On August 28, Pastor Jon Pairitz was commissioned as the new senior pastor of the GCI congregation in Michigan City, Indiana. The commissioning ceremony was conducted by district pastor Sam Butler, accompanied by GCI president, Dr. Joseph Tkach.
On June 24-26, leaders of GCI churches in Bicol, Philippines gathered for a leadership retreat. Senior pastors and pastoral team members of churches from Albay, Camarines Norte and Sur, Legaspi, Sorsogon, and Tabaco attended. Dr. Rey Taniajura, Area Superintendent for Bicol, and his wife June were facilitators. The three day event focused on learning debriefing as a tool in pastoral care ministry. Debriefing is a powerful means for pastors and other leaders to offer members a caring “shoulder to cry on.”
During the retreat, Pastor Ernesto Aycardo was ordained an elder.
The Salt Lake City, Utah, congregation, Grace Fellowship, celebrated their 45th anniversary with a barbeque in the backyard of members, Bill and Bambi Patterson.
Bill Bryce, part of the pastoral team in Salt Lake and one of the founding members of the church there, gave a brief overview of what’s happened in Grace Fellowship over the last 45 years. The 52 who attended the celebration enjoyed reminiscing and fellowshipping. The Salt Lake City church began August 20, 1966.
Camp Connections, a GCI-Canada camp, just completed its sixth year. This year the camp had two sessions, held at Providence Point, in Lanark, Ontario. Campers come from Ontario, Quebec and New York.
The camp welcomed Pastor Dennis Lawrence for a couple of days. Dennis (pictured at far right), who co-directs the camp with his wife Lynn Lawrence, was unable to attend full time due to health issues.
The camp’s creative staff invented several fun activities. One was a “clue” game where the theme was that the Ontario Camping Association was coming to do their inspection and the “Director” felt the best way to pass was to have questionable campers disappear! It was great fun. However, the most enjoyed activity was the camp chapels, featuring a wonderful worship band. Chapel messages followed the “Living Loved” curriculum developed by GCI-USA Generations Ministries. Each camp session ended with a banquet, awards ceremony and bonfire. Special recognition was made of the loss this year of one of our strongest camp supporters, John Ferlatte.
Gary Moore, GCI-Canada director, reports on his recent visit to South Africa:
Wendy, Tim Maguire and I visited Durban, South Africa where we conducted a day long seminar with several church leaders driving a number of hours to attend. On Sunday we enjoyed church services with a packed Durban congregation. As a result of outreach projects over the last several years, the Durban congregation has experienced good growth in new attendees. About 70% of the congregation has begun attending since our doctrinal changes in the mid 90’s.
The following Wednesday we attended the monthly SEP camp planning meeting. There was great appreciation passed along to us for the support our Canadian members and congregations provide to this camp in South Africa.
On July 9 we held a graduation dinner in Bogota for nine couples who completed a church sponsored marriage class. Three of these were leaders of other denominations who took the class so they could use it in their own congregations. One couple and their family, who are new to the gospel, have begun attending with us.
On July 24, we were visited by John and Nhora Lamb of the Brussels, Belgium, congregation. John, who pastors the Brussels church, presented the sermon and gave a report about what GCI’s mission work in Malawi. The same day we had with us missionaries Daniel and Marilyn German who are working with New Tribes in Africa. Daniel motivated us with a short message on missions. Two missionary ladies working with New Tribes in Bogota joined our congregation about two years ago. They are a source of motivation for us in our local missions work.
Prayer is requested for the success of my upcoming visits to Argentina, Peru and Mexico.
Hector is GCI’s National Director in Colombia and Missions Director for Latin America.
Silver Meadows Camp
Silver Meadows is our youth camp in Western Canada. It recently completed its 2011 camp session with 30 workers, 35 teen campers and 11 pre-teen campers. Daily Bible studies covered the Living Loved curriculum provided by Generations Ministries. It was well received, and resulted in the Ask the Pastor sessions having some deep and thought provoking questions. Two baptisms took place the final day, and campers donated $600 in offerings to be dedicated to the SEP South Africa camps this year.
– Gary is GCI’s National Director in Canada.