There’s a touch of irony in my title in light of the fierce windstorm that recently wreaked havoc across the lower mainland, leaving thousands without electricity and our office without email for several days.
There’s growing evidence that President Dave’s vision is getting traction throughout the Alliance in Canada. Numerous pastors are setting aside, or at least modifying, ‘business as usual’ scheduling in order to facilitate special times of prayer and seeking the Lord’s renewing, empowering touch.
Dave Hearn reports strong response to altar calls across the country as he invites our people to pursue Jesus for a fresh anointing and infilling of the Spirit, an infilling that renews our joy, inflames our hearts with ‘first love’, and empowers our witness. In many cases dozens, even a hundred or more, of our people are streaming to prayer altars to ask, seek, and knock on heaven’s door for fresh Holy Spirit fire.
I sense growing hope that God is stirring us up to pray and seek his face in anticipation of doing something new in our day and in our ‘tribe’. Collectively, our leadership across Canada is incubating pathways toward relational and spiritual renewal in each of our districts.
Here in the Pacific District, we hope to offer catalyzing opportunities for all of our workers to experience anew the fullness of Christ through the presence and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit over the next two years. Wherever doors open for us, we will encourage and equip all our official workers to be able to mentor and disciple others in our churches into the truth and experience of the Spirit-filled life.
We’re all aware that no one can manipulate the Spirit of God and that the timing of renewal is in his hands, not ours. We also know God’s promise to respond to his people when they humble themselves, seek his face, and express to him their deep longing for more of him.
In our district, we’d like to hoist three separate but complementary sails with the hope that the wind of the Spirit would fill them, and us, again in new ways. First, Brian Derksen, Morris Dirks, and some of our Academy of Soul Formation grads are launching One to One: Experiencing Sacred Space with God Retreats this fall. These 24-hour facilitated retreats are designed to help participants withdraw from routine and focus intently on Jesus in order to hear his voice and heart for them. You’ll find detailed information about these retreats here on our website. Registration is filling up quickly!
Second, many of you are aware of the unique things that Jesus is doing in and through the ministry of Southland Church, Steinbach, MB and Church Renewal Ministries. Along with hundreds of other leaders, scores of our C&MA pastors and district/national leaders have attended Renewal Weekend experiences at Southland and are reporting positively on what God is doing throughout.
The leadership community at Southland has a simple but profound philosophy of ministry and takes seriously the responsibility of training Christ-followers to hear his voice and walk in simple obedience. Stories of God’s frequent, and at times dramatic, intervention into lives and circumstances are multiplying at Southland. Brian Derksen and I will participate in the upcoming Renewal Weekend in October. Check their website for the dates of the January weekend. Long-time friends of our district John and Lorraine Baergen are deeply involved in Church Renewal Ministries.
Finally, some of you are aware that the Western Canadian District (WCD) next door has been hosting Holy Spirit Encounter (HSE) experiences for about two years now. I’ve participated in two Encounters and was strengthened, challenged, and warmed by very specific things the Lord said to me at those events. We hope to collaborate with some of the WCD facilitators in bringing HSE to the CPD in 2016.