Why Newfoundland Is Home and Home is Where I Am…

Newfoundland has always been home to me, and for most of my life, it’s where I’ve lived. If you’re not sure where Newfoundland is — it’s the most easterly province of Canada. If you follow the news, the economy has seen better days and the political landscape is often a bleak picture…BUT, the people are great, the food is great, and the sense community is like no other.  Dorthy said it best: ‘There’s no place like home!’

Why Newfoundland Is Home and Home is Where I Am

I’ve lived in Toronto, ON for a while. The people are different there. They don’t know each other. You’re just another face taking up space. No one stops to chat about life at the grocery store. No one randomly waves or greets one another when you pass them on the street. My time in Toronto was good, but it wasn’t home. I knew I was called somewhere else? Why is that?

The sense of community in Newfoundland is so beautifully strange that I find myself attracted to it. And there lies why I’m living in this province. It’s more than a feeling; I feel called to Newfoundland. Let me tell you why:

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Do You Celebrate Advent With Your Church Family?

FREE eBook: The Journey of Advent (Readings for Non-Liturgical Services)

Advent is one of the most important seasons of the Christian calendar. It saddens me that many non-liturgical churches dismiss Advent as ‘something they don’t do,’ because of its liturgical nature.  Even though I grew up in a non-liturgical church, we participated in Advent each year, and for the past five years, have had the privilege of leading our local church in doing the same. Does your church family celebrate advent?

Do You Celebrate Advent

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10 Reasons Why I Don’t Insist People Call Me ‘Pastor’

Pastoring in the 21st Century

I pastor in a rural context where I’m called ‘Pastor’ more than my actual name. It’s almost like my identity. But I tend not to insist (or expect) everyone to use the title of ‘Pastor’. There’s certainly nothing wrong with using the title; and for most, it’s simply a way to show respect. I don’t disregard that. I just simply value relationships over a title.

10 Reasons Why I Don't Insist People Call Me 'Pastor'

When I was a boy, I dreamed of becoming a pastor. I guess with that, came the title and honor.  From a child’s perspective that might have been where my dreamed stopped.  But as I actually embrace the pastoral call, I’m realizing being awarded the title really isn’t that important.

There’s a whole lot more to pastoring than the title.  And there’s a whole lot more to me than pastoring.  There’s a whole lot more to #pastoring than the title. And there’s a whole lot more to me than pastoring. Click To Tweet

I’ve chosen to respond to both those who use the title, and to those who don’t.  I don’t hide from my calling and I certainly don’t lie about what I do in the community, but they aren’t usually the first words out of my mouth either. We have to remember that we live in a pluralistic world. Most people don’t view clergy like generations before us.

I want to share ten reasons why I don’t ask people (especially those outside of my local church) to call me ‘pastor’. Hopefully this will help you, wherever you are in your journey, to realize that relationships are more valuable than a title.

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5 Benefits of Small Town Living [Guest Post]

Sabryna Anstey: From City to Community

When I applied for the Children’s Pastor position in Glenwood, Newfoundland, I didn’t even know where Glenwood was. I just knew that there was a need in this community and I felt a call to fill that need.

Small Town Benefits

Moving from Paradise (20,000 people) to Glenwood (800 people) was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Not just for me but for my husband as well. I was fresh out of university, newly married, and had just started to get settled into my first apartment and new friendships. We are all called to something, but when God calls you to a place you’ve never been, a place with a population of 800 people, I can guarantee there is a struggle in your spirit.

During this time of struggle I couldn’t help but remember the part of 1 Samuel 15:22 that says “…obedience is better than sacrifice.” I was obeying a call that was completely out of my comfort zone and I was being thrown into the deep end.

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Planning a Communion Meal

Tips and Ideas to Help

Since our ministry began, I’ve asked myself some serious questions.  One of them — what constitutes a ‘church service’?  What I’ve learned, is that we tend to allow our tradition, and not scripture, to answer that question.  The Bible never describes a ‘church service’ as people reverently sitting in sanctuary pews, while singing hymns and listening to a well-dressed pastor.  Can a ‘church service’ look like that?  Sure!  But it’s not what actually defines a ‘church service’.

Planning A Communion Meal

The Underground Church

A number of years ago, I had the privilege of being a part of a short-term missions team.  I’ll never forget experiencing an underground youth group.  Yes, they sang songs.  Yes, they heard from God’s Word.  But other than that, the ‘service’ looked NOTHING like what the average North American would call a ‘church service.’

It was full of community, unity, friendship, authentic connection, love, and selflessness.  Their goal wasn’t to serve themselves and welcome Jesus to ‘their service’, their goal was to celebrate Jesus through their community and serve Jesus.

A ‘church #service’ is about #Communion together as we celebrate Jesus. #unity #community #Acts2 Click To TweetWhat did I learn?  A ‘church service’ is about communion together as we celebrate Jesus.  Outside of the basics, the format doesn’t really matter.  The only fundamentals we know of, include teaching the Word, breaking of bread, fellowship, and prayer (Acts 2:42).

So, what if we planned a service around one of the most significant aspects of our faith?  What if Holy Communion was actually the focus of our service?  What if we didn’t just ‘partake’ together, but actually ate together, like Jesus’ and his disciples did during the Last Supper?  (Check out What Happens During Communion? for more.)

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