“We are less than six weeks away from the upcoming 2017 FCA National Convention and are so excited for what is ahead of us!” writes Daniel Johnson, Associate Pastor at Gracepoint Gospel Fellowship, the convention host church.
This year’s convention theme is “Out of the Overflow” and has heightened expectations for a time of refreshing and encouragement. Johnson continues, “Our desire is that when all is said and done, there would be an overflow of the Spirit’s work in our lives that would bless the places where God has called us to labor.”
The convention will kick off with a banquet at the DoubleTree Hotel in Nanuet, New York, on Tuesday, April 25th. The keynote speaker at the banquet is Brett Hollis, an FCA pastor who will share a message you won’t want to miss. Good food for the evening should fill you both physically and spiritually.
But that’s just the beginning! “We know God is going to speak to us in a mighty way throughout the week,” says Johnson, “as we hear from Pastor Jim Cymbala, Senior Pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle and Pastor Al Toledo, Lead Pastor of Chicago Tabernacle.” Many voices from within the FCA will also minister during the convention, including Pastor Stephen Zarlengo, Pastor David Rice, and Pastor Daniel Johnson.
The conference sessions will be take place at Gracepoint Gospel Fellowship in New City, New York, just 20 miles north of “one of the greatest cities in the world, New York City,” claims Johnson. “Come early or stay late to take in all the sites spring in New York has to offer.”
He points out that the planning committee has secured an amazing rate with the local DoubleTree for the week of convention—just $105 per night for a single or double room, including breakfast. “So don’t delay,” writes Johnson. “Register and book your room today before they fill up. And if you know someone who has yet to register, give them a call and encourage them. This is an FCA Convention you are not going to want to miss!”
For convention details and reservations, click here.
A major shift has come to the FCA landscape in Manitoba over the past seven years, seen in the growing number of First Nations churches and ministers joining our Fellowship. Increasing numbers are sensing that the FCA is a good fit for their ministries, and they are grateful to join a fellowship in heart-felt relationships rather than to be connected by control.
Winnipeg has been called “the Heart of the Continent.” Sadly, it is a heart often fractured and broken along racial and ethnic lines. A recent cover of Maclean’s stated that “Canada has a bigger race problem than America, and it’s ugliest in Winnipeg.”
The city’s considerable First Nations population plays an important part in the city’s makeup. Some 70,000 residents (about 11%) of Winnipeg are of First Nations descent, vastly exceeding the national average of 4.3 percent.
So here is the heart of the nation, Winnipeg, fractured and broken along ethnic and racial lines, with the greatest pain felt in the hearts of the aboriginal people, the host people of the land.
Could it be that these places of greatest pain may be destined to become places of greatest healing and reconciliation? Jesus said, “He who believes on Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
Many Canadian believers have a growing sense that the First Nations, the deeply wounded descendants of the original inhabitants of the land, hold a key to release forgiveness and healing throughout our land. They feel that as the First Nations are healed, our land will be healed. Perhaps Canada, the only nation on earth with a leaf as a national emblem on its flag, can find a redemptive purpose. “The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations (ethnos)” (Revelation 22:2).
This can only happen in God’s Presence!
Much of this healing—and a desire to partner with other ethnic and people groups—has been taking place at First Nations Family Worship Centre (FNFWC), an FCA congregation in Winnipeg pastored by Raymond and Jean McLean.
FNFWC has seen a shift in its praise and worship over the past couple of years, moving more and more toward songs focused on our victory in Christ—lifting up the Name of Jesus as the King of kings and Lord of lords over all nations. This shift has not come without some resistance, but it is nonetheless pointing the way forward on a journey of transformation as they behold the beauty of the Lord (2 Cor. 2:18).
As a result, FNFWC felt impressed to bring in the new year of 2017 by hosting a special praise and worship event to bring together several congregations from different ethnic groups—to assemble together around the throne of grace. The sense has been that the greater the forgiveness, the greater the release of spiritual authority to bring healing to the nations.
More and more of the native youth, in particular, are entering into the high praises of God. Many of them think nothing of worshiping in a service for a couple of hours before the main message begins. Often people healed and born again during that worship. This rising generation is willing to move beyond the past to find their inheritance and destiny in the presence of God! As one of the songs declares, “There’s an army rising up that will break every chain!” The devil has tried to destroy this generation through abortion, domestic violence, and suicide. Yet God is preserving a “righteous seed” from among them that the devil has missed!
FNFWC hosted “SHIFT 2017” December 30 to January 1, with their own worship band and choir beginning each evening’s event. But they then mingled the anointing with other congregations and ethnic groups, sharing together in reconciliation and worship.
The first evening they hosted the worship team from Maranatha Niverville, a primarily white FCA congregation. The next evening, they welcomed the Tabernacle of the New Covenant, a Congolese congregation with roots in Africa.
Then, on New Year’s Day, one of the FCA Filipino congregations, the Followers of Christ Fellowship, joined with the First Nations. A powerful connection was made between the two. The Filipinos and the First Nations found that they have so much in common—especially that they both reveled in the presence of God, celebrating Jesus’ victory and Satan’s defeat! Their shared worship brought the anointing of the oil of joy to a new level, breaking bondages and bringing greater freedom to people!
This was a remarkable event considering most churches among some 40 different ethnic communities in Winnipeg have, until recently, stayed primarily within their ethno-centric and cultural boundaries. Few bridges have been built to other ethnic communities, even within the Body of Christ.
But the shift witnessed in First Nations Family Worship Centre is trending further. Among the 56,400 Filipinos in Winnipeg in 2011—8.7% of the city’s population, highest in any major Canadian city—are 20 congregations, 2 of which are FCA: Amazing Grace Ministry, pastored by Mercedes Coronia and the Followers of Christ Fellowship, pastored by Randy Casilian, which joined SHIFT 2017 at FNFWC.
There certainly was a shift in the atmosphere and a new level of anointing at the New Year’s gathering. Alisa Tina Moose, the main worship leader from the First Nations Family Worship Centre, described the event later: “What an awesome weekend at SHIFT 2017!… I’m just in awe of what God is doing!”
In Psalm 133, the Bible compares the unity of God’s people to the anointing oil flowing down from Aaron’s head to his beard and his body and even further—to the lower edge of his garments. What a picture of the anointing that flows from Christ, our Head, down to the different parts of his Body as they come together in unity!
The SHIFTweekend seemed like a small taste of what it will be like when the people from every tribe, nation, ethnicity, and language flow together and worship in one accord around the throne of God! He is building a “house of prayer for all the nations (ethnos)”—the hope for all of the nations (Mark 11:17). Jesus is the hope and the desire of all nations as “the glory of this latter house will be greater than of the former” (Haggai 2:7-9).
Dayle Johnson, 77, went to be with the Lord on January 3, 2017. For 20 years until May, 2016, he was pastor of the Full Gospel Fellowship in Bremerton, Washington.
As a young man attending Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Oregon, Dayle felt called to the ministry, specifically to minister to our nation’s servicemen. He spent 12 years active duty in the Navy and served several additional years in the reserves. Dayle remained committed to ministering to servicemen and their families, even while pastoring churches in several states. In between he served four hears as head chef at Camp Berachah, the FCA camp in Auburn, Washington, where he turned out delicious meals.
A special celebration of Dayle’s life will be held Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Full Gospel Fellowship, 4341 Division Avenue W., Bremerton, WA 98312.
Pray for Dayle’s family—his wife, Carolyn, his four children, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Read Dayle’s obituary or leave messages for the family by clicking HERE.
Does turning a page really make a difference? What makes turning the calendar from December to January such a significant event?
In reality, some things don’t change, of course. The sun rises and sets just about the same time as the day before; the weather and the season remain almost the same. So what is it that makes the new year different?
This year will mark a significant change for our U.S. political system as a person who has never before held public office is sworn in as president of the United States.
Turning the page will bring other changes as well. For many individuals and organizations, December 31st marks the end of the fiscal year. Reports and tax forms for 2016 will need to be filed soon.
Turning the page may, for some, also mark a time to start a new habit or discipline, whether spiritual or physical.
For members of the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies, the 2017 January 15th deadline to renew or list (if you’re new to the Fellowship or weren’t listed in 2016) is fast approaching. Today would be a great time to end procrastination and commit again to be part of a great family of churches and ministers.
Here’s a thought for the New Year: If a regular contribution to the FCA has not been part of your church budget, now is the time to begin. (The online registration forms tell how to do it.) Being part of the FCA is much like being a member of a local church: the more we engage with it, the more we invest our time and treasure in it, the more impact we will have—and the greater blessings we will enjoy.
If you haven’t yet started making plans, this is also a good time to mark your calendar for our annual convention April 25 – 28, 2017, hosted by Gracepoint Gospel Fellowship in New City, New York. Pastor Jim Cymbala from the Brooklyn Tabernacle will be one of our keynote speakers. I look forward to seeing you there.
Christmas came early in California for some of the most vulnerable, at-risk youth, thanks to FCA ministers Bob and Mona Davies, from Gem of the Valley Church in Wildomar, California. Every year for 16 years the Davies have been reaching out to children whose parent or parents are incarcerated.
This year more than 200 children were “adopted” by community volunteers recruited by the Davies for the annual Angel Tree® Christmas Party. Girls and boys, teens, preschoolers, and those between, Hispanics, whites, African Americans gathered for the uplifting event Sunday, December 11.
The Davies, who co-founded Community Outreach Ministry, work in conjunction with Prison Fellowship® to minister to prisoners as Jesus taught by helping their families. Community partners help them — local businesses, churches, clubs, and civic organizations. California Highway Patrol officers, sheriff’s cars, and firefighters also joined in the outreach. Children received gifts, climbed into fire trucks, and had their faces painted by volunteer teens. All the activities were intended to build relationships and trust.
“This partnership with the Angel Tree is especially important,” said Dave Fontneau, a retired Riverside County Sheriff’s Department captain. “We are obviously the ones doing the incarcerating and the kids see us in that light. This is one opportunity to show them we are there to help them and their families break the cycle of incarceration.”
The Angel Tree program allows incarcerated parents to sign up their children to receive Christmas gifts. The Davies work year-round to gather donations and gifts to be presented to local children of prisoners at the annual party.
Between 80 and 100 families are typically invited to the event each year. Besides the gifts and the fun, they hear the story of Christmas and enjoy a meal of spaghetti and meatballs. There also were gift bags for the children’s caregivers — mothers, fathers, grandparents, or others.