a Celebration of... | June 2023

Hi Redwood Park Family, Shawn here (Pastor of Worship & Communciation Arts)!  It’s amazing that we’re already halfway through 2023.  It’s even more amazing to me that I am now experiencing my 2nd Thunder Bay summer!  What a beautiful time of year in such a beautiful place.  And as much as I look forward to exploring all of the hikes and trails, biking to work, taking in live music at the waterfront with my family, and all of the other joys of this season in Thunder Bay, I also want to take a moment to reflect with you on the faithfulness of God over this last month.

a Celebration of Baptism

Just a couple of weeks ago, we celebrated with THREE people - Nicole, Jessica, and Andrew - as they were baptized!  Baptism is such a beautiful and significant act of walking in Jesus’ footsteps, and following him into the waters; to be buried with him and raised to new life.  To hear the stories of God’s patient and loving work in the lives of Nicole, Jessica, and Andrew and to watch them respond with surrender was such a celebration.  If you missed their stories or even just want to hear them again, you can find them on our Youtube channel.  (And if you’d like to learn more about baptism, visit our website - we are currently planning a lake baptism service for the end of August).

Child Dedication & Family Service

The same week we baptized Nicole, Jessica and Andrew, we also got to dedicate 5 children - to celebrate their presence in our church, and to commit, both parents and community,  to gather around and to walk alongside these families to help these kids grow up knowing the love and friendship of God - Father, Son, and Spirit. These kids aren’t merely the future of the church, they are the church here and now!  This was something we got to practice and celebrate just one week later…

It was a delight to welcome the kids, not only into the “grown-up” service as participants but also as leaders. We had 13 kids & students from early grade school to high school take part in leading us in singing (including two of my kids! #prouddad), reading scripture, and offering words of blessing and benediction as part of our worship gathering together. We also celebrated and prayed for our grade 8 and grade 12 grads as they enter this next stage of their journeys.

I’m so grateful to be a part of a church that celebrates and seeks to include and integrate all of the ages and generations into the worshiping life of the Body of Christ!

a Celebration of Scholarships & Bursaries

Many of our students are preparing for their studies in the fall, and two, in particular, have received news for us to celebrate. Sophia Downton is one of our high school students who is graduating grade 12 this year. She is involved in our community in many ways, including regularly serving in our Redwood Kids Ministry. Sophia is heading to Lakehead University in the fall and has been awarded the Next Steps Scholarship through Power to Change. This scholarship is awarded to students who are participating in their church community and actively taking steps forward in their faith. We are so proud of Sophia and thankful she is a part of our Redwood community.

And, as many of you know, Katelyn Condon, our Redwood Kids & Jr. High Pastor, is beginning her Master's studies in the fall at Ambrose University. Katelyn, just this week, was awarded a scholarship through Ambrose that is given to people who show desire and potential in the art of preaching. In her own words: "I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity I have had in my time at Redwood to explore, practice, and grow in my ability to preach. It's through my time here that I have come to discover my passion and calling of preaching, and it is affirming and exciting for me to receive this scholarship." We are so proud of you, Katelyn!

I’m grateful to be a part of a church that walks with and equips people of all ages to discover and develop their God-given gifts and sends them out in hope and joy to grow further... Oh yeah, and let's not forget how we sent out Brian and Marla Dunn at the beginning of June, and how we just heard from Brannoc who has returned from YWAM and is looking towards going back, and many other things I am probably forgetting right now... too many wonderful things to list in a single blog post.  God is at work and oh so good!

Thank you so much for your faithfulness to invest in the impact our church is having in the lives of those we have the privilege to serve as we join God in his work to see all people reconciled to God, to themselves, to each other, and to the earth.