On the final Sunday of 2006, the day before we traditionally make New Year’s resolutions, Henry Neufeld reflected on the long-term consequences of decisions. Hannah (1 Sam. 1-2) decided to dedicate Samuel to the Lord, Eli decided not to punish his wicked sons, and (Luke 2) Jesus’ parents decided to accept the angel’s challenge and raised Jesus to walk in the faith. When the 12-year-old Jesus was asked by his parents why he had stayed behind at the temple, his instinctual response was a turning point for the history of religion: “Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?” Referring to God as his “Father” was a concept Jesus would develop over the years, but how did he come to this decision as a child? There were no organized Sunday Schools, Summer Vacation Bible Schools or church camps. In fact, how did Christianity manage to flourish so wonderfully for 1,700 years without any programmes for its children? Why do 88% of evangelical children now leave church, in spite of millions of dollars being spent on special class rooms used once a week, gradated teaching materials published by specialists, and paying specialists to conduct children’s church? How were Samuel and Jesus taught so effectively? Henry then shifted our attention to Colossians 3:12, in which Paul asks the new Christians to clothe themselves with compassion. Since our society thrives on competition rather than compassion, compassion is no longer one of our central concerns. We find it difficult to have compassion for others in our economic group, and very difficult to show compassion for those on the edge of society. But deciding to live lives of compassion, and finding other ways to live out the gospel, just might be one of the best ways for extended families to teach children today. [JEK]

Service Details


Communion: Yes

Ecumenical or Event: New Year's Eve

Potluck Lunch: No

Congregational Meeting: No

Worship Team

Speaker: Henry Neufeld

Worship Leader: Veronica Dyck

Song Leader: Andre Pekovich

Pianist: J Evan Kreider


Childrens Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers:

Coffee Helper:

Sound Helper:

Sunday School Team

Child Care Volunteer: