November Ministry Update

Fall has finally come (and in a flash will be gone) and our family is once again enjoying the beauty of this city as we brace ourselves for the upcoming winter months!

After our official Relaunch at Renaissance in September we have stayed busy as we continue to create a warm, welcoming environment at our new location each week, meet with those who have questions about our church, engage in conversations with some about salvation and what it means to follow Jesus, and prepare for the days to come.

We are so thankful for the support and prayers of so many people (friends, family, and churches) who make it a point to encourage us often, pray for us daily, and partner with us as we seek to see the name of Jesus lifted high in Montreal.

With that being said, enjoy some pictures from the past couple of months and a look ahead at what November will bring:

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Looking ahead…here’s what’s coming up:

  • We will begin a 6-week evangelism training with our core team as we invest in equipping them to share the Gospel regularly.
  • SEND Montreal will host a vision tour next week (Nov. 6-8) as pastors from the U.S. come and see how they can be a part of God’s movement in our city.
  • James and Abi will attend Johnny Hunt’s Timothy-Barnabas conference here in Montreal.
  • We will celebrate Thanksgiving (American) with friends at our apartment.

Lastly here is a recent video our friend Logan did for us to help explain more about our city and about our church, Renaissance:

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

 

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September Ministry Update

It’s Relaunch Month! 

On August 25th, we celebrated one full year of living and planting our lives in Montreal. As we took some time to reflect and look back over the year we cannot express to you, our partners, how thankful we are for your constant support, encouragement, and giving to our family and ministry. We look ahead to another year full of seeing God’s faithfulness and movement in Montreal as well as in the lives of each family and individual who gives to be apart of His work in this city!

Sunday, September 17th is our official Relaunch into the community of Little Burgundy! Please join us in praying daily for this day as well as for the future of God’s Church in this city.

If you would like to download a visual prayer guide for the Relaunch, you can find a printable PDF on our homepage to join us in intentional prayer!

Also if you are interested in listening to James’ recent sermons on the Relaunch to know how to pray more specifically and gain a better understanding of what it means, you can find his sermons here:
Renaissance Sermons

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A look ahead…

  • Renaissance will volunteer at the Little Burgundy Festival, September 9th. James and a few guys from church have a 30 minute spot to play music so pray for this time to be fruitful!
  • Abi has a second ultrasound and doctor’s appointment (should confirm the gender so be ready for an announcement soon!).
  • We will host three more teams from the U.S. as they help us prepare for our Relaunch on September 17th.
  • Abi and James start a French class (together!) in Little Burgundy, continue to join us praying for fluency along with relationships with those in our class.

August Ministry Update

Together for the Gospel! 

We recently returned from a two week visit to see family and friends in Missouri. While we were there we had the blessing of attending a Sunday service at our sending church, Ridgecrest Baptist. A quote was shared during Pastor Chad Grayson’s sermon that resonated. We hope that it encourages you as you continue to partner with our family here in Montreal as well as live on mission every day where God has planted you.

As Pastor Chad shared from Mark 2, highlighting the four men who carried their paralyzed friend up onto a roof so that they could bring him to Jesus, he shared this quote from Warren Wiersbe:

“We must admire several characteristics of these men, qualities that ought to mark us as “fishers of men.” For one thing, they were deeply concerned about their friend and wanted to see him helped. They had faith to believe that Jesus could and world meet his need. They did not simply “pray about it,” but they put some feet to their prayers, and they did not permit difficult circumstances to discourage them. They worked together and dared to do something different…”

Friends, it is God’s desire for every person on this earth to hear and respond to His Gospel. As we continue to plant our lives and the Gospel in Montreal, we hope to learn from the example of these men and put feet to our prayers for revival in our city. Will you join us? We believe that prayer is essential and have seen evidence of your prayers on a daily basis over the past 11 months, but we hope that as God leads, you will be spurred to action both where you are and even here in Montreal alongside our family. Many of you have visited us this summer and we cannot put into words the impact and blessing it has been! May we be a people of prayer but may we also be people of action, knowing that it is God who can and will supply our every need.

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Looking back…

  • A wonderful trip to Missouri to see family which included an outdoor movie with cousins, a trip to Purina Farms in St. Louis, the St. Louis Zoo, the American Girl Store, the Lego Store, two action packed days of Grammie Camp, two family birthday parties for Mya, lots of swimming, lots of family time, Talking Rock Caverns, and all of our favorite Missouri food spots!
  • Renaissance hosted many groups from the U.S. and we are so thankful for each person who came and served with us this summer.
  • Mya started Tennis lessons, Anabelle started Karate, and Brock is enjoying his swimming lessons…we have stayed busy and active!

A look ahead…

  • Along with a few teams from the States (and one from Canada) we will volunteer at a 3on3 basketball tournament in Little Burgundy that is a fundraiser for a Refugee Center that we hope to build a great partnership with.
  • James will travel to Atlanta to be a trained as a BLVD Trainer, this is a church planter training that we finished earlier this year and is a great tool as God continues to call church planters to Montreal!
  • We will host our first Renaissance Preview Nights at a local coffee shop in preparation for our relaunch in September. This is a way for people in the community to come meet us and see what we are about. Please join us in praying for this night on August 20th.
  • Anabelle and Mya will start at a new school on August 28th!
  • Brock will begin French preschool on August 28th!

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Renaissance Relaunch

Please join us in praying daily for our relaunch coming in September. Pray for the Lord to add to our numbers, for this to be a significant day in the history of Renaissance for the glory of God, for salvations, and for all the planning and work it will take to make it all happen!

Be looking for a prayer guide to join us daily in specific prayer for the relaunch, coming to your inbox or on our family blog soon!

July Ministry Update

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Serving in Little Burgundy at La Fete nationale du Quebec!

“We must guard against a tendency of our human nature to be satisfied with things the way they are.”
— Kevin Ezell, NAMB President

James and Abi recently returned from the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix, Arizona where we heard the President of the North American Mission Board share his vision and passion for seeing more churches planted in North America. We were encouraged as we continue planting Renaissance here in Montreal and are so thankful for the North American Mission Board and the many partners who are joining us in this mission to see the Gospel take captive the hearts of our neighbors and our city. 

We want to challenge you to continue joining us with BIG prayers as we are seeing the move of God in the lives of those attending Renaissance as we look towards September 17th, when we will relaunch into our community. Just as Kevin Ezell challenged, we are not satisfied with the way things are and know that there is more that God has for Renaissance and more lives that need the Gospel! 

Because of your faithful giving, persistent prayers, and constant encouragement we continue to plant our lives here and watch as God moves mountains so that the Gospel is declared and Jesus is lifted high. We are thankful for each of you and your part in living life on mission!

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Looking back…

  • We welcomed James’ mom for a visit the first two weeks of June and loved having her with us as she served with the Ridgecrest team and stayed with the kids while James and Abi traveled to Arizona.
  • James and Abi traveled to Arizona for the Southern Baptist Convention where we spent time with our sending church pastor and his wife (who happen to be some of our best friends) and connected with other pastors who were interested in hearing more about church planting in Montreal! It was a great (very hot!) time away for us.
  • After returning from Arizona it has been non-stop teams! We are loving hosting teams from all over the U.S. who come to serve for a week and help Renaissance so selflessly. Thank you to each team member and church!
  • We continue to meet and connect with new people everyday along with continuing to disciple and maintain relationships with those we already know. Please pray for their hearts to see and understand the truth!
  • We helped about 10 different people move on Moving Day on July 1st. This is a way that we, as a church, help our community and make connections as we go. We rent a moving truck and provide free help as many people move on this day in Montreal. We had two teams from the States here to help and they were able to make great connections and pray over each person/family we helped.

Looking ahead…

  • July will bring more teams! We love having teams here helping us continue to help our community and make new connections.
  • We will travel to Missouri to visit family for some time, pray for the long road trip!
  • Mya turns 7 at the end of this month, so it’s birthday month for our sweet middle child!

June Ministry Update

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“Unless the Lord builds the house
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city the
watchman stays awake in vain.”
Psalm 127:1

In a recent sermon, James shared this verse with Renaissance as we look ahead to our upcoming relaunch in September (see last month’s update for info on the relaunch). He encouraged the church to remember that our effort, our striving will only mean exhaustion and burn-out unless we truly give each day to the Lord, along with every detail about the future of Renaissance Church. God, in His wonderful mercy, is allowing us to be a part of seeing the Gospel transform lives and it is easy to get caught up in the tasks and schedules. We ask that you pray that this verse becomes a daily reminder of God’s control as he builds and watches over His church.

The month of May has come and gone and we witnessed some amazing moments as God moved in incredible ways. Our prayer each day is that we are more aware of His presence and dependent on Him as we seek “not only to share the Gospel but our lives as well.” (1 Thess. 2:8)

Our hope for anyone reading this is that if you do not know Jesus personally you can find peace and hope in Him (contact us, we’d love to help!). If you do know Jesus we hope you live out 1 Thess. 2:8 in whatever season God has placed you in and wherever He has planted you. The world needs the Gospel and what a joy it is that our God has entrusted us to take His Gospel to the ends of the Earth. As you seek Him each day, our prayer for you is that you are challenged with the Great Commission to “GO” and that together we see spiritual revival not only here in Montreal, but in all the world!

 

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A look back at May:

  • James and Abi had numerous lunches, coffee meetings, and interactions with friends (new and old) as we share our lives with those around us.
  • Spring in Burgundy event where we handed out flowers to the Little Burgundy community and practiced our French!
  • Hosted a few teams (more to come in June and July) who had great experiences starting conversations with people across the city. Two conversations that led to a response to the Gospel of Jesus. Praise the Lord!
  • James attended the SEND conference in Dallas, TX where he heard incredible teaching and wisdom.
  • Abi and the kids traveled to Missouri and were thankful for her mom’s successful surgery and recovery. It was a wonderful time with friends!
  • We had two BBQ’s at the canal where we invited friends along with the mission teams that were with us at the time. We hope to do these throughout the summer as a way to continue building relationships!

A look ahead to June:

  • We will host 7 mission teams throughout the month from the States (one from our sending church, Ridgecrest Baptist Church) and we are excited!
  • James and Abi will travel to Phoenix for the SBC Annual Meeting…if you are going to be there let us know, we’d love to connect!
  • Anabelle and Mya will finish school on June 22nd.
  • June 24th is St. Jean Baptiste Day here in Quebec and we can’t wait to celebrate with our friends and neighbors!
  • Renaissance will host a Leadership Training put on by Chick-fil-A in Little Burgundy as a way to help train community leaders and offer incredible training for free. Thank you Chick-fil-A!

May Ministry Update

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“Every great movement of God can be
traced to a kneeling figure.”
D.L. Moody

We are standing on the shoulders of the men and women who have prayed for Quebec for decades. Many lived their lives here in this province asking God to send a revival but never seeing it happen in their lifetime. How thankful we are that instead of giving up and moving on, they endured with little visible movement, yet with their hearts set on God’s faithful promise here in Montreal. It is because of their prayers and the prayers of thousands of others that our family is here, living in the “City of Steeples” sharing Christ with everyone He puts in our path.

You are a part of what God is doing in Montreal. Your prayers,  your sacrificial giving, your constant support brought us here and sustains us as we press on and follow obediently God’s call for the Copeland5.

April was a busy month, full of incredible opportunities to share the Gospel and see growth at Renaissance but also some trying times for us as a family. Our hearts are grateful despite it all that we are not walking alone in this city of 5.8 million people! We have family, friends, and churches who are praying daily for our city and for our family. Thank you for joining us as we ask God for that “great movement” here in Montreal!

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A look back at April:

  • Abi finished Level 2 in French
  • James and Abi completed the Boulevard Church Planter Training
  • Hosted our Core Team for dinner, prayer, and worship
  • Shared about Renaissance with two different NAMB Vision Tours – thankful for the pastors (and wives) who took time to come see Montreal and learn how to partner!
  • After a terrible 4ft fall, Brock sustained a serious head injury but is back to normal by the grace of God!

A look ahead to May:

  • Four teams coming from the States to work with Renaissance
  • James to attend SEND conference in Dallas
  • Abi & kids travel to Missouri as her mom undergoes surgery (prayers appreciated!)
  • We celebrate Brock’s 3rd Birthday!

**If you are one of our financial partners or a church partner and do not receive our email updates please let us know. This is just a better way for us to communicate with you and thank you for your partnership!**

April Ministry Update

We welcomed spring with a blizzard that left us with a few feet of snow! This was definitely a new experience for us. Our kids love the snow but are ready for some green grass and flip-flops around here! March was a very busy month once again, and we are so blessed by all that God is doing at Renaissance in the life of our family. One of our favorite highlights in March was hosting Abi’s parents (Grammie and Poppie) for a visit over their Spring Break. We showed them every part of the city that we could and wore them out with all the walking! Anabelle, Mya, and Brock absolutely loved having their grandparents here, they visited the girls at school which was a special surprise and went with us to our first Sugar Shack (a Quebec tradition). We are so thankful for their support and their partnership!

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Copeland5inMTL with Grammie and Poppie on top of Mont Royal

This month at Renaissance we continued to have great times of worship and Bible teaching at our Sunday Gatherings. We are so encouraged to see people hungry for God’s Word and eager to learn more about Him each week. We are now in the beginning of our next Core Team cycle and are excited to see how God is forming a team around us full of people who want to help at Renaissance by inviting their friends and being intentional with evangelism in their day-to-day activities. Core Team is our pre-membership process and is a way to work as a team to be advocates for Renaissance in our community. This group has committed to six months of intentionally inviting people to church, sharing the Gospel, and serving at Renaissance consistently. Praise God for their obedience!

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Renaissance Church

March Highlights: 

-James attended a community leaders lunch in Little Burgundy.

-We enjoyed Spring Break with a Staycation and time at home as a family.

-James attended a NAMB SEND Network conference in Atlanta.

-We hosted our church staff for a Friday Night dinner.

-Our family attended a movie fundraiser at CEDA a local community center that we volunteer with on Saturdays.


Coming up this month:

-Preparations for our Easter service at Renaissance

-Our final NAMB Boulevard Training (eight month training on CP in the city)

-James and Abi run the Montreal Half Marathon (April 23rd)

-Hosting another NAMB CTV32 Vision Trip


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March Ministry Update

Highlights and Updates:

God is good and we are so thankful that we are able to see Him at work around us here in Montreal. We are in awe of how He guides our steps, provides relationships, opens conversations, and provides our every need. February was a full month of connecting here in Montreal along with a couple trips to Missouri to be incredibly encouraged by two of our partner churches. Here’s what God did this month in Montreal:  
We have been amazed at how God has opened doors for James to be involved in the leadership of the Little Burgundy community where our church, Renaissance is planted. Earlier in February he attended a community leaders meeting and while he was there he met a religious leader who is working to create a way to speak in public schools and answer questions about religion with the students. He asked James to be a part of this and to speak in the schools as well. Please pray for this incredible opportunity as it develops!


This month at Renaissance we are walking through Ephesians in a two part series titled “Who Are You” and “Be Who You Are.” We are praying that God would ignite a deeper understanding of who we are in Christ, beginning with salvation for some and spiritual growth for others. 
If you are interested in listening to Renaissance sermons each week, you can find them on our website: www.renaissancemtl.com


Language Update: Abi is almost finished with Level 1 of her French classes and is learning quickly, however using what she has learned in conversation is still a big challenge. Pray as Abi continues to take Level 2  French classes and for a friend who would be willing to meet for French practice on a weekly basis. Language is culture in Quebec and we so desire to be able to speak the language of the people we are here to serve! 


Ways to pray this month: 

Renaissance

  • Continue to pray for a new location for us to meet on Sunday
  • Pray for our current Ephesians series
  • Spiritual Growth for non-believers through salvation and for believers as they follow Jesus
  • Physical Growth – creativity as we share about our church with the community and for those that visit to feel welcomed and loved

Family & Relationships

  • Anabelle and Mya’s friendships at school and language learning
  • Continued language learning as a family
  • Finding a Family Doctor (the current wait time is 410 days until we are accepted by a doctor as new patients, until then Walk-in Clinics and ER’s are our only options for medical care) 
  • For continued friendships and connections in our community that lead to Gospel conversations

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We had the great privilege of attending Global Missions Week at our sending church, Ridgecrest Baptist Church in early February. We were incredibly blessed by their hospitality, encouragement, and love throughout the week. If you are a member of Ridgecrest we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your prayers, your giving, and your encouragement are needed and appreciated.  Praise God for a church who “gets it” and is leveraging what they have for the Gospel to go to the ends of the Earth. We are so thankful that a trip to Ridgecrest means seeing our family as well, our parents and many other family members live close and were around to spend the week with us which was a treat!


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On February 4th we attended a winter festival at the girls’ school. We enjoyed meeting a few new people and had good conversations. We also enjoyed seeing Anabelle and Mya with their friends as they played in the snow. Brock even got to jump into his first hockey game! In the picture, Anabelle, (the light blue coat and hat) was learning a Quebecois dance. 


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While in Missouri Mya was baptized at Ridgecrest. It was a wonderful day watching our sweet, tender hearted girl follow the Lord in obedience. Our prayer for each of our kids is for their hearts to be drawn towards Jesus and that  they would respond to Him in obedience. What an incredible thing to see prayers answered!  


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James also traveled to Missouri just last week to be a part of Second Baptist Church’s mission weekend. We are so thankful for the way Second is partnering with us here in Montreal and in other cities all over the world to plant multiplying churches!

 

February Ministry Update

“At our door is the very work we crave.”

– Lottie Moon

After a very full month in January we are so in awe of how God continues to work in us and through us in this city. As we take a moment to look back over the last month this quote form Lottie Moon resonates. It is not a difficult search to find people around us who need hope in their lives. Simply walking outside our front door opens up a world of hurting people, and praise God we have the remedy for the brokenness and pain that so many endure each day! Thank you for supporting us so that we can be in this city serving people who need Jesus.

Here are some highlights form the past month of ministry:

We have had the chance over the past month to reconnect with some of our friends here after being gone for two weeks at Christmas and it has been wonderful. Whether  a coffee date or a dinner in our home, we are so thankful that God has filled our lives with friendships, this is a huge answer to prayer!

Praise God for growth! We have a few, new young couples regularly attending Renaissance. We love seeing these young couples desire to be a part of our church and are praying for ways to help encourage and equip them as they navigate new marriages and relationships together.

On December 27th, while we were visiting in Missouri, our sweet Mya Lynn gave her life to Jesus! Praise God for this answer to prayer and for evidence of God’s work in her heart. She tenderly prayed to Jesus asking for salvation and is full of joy knowing that in Him she is a new creation. Her baptism will be later this month.

Pray For: 

Renaissance (www.renaissancemtl.com

  • Decisions about a new location for Renaissance 

  • Ways to engage our community through Renaissance 

  • How to better service those attending Renaissance 

Language

  • Abi has started French classes (two nights a week)

  • James’ continued learning in the language

  • Anabelle and Mya as they continue learning in school

The Gospel

  • Opportunities for James and Abi to share the Gospel with friends and acquaintances

  • Opportunities to meet new friends and build relationships

 

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We are amazed at how God is moving in this country. Nearly HALF of the churches associated with the CNBC (Canadian National Baptist Association) have been planted since 2010. This shows that God is moving in this country and we are hopeful that the best is yet to come. Pray with us that this continues in Canada, in Quebec, and here in Montreal!

Top Left: The girls returned to school after Christmas…one was excited, the other was not!
Top Right: Ice Sculpting at Fête des neiges de Montréal. (Montreal Snow Festival)
Bottom Left: Brock completed Paw Patrol Academy at Fête des neiges with a little help from his sisters!
Bottom Right: No caption needed…the dab, brought to you by Brock.