GEMS (Genuinely Enthusiastic Missionary Seniors)
With the restrictions of COVID the GEMS group was not able to meet throughout 2021. In its place the shepherding Small Groups continued and met the needs of many seniors. With the lifting of restrictions in early 2022, GEMS was able to again meet as a group with a Valentine’s luncheon in February. It was a sweet time of being together again where many expressed how they had so greatly missed this time of regular connecting.
There will be another GEMS luncheon, May 25, before the summer.
Come next September the plan is to resume again a monthly gathering time.
A BIG THANK YOU to Pam Halvorson, Dianne Hoeve, Lori Polson, Pat Redekop, Donna Rear, and Gwen Schmidt for faithfully shepherding seniors in their Small Groups over the past year.
In caring for people this past year, I have found myself Zooming, FaceTiming, phoning, walking outdoors, meeting in the foyer, and now meeting in my office with people. As I reflect over the past year, it has been challenging to effectively engage with those in need, yet it has taken place and I believe it has brought glory and honour to the Person and work of Holy Spirit. I have experienced the reality of my ministry verses in 1 Corinthians 2:4,5 which I paraphrase as follows: “My communication is to be plain and simple, not using clever and persuasive speech; but rather relying only on the power of the Holy Spirit so that others will not trust in human wisdom but in the power of God.”
Hospital & Hospice
It has been difficult to contact people in the hospital due to COVID restrictions. I am looking forward to where that becomes easier to do from a volunteer chaplaincy role. The hospice has been open for me to contact people and there have been rich, life-transforming encounters with those in end-of-life experience and family members.
This past year has seen growth in holding chapel services in senior lodges within the city. Parkvale Lodge has been open to this for a long time, and added to them now is Points West Living and the Hamlets. These are meaningful settings where the presence of Christ is experienced and He is worshipped.