The introductory comments of my 2016 Annual Report can be found here: :
As I reflect on 2016, we see that God has continued to do good things. We have continued to see small numeric growth, even though we said goodbye to many friends, who moved away for various reasons. Here are more of the good things that took place in 2016.
- Church has seen some numeric growth. Strategies are being discussed and implemented to make this ministry even more effective and have a larger staff.
- The reboot of our Jr. Youth program in partnership with South Shore Church has been an excellent addition to our ministry.
- High Power soccer had an excellent successful second season. They had a staff of around 75 and just as many kids attended as well.
- The Awana Clubbers and the rest of the church had another successful food -drive. It is the single largest food contribution at the Callander Foodbank.
- The Junior Church kid’s ministry packed 200 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse.
- Jesta Coniconde served as our summer intern and helped us with a summer J. Church program.
- Our facility has been used quite regularly for training purposes for Christian Horizons.
- Bonnie Pannabecker continues effectively using the Grief Share material to help support those going through Grief and Loss.
- Men’s and Women’s Ministries including Breakfasts, Women’s bible studies and Men’s CPR (Care, Prayer & Renewal) have added some options for people looking for spiritual growth and support.
- We had our Christmas Banquet at the Callander Community Centre for the first time and had our highest attendance in the history of the church.
- Our Christmas Eve Service, New Year’s Eve Party, Mother’s Day Breakfast, Chili Cook-off we’re all great events and well attended.
- Monique Avery has done and excellent job of getting our Prevention Plan coordinated and its administration up to date. She has also done an amazing job of running the office here at Callander Bay Church. Thank you, Monique!
- The roof was shingled and now, should not have to be dealt with again for years to come.
Thanks to all who serve diligently with in the church in the various ministries. You are truly appreciated! I, literally, could not do my job without you. Special Thanks to Kurt Ward who served as our janitor and snow removal person for many years. Kurt recently moved to southern Ontario and resigned from those positions. He did these jobs faithfully and he will be missed.
My main responsibilities are in preaching, leadership and administration of Callander Bay Church. I have also been endeavouring to increase our social media/webpage presence by having the weekly sermons online and supporting blog posts. I am hoping to become more consistent with this in 2017. I continue to be active in our worship team ministry, Awana, the Way of Jesus Check-In, Prayer meetings and Jr. High ministry at Callander Bay Church. I also was a part of the High-Power Soccer team in the summer. I am also involved in our Men’s Ministry by assisting in the coordination of the Monthly Breakfast’s. I am hoping that this ministry will continue to grow and thrive in North Bay, Callander and the surrounding area.
I have become more actively involved in the ministry of KFM again. I was approached by Dean Belanger (KFM Station Manager for North Bay) to consider joining the Morning Show, The Breakfast Club, on a consistent basis. It has been a great experience and I am excited to be a part of a ministry that is broadcasting across Northern Ontario to Sudbury, Elliot Lake, Manitoulin Island, North Bay, Mattawa, Timmins, Cochrane and their surrounding communities. The Lord willing KFM soon will be broadcasting to Sault St. Marie, Temiskaming Shores (New Liskeard, Haileybery, Cobalt) and Sundridge. Thank you for allowing me to partner with this ministry, and I hope that you are blessed by my involvement in this ministry.
As we look ahead to 2017. Here are some of the projects that we are working at:
- Air Conditioning Fundraising/Installation: Last year was one of the hottest summers on record. Several people mentioned that we should consider installing air-conditioning, as some Sundays it has almost become unbearable. The Church Board asked Wayne Thomson to research the project and initial estimates are around $5000.00 to complete it. We hope to begin fundraising for the project early in 2017 with the hopes of having it completed for the summer.
- Nursery Renovations – The Church Board also received a recommendation from the nursery to do a renovation and upgrade of the nursery including the knocking out of the wall to make it safer and more usable space. (Full details available if requested). Thanks to Gary and Marg Loewen for your work on this project.
- Accessibility – At present our facility is only handicap accessible on the upper level. The stairs are not easy to navigate and solutions to some of these issues, only seem to breed new problems. We are going to continue to brainstorm ideas to see if we can come up with workable solutions.
- Heating Solutions – We currently have electric heat for our facility, which is an expensive way of heating. In the past, any solutions available were expensive or not plausible. We want to continue to explore these options and see if we can come up with an idea, which will save us money in the future and be easier to manage.
- Ministry Space – Ministry space options are not overwhelming at present, but could very easily become an issue soon. We have consistently been at around 70-75% capacity at our Sunday morning worship service. We are now unable to have our Christmas Dinner at our facility because of space availability. Church has been wrestling with class sizes and space. Solutions to accessibility issues, create facility space problems in other areas. Solutions to heat problems do the same. Storage is becoming a problem. We have set aside funds in our budget to give us the ability to start to plan for facility expansion or changes.
- Incorporation: Our denomination has encouraged local churches to begin the process of incorporation. It provides several safe guards for our local church and its leadership. We have been proceeding in this process and have gone through the first few steps. We have prepared a document for our church. The Church Board has given its approval and now the next step will be congregational approval. After that it will need to be approved by our denomination before our application would be submitted to the government of Ontario. During that time frame a second document would need to be approved, which would have Callander Bay Church’s Policy and Procedures in it. The goal is to have this project completed for our annual meeting next year (February 2018).
- Discipleship/Way of Jesus /Discover Ministry: I want to come up with a clearer strategy for discipleship at Callander Bay Church. We have several statements and strategy ideas that we have been trying over the years to help people move forward on their spiritual journey. We want to help people become fully-developed followers of Jesus Christ. We want to help families navigate life. We want to follow the way of Jesus. We want to help build faith at home. We want to offer courses or classes that help people discover the basics of discipleship. These are all excellent ideas and worthy of our attention, but I think we need to focus our process of discipleship a little more. It will give us the ability to say “yes” to the right things and “no” to those that will only distract us from our mission. In early 2017, I had Callander Bay Church’s first ministry round discussion around this topic. It was a helpful discussion, that gave me a lot of food for thought and will help is in this clarifying and simplifying process. But I am reminded of something I read in Rainer and Geiger’s book, Simple Church, “Simple doesn’t mean that it is easy.” I’m not sure if this will be the final arrangement, but I am looking at the discipleship process of:
Prayer – Care – Prepare – Share
The Prayer and Care portions are listed below. Both need to have focused attention placed on them and to become the heart of everything we do at Callander Bay Church (Our spiritual DNA). The Prepare and Share portions are the flip side of the same coin: Discipleship. Jesus in the Great Commission told his disciples, “To go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) The call of this statement is both evangelism and growth. We want to be growing followers/disciples of Christ, who are sharing their faith with others and encouraging and helping others do the same. We want to learning and living the “Way of Jesus” in our everyday lives. If you do not know the principles of the “Way of Jesus”, please take a moment and pick up one of the cards that are located on the literature shelf in the foyer. It gives seven statements that help give direction to your life. I would encourage you to read them, memorize them and apply them.
- Care Ministry Development: As the church has grown, it has become apparent that a more thorough and comprehensive strategy is needed to ensure that our congregation is a welcoming, loving place that will care for the needs of those in the church and our community. I have already had two meetings to start to help establish this essential ministry. We are still working on the details, but we have come up with an initial strategy, which we are going to try and implement in 2017. At present we are recruiting people to serve and lead in the different sections of this important ministry. So far, many have expressed interest in supporting this ministry. Below is a diagram which shows, generally, what it is going to look like.
Each section will have its own set of responsibilities, team of volunteers and ministry head. I’m excited to see how this ministry will grow in 2017.
- Prayer: We have tried to introduce several ideas to make prayer a central part of our ministry. We started monthly prayer meetings on Sunday night, we have encouraged people to come forward for prayer after the service, Dale and Ron Dick have been leading a prayer time on Sunday mornings before the worship service. Attendance and involvement in these opportunities has been limited. I want to be faithful in offering these opportunities to people, but I also want to see prayer ministries thriving in our midst. Do we continue with the specific prayer meetings and become more intentional of trying to get people involved? Or do we try and make prayer more of a vital part of the programs we are already doing? Or do we encourage corporate prayer, through committed individual prayer in their homes? I would love to hear your ideas on this topic. I’m praying about which direction we should proceed and would encourage you to do the same. The one thing that I know for sure is that God wants us to pray and he wants our gathering to be a house of prayer.
- Family Ministry: One of our greatest strengths and continues to be so, is our children’s ministry at Callander Bay Church. Our Sunday Morning Children’s Ministries and Awana have done a wonderful job of helping our kids to come to Christ and to grow in their faith. But we also need to visit this ministry in light of a larger discipleship strategy. A large part of faith and discipleship is parents instilling in their children faith, morals and values. How are we assisting parents in this process? Can we improve this partnership and support more effectively parents building faith at home?
- Summer Intern: We are looking at hiring another intern for summer ministry at Callander Bay Church. We are waiting on government approval for the funding of this project. We are hoping to have the candidate in place sooner this year and have them involved for a larger portion of the summer. We are also hoping to have a clearer idea of what the intern’s responsibilities will be and who will be overseeing their supervision.
At the beginning of the year, I felt that God gave me, personally, the word “Daily” for 2017. The verse that went along with it was from Hebrews 3:13, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” I felt that God wants to be faithful and make right choices, “Today”. I have felt God’s help as I have tried to be obedient in this. If I was to say what word or words God has given me for the church, they would be partnership and intentional. I continue to desire good and helpful partnerships with other churches in our area, particularly our closest sister churches, Lakeshore and South Shore. I also think that God wants us to be intentional and purposeful in our ministry. In a culture that is full of options and distractions, may we have a crystal-clear vision from God for ministry in our community.
Thank you for your ongoing support in so many ways. We appreciate all your prayer and care for our family. In has been a privilege to serve and continue to serve as your Pastor. I am praying that 2017 will be a significant year in the life of our church as we look to minister and grow in our community of Callander Bay.