News Blog

What is your greatest frustration in ministry?

Posted by on Friday, September 28th, 2012 in Minister

Yesterday I was filling out an application for the Pastors of Excellence program (I’ll no doubt write more about that program in the future if I am accepted). The application was surprisingly probing.
One of the questions gave me some pause. It asked, “What is your greatest frustration in ministry?”
My immediate response was to say that nothing frustrated me more than when people get upset at something that has gone wrong or that hasn’t gone their way in the life of the church and, in response, they withhold something – perhaps their money or their time and talent or, in the worst cases, their entire presence.
I do hate that and find it very frustrating. And even if the thing that they are reacting to has nothing to do with me and is nothing that I could have (or should have) made to go differently, I always feel as if it is my fault. I feel personally attacked.
So that is the response that I wrote down. But when I went back and looked at it, I knew that I hadn’t really told the whole story. Though I hate that kind of circumstance, I realized what really frustrated me wasn’t quite that.
You see, I find that I may hate the circumstance but I do not hate the people who react that way. The real frustration is that I can sympathize with them, even while I do not approve of the ways that they respond. The reality is that things do go wrong in the church – sometimes very seriously wrong. People are unkind or unfeeling towards others. Disagreements are not dealt with constructively. Often (not always, of course) when people are upset they have good reason to be. I don’t like the way that they react but I am frustrated to find that I can sympathize with them. Perhaps it would be so much easier if I could just hate them, but I find that I can’t.
I have decided to preach a sermon (in a couple of months) on the issue of when people withdraw from their support of the church because they have been aggrieved. I don’t know what to say about it yet, but I am seeking some Biblical inspiration. The best story I can come up with so far is Jesus’ parable of the tenants who refused pay their rent, but that one hardly ends well – with everyone dead. (Though, I guess, that is where the church might end up if we don’t tackle this problem.)
Where else might I look?
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We need a little help ….

Posted by on Thursday, September 27th, 2012 in News

  does anyone have boxing gloves or something very similar, or even karate suits/belts?  We need some for the STARS taping this Sunday, September 30th.  And if anyone has LONG pieces of rope that would be great too, .... oh, and an empty pizza box.   Are you curious now?  You'll have to wait and see.
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Another Scholarship winner!

Posted by on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 in News

 Congratulations Becca!

High school students win Bill Struck Memorial Scholarship

Rebecca Paddock and Jessica Helwig are this year’s winners of the Bill Struck Memorial Scholarship.
Paddock, a student at GCI, was a captain on student council where she was involved in planning and running many school and community events. Along with being an outstanding student academically and a DECA member, Paddock played on the school’s field hockey and soccer teams, performed in the concert band and helped raise $40,000 for cancer research. Within the community, Paddock was a leader with the city’s summer playgrounds program and has been a volunteer in the community.
Helwig has been president of a number of groups at Southwood Secondary School, including the Student Music Activities Council, the Environmental Club and the Free the Children “We-School” Group. She has also found time to join three choirs, be on the Student Activities Council, Best Buddies Club, Grand River Environthon team, as well as a member of DECA. Outside school, she has worked as a lifeguard for the City of Cambridge, as well as assisting with a number of coffee house fundraisers.
This is the 13th year that the Bill Struck scholarship has been awarded to two students who have not only achieved success in school academics and athletics, but have also been involved in the community.
The scholarship was developed in memory of Coun. Bill Struck to honour his service to the community of Cambridge and his support of youth. Struck served 28 years on the Preston, Cambridge and Region of Waterloo councils until his death in 1997.
The Struck scholarship has been funded through City of Cambridge donations and fundraising initiatives by the Youth Advisory Council Cambridge. The scholarship was created in response to the many youth that are unable to access post-secondary education due to financial restraints.
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Scholarship winner!

Posted by on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 in News

 Congratulations Christian!

Barnard winds Santarossa scholly

Christian Barnard was one of five Midwestern Conference players awarded with Frank Santarossa Memorial Scholarships.
The Cambridge Winter Hawk is an honours arts student at Wilfrid Laurier University, maintaining a 74 per cent average.
To be eligible for the $1,000 Santarossa scholarship, a player must have played in 60 per cent of his team’s games in the previous season, have an average not lower than 70 per cent and be enrolled in a Canadian university or college for the upcoming year.
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About the Creative Ministries Position

Posted by on Monday, September 10th, 2012 in Minister

Up until the spring of this year, St. Andrew’s Hespeler had a position called the Creative Ministries Coordinator – a part time position that was very ability filled by Adriana Vermaas for many years. In the spring she resigned and is moving on to other challenges (while continuing to participate in the life of the congregation).
What do you do when a position like that is suddenly vacant in the life of a congregation? Generally speaking Christian congregations are not overstaffed. Though there are always concerns about how much the payroll costs, of course, the problem is almost never that there are too many people on staff but rather that there are not enough to do everything that needs to be done.
So there is a temptation, as soon as a position like this is vacated, to go ahead and fill it right away because there is a danger that, if we don’t, the congregation will just decide that they can get by without the position and the existing staff will only end up getting stretched thinner.
But immediately filling the position is not what we are going to do in this case. Instead, after considering things for a bit, the session has decided that we will take some time to evaluate things. We have created a list of all the responsibilities that have fallen on the Creative Ministries Coordinator in the past and created some proposals for how these these responsibilities can be covered by others – by committees or volunteers in some cases, by staff (hopefully without overburdening them) in others.
We will very carefully monitor how these responsibilities are being covered over the next six months. In every case we will be evaluating whether or not these responsibilites are being covered and by whom. We will also be keeping track of whether or not taking care of these responsibilites has led to other things in the congregation being neglected.
At the end of this period of evaluation – by next spring – it is our hope that we will have a better picture of where the gaps are in the work and ministry and work of our congregation. Then we will be in a better position to determine whether we need to increase our paid staff coverage, whether specific volunteers need to be recruited or other solutions need to be considered. We do not know where this evaluation will lead us and we want to be open to all posibilites.
I think that this next period of evaluation has its risks. If we are not honest with ourselves about how things are going, if we wrongfully overburden some individuals or if we fail to consider new possibilites, we could end up making some wrong decisions.
I would greatly appreciate everyone’s prayers during this period. I encourage everyone to pitch in and help but also to be very open to talking about how things are going. Above all, let us place our trust in God that, as we open ourselves to his leading, we will be able to find an excellent partnership between staff, committeess and volunteers that will continue to lead this congregation with excellence.
We must not be governed by fear of change or fear of large budgets. If we are faithful to follow God’s call, we know that our Father will provide what we need. We will be governed by faith.

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Andrew’s Voice – Latest Edition

Posted by on Monday, September 10th, 2012 in News

     The Back to Sunday School Fall 2012 edition of the newsletter is available now at this link: 

      Hard copies are available at church.  A great message from Scott, an introduction to our new Youth Leader, lots of start up dates and events - all can be found in this edition.  Please take the time to read through it and maybe join us for some of our programs and events.
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Sunday, September 9th

Posted by on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 in News

 Welcome back!  Well, it isn't officially the beginning of the church year, but it does feel like we are all getting back into our regular routines.

Please join us this Sunday as we have a special morning full of important events.  First please join us for The Sacrament of Holy Communion.  Our children in Grade 4 + will be participating in Communion with their families.

If you are involved in any ministry within the life of St. Andrew's we urge you to attend the service this Sunday.  It is Commissioning Sunday as well and this is a way that we can lift each other up in prayer as we serve the community of St. Andrew's and show others the love of Jesus.

Sunday School Rally Day!!!!  A favourite Sunday for our Students!  If you bring a filled out & signed registration form to Joni after church, in the hall, you will receive a surprise treat.  Will there be Jelly Bean count contests this year, or will it be bubble gum, or some other surprise?  You have to come to find out!  See you there.

Oh, and what better way top off our Sunday, then CAKE SUNDAY?  We will celebrate those who have birthdays in July, August and September!

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