Our District Assembly – the administrative work of our church in Ontario – has come and gone. It was a “hybrid” Assembly again this year: the morning business session was held on-line via ZOOM (click here to view the proceedings), the evening ordination service was held “in person” (click here to view the service). A District “Family Reunion Service” was recorded and broadcast on the district YouTube channel Sunday afternoon (click here to watch).
I once again had the privilege of being part of this important part of the work of the church as District Secretary. In this I have the honour of working closely with our District Superintendent leading up to the Assembly as we prepare to share about what has happened in our churches the previous year (click here to download the District Assembly Handbook, which includes statistics and church and ministry reports). The General Superintendent in jurisdiction (JGS) for this year and the next is Dr. David Busic. Dr. Busic is a personable leader, and a passionate man of God. It was a pleasure to work with him.
The ordination service is the highlight of the District Assembly, as newly district licensed ministers are introduced, retiring ministers are honoured, and men and women who are called to the pastoral ministry are prayed for (with the laying on of hands) and their calls affirmed. This year six candidates were ordained and two candidates from other denominations (including Pastor André Chérazard of our Ottawa Haitian Church) had their credentials recognized.
This was a bittersweet Assembly for me, as it was my last one as the Canada Central District, District Secretary, and (unless God once again works in a mysterious way) my last one as pastor on the Canada Central District. It was also a bit of a strange way to end our time on the district. When Cindy and I announced that we planned to move to Alberta at the end of the coming summer people assumed that I was / we were retiring from the pastoral ministry, and congratulated us as such. For the first short while I replied that we were not retiring, only moving. Eventually I just smiled and said “thank you”. One day when I was talking with our District Superintendent, I told him about this and remarked that “I may as well just take retirement status” . . . the next thing I knew he had ordered a retirement plaque! I was one of six, then, who were granted that status at the Assembly. It just means that I am designated “RA” – retired, in an assigned (active) role. My active role, will of course, continue, as I have accepted a part-time pastorate at the Sherwood Park (Alberta) Church of the Nazarene.
It was a blessing to have Kevin Laffin share in our Sunday morning service. Kevin plans to enter the pastoral ministry once he retires from his position with the Department of National Defence (Navy), and is working on his master’s degree while he continues his term. He has been posted to Ottawa, and will attend Trinity Church when he is in the city. His passion is history, as was seen in yesterday’s message, based on Deuteronomy 6:4-10.
Rather than re-cap his message, I invite you to download a copy of it and read it. As always, you can find a manuscript of the message in the SERMONS section of our web site – click here to download a copy.
You can also “revisit” yesterday’s service on our Facebook page (click here) and on our YouTube channel (click here). And do print and read our message (as I said, it can be found in the SERMONS section of our web site – download a copy (click here).
This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. We’ll look at the role of fathers in our society today (not the roles as portrayed on television!) and at the role of God our Father in our lives. We invite you to wear a “colourful” tie to our service if you have one . . . wild or wacky or . . .
Our celebration of God’s love begins at 11:00 – we will continue to stream our services through our Facebook feed (click here) and our YouTube feed (click here). You can link directly from our web site (click here). Please “check in” – let us know if you worship with us “live or delayed”.
We meet every Wednesday evening at 7:00 through ZOOM to pray together. We share with one another, we discover the needs of others who are part of our church near and far, and we pray . . . some silently, some vocally. Join us this week! Click here to link directly. There is a new meeting code and password: meeting ID is 863 4628 8292 ; passcode is 631738).
Thank you for your faithful support of the work we are trying to accomplish for Christ through what we do as a church . . . for giving generously of your tithes and offerings to the meet the needs of our local church. We continue to receive our tithes and offerings through e-transfer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and through the Canada Helps web site (click here).
Barb, Emmanuelle, Matt, and Pierre are your pastoral transition team. They will begin working with our District Superintendent, meeting with him next Tuesday evening. A “transition handbook” is available on the district web site. During the transition Johania, Matt, Pastor Lloyd Rodriguez – and now Kevin Laffin – (and perhaps others) will share preaching duties; we are working on a preaching schedule.
Everyone is invited to Pastor Al’s “Celebration of Life” at Stonehaven (Bridlewood) Church this coming Saturday (June 18). It will begin at 1:00 pm.