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THE CONNECTION: LEADERSHIP EDITION
"Quarterly newsletter connecting you
to what God is doing
through Connect City."

Inside this edition: Receive encouragement during the corona virus shut down and read Connect City's official statement on Covid - 19. Also, get updated on some exciting things God is doing here at Connect City through our young leaders. 
Winter 2020

CORONA VIRUS UPDATE 

I have decided to share a favorite picture I have with you as an encouragement to you as I start off this announcement from Connect City concerning the Corona Virus (Covid - 19). It's a picture I took of my friend's chair while I was visiting him. Now you might think it is strange that I would post a picture of a chair concerning the Covid - 19 situation we are currently in but I believe you will be encouraged by this picture.  For me I often refer back to this picture to remind me of where and in who my anchor rests when the storms begin to blow. If you look closely at this picture you will notice a very well worn Bible, a red note book, a water bottle and a pair of glasses.  This is a sacred space. A place where you can encounter the living God through prayer, contemplation and inspired Scripture.  This is where God speaks, fills us up and envelopes us with his strength, love and wisdom. This is the place we need to be daily and it is where we will be renewed and revived for the crazy days ahead. So, join with me and our Connect staff as we commit to more time in prayer and meditation in the days to come and always remember that God is present with you 24 hours a day for; "in Him we live and move and have our being". - Acts 17:28.  
CONNECT CITY OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT CONCERNING CORONA VIRUS

Dear beloved friends of Connect City,

I send this letter to you with a heavy yet hopeful heart. As all of you undoubtedly know our world is going through a pandemic. In these challenging times we are confident that whatever happens we have a loving God that is still at work among us. In dark times the light of Jesus burns brighter. We have the opportunity to shine the love of Jesus and lead like Christ by lovingly serving our city during this crisis. I am thankful for people like you that can shine brightly.

STAFF SELF QUARANTINES
Right before we heard about the seriousness of COVID – 19 our staff at Connect City attended a conference with over 5000 participants in the USA. Now that we are back home, we as a staff are honouring our government’s request to voluntarily self – quarantine ourselves. We want to be responsible towards others by not possibly infecting anyone we come into contact with. As of now none of us are showing any signs of the virus but we do not want to take any chances and put others at risk since we serve in large population groupings.
 
CONNECT CITY MINISTRIES DURING COVID - 19
It is difficult for us to self – quarantine as we love being with our people. However, we do accept this reality we find ourselves in and will continue serving Jesus and our people as innovatively as possible. Along these lines we plan to utilize social media as much as possible including using technology like ZOOM to host large online gatherings, church services, etc and we will also utilize Facebook and various texting apps, etc. Our staff are also making it a priority to connect with each one of their people weekly via social media. It is important to check in on each one individually to see how they are doing, to pray with them and to make sure they are mentally healthy during this time. One of our staff just spent over an hour and half talking to one of his people over FaceTime. Our staff is also using their time wisely to plan ahead regarding future programs like our summer camps and are taking time to reignite their spiritual disciplines in our walk with God. We also plan on staying in touch with each other frequently through texting and ZOOM.
 
GOD AT WORK IN OUR MIDST
I want to let you know that we are seeing God at work among us. As our staff are forced to the sidelines from direct person to person interaction with their people, we are seeing others step up to the plate of leadership. We are witnessing our people caring for one another by checking in on each other, helping deliver groceries when needed, etc. We have also seen some of our people lead Bible studies, etc while we have been absent from being a personal presence to our people. In Warden the youth have told our leaders how much they miss them and how they love the community that was meeting regularly through the Warden Underground.  The people at SoulHouse feel the same way.
 
NEEDS: PRAY AND SERVE
At this time, we ask you to help in the following ways: 
  • Pray for our health. We want to be healthy so we can be with our people during this time.
  • Support our ministry. In these uncertain days we realize that current donations that help support the various ministries we operate could be negatively affected. Please continue to financially support our ministry, programs and staff.  If you have yet to be a supporter of Connect City please prayerfully consider joining our support team at this time. 
Thanks again for all your support. If any of you want to speak to any of us about your personal needs at this time we are here for you.  If you need to speak to me please feel free to contact me at colin@connectministries.org. You are all in our prayers. 

God bless,
 
Rev. Colin McCartney
TRAINING YOUNG LEADERS 
So, impressed by the young leaders God is sending our way. 
When my children were growing up I would often warn them concerning who they kept company with. One of the lines I would tell them was; "Show me your friends and I will show you your future."  My children are grown up now and I am glad they chose their friends wisely.     

Having a positive peer group is important at any age and it is why we at Connect base everything we do on relationships. Our relationship with Jesus must pour into our relationships with each other and as we journey life together in community we quickly discover that Jesus' life flows through our relationships as he manifests himself in the body of Christ. 

As Connect City grows we desire to build a thriving community of young leaders who will create an amazing future together for themselves, their cities and the church.  Currently, we are doing this right here in Toronto calling leaders to follow Jesus together through a house church movement, government housing church plant and serving refugee children and their families.  We have also made ourselves available to a wonderful young woman in Kitchener to journey with her as she works with precious young leaders whose parents came to Canada as immigrants. At the same time we are also excited to work with our wonderful family - the Mennonite Church Eastern Canada - to help plan and run a youth leadership conference in November called Inspire.  

As I work with young leaders in Toronto as well as outside of our city I am continually impressed by their passion for Jesus and their desire to be filled by Christ and serve their world. I am convinced that as we invest and empower young Christian leaders and let them lead their way, God will do new things through them that might look different then our traditional ways. The questions before us older Christian leaders are these; "Are we willing to empower young people and let them lead their way? Are we willing to let go of our older wine-skins so they can be the new wine - skin full of the Good News of Jesus?"

Please continue to pray and support our work with young leaders. They are not only the church of today but also the church of tomorrow. What we do reminds me of what I told my children about their friends for it also applies to the church today.  "Show me your young leaders and I will show you your future." 
TRUST IN GOD
Hands extended in prayer for a young man in need of God's help in Warden. 
Let me ask you a question; "When was the last time you were so desperate for God that you actually received prayer by your peers?" In my comfortable middle class life it is so easy for me to take God and his provisions for granted. This is not the case for many of the people we serve at SoulHouse, Warden Underground and our refugee families. In this way they have so much more then I do. They have an ever present trust in God for their safety and provision. Their circumstances have put them in a place where they are drawn very close to God. This is why I love this picture of one of our young leaders receiving prayer by his peers. It reveals a lot to me about the spiritual maturity our people have, both young and old, as seen in their humble dependence on God. It is also why I am so blessed to learn from them each and every day.

So, take a lesson from our people and renew your relationship with your Father knowing that; "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." - James 1:17 
SEE HEAR LOVE
Judith McCartney (Far right) appearing on the show; "See Hear Love" 

As you know one of the priorities we hold tightly to at Connect City is developing leaders. As we have examined Christian leadership we have noticed a landscape that is heavily tilted towards white male leaders. This has to change. If the body of Christ is to truly function in unity and effectiveness we must open the doors of leadership to include youth, people of colour and women. Connect City is committed to making this happen and this is why Judith McCartney worked hard in getting her Masters in Arts concentrating in Leadership.  

It is so good to have Judith lead SoulHouse church while also helping in training our current staff and developing a training path for young female leaders to join us.  Having come to Canada as a child from Indonesia via Holland, Judith has the experience, gifts and background, to identify well with our diverse movement we are developing here at Connect City. Please continue to pray for her as she takes on the dual responsibilities of a church pastor and leadership trainer.
THANK - YOU LIVING WATER CHURCH:    THE FAMILY OF GOD IS DIVERSE

This past February some of our young people from our church in Scarborough were invited by Living Water Church to spend a weekend in New Hamburg Ontario. It was a wonderful weekend of experiencing life on the farm as our youth rode horses, milked cows, enjoyed great food and made some new friends. I want to give a special thank - you to Pastor Tim Snyder and Living Water Fellowship for being a tremendous host to our youth. This church has supported our ministry financially, through food donations and hosting the Warden Underground for our annual retreat. Thanks again for being part of our Connect City family. 
WE CAN'T DO WHAT WE DO WITHOUT YOU!
Help us build leaders in our city who will lead simple churches to be beacons of light in the darkness of our urban neighbourhoods. 

Jesus said he is the light of the world and told us to shine brightly for him through him living in us;
"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:16

With your help we seek to shine the light of Jesus in our city by being the body of Christ planted throughout neighbourhoods in simple, "New Testament" type churches through hospitality, kindness & Spirit - filled love for Jesus & others. 
 
We don't have high tech programs or expensive buildings to maintain but focus on people through loving mission & nurturing relationships meeting in homes, community centers or any other place that is welcoming to people. We envision that one day we will see hundreds of simple churches spreading throughout our city as beacons of light amidst the darkness & despair that is present in far too many neighbourhoods. This is why we are serious about building young leaders to build simple inner - city churches that participate in the progress of the Gospel in government housing projects & beyond. 
SUPPORT CONNECT CITY
Connect City is a faith - based organization that trusts God to provide for our financial needs through people like you. Please consider supporting Connect City and the various ministries we operate. Just click on the green button above and follow instructions or send cheques to the address below. God bless. 
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27 Toynbee Trail
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Connect City · 27 Toynbee Trail · Toronto, Ontario M1E 1E8 · Canada

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