A Year of Intentional Discipleship
What does it mean to be a maturing disciple of Jesus? Join us as we explore intentional discipleship on Sunday mornings, and consider deepening the conversation by joining a 8-week community Bible experience group in the new year.
Marks of a Maturing Disciple sermon series
Listen to this fall's teaching series here. A maturing apprentice of Jesus engages rhythms of life to be with God, and is marked by a growing humility, ripening character and deepening influence – yet the transformation is Jesus' work.
Intentional Discipleship Brochure and Opportunities
Open the PDF brochure, or read on to see opportunities for this 2016-17 year.
We believe that the life of apprenticeship to Jesus Christ is the best life anyone can live.
For us it’s a priority to guide one another towards intentionally embracing and practicing all the rhythms of Jesus’ pattern or way of living. We seek to be transformed by God, one step at a time, so that we might love and live like Jesus. So that the fruit of the Holy Spirit would ripen in us—that our lives would overflow with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). So that we would be moved by God’s heart for each person and be able to respond in servant love.
May we invite you to join us in growing together and learning from Jesus? Read on for some of our spiritual formation opportunities.
Spiritual formation is another word for discipleship—following Jesus, step by step, in every facet of life. It’s the growth of our whole person by attentiveness to God’s word in Scripture, to our interior life with God, to our interactions with others in ordinary life, and to spiritual practices of the historic Christian church—all of which open us to the transforming work of Jesus’ Spirit.
Church is much more than coming and listening to someone with a microphone. Church happens whenever we gather in Jesus’ presence to ask questions and metabolize what we’re learning from each other and from God. It’s when we care for one another and discover the unique ways God has created us to serve in our communities. Sundays are a great time to come together, worship and learn. But if we leave it at that, we’re missing out on so much.
Some of us may think we are dissatisfied with Christianity, but perhaps we are actually discontented with something else—our own grasp of the Christian life. As Alister McGrath writes, “For most of us, we have scraped the surface and nothing more, yet we mistakenly believe our superficial encounter represents the [good news of Jesus’ kingdom] in its totality.”
Bible Studies and Small Groups
Discussion Groups: Community Bible Experience
Read the entire New Testament of the Bible together in a bookclub style over 8 weeks during Lent, winter 2017.
Sign up for these 8 week small groups for the season of Lent by emailing the office at email@example.com!
In our community, small groups offer a variety of ways to learn about God and Scripture, to grow in faith, and connect with others on the journey of life with Jesus. Being involved in a small group helps develop a sense of community and provides a place to be known and encouraged in our life with Jesus and one another. Sometimes entering a new group can be kind of like an arranged marriage 🙂 but we encourage you to give it a chance.
Small groups are offered regularly, on various topics and with various durations. Along with specific Bible study and prayer groups, recently we have facilitated spiritual formation book studies on Stephen Smith’s The Jesus Life and Peter Scazzero’sEmotionally Healthy Spirituality (listen to that sermon series).
Our vision includes seeing people being transformed into ever maturing disciples of Jesus. VantagePoint3 (a spiritual formation resourcing center) offers unique, intensive processes that encourage helpful growth along this way. The first year process, The Journey, explores questions of intimacy with God, identity as a beloved child of God, and one’s unique sense of calling within God’s story. It integrates discipleship, spiritual formation and leadership development in a holistic, relationship-based process with weekly gatherings, study, discussion, personal narrative, mentoring, and retreats.
We also plan to walk through the second year process, A Way of Life, which builds on the experience of The Journey, inviting participants to a fuller practice of a life attentive to God, a deeper sense of God’s unique calling in our lives, and a way of structuring our lives toward a lifelong apprenticeship with Jesus. We seek to regularly offer VP3 small groups. To learn more about VP3, their resources and processes, check out their website: vantagepoint3.org
If you are sensing a desire to pursue these kinds of questions within the context of a small group, please contact Pastor Deb.
Every few years we offer Confirmation, an opportunity for teens to dig deeper into God's Word and grow in their life-long journey as Jesus’ disciple. Using the ECC’s own "The Journey" curriculum, students learn the foundational beliefs of Christian faith, the story of the Bible, and growing pains of the Church throughout history.
During the two year journey, students spend time working through their journals, reflecting on their learning, and coming together to dive deeper into God’s word. After students have completed the process, they will be given the opportunity to participate in Confirmation Sunday—a day where we celebrate and affirm their accomplishment.
Church Membership & Seminar
Ever wondered how our community governs itself and makes collective decisions? Are you deciding that this is the church in which you’d like to put down roots and invest?
To be a member of our church is a public commitment that we are living in community together and seeking to embody unity in our beliefs, values, and purpose as College Park Covenant, through expressions of love and service.
To become a member of College Park Covenant, a person needs to partake in a Membership Seminar, meet with a couple members of our leadership council, then be affirmed at a congregational meeting.
We invite you to join us for our Membership Seminar, offered once a year. It’s just 4 hours on a Sunday afternoon to eat a meal together, to hear about our history as a community, our connection to the Evangelical Covenant Church in Canada, to share personal stories of faith and life, and to join the conversation of where we will head together in the future.
1 On 1 Discipleship
New to the journey? Looking to grow deeper? This is a great way to take steps - to meet intentionally with another follower of Jesus. Many of us hang out in pairs, seeking to journey with God together and intentionally grow our lives as spiritual beings following Jesus. Walking alongside another, together with Jesus, is one of the healthiest ways to be shaped and transformed in his image. Ask Pastor Deb for more info.
Silence & Solitude Days: Listening with the Ears of My Heart
Each year we assist our people to get away for some quiet solitude time with God and pay attention to what God is showing us in our hearts. The invitation is to make space for God. Queen’s House Retreat Centre is one venue, with its private rooms, nice places to linger or walk along the river. Guidance is available if desired, with some preparation dialogue, an optional guide for time alone with God, and a debrief conversation.
Regular one on one meetings with a trained spiritual director is a potent a way to foster our journey of growing closer to God. Spiritual direction is “the simple gift of sacred presence offered to another, providing a gentle but tenacious encouragement to open fully to God’s loving Presence and to co-discern with that person God’s activity in every aspect of life.” —soulstream.org
Week of Prayer
Along with other regular times of prayer, we participate in the Covenant’s tradition of a week of prayer at the beginning of every year, with guides for personal prayer, reflection and study, as well as prayer gatherings and a 24 hour prayer vigil. Following Jesus’ way is not possible without learning to say thank you, to ask for help, to practice listening to God’s voice. See prayer resources from the ECC, or sign up for weekly prayer emails from the Canadian Covenant family of churches.
At College Park we celebrate the historic diversity of the body of Christ and recognize both practices of believer and infant baptism in our community. In either case, our pastors offer classes or a series of intentional conversations to prepare those wanting to be baptized, or to have their child baptized.
For the believer, baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality that we have turned from the old life of sin to a new life in Jesus’ kingdom; that we are publicly identifying with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection; and that we are openly joining those who follow Jesus Christ. We also offer a ceremony to re-affirm one's baptismal vows.
When parents bring their child for baptism, they acknowledge in the sacrament, God’s promise and the unmerited gift of God’s redeeming grace. Its emphasis is not on our response, but on what God has already graciously done for us through Jesus Christ.
Our Beliefs, Purpose & Values
Listen for what God's Spirit may be stirring in your heart as you read about our beliefs as a Covenant church, and our purpose and values. Access a wide range of study resources about the reliability of the Bible and how Jesus invites us to live into the reality of God's kingdom today.
Weekend Workshops & Events
Spending time together away from our normal contexts offers us a chance to learn, reflect and grow in ways we might overlook during our everyday routines. Here are some events we’ve hosted recently:
Peacemaking In the Neighbourhood: Engaging Your Muslim Neighbour—What Would Jesus Do?
We spent a weekend with Covenant peace ambassador Andy Larsen, exploring our relationships with Muslim neighbours, coworkers and friends, including a visit to a mosque in our neighbourhood and a screening of Andy’s documentary on peacemaking in Israel/Palestine. (listen to Andy's sermon)
Listen Up! with Brad Jersak
A weekend conference about listening to God. Listening prayer is absolutely crucial in our lives if we are following Jesus. Brad's teaching was down to earth, interactive, practical and included lots of practice over the weekend. (listen to Brad's teaching)
Advocates for Victims of Abuse Training Weekend with Covenant counsellor Karen Bayley
We learned about being an advocate for those who have in the past or are currently experiencing domestic violence, a tragic and common story for many. We were trained in how to ensure our church community is a safe place for those who have suffered abuse and were introduced to local Saskatoon support organizations.