AGM 2021

The 2021 MCF Annual General Meeting (AGM), will take place on 27 February beginning at 1:00 pm (EST).  Again, this year we will be able to meet without having to physically travel to a specific location for the AGM.  As we did in 2019 and 2020, we will be using the teleconferencing application called “ZOOM”, which the executive team has been using for a few years. We have had great success with this application and have expanding its use in support of the AGM.  For the best experience please download the application to whichever device you will use to connect to the AGM.

While COVID-19 has closed the doors of many institutions, the MCF has expanded its ministry footprint through the online environment We are excited over what has happened during the past year and over what we are planning to do during the coming year.  Please note that more information will be provided in the coming weeks.

To help us ensure that the AGM proceeds smoothly,  pre-registration for attending the AGM is required no later than 26 Feb at 4:00 pm EST.  We will send everyone the zoom connection information Friday evening. Please reply to the MCF office. We do need your correct email address to be sure you can log in on Saturday 27 February, 2021.

We know that He can do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, so to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus in this generation and all those that are to come.  Blessings on you, chat with you soon.

Lent a time of Preparation

Forty is a significant number in the Bible. It signals a state of waiting and preparation. Genesis shows us Noah and his family shut up in the ark, enduring the rains for 40 days and nights (Gen 7:17). Moses spends another 40 days and nights atop a mountain, neither eating nor drinking as he experiences the presence of God (Exodus 34:28). Numbers 14 shows the Lord, fed up with the grumbling of the Israelites, condemning them to 40 years of wandering in the desert. Mirroring the Old Testament, the gospel writers of the New Testament show Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness, fasting, and being tempted by Satan: “At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” (Mark 1:12, NIV).

Following this pattern, Christians from many church traditions have marked the occasion of Jesus’ death and resurrection by a similar period of fasting known as Lent. The traditional calendar for Lent goes from Ash Wednesday to Easter, with exceptions for Sundays (always a feast day). This devotional follows that format—40 devotionals spanning 46 days.  Devotionals will be posted on our FACEBOOK site starting Ash Wednesday.

Lent is a time of preparation; a season of prayer, fasting and repentance. It’s a time for reflecting on our shared experience of the suffering, death and glorious resurrection of Christ, the very center of our faith. Lent is a time of self-examination that should lead us to the end of our self-sufficiency and to full dependence on Jesus. However you mark this season, we hope that this devotional will enhance your meditations on Christ’s redeeming work. May this season be one of repentance, hope and joy in the resurrection of Christ; one that will last beyond these 40 days.

ALPHA WINTER SESSION

I am looking forward to what the Lord has determined that the MCF will be involved in over this next year.

Our year starts off with our third online Alpha Course.
This season we offer two online Courses.
Sunday, 31 January online 7:00 pm EST and
Wednesday, 3 February online at 7:00 MT

I love this course as it presents the fundamentals of the Christian faith in an easy to understand yet sufficiently profound way that participants have all that they need to become followers of Jesus.  And for those who already know Him, their faith will be steeled.

The MCF’s core mission, the reason that we exist, is to bring the gospel to the Military community at home and abroad. The Alpha course is an excellent tool to use in accomplishing that mission.

If you haven’t been on an Alpha course, please consider joining us or some other Alpha course in your local setting.  If you have been on the course, then talk to your military community friend or family member about joining us on Alpha this winter.

Get out there and invite (virtually) your bud, your bro, your sis, your mom, your… and register for one of the MCF Alpha courses. The experience will change them and you…forever.

Are you ready to join us, here are the coordinates for the groups:
Sunday, 31 January online at 7:00 pm EST
Leading the sessions: Gerry Potter – mcfoffice@themcf.ca

Wednesday, 3 February online at 7:00 MT
Leading the sessions: Padre Oliver Edwards Oliver.Edwards@forces.gc.ca

Happy New Year,

Welcome to 2021. I am looking forward to what the Lord has determined that the MCF will be involved in over this next year.

Every year during the week leading up to the New Year I think about what the Lord might bring about and what part I am called to play in His grand plan.  Sometimes my expectations are reasonably accurate and other times I miss the target by a country mile. Good news is, He is the master planner and all, and I mean all things happen in accordance with His sovereign will. All I can say to that is…Thank God! It gives me immeasurable peace knowing that He is the conductor of the orchestra and by His grace I get to play one of the instruments.

For the MCF, our year starts off with our third online Alpha Course. I love this course as it presents the fundamentals of the Christian faith in an easy to understand yet sufficiently profound way that participants have all that they need to become followers of Jesus.  And for those who already know Him, their faith will be steeled.

The MCF’s core mission, the reason that we exist, is to bring the gospel to the Military community at home and abroad. The Alpha course is an excellent tool to use in accomplishing that mission.

If you haven’t been on an Alpha course, please consider joining us or some other Alpha course in your local setting.  If you have been on the course, then talk to your military community friend or family member about joining us on 31 January.

I have heard people speak about various experiences they have had which they say, “changed their life forever.” It is a phrase that is used in a great variety of contexts, but it really is just a throw away statement used to describe an experience that, after a few weeks or months, has little relevance for the rest of their lives.  Not so in the case of an encounter with Jesus.

The music artist Kim Walker said during one of her live recordings that if a person experienced Jesus they would know it because they wouldn’t be the same…ever! Well said Kim!  Honestly, the only experience that a person can have that will change their life forever is to become a follower of Jesus.  Forever is forever, and only through Jesus can we live forever with Him. Amen to that brothers and sisters!

So, get out there and invite (virtually) your bud, your bro, your sis, your mom, your… to register for the next MCF Alpha course starting on Sunday night, 31 January at 7:00 pm EST. The experience will change them and you…forever.

Stay connected, we have more info to follow.

Equip, Engage
Gerry Potter
Colonel (Retired)
President

Hope-Filled and excited for what is coming!

During the last few days prior to my posting to Germany, a friend came to me with a short passage, saying that he was moved by God to recommend a passage to me.  I had been in Moose Jaw for the previous five years working, raising my family and working in a local church as a teacher-preacher. The move to Germany was in response to God’s call, to which my wife and I responded. Unbeknownst to us we would form part of a core team of five military families and plant a Canadian-military community church that continued until the Canadian military was repatriated and the two bases, Lahr and Baden, were closed.  Those were exciting times, working as a military officer and as a church planter.

During this past year, Proverbs 3:5-6 has again defined not only my life but that of the MCF as well. In spite of the restrictions and heartbreak imposed upon us all due to a previously unknown virus, my faith has grown as I was privileged to be part of the MCF’s expansion through the use of internet-based ministry.

  • A conference that had been planned to coincide with the anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian soldiers was cancelled only to be reinstated and delivered through a webinar setting.

  • The MCF launched online Alpha courses which involved participants from New Brunswick to Alberta.

  • The MCF expanded its internet based Nextlevel discipleship model.

  • The MCF conducted its AGM online garnering increased interest and participation.

  • MCF communications through social media and the newsletter continued unabated.

I am grateful for what the Lord has guided us through and I look forward to what He has determined we will be engaged in this coming year.

Thank you for your support both in prayer and financially. I have witnessed not only an increase in engaged believers but a notable improvement in the financial support received. None of us know what 2021 will look like, what we will be called to do or to sacrifice. However, we can have absolute certainty that if we trust in the Lord with all of our heart, and lean not on our own understanding, in all of our ways give honour and praise to the Lord, He will guide us in accordance with His perfect will.

I am hope-filled and excited for what is coming. Please join us as we bring the gospel to the military community at home and abroad.

Gerry Potter
Colonel (Retired)
President

Thank You – Giving Tuesday

I asked you to consider supporting the MCF this past Giving Tuesday. You responded generously. Thank you.

I am aware that to give of your finances is a sacrifice. It is a decision to choose between many, many options where best to contribute, to invest the monies that you depend on for your daily needs.  I am humbled by the trust that you place in the MCF and I am encouraged that God is with us.  So, I have one more request, please pray, please intercede on behalf of the military community, on behalf of the mission that has been given to the MCF.  Please.

Many of you are very aware of Jesus parable in Luke 11:5-10 in which He taught us to pray with unrelenting persistence. Such prayer honours God.  Such prayer pleases God. Such prayer moves God. So, please pray so that God may be honoured, so that He may be pleased, so that His Spirit moves amongst military community members, so that His Spirit empowers the workers as they share the good news.


One more thank you.

Last week I told you about Innercity Veteran Outreach & Support (IVOS) which is a ministry of Ottawa Innercity Ministries. Some of you responded with your offers of financial support. You have blessed those involved in the ministry.  They are both encouraged and increasingly determined to continue the good work that they have been called to do.  I visited with them again this past Wednesday and I could see that they were grateful for your expressions of support.  Thank you.

Brothers and sisters may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (2 Cor 13:14).

Gerry Potter
Colonel (Retired)
President MCF of Canada

A Note of Thanks & A Request

Today, the 1st of December, is Giving Tuesday, which I am sure is not a surprise. Like you, I have received numerous notices in the lead up to today letting me know that this day is the time to turn our thoughts towards non-profits and charitable organizations and consider providing your preferred agencies with an end-of-the-year contribution. For those of you who have done so already I offer my sincere thanks. The causes that you support could not accomplish what they are called to do without you.

Since, you are receiving this notice I know that you have a heart for what the MCF seeks to accomplish as well. We have been given a simple mission – bring the gospel to the military community at home and abroad. To this mission the MCF team has been unrelentingly dedicated. While COVID-19 has closed the doors of many institutions, the MCF has expanded its ministry footprint through the online environment. We have an established online men’s discipleship model; we have been preparing to launch a January 2021 online women’s discipleship group; we have held an online seminar in partnership with Ellel Ministries Canada aimed at bringing Christ-centered healing to those suffering from trauma; we are in our second season of running online Alpha courses and have established both Eastern Canada and a Western Canada-based teams; we are in the early stages of participating with Ottawa Innercity Ministries to reach homeless veterans with the love of Christ, and we are beginning the planning for a 2021 seminar on bi-vocational ministry for military community members. There is a lot to get excited about.  But… we need more.

We need more of the Holy Spirit to move in the lives of military community members drawing them to Jesus. We need more of the Holy Spirit’s power in the lives of those who are serving so that they will not grow weary, but rather be increasingly energized to accomplish what God is placing before us to do each day. We need more of your prayers of intercession for the lost, the broken hearted, and the workers who bring the message of Jesus. And we also need your financial support.

If you have already completed your allocation of charitable giving for the year, then again, I express to you gratitude for your generosity to those needy organizations.  If you have the capacity to give more then please consider the MCF and its work to bring the gospel to the military community.  There is no other entity in Canada that is exclusively focused on this mission. We have only one staff member and the rest of the team are bi-vocational volunteers. We have no buildings, and we have no inventory thus our expenses are kept low. But we have a big mission, and a consuming passion for our Lord and His call to reach the military community, and we do need your help.  Please consider supporting the MCF financially, today.

Sincerely and with gratitude,
Gerry Potter
Colonel (Retired)
President
The MCF of Canada

The MCF is hosting its second Online Alpha Course, this fall.

This past spring the MCF piloted the Alpha Course online. We had 12 course members and the course lasted 11 weeks, which is the typical course length. The course survey conducted at the end revealed a very high degree of satisfaction with the material and the experience.  I confess that at the beginning I was uncertain as to how well the course would proceed, but the results have demonstrated the value and the need for Alpha online.  So, the MCF is again hosting the Alpha Course online. This Fall, we have a team in the East and another team in the West, both hosting online Alpha Courses.

Maybe you have heard of the Alpha course and maybe not, or maybe your understanding of Alpha is a bit hazy. Well, Alpha is an 11-week course that creates a space, where people can safely discuss matters of faith, God, and life among other topics.  We don’t have all the answers, but we want to help participants explore life’s fundamental questions while learning how the Christian faith responds to those questions.

The MCF Alpha course is for military community members, that is serving and retired military and DND people as well as their families. While we know this might sound exclusive, we find that military community members have a shared language, shared experiences and shared challenges.  Keeping the course focused on military community members  helps each participant to gain maximum value from the course material.

Join us in praying for the East and West group as they engage in these Alpha Courses. the East group meets every Sunday at 7:00 pm EST and the West group meets on Wednesday at 7:00 pm WST.

Mid-Year Report 2020

The first six months of this year has presented us all with challenges that were not anticipate. We have all had to adapt to the continually evolving Covid-19 environment, the end of which is still in the distant future. Our primary job has become taking care of ourselves and those closest to us so as to ensure that we do not become infected and then cause others to become infected as well.  I think that not since World War II has there been a threat that was so widespread. Yet, we have also witnessed a shift in the ways and means used to communicate the gospel.

Initiated in January 2019, the MCF has been conducting an experimental online NextLevel men’s discipleship group. Members of the group come from Kingston, Ottawa, Valcartier, Gagetown and the Miramichi area. While other in-person groups have ceased, and their members have drifted, the MCF group has been an outstanding success providing its members with a consistent and rich Christian fellowship experience that has facilitated a deeper relationship with our Lord.

In April while the Covid-19 caseload was expanding across Canada, in response to the Lord’s calling a team of MCF members joined together to deliver the Alpha Course online. We unknowingly became part of a movement of God to provide the gospel through online Alpha that stretches across Canada, the US, the UK and other locations that I am just now hearing about.  The MCF group has seen great results as the Holy Spirit has worked in the lives of everyone who is on the course, both team leaders and participants. This coming weekend marks the end of the course and we are expectant that the Lord will do more in the lives of everyone who has been involved.

On May 9th the MCF collaborated with Ellel Ministries Canada to deliver a webinar on moral injury resulting from military operations. A first for both organizations. The MCF had been working with Ellel Ministries International to hold a weekend seminar in the Netherlands coinciding with the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands; however, global restricts forced the cancellation of that event.  The planning team came together to pray and discuss if there was anything that we could do, and we were unanimous in our understanding that we should not lose faith but press on to find another way.  The result was the delivery of a webinar that was attended by 67 people from Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy and Australia. The MCF has never before had such a reach. All due to the Lord’s intervention and favour.

In the next six months we understand that we are to again offer the Alpha Course online, that we are to again provide a webinar experience for members of the military community and that we are to provide training for NextLevel group leaders for the development of new online Nextlevel groups amongst military community leaders.

Thank you for your prayers for the military community, they are having an effect that has eternal implications.

Gerry Potter

Moral Injury: Trauma In Active Service

Due to social distancing we have an update on the Moral Injury conference originally planned for Netherlands. It will now be a 1 day VIRTUAL seminar. May 9, 2020, the  find the brochure HERE. MCF and Ellel Ministry will co-host a seminar on moral injury and will be available free to all participants. Please register as soon as possible: Registration form.


Earlier last fall Kevin Davis invited me to a one-day training session with Ellel Ministries during which leaders from this ministry presented a theological framework for the progressive healing of first-responders who had been subjected to spiritual trauma as a result of situations they faced within their areas of work. I found that the framework presented dove-tailed well into the studies that I had been conducting on the subject of Moral Injury within the context of military operations. Kevin and I met with representatives of Ellel
Ministries from both Canada and the Netherlands in an effort to discern if there could be an opportunity for us to work together. Our discussions have been fruitful.

Just War Theory has been and continues to be a subject of debate within academic circles. Governments and military leadership alike discuss its application, many times indirectly and on occasion unconsciously as they consider potential and actual courses of action. Such discussions are of no value to the men and women who are directly involved in the application of military power and experience the effects of both their actions and inactions while performing such work. Increasingly, recognition of the existence of moral injury is occurring. While the lifting of the veil on a previously ill-recognized effect of military operations is important, it is only the beginning of what needs to be a fulsome understanding of the malady and its successful treatment from a sound theological perspective. This joint seminar is the MCF’s first foray into what has been a previously poorly understood effect of military operations.

If you have been sensitized to the matter of moral injury either as a care practitioner or as an individual who has them-self suffered such an injury or has a friend or family member who has been so injured I recommend that come to this seminar. You will not be disappointed.

Gerry Potter
Colonel (Retired)
President