We are celebrating a milestone here at Faith News Niagara. One we couldn't have attained without you.
One year ago, we published our first edition of the website. Yes, this time last year we launched the site for the first time, and we just want to thank you, the person reading this right now. Without people like you, there would be no reason to do what we're doing. Your interest in Faith News tells us that you recognize that there is a place for this resource in our community.
So, what exactly are we doing? And why? How exactly are we being a resource for Niagara? I’m going to answer those questions, and in so doing, explain with some detail the mission and mandate of this website. We’ll likely do this every so often, so newer readers understand that nothing on our website is there by chance.
Our tag line essentially states that we take our area’s ministries and believers, and connect them with other ministries and believers, so we can share our God-given resources with each other. Further down in this post, I’ll list how we’re currently fulfilling this statement. Before I do, I want to go to a place in Scripture that speaks to this idea of sharing resources. Read the following from the book of Acts:
“32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” Acts 4:32-35
I usually leave the deeper Bible teaching to the area pastors writing for our Virtual Pulpit section, or for Joshua Ray’s Faith Articles. Let the pros handle it, I say. But this passage is pretty straightforward, isn’t it? Share what the Lord had blessed you with. Maybe you’ve seen that series of commercials that end with the question “what’s in your wallet?” We ask the same question to ourselves, and then to our readers. And then we ask this follow-up one: “what’s the Lord telling you to do with what’s in your wallet?” In other words, is he telling you to support a person, ministry or institution highlighted on the site in some capacity?
And continuing with that train of thought for a bit, I’ll add that the substance in this “wallet” we’re spending all this time on isn’t always going to be money; it’s anything of value that we can give to others: time, influence, knowledge, connections, etc. Whatever resources we have that others can benefit from, if we’re willing to share those resources with others in the Region, the work of the Lord throughout the Region will move forward, and much can be accomplished in the name of Jesus.
While I may not usually quote Scripture, absolutely everything we do in Faith News evolves around and aligns with those verses in Acts. The essence of that passage permeates every section of our site. We’re always looking for ways to serve and bless the community of Christians we are called to minister to, always searching for ways to live out that passage, always asking what resources do we have at our disposal, always wondering how we can use them to be a blessing to other believers and ministries.
Here are a few of the ways that we bless others:
—Our monthly stories always highlight something that God is doing locally, in his people and his ministries. We also invite our readers to support or partner with that person, ministry or organization if they feel led to do so.
—We help position area businesses, and in particular, Christian businesses, in front of area Christians through free ads. Many believers love the idea of supporting Christ-centred businesses. Our readers can do business with these companies, knowing they share the same values. And free ads mean we can bless both the businesses, as well as our readers.
—Our local churches, ministries and institutions can also take advantage of our free community Bulletin Board to promote any upcoming events to the rest of the Region. With Christmas just a few months away, this is a great way to advertise to other believers about that concert, choir, or play you’re hosting.
—We recently started compiling a list of the region’s churches, which will be updated regularly, as we continue to gather contact info, etc. If your church isn’t on our list, let us know and we will add it.
And we’re always thinking of other ways to model giving to the Body of Christ in our region, always thinking up ways to add more value to our fellow Niagara residents. We’re actively looking to grow this list.
I have seen other communities— like my home town of Montreal, or the northern Ontario town of Sudbury, where I lived before moving to Niagara— utilize Christian media, and use it to bless people of like faith in the surrounding area. I believed our region could use something like this, but I didn’t want to be the guy to start it. I was involved in youth ministry at the time with YFC/ Youth Unlimited (Youth For Christ). But in order to help improve my fundraising aspirations, I started Faith News to meet new potential donors. I ended up resigning due to lack of funds, but I’m hoping this website can ultimately open doors to return to youth work.
So that’s the whats and whys of Faith News Niagara. Having this vision has brought us to where we are, and we trust it to propel us forward as we enter year two.