Yes, you read that right. This past Sunday we held our first worship gathering in French simultaneously with our normal weekly worship gathering in English. As our church is made up of both anglophones (native English speakers) and francophones (native French speakers), we have been looking forward for a long time to being able to start a worship gathering completely in French in downtown Montréal. This week we held one for the first time. We still have a little ways to go before we can effectively hold this service on a weekly basis, but the precedent has been set.
Not long ago we announced that Norton and Tatiana Lages, missionaries from Brazil and wonderful friends of ours who are part of our city group, would be taking the leadership role in developing the French expression of Église 21, our church in downtown Montréal. Norton has worked with our French city group leaders, our worship director, and the pastors to design and conduct an initial worship gathering in French. He was able to capitalize on the overlap with our existing welcome team, nursery and children's ministry, and bookstore and security ministries by putting in place bilingual volunteers. They assembled a French worship band to lead us and asked Marc Pilon, the lead pastor of Église 21, Sherbrooke to preach the message.
It's hard to overstate the excitement that this brought to our church, especially those of us who worshiped completely in French for the first time or the first time with this church. We planned this service specifically to bring encouragement to our French speaking brothers and sisters and to begin to put key things in place so that as we grow and see more and more Québécois people become part of our family that we will be well postured to worship together on Sundays.
Please join us in thanking God for this great privilege and blessing and pray with us that God will add to our number many more francophone followers of Jesus and that this service will soon become a permanent part of our regular experience!
Norton and Tatiana sharing their heart for this church!