Senior Pastor Visit to North Bay ON

North Bay pastor Scott Lord had asked last fall if Doug and Janel Johnson (senior pastor for Canada, and his wife) would be able to plan a trip to visit his “northern-most congregation.”

The Johnsons were able to do just that for the Sabbath of March 17, spending some time with this small but enthusiastic group. Services were followed by a hearty potluck meal, where the “headline entrée” was roast moose! Not your typical menu, but very tasty! Fellowship continued for some time afterward, and the North Bay members were already looking forward to meeting two weeks in a row (!) since Mr.  Lord’s regular monthly trip was set for March 24.

Already looking forward to next time—when the Johnsons plan to visit both Toronto and North Bay, tentatively set for August 25.

4 of the 5 Bowman sisters (Virginia lives in Ohio with her husband Erik and their two children).

Canada Senior Pastor delivers the sermon March 17 in North Bay.

Marlin Bowman leads songs March 17 in North Bay.

Chow time in North Bay!

Members Ernie and Dawn Bellaire (in their home) hold up some artwork from a young attendee at the Feast in Quebec in 2017.

Canadian Couple Attends Ohio YALW

As one of only a few young adult couples who are part of Church of God, a Worldwide Association in Canada, our trip down to Ohio on the February long weekend proved to be exciting and inspiring. This was the first time my husband Cody and I were able to attend an activity such as this.

The Young Adults Leadership Weekend (YALW) in Ohio was located in Berlin, in the heart of Amish country. A trip down the highways near Berlin was definitely interesting, as there was always at least one horse and buggy to pass on the roads. I counted over 17 on just one short leg of the trip!

The weather was outstanding. Every day was sunny and in the high 50s Fahrenheit (about 15 degrees Celsius for us Canadians)! The grass was turning green—it would have been hard to ask for a better, more peaceful setting.

At first, we were a little taken aback at just how many young adults there were. And not only young adults, but those with families as well! They somehow managed to make everything work for the weekend. No one was mumbling or grumbling about how long the trip was, or how hard it was with the kids. Everyone was just happy to be there and we could feel the zeal in the room. It was definitely refreshing and great to experience!

YALW in Ohio (seated at table in foreground, from left): Elsa Schafers, Cody Schafers, Guye Pennington, Debbie Pennington (face hidden)

The seminars were focused on how to properly serve; that starts with making sure that we walk the same path as Jesus Christ, Who is our perfect example of Christian leadership. We had interactive discussions with the group as a whole and also had a chance to get into smaller groups to analyze how Jesus Christ handled certain situations in His life. There was also plenty of time to socialize and get to know old and new friends, and create bonds that the children of God should have with each other.

On the very last afternoon of the weekend, we were able to put what we learned into practice and participate in a service project. My husband and I had the opportunity to make cards for those that could use a little uplifting encouragement. It's easy to forget that simply spending 15 minutes on something as simple as making a card can help support and encourage those going through really difficult times. It was clearly time well spent.

All in all, the weekend was a huge success. Cody and I are definitely happy we had a chance to go. Not only were we reminded of the vital importance of striving to serve with the heart of Jesus Christ, but we were also reminded that no matter where we live, our faith and the gift of the Holy Spirit keeps us unified as one family.

Elsa Schafers