Summer has arrived!
As I am writing this Pastor’s Corner it is 30 degrees outside, the sky is blue, and a slight breeze is coming through the window. My office is just wonderful right now. Last night was different. My house was so hot that I bought fan the size of a jet engine. Needless to say, we are a big fan of the fan.
Puns aside, this “Pastor’s Corner” entry is the last one for the year. Pastor Tom and I will continue to write these in the fall.
What’s happening around Bethel this summer? We are again ramping up programming for youth and children. Our summer interns Abbey and Carley will need all of our support and prayers to serve our community. What are the activities that are happening?
I would encourage you to prayerfully consider how you can support these ministries. Whether that is through prayer, helping at Kid’s camp, or providing a meal for youth during sports camps, everyone can get pitch-in somehow.
I want to wish everyone a very blessed and happy summer. May it be a time of refreshing and renewal. May it be a time of communion with God and your family. - Pastor Ryan
What Does the Summer Have in Store For Us?
This Sunday’s message will be the last I preach for a while. My sabbatical (one month of study leave, plus one month of vacation) will start this coming Saturday, June 23. On that day Janet and I will embark on a trip to Vancouver. I will start a course on the gospel’s passion narratives at Regent College on Monday the 25th.
Here is what you can look forward to in in the months ahead:
· Pastor Ryan will preach a two-part series on God and politics.
· Roy Berkenbosch, an ordained pastor and the Director of the Micah Centre at King’s University, will preach a three part series on justice and the Christian life.
· Then Pastor Ryan will preach four sermons in a series called Bon Voyage. It will feature four scenes from four ships in the Bible.
I leave you with a final word of encouragement. For many of us the summer months will mean a big change in our schedules. Our patterns will be upended because the kids are out of school, we will be traveling, or because we will be hosting guests in our home, or for all of these reasons combined.
I have found that these months, while exhilarating, can be spiritually challenging. The unsettled nature of this season can take a toll on our disciplined pursuit of spiritual practices. A vacation can easily become a vacation from God. As a result we can emerge from the summer physically refreshed but feeling disconnected from our Heavenly Father. This is a good time to take stock of how we will negotiate these weeks so the summer is one that leaves us both physically refreshed and stronger in our walk with Christ than ever.
Have a wonderful summer. –Pastor Tom
ARE YOU “ALL IN”?
Today we are launching a campaign called ALL IN. It is a campaign to raise the prayer, volunteer, and financial support necessary for our next big missional step: planting a new church while seeing Bethel Church continue to grow in health, vibrancy, and new disciples. We are calling the campaign ALL IN because we believe that, as we are all ALL IN, we will see God work powerfully. There are three ALL IN’s that are the special focus of this campaign:
Let me explain each one:
By the time you read this Pastor's Corner (barring unforeseen circumstances) Janet and I will be in Ottawa, Ontario, joining other family members for the funeral of Janet's brother, Ron. Ron died about a month ago, and the circumstances of his death are particularly tragic.
In the last several years, life had not treated Ron well, and it affected him deeply.Once an outspoken Christian, he became depressed and withdrew from family and friends. He started to drink alcohol excessively.
Family and friends had tried to engage with Ron and encourage him, but no one guessed how bad his situation had become. Isolated and alone, Ron had quit taking care of himself. While he died of natural causes, it is evident to everyone that he had given up on life.
His death has occasioned a lot of perplexity and soul searching on the part of family members. We've all asked ourselves: "Why didn't I see this coming? Could I have done something to prevent this?"
The experience has made me to think a lot about loneliness. It has made me want to reach out to people around me who feel isolated and alone. –Pastor Tom
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