by Clarence Rempel, Conference Minister

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). A serendipity meeting of past, present, and future conference ministers in the Resource Library illustrates the movement of God’s calling on our lives for a chapter of ministry. I witnessed many God appointments in the personal and congregational stories that led to 39 pastor installations, 19 pastor ordinations and five new church plants in the past six years.

I am grateful for this time of serving as Western District Conference Minister, as a pastor to pastors, and as an elder to churches. It has been an opportunity to trust in God at a new depth and to see many miracles of God working in the hearts of his people. My frequent and ongoing prayer has been “I am weak and I need thy strength and pow’r to help me over my weakest hour. Help me through the darkness, thy face to see. Lead me, O Lord, lead me” (Hymnal Worship Book (HWB) #553).

It has been a hard time in the ethical, theological, and relational realignments with ten churches leaving Western District. Three churches closed. It has been a blessed time in that churches are making the slow turn from being a church in the community to being a church for the community as evidenced by the Loaves and Fishes grants below. My prayer for the church is “Renew your church, its ministries restore, both to serve and adore. Make it again as salt throughout the land and as light from a stand. ‘Mid somber shadows of the night where greed and hatred spread their blight, O send us forth with pow’r endued. Help us, God, be renewed” (HWB #363).