Elders of Willingdon Church
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pastor Ray Harms-Wiebe
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In May, we, the elders of Willingdon Church, approved and created a new ‘Family Ministry’ department, effective July 1, 2019. The primary focus of this new department is to develop and coordinate an effective integrated family ministry program that will equip parents with opportunities and resources to fulfill God’s plan for the family, and create an environment where families become disciples of Jesus. All family and student ministry programs will fall under the leadership of the Family Ministry Pastor – Team Leader. Our Children’s Ministry department will be working along side the Family Ministry department, providing collaborative support to families and children. Kids Ministries, however, will remain a separate department. We are currently looking for a pastor to serve as Family Ministry leader at Willingdon.
Change is inherent to any new initiative. After much prayer and discernment, we found it necessary to restructure the Student Ministries department and reduce our pastoral staff from four to three pastors.
Our decision did not come easily, and relaying information like this is difficult, as it affects the whole body of Christ at Willingdon – staff, students, parents and volunteers. We are a family, and the decisions we make affect us all. Unfortunately, we made the very tough decision to release Jesse Criss from pastoral ministry at Willingdon. Jesse has been with us for just under four years and served faithfully under the Student Ministry leadership banner. We thank Jesse for his commitment to and investment in students.
The restructuring of our Student Ministries department involves combining several age groups. Mark Janzen will serve as pastor of Junior High (grades 6 through 9), Brody Loewen as pastor of Senior High (grades 10 through 12), and Trevor Berry as pastor of young adults. These pastors will continue to be supported by Lauren Opelka (Ministry Associate), Sherie Etches (Admin Assistant), and Nathaniel Wong (Music Worship Associate).
As we begin this new journey of a Family Ministries department and the restructured Student Ministry programs, we ask for your continued prayers and support. These changes require the collaborative ministry effort of all our staff and volunteers to ensure students and families are served well and Christ is exalted.
Your Elders, Willingdon Church