A MESSAGE FROM
OUR SENIOR PASTOR
A MESSAGE FROM
OUR SENIOR PASTOR
A special “hello” from all of us here at Forest Brook! Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to visit our website. We hope you’ll find everything you’re looking for here. If you don’t, please let us know and we can see if there’s any way that we can help you. At Forest Brook we believe that the local church serves a unique and special calling in the world. We believe that God created church communities so that people could be loved, cared for, and helped to grow in their faith. We also believe that we have a purpose among our neighbours and in the world where we live. The Bible says that God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus, not to condemn but to save. Jesus, in turn, told his followers that he was sending them into the world in the same way. The local church is, as they say, “the hope of the world.” It’s a community where everyone can find acceptance, love, compassion, encouragement, guidance and meaning for their lives. Together we try to make the world a bit of a better place because we’re here! At Forest Brook we don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we audaciously believe that God lives among us. For that reason we believe we can make a difference in the world. If you’re interested, we’d love for you to take the time to check us out. You’re always welcome here!
OUR STAFF TEAM
Jim joined our team here at Forest Brook as our Youth Pastor in April of 2006. In addition to working with our youth and outreach ministries, Jim regularly preaches here at Forest Brook and we are always blessed by his clear passion and giftedness in sharing the Word.
Donna was called to be part of the Forest Brook staff team in 2000, following many years of leadership in various areas including, Women’s Ministries, Care and Small Groups.
Mark came to Forest Brook in 2006 as our Facility Manager . He is one of the most dedicated and hardworking people that we know and gives himself selflessly to his work here.
Our Elders Leadership Board (ELB) is made up of several individuals who are spiritual leaders of our church. Elders are spiritually mature men and women who meet regularly to pray and discern the health, needs and direction for our church. Elders are selected by the current board from a pool of nominees put forward by the members of the congregation, they serve 3 year terms which can be renewed.
Our current Elders are as follows: Anne Aurelius, Dan Fortin, Beverly Henry, Wayne Mowat, Carl Nash, Kathy Ribble (who serves as Chair of the ELB), and Jim Wilson.
All of our elders sit on our Board of Directors, which is the group responsible for the church's fiduciary responsibilities. The elders are joined by other individuals from the congregation who can provide legal, financial and human resources expertise, including Karin Dschankilic and Duncan Williams.of the legal and operational aspects of the Corporation. They manage
WE ARE THANKFUL THAT YOU ARE HERE.
COME VISIT, OR GIVE US A CALL! WE WOULD LOVE TO GET TO KNOW YOU.
MISSION AND VISION
Our mission statement is quite simple: "We exist to love God, and love others."
As we've said before, this is what Jesus said the most important commandment was, so it feels natural for us to adopt this as our mission!
Our Vision Statement: "We envision ourselves as a loving community, committed to transformation into Christ-likeness and sent to extend the Kingdom of God in the world."
It's amazing how so much can be packed into a few words, or a single sentence. Our vision statement is what drives all of our ministries forward, and keeps us in check with what God would have for us as we plan and serve.
We believe its God's will for people to experience the love of God through a deep sense of care that permeates our church. It's important to feel cared for and to be committed to caring for others in a way that goes beyond surface interactions.
Our vision's desire is to see people grow and mature in Jesus. We want people to move towards emotional, relational and spiritual health, and to be able to see a marked difference in their thoughts and behaviors year by year. We want others to notice that faith in Christ has made a difference in people's lives.
We believe in prayerfully asking God to do His will and work out His plans for the sake of His Kingdom in and through our community here at Forest Brook.
BELIEFS & VALUES
We think that the thing God desires most for us is that we love Him, and love one another (Matthew 22:34-39). At least that’s what Jesus said.
And what do we think that looks like? Well, we try to see ourselves as a loving community of people who are really committed to being changed to be more like Jesus, both on the inside and outside. We also think that everything God has given us is intended to be shared with everybody else too.
We believe that every human life has meaning because God has made each one of us uniquely for His purpose. In the Bible we discover the values and principles that make life worth living and it’s our guide, and authority, when it comes to our core beliefs. These commonly shared convictions inspire and lead us in all our decisions, plans and practices. At Forest Brook we seek to really know Jesus as both Saviour and Lord, and to follow His teachings. As a church, we affirm the central beliefs held historically by the Christian faith.
So what makes us different from the rest?
We do have our distinctives. These are some of the things that we value as a church and which help to shape who we are and our particular expression of the Christian faith:
• We value building a faith community where everyone feels accepted, cared for and loved, irrespective of gender, race, age, social status or background.
• We value developing and equipping every person so that they can realize their full potential in Jesus Christ. We call this discipleship.
• We value earnest, believing and persistent prayer as the primary way we change the world, and ourselves.
• We value all the generations of people worshipping together, young and old. So our worship service is flavoured so that everyone can participate.
• We value the harmonious partnership between church and parents to work on behalf of kids and young people. We call this “orange”, because it’s represented by the blending of two colours (red and yellow) in making something new (orange). In the same way, the whole church community partners with those who are parents to help raise great kids and youth for Jesus!
• We value our particular Christian heritage. While our congregation is pretty eclectic these days, our roots are in the Christian Brethren movement, which got us started with some pretty good stuff.
• Plural leadership. Forest Brook is led by a group of individuals who form our Elders’ Leadership Board. These are spiritually mature members of the
congregation who provide the spiritual oversight of all aspects of our church life. In other words, we’re not personality or pastor-driven.
• Every-member ministry. This means we believe that every single Christian has been called and gifted by the Holy Spirit to play a part in the overall mission of the church. Our job is to help each other discover what that is, and get on with it.
• A high-view of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Every Sunday we focus on the Lord’s Table to celebrate communion. This way we remember every week that what makes us Christian is not our beliefs or values – but the incredible gift and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
• And finally, we value sensitive and effective outreach and service to those beyond our church; in our neighbourhood, city, country and the world. The bible says that we love others, because Jesus first loved us (1 John 4:19). That’s our mission.
OUR HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
Forest Brook Bible Chapel was originally founded in 1981 by members of Bendale Bible Chapel who felt called to start a Brethren assembly somewhere in the Durham Region. Originally meeting in members' homes, and then in a local school, the growing congregation trusted God and gave generously and eventually built our first building on a plot of land at Finch and Fairport in Pickering. This land was graciously given to the church by John Boddy Homes, and the grand opening took place in September of 1985.
We saw God do amazing things both in and through our congregation in these early years. From adding part-time and then full-time staff, to expanding programs and ministries, as well an ever-growing congregation and the eventual expansion of the building to accommodate all that we were doing and all those who were attending regularly.
We’re so grateful for the bold faith that was shown by the founding members and early leadership of our church. Many of these individuals are still among us and continue to cast vision, show leadership and seek God’s direction for our church. We are so richly blessed by their example.
HOW WE'VE GROWN
By the late 1990’s it had become clear that we had outgrown our Pickering location, having already expanded the building in 1995. After much prayer, planning and a large capital fundraising and giving campaign, as well as John Boddy Homes' continued generosity, we broke ground for our current facility in Ajax in the Spring of 2004. Our original building was sold to a Seventh Day Adventist congregation, who still worships in that building today. We had our Grand-Opening celebrations in our current facility in September of 2005.
Anticipating a fresh start to our ministries we officially changed our name from Forest Brook Bible Chapel to Forest Brook Community Church. It was, and remains our prayer that our congregation – together and individually, as well as our facility itself would be a beacon for Jesus Christ in this community. Our heart’s desire is that those who interact with us, or who visit us here, whether for our own church programming, or a community event, would sense the presence of Jesus in our lives and in our space.
Of course things haven't always been easy. There have been times when our direction hasn’t been clear; occasions when God’s leading seemed quiet or distant. There have been struggles as we’ve faced loss, change and crisis, we’ve seen people who we love and who are a part of us come and go. We've had disagreements, and we've hurt one another at times. Just as James wrote, we've faced “trials of many kinds” (James 1:2-3), but the overwhelming tone of “our story” is the never-ending love, goodness and faithfulness of God – we give Him all the glory and honour in the telling of where we’ve come from.
OUR HOPEFUL FUTURE
We trust that the same God who has extravagantly loved and blessed our church over it's history will continue to show us His incredible blessing, favor and provision as we continue to seek Him first.
We strongly believe in shared leadership and have seen our church grow as a result of encouraging every member to be involved in serving one another as well as our surrounding community. We’re thankful for the members of our Elder’s Leadership Board who have, over the years, determined to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading as they guide our church. We direct our ministries through an enthusiastic Ministry Leadership Board and are blessed by their willingness and dedication to use their giftedness for the purposes of the Kingdom. Our staffing model includes a total of five pastors, as well as two support staff as part of our staff team, who are dedicated to serving our congregation and supporting the various ministries we run.
As the Spirit leads, we move, grow, and continue to serve. We’re so blessed to call Forest Brook Community Church our home.