My Sabbatical Plan – Pastor Merri Ellen

What’s a sabbatical?
What do you long for in sabbatical?
What are you doing on your sabbatical?

I had to ask myself these questions several times as I began a year ago praying over a plan. Understandably, I’ve been asked these questions several times by others along the way. To help answer these questions for my church family’s sake, I compiled a sabbatical plan for them to print off and use as a prayer guide for my family and I. Pastor Art wisely prayed for us, on March 16 for our Sabbatical Commissioning Sunday, recognizing that the enemy will do all he can to destroy any chance of rest, refreshment, and renewal. My husband and I with our boys will only come back refreshed and renewed by the faithful prayers of our church family and friends. My husband and I were deeply moved as our church family gathered around us as Pastor Art prayed. It was symbolic of the years of love we’ve known from Ross Road Community Church.

On my personal blog is the song that was played on that Sunday to communicate my true desire for sabbatical and beyond. I pray that every Ross Roader could adopt such a prayer – to know Christ intimately.

On that Sunday, I shared my heart with everyone present that I desire for everyone in my church family to one day enjoy eternity in heaven together. Ross Road is known for people who serve. We have some incredible volunteers. Yet, Matthew 7:21-23 warns us that many could find themselves faithfully serving Christ but not be welcomed into heaven because they didn’t personally know Jesus. My longing is for each of my family to intimately know the Creator and Saviour of the world. We must not be mere impersonators or mere admirers of Jesus, but true followers who know Him personally and are willing to take up our cross and follow Him.

May this song be your prayer as well as mine…

Thank you Ross Road for your love, your nourishment, and the honour of knowing Jesus inimately with you and serving Him together. I look forward to seeing you again on June 16, 2014.

While I’m gone, my Ross Road email will not be used. An auto-reply will be programmed with a message of whom to contact. You may contact Jordan Regier our Kids Zone intern at: jordan (at) or Sandy Nelson in our front office at: sandra (at)

Much love,
Merri Ellen Giesbrecht
Associate Pastor

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

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Posted in Kids' Pastor Thoughts

Happy St Patrick’s Day! (Missionary Story Video from Veggie Tales)

This has become a classic in our house… Here’s a fun little video from Veggie Tales giving an overview of the incredible missionary story of St Patrick…

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Posted in Fun for kids

Mar 16-14 Celebration Sunday

This Sunday is Celebration Sunday! And we have MUCH to celebrate!!…
- We are welcoming new members and hearing their stories!
- We have a special music number from one of our own new families!
- We are praying for several youth away on Missions trips and at Bible colleges!
- Pastor Art will explain what a sabbatical is and I will briefly explain my plan and prayer for my family and I while away March 24th – June 15. I’ve also asked Jordan Regier to lead us in a song for you, my church family. It’s a song that summarizes my prayer for my family and I, and perhaps a prayer we as a church can adopt in our desire to become more and more Christ-centred. I pray you may be blessed by the lyrics.

- We are also taking part in communion together! Parents, here’s an incredible opportunity for discipling your kids in the pew! Here’s a refresher…

How do you teach your kids about communion??
Click here to learn more about kids and communion…

Preschoolers will be dismissed later in the service too!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

And… would any of your children like to be a greeter or usher this Sunday? Please let me know! We will pair them up with an adult volunteer and give them an opportunity to serve. This would probably work best for kids in Grade 3 and up, but you know your child best.

Please let me know before Saturday, March 15th by noon via email. Check your email too as I’ve sent Kids Zone families and invite.

Pastor Merri Ellen

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Posted in Family Worship

Lasso the Moon Sing it with Me Friends: Money Mondays

Allowance. It seems so simple and yet, there are 101 different ways you can approach the parenting opportunity:

What age do you start? How often do you give allowance? How much do you give? Do you require your child to save or tithe? Do you put limits on what your child can use the money for?

And the big one… Should allowance be tied to chores?

It makes my HEAD SPIN. And so I ask you…

How can we as parents come together to

ensure our children are money savvy?

Read the full post… Lasso the Moon Sing it with Me Friends: Money Mondays.

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Posted in be an affective parent, Directions In Life, Encourage Your Child, Faith At Home Parenting, Parenting

“The 1st Easter” Printable Storybook

The 1st Easter
The-1st-Easter-booklet contains 15 short, 1-page stories designed to help your family walk through the story of the first Easter.

Tips for using this book:
* Read through one story a day leading up to Easter
* Have older kids read the Bible texts that go along with each of the stories.
Note the different details recorded by each of the Gospel writers.
* Let younger kids color the pictures.
* Use the pictures like flashcards and have kids try and retell that portion of
the story using just the picture.
* Mix the pages up and have kids put the story in order.
* Have kids draw pictures to go along with each of the stories.

Source: Bethany Tapp

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Posted in Easter, Faith At Home Parenting

Parents Love HomeFront!

HomeFront is a FREE monthly resource that gives parents ideas on how to create fun, spiritually forming times in their home – even in the midst of their busy lives. This digital magazine can be sent right to your inbox each month, making it easy for parents & grandparents to shape a vibrant faith in the lives of their children. Learn more or download the latest issue at

Getting Started with HomeFront is fun and easy.

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Remember to have fun!


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David C. Cook is to be a resource to you, connecting you to innovative ideas that can support your ministry and the HomeFront magazine is a wonderful tool we would love for you to utilize each month.

With Blessings,

Michelle Anthony, Family Ministry Architect
and the Tru Team

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Posted in be an affective parent, Faith At Home Parenting, Family Devotions, Family Worship

Mar 9 – Gr 1-5 Bible Lesson (The Golden Calf) and Memory Verse

God Has So Much More (The Golden Calf)
Ex. 32-34,19-30
Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 1:7

Parents, pray and read through the passage on your own asking the Spirit how you can teach it to your child this week before Sunday so that Sunday is a review for them..

2 Questions to ask yourself/your child(ren):

1. What does this say about God?

2. How does God want me to respond?

Then go through the memory verse with your child(ren) and invite them to make up actions with you! This is fun!!

Then pray together! :) You can easily turn the memory verse into a prayer using our acronym we use in Kids Church… P.R.A.Y.

Praise (God you are…)

Repent (God, we are sorry for…)

Ask (Pray for a request or two…)

Thank You God for…

Let me know how it goes!!

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Posted in Bible Memory, Bible Memory Verse, Family Devotions, Jr Kids Church (Gr 1-5)

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