On Tuesday night, Pastor Arte and I met with our Peachland Campus at Bedford's for supper and dialogue. It was a wonderful sharing time with a great group of people. There were 3 important topics to discuss; transition, autumn and 2015. First, I wanted to give opportunity for people to ask questions about the current pastoral transition. With our leaving, how would that effect Peachland? Due to staff shortages what would the fall ministry look like and where should our priorities lie? We also wanted to talk about long term plans and ministry. With Pastor Arte and Julie Overby's arrival and community opportunities, should we adjust ministry goals and direction for 2015 and beyond. As you can imagine, it was an invigorating town hall meeting. I was so proud of their respect for each other and of their love expressed towards their brothers and sisters at the West Kelowna Campus. I was encouraged by their servant leadership and humility. There were many creative ideas. The energy to work towards a preferred future deeply touched both Pastor Arte and I. Here are some of the highlights:
Peachland Campus has decided to remain joined with the West Kelowna Campus in Sunday morning celebration during the pastoral transition. This allows energy and focus to go towards small groups and weekly congregational gatherings rather than the celebration service. It will also allow them to be engaged in the Lead Pastoral search as much as possible as the next Senior Pastor will be important in vision and influence regarding the Peachland Campus. Recognizing the smaller number of pastors to serve our congregation in the fall, this adjustment illustrated the "preferring our brother" principle lauded in Scripture.
Pastor Arte, our Peachland Deacon (Jeff Walker) and the Outreach Committee will work towards weekly events in the autumn that will allow the campus to connect for fellowship, prayer, outreach and food! These times will be varied and pivotal in keeping the community connected.
In 2015, after the arrival of the next Lead Pastor, Pastor Arte will guide the Peachland Campus into its next chapter. This may include an evening service, rental of a church in Peachland, inviting greater participation from the West Kelowna Campus and plans to purchase land. For example, if the Peachland Campus was to begin a weekly Saturday night service at the United Church, those from the West Kelowna Campus who have to work on Sundays could go there for Saturday worship, Communion and preaching. This is exciting vision moving forward.