Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Minister's Annual Report

We are pilgrims on a journey, fellow travellers on the road;
we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load
(verse 1 of “We Are Pilgrims” #595 in Voices United)

This year our respective journeys joined together. Patty, the girls and I would once again like to thank everyone for the warm welcome we received. And now that our paths are intertwined? Now where are we headed?

Well we have started that exploration haven't we. When I first led worship with you folks I invited us to keep one question in our minds – who is God calling us to be? -- and this is the question that I want to keep in mind as we chart the next steps in our journey.

We have this ministry and we are not discouraged;
it is by God's own power that we may live and serve.
Openly we share God's word, speaking truth as we believe,
praying that the shadowed world may healing light receive.
We have this ministry, O God receive our living.
(verse 1 of “We Have This Ministry” #510 in Voices United)

We have a ministry of sharing God's Word of light, life and love with the people of Grande Prairie and the wider world. It isn't always easy knowing best how to do that. We struggle with it daily in a thousand different decisions. But as we have started so we continue. WE explore how God is speaking to us in our times of worship, study, and work. Your Council takes seriously the task of providing leadership, of looking for where the path is headed. In discussions about how our building will look and operate, in discussions about what studies to have, in discussions about what impact we make on our community, in these and many other discussions we, the church, are exploring and living out that key question.

As I was going through the search and decision process a year ago the JNAC report of this congregation jumped out at me. As Patty and I read it we both saw that this was a place of life and possibilities. We both said “we could be happy there”. And indeed this has been what we have found in this first 6 months together. There is life here. There is ministry happening. As I look forward to the years to come I anticipate many twists and turns in the path of our journey. And I look forward to sharing them with all of you. And when the way gets tiring remember that we need not be discouraged. Our strength is not in our own efforts but flows from the grace and support of God.

As our journey winds and twists it's way towards the centre and then back into the world, may God walk with us every step, dancing when we dance, carrying us when we are tired, and spurring us forward when we are reluctant. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.


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