Tuesday, April 25, 2023

"My" Churches

I was ordained to the ministry of the Word and the Sacraments on October 11th, 1987 as the minister of the Canadian Reformed Church in Ottawa (this church would later assume the name "Jubilee" on its 50th Anniversary). I served here for five years. The congregation was, at that time, renting Merivale United Church, an historical building whose history goes back to 1876. (Click here for the history of the building). Among other interesting facts: Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first prime minister, laid the cornerstone of MUC. 

Surrounded by graves

A lovely building . . .

. . . with notoriously uncomfortable pews

I was ordained by the late Rev. Johannes Mulder, "father," mentor, and friend. Here we are standing in front of Merivale Church.

In 1992 I was called by the Canadian Reformed Church in Taber, Alberta. When I came, this recently instituted church was worshiping in Parkside Manor, a seniors recreation centre. 

After a year or two we moved our services to a building owned by the "Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks" where I preached under the serene gaze of three elk heads. (I wonder how protected these three elks felt. . . .)

For several years I preached in the ugliest building in the federation of churches. But we had some beautiful Sundays there. Once I baptized four children in the same service. We were wall to wall people!

Then we built a lovely church building. I preached and taught here with great pleasure. Taber still worships here.

In 1997 I was called by Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church, which I served for eleven years.

A beautiful building.

In 2008 my first congregation, Jubilee-Ottawa, called me back. I served there until 2016, when poor health led me to request the status of Minister-Emeritus. Though we moved to Hamilton I happily remain a minister of Jubilee Church.

I preached my farewell sermon on a steaming hot summer Sunday in a building with no air conditioning.

Final exhortation.

Jubilee Church, forever in my heart.