This past week has been filled with many pleasant opportunities to celebrate God’s goodness in the lives of people who are part of our movement. On Wednesday, we gathered to honour some faithful ICCM Canada staff people who are retiring – Vivian Hyndman who has been Director of International Child Care Ministries (ICCM) for 27 years and staff members Audrey Zandvliet (19 years) Marie Dodridge (14 years). (The Welland office has been closed and ICCM now operates out of the Ministry Centre under Paula Moriarty’s leadership.)
The next day while the Leadership Development Plan (LDP) Think Tank was meeting to talk about ways to continue to improve this local church-based approach for helping people who are being called to ministry to discern and test their call, we were blessed with a surprise visit from international leaders from Ecuador. Rev. Manuel Rosero, who oversees the Free Methodist work in Ecuador and his wife, Elvia Jacome de Rosero, who is the director for International Child Care Ministries in Ecuador, were brought to visit the Ministry Centre by Pastor Rick Venne (Iglesia del Buen Samaritano-New Horizons, Sarnia). It was a real privilege to meet these dear servants of God and to have a few minutes of fellowship with them.
What can I say about the Alberta Regional Gathering on Saturday at Ellice FMC?! Jared, Donna and I really appreciated the opportunity to listen to what God is doing in the five congregations in Alberta. Each of them is unique and yet as the day passed, it was a pleasant thing to watch these local church leaders encourage one another and reach out with help and ideas.
On Sunday morning, Donna and I worshipped at the Edmonton FMC, a multicultural congregation pastored by Patrick and Dale Lashley that is rebounding with energy and vision after some very tough and discouraging years. It wasn’t that long ago that there were serious conversations about this church closing, but where there is prayer, outward focused vision and spirit-anointed determination, things can turn around. This is EFMC’s story and it’s a great story. Yesterday, we presented certificates to new members, commissioned a new sign that is going to be used to speak words of hope to all in the neighbourhood who drive by the church and then enjoyed a delicious international potluck lunch.
On Sunday evening, we enjoyed fellowship with friends at Mewassin FMC, a very rural congregation about 45 minutes west of Edmonton. We ate, we sang, we encouraged one another from God’s word. Glenn and Arlene Boyde pastor this church. Glenn works at the local school fulltime and because of this, has significant opportunities to minister to community families. You may remember when we were all horrified when several snowmobilers were killed in an avalanche this past winter. These were Mewassin area people and our FM folks were very involved in ministry in the wake of these tragedies. BTW, this is Jason Johnson’s (pastor at West Springs FMC) home church.
There are pictures from all this events in the Photo Gallery this week. See below.
There are two announcements to make this week. We offer our congratulations to Dustin Laird (Lakeside FMC in Salmon Arm, BC) who has been approved as a Ministerial Candidate by the Board of Administration. Dean Holtz has been appointed as an assistant pastor at New Horizons FMC in Sarnia (see details below).
While we are here in this beautiful part of Canada, Donna and I are going to unplug from email and disappear for a few days of vacation this week. Please remember to pray for the British Columbia Regional Gathering next Saturday.
Have a great week serving Jesus.
P.S. Remember. If you are wondering about something related to the FMCIC and its ministry, please send your question to [email protected].
Have a look at Dan Sheffield’s blog: http://sheffield.typepad.com