The Toronto Pan American Games will be taking place from July 10-26, 2015 and the Parapan American Games from August 7-14, 2015. Athletes from across Latin America, South America, the Caribbean and North America will be competing in 36 Pan Am and 15 Parapan Am sports. The official website: http://www.toronto2015.org/.
A little background info: the Pan American Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport games only surpassed in size and scope by the Olympic Summer Games and the Asian Games. Canada has hosted the games twice before – in 1967 and 1999 both in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
With close to 7,000 athletes competing in some 40+ venues stretching from Oshawa to Welland the need for volunteers is great. How great? About 20,000 great! That is a ton of volunteers. And that is where you come in. Or where you could come in!
The vision of “More Than Gold 2015” is to realize “a stronger Toronto and GTA whose spirit is raised by the Christian community being fully engaged with the 2015 Pan Am Games and its legacies.” Translation: connect and coordinate the Christian community to serve as volunteers in and around the city at the various venues and create spaces to extend the hospitality of Christ during the games.
“The name and identity of ‘More Than Gold’ has previously been successfully used to express Christian purpose and example at past major sporting events such as the Commonwealth, Pan Am, and Olympic Games. In fact, the More Than Gold theme and logo carries a history that dates back past the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games. It was developed by the International Sports Coalition in association with the Southern Baptist Convention, a non-profit organization mandated to coordinate the volunteer efforts of the faith community.” – quote from “More Than Gold 2010 Olympic” website.
Bishop Keith asked Jim Kesselring (former pastor of Malvern Methodist in Toronto) to represent the Free Methodist Church in Canada at the More Than Gold start up meetings. Bishop Keith feels this is a significant opportunity for our movement because with, “honoured guests coming to our country, we want to receive them graciously and allow them to see the love of Christ in our lives and pray they will go home conscious of the Lord Jesus and pursue a relationship with Him.”