2018 Nov - Message from Pastor Lionel Lam

The weather has turned chilly earlier in the season this year. We see the maple leaves falling as time flies by quickly. We have spent almost 5 years now with everyone. Every Thursday, we all get together to learn from and encourage each other. We will walk through the rest of our glory days of life together; in the love and kindness of Jesus. People have worked hard to arrange all the activities. I sincerely thank you all for your support and encouragement in the past. In addition to the mission given to us by the Heavenly Father, your active participation and acceptance is the strength for us to persevere in our work.

 

There are indeed many things that we need to be thankful for. Such as when we see some elders pushing their wheelchair or walker around with a grateful smile. Knowing their past life stories made me respect them whole-heartedly. Some members, with their grateful hearts, have become volunteers serving in different capacities, such as helpers, workshop speakers, and even instructors. The brothers and sisters of our sister churches show no partiality by sharing with us gracefully and serving the community with their precious expertise and time. 

Of course, we must be thankful for benefits, but it is our nature to be ungrateful or forget to be so at times. For example, sometimes when our selfless workshop speakers share their valuable knowledge and present us with some gifts or handouts, we would grab them all instantly, before even saying a word of thanks, leaving our hosts and their respected speakers embarrassed and puzzled! I wish that we would be more thankful, and our grateful hearts can show through naturally, in all our behaviours!

Even if we don't gain any tangible benefits, we can still be thankful as many things that are beyond our knowledge and control. Who knows, maybe there are better and brighter things in our unknown future in the end? We have been gathering in Serena Gundy Park for an outing in the last two years, and have experienced beautiful weather that God has blessed us with after listening to our prayers. The day before each outing, there was forecast for rain the next day, and the time that the rain was predicted to fall would change from time to time. Some people worried that the grass would be too wet for our activities, and some, out of their good hearts, proposed to cancel the outing, otherwise we would be responsible for the outcome. However, both days turned out to be wonderful, bright, sunny and with a comfortable breeze. As a result, during our prayer of the day, in addition to thanking the Father for the good weather, we also asked God to give us the ability to respond to unexpected events, and to remain grateful in the face of unanswered prayers. Because the bible says, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20a)

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2018 Nov - Message from Church Intern Mina Feng

The Community Service outing gave me a lot of pleasant surprises and good memories. The day before the event, it rained all day. However, on the day of the event, the sun shone brightly. The trees, grass and flowers appeared to be more vibrant after being washed afresh by the rain. We could only admire the wonders of the Great Creator. Over 100 people attended the outing. We all sang, danced, and played together in the shades under the trees in the sun. We also enjoyed a hearty and delicious lunch together. We were able to meet many friends. In a relaxed and happy atmosphere, my heart was also at peace. It was really rare to have such a wonderful time!   

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2018 Nov - Sharing from Tai Chi Class member

I have attended the Cantonese language Tai Chi classes almost every Thursday since May 2017. I am not Christian, I am not Chinese, I do not speak or understand Cantonese, and I did not know Tai Chi. One of the participants who did an exercise class with me at another location, upon hearing that I was interested in Tai Chi, invited me to try a class at her church. I decided to approach it as a means of keeping my mind fit: using the right side of my brain to follow the instructions without understanding the words. It turned out to be a wonderful experience.

The NYCBC Tai Chi teacher is obviously a world class expert. However, even more important, the ethos of the NYCBC community services program is genuine; strangers are made truly welcome, with no overt expectation that they will become Christian and/or members of the church. Every church member clearly, and simply, wants the best for the newcomer; my wife and I were overwhelmed at the royal treatment we received when we came to the Chinese New Year party. Thank you, and may you continue, as it says in the Bible, Isaiah 49:6 to be a “light unto the nations”.

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2018 Jul - Sharing from Praise Dance Class member

I have been in Canada for a few years now, and I am really grateful for what I have received. Looking back, I had a very difficult time adjusting in the beginning. The life style here was too quiet, it was not vibrant at all. There were no places for people to mingle with others. Our daily activities were routine and boring! 

It was during this lonely time that a friend invited me to the Community Services of NYCBC.  I was attracted immediately when I first arrived and felt at home seeing the smiling faces of the people here. Their friendliness and kindness made me feel welcome! I joined the Praise Dance Class right away. 

After a year's practice and under the patient and detailed instruction of the teacher, I not only feel fit, but also made lots of friends. It is really great! I am grateful that the Church has given us this opportunity to learn and keep fit with a comfortable environment and very comprehensive services.

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2018 Jul - Sharing from Tai Chi Class / Baduanjin Class member

I have been participating in the North York (Chinese) Baptist Church Community activities for over three years. I am a very serious person and actually spent time observing two classes before deciding to join. The classes are well organized and very orderly. The venue is spacious and clean, making every participant feel welcome and comfortable. I respect the teachers very much because they are all highly skilled, whether they are teaching Baduanjin or Tai Chi. Furthermore, they take great care in teaching, giving clear instructions and showing no partiality. They patiently correct students’ gestures, movements and pace. I benefited a lot here. I used to have pain problems with my hands. Acupunctures and massages did not help. However, with the Baduanjin exercises, this problem was resolved.  

Every Thursday, I arrive at the Church 30 minutes before class and get ready to enjoy the day. Unfortunately, for various reasons, some students fail to come on time, affecting the flow of the class. As a participant, I hope that everyone will cherish the excellent services that the Church provides by practicing diligently at home, so that we can all maximize the benefits from the Baduanjin class and the Tai Chi class. Hopefully, the careful teaching from the instructors would not be wasted.   
Praise  

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2018 Jul - Message from Pastor Brian Wong

In 1978, the Chinese government proposed reformation and opening up as the nation’s development directions. It pointed out three aspects that needed to be actively pursued: community services, community environment, and community culture. From this we can see that to build a healthy and harmonious society, we need to develop all three areas in a well-balanced way and all are indispensable.

Community services refer to providing services that are appropriate for residents and helpful to daily living. These services can be related to physical health such as classes for Tai Chi, Baduanjin, aerobics, brain health exercises, etc. Of course, physical exercise is only one part of community services. Healthy community services also care for people's daily spiritual needs. All in all, the services provided by North York (Chinese) Baptist Church Community Service Ministry, whether they be fitness classes, interest classes or workshops, are focused on relevance and helpfulness to our neighbours in the community.  

Community environment is not only about the environment of our community, but also addressing the needs of the residents and how government policies may affect people’s livelihood. The workshops provided every Thursday are typically closely related to people’s need in terms of their health knowledge, livelihood and government policies.
  

As for community culture, what do people desire? I think it is a culture of love. We all yearn to be loved and cared for. If we can support each other and care for each other in a community, then this community must be a favourable area that everyone wants to live in. To build a culture of love, we must first understand the source of love; the Bible says: “We love because God first loved us.” (I John chapter 4, verse 19) Only when we know the source of love and establish a loving relationship with this God who loves us, we can see a community of love among us. We will then build up this community culture of love together. To establish this community culture of love, is also a vision of the Community Services Ministry of North York (Chinese) Baptist Church. I hope that we will all be working together towards this common vision and move forward into a bright future.

 

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2018 Mar - Sharing from Knitting Club Member

I have benefited a lot by joining the NYCBC Community Service Knitting Club. The most important benefit is the training on how to cope with "mistakes". Since childhood, I have never had any interest in knitting. I have no talent in this area, and typically did not pay attention to details. I have no patience to study any patterns and appreciate fashions. Mental concentration is very important in knitting, otherwise, no matter how hard we try there will be many mistakes and omissions. I have repeatedly made the same mistakes and also messed up the yarns countless times. From there I learned how to be patient, not getting irritated or anxious easily. I can remain calm and persist until the task is complete. I am no longer afraid of making mistakes and also able to understand others' mistakes. Knitting is therapeutic. I have heavy responsibilities in my job, and coupled with housework, I get tired and stressed easily. In all the busyness, it is very good to be able to take the time to sit down alone and start to knit stitch by stitch. I gradually become calm, forgetting everything around me. I feel a strong sense of accomplishment when I see that I have successfully completed my project with my own hands. This is priceless. I don’t need to see a psychologist or take any stress medication. 

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2018 Mar - Sharing from Praise Dance & Line Dance Class member

Every time I read the Bible, Genesis chapter 12 verse 1 which says, " The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. "  I find it   incredible! In obedience, Abram willingly traveled to Canaan with his family. But when I came to Toronto two years ago, I was a total stranger here, with no friends and no job. The people around were unfriendly, impolite and rude. Everyone seemed so busy and impatient. I often asked myself why I came here, I was struggling and complaining. 

Later, I started to go to NYCBC. Not only did I befriend some brothers and sisters in Christ, but also met new friends in the community. We exercise together. Our instructors are very patient, and we enjoy a comfortable environment. The Heavenly Father must have His good intentions by allowing me come to this church. Now my husband and I not only attend the church’s Sunday worship services and fellowship, we also serve in the ministry. I begin to understand more on what God said in the Bible Isaiah chapter 55 verses 8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
 

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2017 Nov - Message from Ministry Group Leader Maye Wong

The first ever picnic organized by Community Services was held on August 3rd.  It was a clear day and  the sky was blue, surely an ideal weather for picnics. I recalled that it was pouring cats and dogs just a couple of days before. I was worried, thinking about the possibility that we might have to follow plan B, a picnic inside the church building! Thanks to the Lord, He gave us perfect weather on that day! 

After more than two months of hard work in preparation, the organizing committee planned and carried out a perfect event. Firstly, our Tai Chi instructor led more than 100 participants together in the exercise, it was quite a spectacular sight. Then the Baduanjin instructor led us to do some dances, training our hands and feet coordination. Afterwards we had group games, brain teasing activities, riddles and quizzes, showing how knowledgeable and smart our members were! Flexibility, witty quick actions and a high degree of team spirit were demonstrated! 

The lunch served was very well-received. The Food Preparation Group presented a freshly baked piping hot chicken leg as the main course, accompanied with vegetables, apple salad, corn and dessert. Everyone enjoyed this delicious meal. After lunch, it was free time, people were dancing, singing, chit chatting etc. ... we all had lots of fun!

Thanks to our Heavenly Father for His provisions and grace. The event was very successfully and smoothly run. Everyone's face was lit up with vitality and big grins. Despite people’s age, they all are still very energetic. Strong friendship and love were shown among all. Everyone put their best effort forward, helped each other, including providing car rides, leading games, handling food, distributing lunches, etc. After the event was over, a set of slides including all the photos and videos was produced, so that people could watch and remember the fun activities.  I was very pleased when I saw that everyone was working hard towards the same goal, united in spirit, supporting each other and participating together, just like a big family. I thank the Lord for His leading and protection for the development of Community Services. The cooperation, interactions and care for each other, as well as  the living witnessing demonstrated by brothers and sisters to lead the unbelieving friends in knowing about Christ, are all intertwined into a beautiful picture shining in our local community.
 

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2017 Jul - Sharing from Praise Dance & Line Dance Classes member

Remembering when I first joined the ranks of ‘early retirees’, I was both joyous and anxious. I have never stopped working my entire adult life, I was a workaholic. I wondered, how would I be able to fill my day after retirement? I was really confused! Later, I learned from a friend that NYCBC has a variety of programs every Thursday for us ‘prime timers’. I still remember the first time when I stepped into the church to register for this program, a sister showed her sincere caring by leading me through. Although I was a stranger, I felt very comfortable and peaceful inside. Not only am I grateful for the arrangements by the church and the participation of brothers and sisters, I also deeply admire and appreciate the professional instructors and their unconditional care for us so that we can have opportunities to exercise and gain new knowledge with great joy. Praise dance is my favorite activity. The instructor provides us with lively yet simple movements, accompanied by music with words of God. Every time I do praise dance, I feel like I am at home having an intimate relationship with God. I truly feel His love and presence

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2017 Jul - Sharing from Tai Chi Class & Knitting Club member

I never thought that I would be going to a church. I didn’t even know NYCBC existed although I live very close to it. By chance, I started coming to their Thursday's community service programs and participated in Tai Chi and knitting classes. This allows me to learn things that I have never known before. Our Tai Chi instructors are very attentive in correcting the postures and moves of all the learners. They take the trouble to repeatedly demonstrate the movements and take care of new participants. They guide and encourage everyone to exercise at all times. There are two very experienced instructors in the knitting class. We not only learn skills from them, we also learn from them important life philosophy such as persistence and perseverance to keep on completing the knitting projects at hand. We also learn how to better manage our time, so that we live a balanced life between working and relaxing.

One of the greatest benefits of joining community service activities is a chance to meet a group of Christian friends. They help me to know God. I learned to read the Bible to gain a better understanding of God's Word. In order to learn more about the biblical truths, I also join the Church’s women Bible study group. I have decided to become a Christian and hope to be baptized in NYCBC in the future. I am convinced that this chance is given to me by God. I want to thank Him for bringing me great joy and peace. 

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2017 Jul - Message from Pastor Rosita Lee

The weather has been great recently and I took the opportunity to visit Edwards Garden. Some beautiful red and white tulips called "Canada 150" were on display there. The colours were the same as those of our maple leaf national flag. How well-advanced is today's technology that they could develop such beautiful blossoms! As I was getting ready to take pictures of these flowers, I discovered that, in the midst of the many red and white tulips, there was a purple tulip. And as I walked a little bit further, I found an orange tulip, again, among all the red and white tulips. I was wondering if it was the intentional arrangement of the gardener, or if it was caused by problems during the breeding process. However, whatever the colours of the tulips, they are all beautiful creations by our almighty Creator!  

The book of Proverbs in the Bible chapter 10 verse 5 says: ‘He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,’, and also in chapter 30 verse 25:’ Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;’ Just like these ants, we should also start storing up during the summer.  

First of all, we need to store up good health. In the Brain Health Dance Class, we have a saying: "do more physical exercise to improve health." Participating in our Community Services activities helps us to exercise. We can even memorize the steps and styles of the movements so that we can practice them at home during the winter times, when it is not convenient to go out.

The second thing to store up is information: the workshops held every Thursday provide rich information. Storing up the information would benefit not only ourselves, but also others who are in need, with whom we share the stored-up information.    

The third thing to store up is friendship: a few friends said that they have much fun and laughter in the knitting classes. When someone is sick, a friend would provide diet recipes; in cases of difficulties someone will pray for you. While we are knitting sweaters and scarves, we are also knitting together threads of true friendship at the same time!

Lastly, we need to store up God's grace: during the May 24 volunteer retreat, many volunteers shared their joy in serving in Community Services. They not only have the chance to serve people, but also experience God’s kindness and faithfulness, how wonderful!
 

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2016 Jun - Sharing from ESL Class Instructor - Karen Wong

It is indeed God's grace and His answer to my prayer that I was given the opportunity to serve in the ESLclasses.

Most of our students are Asians from different countries, including China, Hong Kong, and South Korea. They join our ESL classes to improve their English for work,for everyday routines or for those they love. When I reflect on our ESL community program and the time and energy that the teachers and volunteers put into the program, I know that it is the students and new friends that make our efforts worthwhile.We are glad that they are able to stepfoot into our church and hear the gospel.

While teaching English may be a little thing, the bigger reward is that we are able to help others and the lasting relationships that are built.The footprints of some students are still hidden deep down in my heart. Our program is always open and all are welcome to join as either students or volunteers.

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2016 May - Sharing from Ba Duan Jin INSTRUCTOR - Stella Ng

Ba Duan Jin is a set of excellent Chinese traditional health care movements. The movements are beautiful, smooth, simple, and easy to learn, resulting with significant improvements to people’s health. The ancient folks used the word brocade, ‘Jin’, to describe the exercise.  The full set of movements consists of eight general movements, and that is why it is named "Ba Duan Jin." (8 sets of brocades). The entire set of movements is gentle, continual, and free flowing. These movements can be relaxing or gripping, can be slow or fast, as they help in the body’s blood circulation. Every detail of each of the movements exercises our nerve system, so that the entire system will run smoothly and is well lubricated. When the postures are performed correctly, you can actually feel the blood flowing through to the tips of your fingers and toes, bringing to the body a sensation of ‘warmth’ with ‘slightly sweating’.   

I have been a volunteer in the North York Chinese Baptist Church for over two years now. Together with other students, we practice Ba Duan Jin every Thursday morning. It is such a pleasure to see how each student eagerly and seriously practice the movements, and enjoying every moment of it! I hope that the students will preserver and continue to practice, so that we will all build up our health and live each and every day more abundantly and more wonderfully!

May God continue to bless North York Chinese Baptist Church so that it becomes a spiritual home for more people. May the body, mind and spirit of everyone who come to this church be taken care of by our heavenly Father.

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2016 Jan - Sharing from Knitting Club INSTRUCTOR - Grace Wong

I am grateful to the NYCBC Community Service Ministry which entrusts me, an amateur knitting enthusiasts, with the chance to participate in the Knitting Club. Every Thursday afternoon, a group of friends who are interested in knitting would meet together to learn the skills in knitting. They would exchange ideas and share the joy of success, and at the same time, enjoy a time of chatting with and caring for each other. A ball of yarn and two needles are all we need to weave a colourful piece of art work, and furthermore, to nurture a beautiful friendship with each other.

I enjoy the time with this group of friends who share common interests and learn from each other on the skills in knitting. We not only wear our finished products, but also like to see others wearing our completed works. We look forward to this year’s products fundraising sale for NYCBC, hoping that we will get excellent results, so that we can show our gratitude to the church which has provided such wonderful opportunity to us. Let us keep on knitting and build up  good memories together.

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2016 Jan - Sharing from Praise Dance INSTRUCTOR - Evelyne Ng

Praise dance is a complex, muscle stretching exercise accompanied by melodious music. It is a cardio aerobic exercise, and it increases the flexibility of our joints, thus enhancing physical fitness. With the rhythm of the music, we make different movements, thereby exercising the coordination of the brain, body, hands and feet. The creators of the dance chose Bible verses as lyrics, which can be sung during daily practices: "If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." The contents are filled with gratitude and joy. After each exercise, not only you sweat a lot, your body also feels at ease and carefree, your mind is comforted and encouraged, and then your mood will become naturally cheerful. I really want to share this exercise with you all.   

Since April of last year, I have been exercising with a group of praise dance friends. Whenever the music starts playing, and I see that everyone is dancing vigorously and really enjoying it, this has become the source of my strength to continue.

Through this praise dance class, I am so very happy to meet and know everyone, and therefore, able to establish a close friendship, caring for and sharing with each other. Let's hope you will join in our class, do the exercise, stay healthy, and enjoy life!

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2015 Oct - Sharing from Tai Chi Class Instructor - Artis Chan

Since last November, my wife and I have joined the Community Services of NYCBC to teach Tai-Chi to friends from the community. I can see that everyone really enjoys this exercise as the number of participants keep increasing. I am most grateful that the Church has given us a wonderful place to practise Tai-Chi! My wife and I look forward to coming every Thursday, hoping that we will all enjoy practicing Tai-Chi. We are greatly pleased to see that many of our friends have progressed significantly in this exercise, and that both their mental and physical health are greatly improved! I hope that by God's grace, I will continue to lead everyone in great Tai-Chi exercises and that we will be both physically and mentally fit.  

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