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Well, it's already July, where did the year go? I must apologize for dropping off the planet with the update emails. Life got very busy, very fast!
Here are some highlights and photos from the past three months and five days!
Back in April, I candidated for the position of Family Life Pastor at Maple Ridge Wesleyan Church in New Brunswick. It was an amazing weekend of meeting key ministry leaders and experiencing who and what the church was. While I was there, I was given the opportunity to preach on the topic of forgiveness, looking specifically on the scriptures containing Jesus’ last words. Following the service, the board voted to decided whether I would be a good addition to the church, and they voted yes! I accepted their offer a few days later.
Graduation and Baccalaureate
Graduation and Baccalaureate happened at the end of April and it was an emotional time. We had rehearsals, internship debriefing sessions, ice cream socials, and time to reconnect with people who we hadn't seen in over four months.
I was asked to play the bass for the Baccalaureate service, and leading the Kingswood community and their families one last time was amazing. The service was a great cap to our time at Kingswood, and the social time afterward allowed us to chat with those who had impacted us most. But the anticipation was growing for Graduation.
The day had finally come. I got ready and went to Wesley Hall to prepare and get our photos taken. We then lined up, had our final prayer, and walked up to enter the chapel. Wayne Schmidt, the General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church spoke.
As they called my program to approach the stage, a bunch emotions went through my mind. I had quite the journey to get to Kingswood and over my time there, but God had got me through. He was and is faithful.
When you find a $55 flight to Florida and your best friend lives in Tampa, you take advantage of it! After grad, I took a trip down to Florida to visit Jr and finally meet his family. Luckily, it wasn't very hot and, because of the off season, the beaches were not very busy.
I also was excited to worship at Jr's home church,Park Place Wesleyan and see where he grew up. The highlight of the trip, besides meeting Jr's family, was visiting Kennedy Space Center and seeing the Saturn V rocket that took men to the moon and the space shuttle.
Transition from Brockville
Once I arrived back from Florida, I had to begin packing to move back to Toronto for the month of June before I started at Maple Ridge. Saying good-bye is never easy, especially when you have lived with a family for five months and have grown close. That is the case with the Branscombes.
I spent a lot of time with this family during internship, including family parties, making maple syrup, birthdays, and treasure hunts. It was difficult to say good bye, but plans were made to visit me in New Brunswick. I also ended up seeing them again at District Conference and got to celebrate Seth's first birthday!
Back in Ontario
June was a very busy month. As soon as I moved back from Brockville, I went up to my Nana's house to celebrate her 75th birthday. I told her she has to make it to 100 so we can celebrate me being half her age!
I had the opportunity to go back to the church I got saved at, Roblin Wesleyan. While I was there, I was able to speak at both Youth and their Grad Banquet. Also during the weekend, I was able to reconnect with my Dad, his wife, and my youngest brother. It was awesome to see restoration.
I also had the opportunity to meet Pastor Luis and Ana Cordero, a church planting team that hopes to start a Hispanic ministry in the Greater Toronto Area. We shot a promo video together to help them raise funds for their plant. It was shown at District Conference, but you can view it here.
Once I was back from District Conference, I got to celebrate my Mom's birthday in Niagara Falls, then I got to preach at Milliken one last time. It was graduation Sunday and the service was lead by all the graduates from the congregation, including Gwen. It was so good to see my Milliken Church family and spend time with the Pryor's. After the service, I began the task of moving to New Brunswick. Pastor Eric called my two months between graduation and starting at Maple Ridge a sabbatical but it was actually pretty busy!
As I write this, I have been at Maple Ridge for one week and two Sundays and it has been an amazing time. God is doing a lot of cool things here and the people are some of the nicest I have ever met. Although I have only been here for a short time, it already feels like home. I am so excited for what God is going to do here over my time serving at Maple Ridge!
My time so far has been mostly taken up by meeting people and planning some events for families here at the church. It has been awesome.
This week, I will be at Beulah for two days for the Atlantic District Conference where they will transfer me into the district as well and give me a district license. Pretty exciting times!
Praise - Not so much an answered prayer as much as a praise. God is moving in huge, visible ways in my life, and I am so thankful that He is with me through it all because there is no way I could do it on my own!
Transition -Please pray that my transition into Maple Ridge continues to move smoothly and that everything at District Conference goes well