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

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

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

Inexplicable joy

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”  
Luke 1:35



A young woman who was a virgin was selected by God the Father to bear God the Son by the power of God the Holy Spirit at a specific moment in all of time for the sole purpose of reconciling sinful people to God thereby granting them life eternal with Him. Restoration to God’s original design. It is a wonderous gift that is presented to mankind and we believers reflect not only on our own new birth as sons and daughters of the Most-High God, but also on the continuing offer to those around us who have not yet received the gift of faith. Christmas is filled with wonder, not because of observable things, but because the Spirit who indwells the children of God quickens believers and pours out through them to the earthly society within which they live. A strange joy pervades.

While involved in operations during the Afghan conflict I was located at the NATO HQ in Kabul and by God’s design I also co-led a small but vibrant church whose members were from various NATO nations. At Christmas time, Nick, the lead chaplain, a British man who had found favour in the eyes of General Richards, Commander ISAF, asked our church to assist him in ministering to all of NATO HQ Kabul by conducting a Christmas Eve service. We responded to the request with a resounding unified yes and an explosion of excited joy. While we continued to perform our military duties, we were energized to concurrently and collectively work alongside Nick in preparing for the Christmas eve service.  We worked, we prayed, we prepared for two weeks. The intensifying and profound excitement that we all experienced was as tangible as it was surprising to us.  There we were in the midst of a conflict zone, involved in the conduct of military action against an aggressive opposing force yet we were joy-filled.

Romans 8:9 asserts that a Christian is not in the flesh, but rather in the Spirit. The indwelling Spirit works to develop within the believer Christ-like character, part of which is inexplicable joy. At a specific moment in time, God called together a disparate group of believers from various nations to work together and glorify His name in the midst of a conflict zone. The Christmas Eve service lasted only one hour.  There were over 600 military personnel in attendance. The gospel was preached. The Lord was glorified. And our small entourage of disciples experienced God’s presence with absolute joy.

At the end of the service General Richards addressed the crowd, himself visibly emotive, and testified of the reality of Christ and of his gratitude for the opportunity to be reminded of that which is of utmost importance, while in the midst of the hard labour of military operations.

If you are child of God, you have been called to serve on His mission, no matter where you are or what you are engaged in. Christmas is a time of wide-spread quickening, opportunities to testify about Jesus and the salvation that is available only through Him abound. My prayer for you and for me is that like a sentry standing watch we will be alert to the opportunities that He leads us into and that we will respond without hesitation. Merry Christmas, Serve Well!

Gerry Potter
Colonel (Retired)
President

10 Daily Living Tips

1. READ your Bible every day – Psalm. 1:2-3 

2. TELL God you love Him every day – Mat. 22:35-38  

3. SET your mind on Heaven every day – Phil. 3:20-21 

4. PICK UP your cross every day – Luke 9:23 

5. EXAMINE your life for sin and confess it to God every day – 1 John 1:9 

6. PRAY for lost people every day – Romans 10:1 

7. ASK God to meet your needs every day – Matthew 6:11-12 

8. ASK God to protect you from the evil one every day – 1 Pet 5:8 

9. ASK God for strength every day – Gal 5:16,18 

10. ASK God for wisdom every day – Proverbs 2:3-6 

Thank you for your partnership and support

Today I reflected on what the Lord has been doing within the military community and the portion of work that He has assigned to the MCF. Even though it appears that Canadian society is becoming increasingly secularized, He is even more active stirring the hearts and minds of people to turn towards Jesus.  There is no fanfare, no great media announcements, rather like the wind of His Spirit the effects of His presence are observable, and it is exciting to see and to feel.  It is like the breeze off the ocean in the middle of a hot summer day – cool, refreshing, invigorating.  He is moving, and we are permitted to move with Him.

This past year the MCF has experienced His favour, and the forecast is that this favour will increase. I can say this because we are receiving increased funding, some of which is from sources unknown. I am grateful for what the Lord is doing in the hearts of people, drawing them to Himself and motivating them to contribute to the mission of bringing the good news of Jesus to the military community.  If you are one of these people, then thank you.  Thank you for your willingness to invest in what He is doing and is about to do. Please consider accompanying your financial contribution with prayer.  Prayer for the military community and prayer for the members of the MCF as they serve Jesus by serving this unique community and bring the gospel along with them.

If you are reading this and have not yet contributed financially to the MCF, please take a moment and pray asking the Lord what He would have you do.  Please also consider if you would join us on our mission.

David wrote many beautiful Psalms as he was carried along by the Spirit. I draw your attention to Psalm 37 and in particular verse 4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  If you are still looking for a New Years resolution, consider this one: seek to delight yourself in the Lord no matter what your circumstances.  I am confident that He will fulfill your desires.

Thank you for your partnership and support in 2018.  Now let’s see what the Lord will do in 2019!

Gerry Potter
Colonel (Retired)
President