38 and Counting! Canadian Congregations Respond to Faith Today Contest

by Karen Stiller

This morning, I interviewed Patti Miller, a hardworking Canadian pastor. This particular leader has just moved from Hamilton to Montreal to lead a big church on a big new adventure. The interview will appear in March/April Faith Today, and I know readers will appreciate her insights on urban ministry in Canada, among other things.

His Secret Place in St. Andrew's, Newfoundland is one of the retreat centres across Canada opening their doors for pastors who need a break.

But what struck me as I chatted with Miller, was how much she knew about a myriad of different areas by dint of her experience for years as a Canadian pastor.

It is really a life like no other. Your fingers get plunged into a lot of important pies.

The strange and unique life of pastors was also confirmed to me in last week’s EFC webinar on Clergy Wellness. We really just skimmed the surface with our specialists, Wanda Malcolm from Wycliffe College and Mark Vander Vennen from Shalem Mental Health Network.

But what was clear is that the life of ministry is filled with unique joy and special challenges.

Across the country, churches large and small from coast to coast are responding to our invitation to nominate their particular hardworking pastor for our Faith Today contest. In partnership with generous retreat centres in almost every province, we are sending away one pastor from each area for what we hope will be a rejuvenating couple of days of rest or reading (or maybe just a sleep marathon).

So, far 38 pastor’s names have been nominated. Here’s some of what we have been hearing from those who have entered their pastor’s name:

“He is very knowledgeable on the Bible, knows everyone in the congregation by name, calls when we are ill, feeds his flock and the community.”

“Our church is in a low income area & because of her uplifting personality we are seeing a lot of the neighbourhood people showing up. She organizes pot luck dinners. Movie nights (I think she likes pop corn)I could go on…”

“When he’s not preparing for Sunday services, attending ministry and leadership meetings, visiting people in the hospital and homes, he takes time to be with and support his wife and three young adult children as well as be involved in his local community.”

“She was hired as our Youth and YA Pastor but has worn countless hats, as many do in ministry. She is non-stop energy and has a passion for camp, so even when she is not working at the church, she is running camps in another province!”

Yes, we all know pastors put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us, as my Nana used to say.

God has never chosen perfect people to lead His Church. It wouldn’t get very far that way. But we are so glad that there are 38 pastors (and counting) who are receiving a nice pat on the back these days. Remember, you have till Feb. 29 to nominate your pastor.

Karen Stiller is a senior editor of Faith Today. Find out more about the contest here. 

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