By George Vink, Regional Pastor of Classis Grand Rapids South
Classis Grand Rapids South recognized the need to promote pastoral health initiatives as part of its 2011Planning Report. The need was again a focus of its follow-up two years ago resulting in emphasizing the role of its Regional Pastor, “Pastor to Pastors,” by providing an honorarium as a means of encouraging the ministry. The whole time Classis’ Spiritual Growth and Prayer Team worked diligently, encouraging and developing a variety of ways to support the well being of the pastors.
The most recent event, and that’s really the only correct word to describe it, was the Pastors’ Retreat experienced by nine of our pastors and spouses, joined by two members of the Spiritual Growth and Prayer Team. Twenty of them ferried to Mackinac Island and joined The Candescent Group for two days of refreshment, learning and just being a little spoiled. They also heard Pastor Jeff Halsted from Grand Rapids Calvary Baptist challenge them on subjects like “diversity, identity, truth claims, worldview, philosophy and contemporary argumentation.” But, don’t worry, there was considerable “free or relax” time built into the schedule for couples.
Our Classis’ group took time away from the others to reflect on individual praises and challenges. It became a time of experiencing rich fellowship. You’ll see it on the smiling faces in the accompanying picture. Grateful to God, all who went admitted to its value, yet, unlike Peter, expressed no desire to stay there. It was a grand experience! The unity in Christ experienced strengthened their determination to serve.
Thanks be to God!