you want to extend your giving beyond November 18th. See you in three weeks time on Vision Sunday!"

Are You Ready To Trade In A Burnt Out Life For The Unforced Rhythms Of Grace?

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It can be easy to find ourselves walking this life on autopilot and exhausted. But, the reality is, this was never the ultimate intent God had for us in our existence--to find ourselves burnt out on life, depressed, tired, ready to quit, striving every day for something brighter, something greater, something alive. Jesus speaks into this reality with a simple, yet profound, invitation:

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matt 11:28-30 NLT)

When you read these words, don’t they just resonate with you? I can almost hear you saying softly under your breath, “Oh how I could use that in my life!”. I know it resonates with you because it resonates with me. Maybe you have read these words so many times that the familiarity of them has caused them to lose their impact. It can help to see the words in a new light. Look at how Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

There is just something that is innately wired into our DNA that calls out to us. It is something that is deep down in our soul that yearns for this reality. To trade a burnt out life for the unforced rhythms of grace and find real rest!

Are you ready to trade in a burnt out life for the unforced rhythms of grace? Here's two simple options to start your journey:

1. Check out Pastor Martin's most recent message series 'Living In Alignment' in its entirety and discover how you can align with God's plan for your life and find inner peace, your life-path, and deeper faith. Or if you prefer getting the audio, search for Gateway Alliance Church on iTunes or Google Play Music.

2. Check out the book 'Soul Care' and start to discover the fault lines in your life and 7 transformation principles for a healthy soul. Or better, join us this Wednesday at 630pm as we continue our Soul Care seminar. It isn't to late to jump in. You can get more details here or just show up at 630pm tomorrow at Gateway. 

Is There More To Life Than This?

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Jesus made an audacious claim about what His followers could expect taking a step towards a journey with Him: "I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." John 10:10.

Seems to good to be true. Almost like something you would see on a motivational poster but not real life or those scam ads that pop up on your news feed. But the secret to finding this dream life is that it isn't a passive thing. When you read the stories about Jesus He constantly challenges His listeners to action. This is because living the dream life is about getting aligned with the ultimate plan that God has for you and start walking the journey down the path that is set for you.

Too often we are out of sync with what God intended for us and we need a re-alignment to get ourselves back in sync with our life purpose and when we are living our life purpose that is when we can start to learn to love our lives, live in our passions, and see get in the rhythm of abundance that God wants for us. "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10

So the million dollar question is this: 
How do I start to walk this dream life? How do I get in sync with God's rhythm and purpose in my life? There is no one size fits all in walking this life and discovering God's plan for you BUT knowing where to start doesn't need to be complicated and you don't need to walk this journey alone. Here are some super easy and exciting opportunities to take your next step and do it with people who will support you and cheer you on:

  • NEXT event: Our NEXT event is happening this Sunday right after the service and Childcare and Food is provided. If you are not sure where to start and what next steps are available, we have our NEXT event this coming Sunday. At a NEXT event you will experience what Gateway is all about, our vision & mission, and all the different ways you can CONNECT with us, GROW in meaningful community towards a fulfilled life and faith, and SERVE by discovering your gifts, talents, and purpose to impact others, our city, and the world.

  • Alpha: Maybe you still have questions about Jesus, Faith, and Life and you would love a place to explore those questions in a safe, inviting, and exciting environment while getting to meet some new people. Alpha starts on Sept 17th at 630pm (supper provided) at Gateway. Sign up today or come to the NEXT event to learn more and meet one of the leaders. 

  • Baptism: Maybe have started your journey, made a decision to follow Jesus and you are looking for a simple and practical way to take it to the next level. Baptism is a great way to take action and go public with your faith. This is an amazing experience and one of the main steps that Jesus commanded us in following Him. Sign up for Baptism and discover what it is all about.

  • Online Bible Study: We will be doing a weekly Facebook Live bible study on Learning to Love Your Life (A Study through the book of 1 John). The first session will be tomorrow (Thursday) at 8pm at fb.com/gatewayedmonton.

Have You Ever Felt Alone?

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Have you ever felt alone? When I ask the question, I know it resonates with you because it resonates with me. I am confident that every one of us can think of a time that we have felt alone, isolated, and possibly discouraged. Maybe you felt that last week or something you feel on an ongoing basis. Though solitude is good for the soul, isolation is not.

We have this ingrained desire for meaningful connection and relationships. because it was built into us. God, Himself is relational in his own nature. This is one of the beautiful realities of the mysteries of God existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is this perfect harmony and community in this relationship that we call the three-in-one. This same identity for community was imprinted on us as the human race. In Genesis 2:18 God utters these words, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.". 

This is the first time in the creation story that God says something isn't good. Every other time, He stops, looks, and it says that "God saw that is was good". You see, in God's perfect plan we were never meant to walk this journey of life alone but connection, relationships, and community were intrinsic parts of creation and our existence. 

The Remedy To Isolation Is Connection!
There is this curious verse in the book of Hebrews that says, "not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing." (Hebrews 10:25) It almost seems shoehorned in the rest of the chapter. Like this blip or a rabbit trail that the author of Hebrews throws in there to make a disjointed point. It is placed in a chapter that starts with the truth about the cross, Jesus' sacrifice, and what is all means for us (Heb 10:1-18) and is written in the second section titled 'Call To Persevere In Faith' (Heb 10:19-39). It is no mistake that this verse is here and truly isn't a blip, afterthought, or rabbit trail but is a key ingredient to both walking out this faith journey and persevering through life. And what is this key? Community. 

I encourage you to read the whole chapter in its fullness but even if we take some of the few verses surrounding it, you get a fuller picture: "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. (Heb 10:23-35)

Now, let me be honest for a second. What I am not saying is that the moment you join a group that all your life problems will fade away but what I believe this passage is reminding us is that life can be hard and journeying it with others helps us not only persevere but cling to the hope that brings real freedom, success, and victory along the way. 

I Want That Kind Of Community!
When I asked the original question I was sure it resonated with you but I also suspect that the idea of this remedy of meaninful community also resonates with you. But you are also wondering where to start. Taking a step towards community can be scary. Let us take the guessing game out of it all and help make the whole process as simple and enjoyable as possible. We believe that life is better when you can walk it with other people. Here are three simple ways you can start towards getting connected and journey life with others:

1. NEXT EVENTS
Our NEXT EVENTS are the main place where you can find out how to get more connected and take a NEXT STEP and get connected, meet some new people, and engage meaninful community. This could be the first step towards walking life with others and grow deeper in your faith.

Our next NEXT event is on September 16th right after the service. This is not simply a information session but a place to experience what we are talking about. There will be food, fun, and easy ways for you to decide how you want to take a next step. Click here to find out more and sign up. 

2. Community Night & Alpha
We have two mid-week events starting up this fall that will be held at the church. These are both great opportunities to meet new people, make meaningful connections in a relaxed environment, and grow deeper in your faith. If you are looking for a simple step to start, this may just be it. 

Learn more about Alpha and our Community Nights. Both these groups will be highlighted at our NEXT EVENT including getting to meet their leaders and others who will join them this season.

3. Loads Of Groups/Events/Seminars To Choose From
We have quite a few other groups, events, and communities that you can check out. Our full list of groups and events can be found here. If we can help you in this journey, answer any questions, help make a first contact, or whatever, don't hesitate to reach out. You can email me at drake@gateway.ac or text at 5877720493.

Could Such A Small Thing Really Make Such A Big Difference?

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One of the most powerful acts that Jesus ever did was a simple act of service. This act changed the state of reality in the disciple's lives and, in turn, impacted the rest of the world!

"Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him." (John 13:3-5)

Notice the contrast between Jesus knowing He had complete authority and command over everything and his act of servitude. The Bible calls Jesus the King over the creation and this King chooses to serve! What an impactful image we get and it was so impactful that some of the disciples almost couldn't handle it (John 13:5-10)! Why this is a contrast isn't because it is outside of Jesus' nature but something that was unheard of in the culture the disciples were used to. Kings did not serve. 

This action on its own, I am sure, would have impacted the lives of the disciples but Jesus also gives them a command: "Do as I have done to you. " (John 13:15). The disciples left that experience different--marked by the simple yet profound act from Jesus. Combined with the experience of seeing Jesus die, resurrect, and ascend helped set the tone for this movement Jesus started in these men. 

A Simple Thing Can Really Make Such A Difference
Maybe you are asking the question "What can I really do?" Let me encourage you that it is in the simplest things and small acts of kindness that the hand of God and the Spirit of Jesus is found! Ask God where He can use you... where you already are. Let Him lead you to the situations and circumstances that the love of Jesus can be shown in the big and the small. Maybe your small act of kindness could be the world change in someone's life.

Where To Start?
Maybe you are wondering where you can start. What opportunities can I get on board with to make an impact in someone's life? What if you had the opportunity to impact someone's life and it cost you nothing (other than a little bit of your time)?

If you are looking for a great opportunity to serve others and be a part of something that will see a huge impact in the lives of people, consider joining our Fall Kick-Off team. This is a great one time opportunity to serve people in a simple way while also having a huge impact. 

Check out some of the different teams that are available and sign up today.

What If One Small Action Could Change Someone's Life?

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Jesus speaks one of the simplest yet most powerful words in the life of the disciples he called that would change their reality forever: "Follow Me!" (Matt 4:19; John 1:43). I am sure many of you have heard these stories before but maybe what you don't realize is that many of the disciples were introduced to Jesus through someone else (including Peter). 

Peter's brother Andrew is introduced to Jesus through John the Baptist and the first thing he does is tell his brother Peter: (John 1:41-41) Not only this but Peter, while he is fishing, hears a message delivered by Jesus to a crowd of onlookers and shortly after is witness to Jesus' miracle of the catch of fish! It is at this point that Jesus says "Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men" and Peter leaves his nets and follows Jesus. (Luke 5:1-11) Shortly after Philip meets Jesus and through his interaction, his life is changed and immediately tells Nathanael where he experiences Jesus in a supernatural way and as well is changed forever! (John 1:43-51).

A Simple Action Changed The Lives Of So Many
This simple action was an invitation to meet Jesus. So many people's lives were changed when they met Jesus and couldn't help but share it with everyone! "You need to meet this amazing person named Jesus!"
What is amazing is we still have the same power in this simple action. What would happen if your simple invitation could change the life of someone you know? 

Fall-Kick Off is coming up quick and we are making it extremely easy to help empower you to change the life of someone you know with one simple action of an invitation. To help you with this we are asking every person to prayerfully consider who God is calling them to bring to Fall Kick-Off. All you need to do is invite them and let God do the rest!

Two Ways You Can Invite
1. There will be an invite on every seat on August 12th. Make sure to grab at least one invite (or even better, three). Even if you don't have someone in mind, keep that invite with you and let God show you who you could tell and you will have the invite to give that will have all the information needed. 

2. Share on social media the website www.fallkickoff.ca and spread the word about this event. The basic details are already up (including the service and the party afterward). As we get closer to the day more and more stuff will get updated on that site. 

Remember, your small action could change the life of someone! So, the question is: Who Are You Saving A Seat For?