September 18 2022

The Sabbatical… and the return      

The Russell-MacLeans travelling by rail

My family and I are so grateful for the leave of absence that this congregation granted me for a sabbatical. Our children are old enough to remember this experience for years to come. There was so much life in the many churches we visited. There were so many beautiful places, great cities and towns, so much good food and lovely music. Thank you!

But we are happy to be home after our time away and happy to be with friends and our church family.

Heather seeing the sights from her hotel window

When I returned to our church a week ago, I walked into an active place. I had just missed a fundraiser for our CBM partners in Lebanon (See a related article inside. Donations are still being accepted). Kickoff Sunday was ready with two Learning for life options, the children’s program resuming, the choir in the loft, and Mark at the organ. A church retreat at Katepwa camp is all planned with a great speaker. The bells were practicing again with a few new faces. Rob, Tiffany, and Marvin are repainting a few offices just before new carpets are installed this week.

Maizy, are you sure that backpack isn’t heavier than you are??

Cheryl has started as our Children and Family Pastor. It is lovely to see her interacting with our children. Kayely’s role will change but, after not having had a week off so far this year, she is about to take a few weeks of well-deserved rest with her family. Louise has jumped into her role with enthusiasm.

At the centre of all this work and all these relationships is Jesus. His love for us and his love for the world compel us. We have been given so much and we want to share it with the next generation and those around us.

There are still many of us who are not venturing out as much as we used to. May this little picture of our congregation’s life encourage everyone to persevere in faith and prayer.

With love,
Pastor Joel


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