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CCMBC helps pastor go to school

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P&E LTMG 2014 Kathy McCamis.webThe more I study, the more I want to be the best follower of Christ that I can be,” says seminary student Kathy McCamis. “Jesus came to bring Good News; my life should look like good news to people around me.”

A graduate student at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada on the Canadian Mennonite University campus, McCamis says learning about God’s mission in the world strengthens her desire to demonstrate God’s love and compassion for people.

McCamis served part-time as the pastor of Fort Garry Mennonite Brethren (FGMB) Church’s junior high ministries for four years. She left this position in 2013 to pursue seminary studies while continuing her part-time job as an occupational therapist in Winnipeg.

“I discovered through being in pastoral ministry that I wanted to learn more about the big picture of ministry,” she says. “What is the church to be theologically? Why do we do what we do? How does what we do connect with our faith?”

Part of the family

Through her involvement in youth ministries, McCamis developed an interest in helping new believers to feel part of a church family.

“It can be a hard transition for people who didn’t grow up in a church culture,” she says. “They want to follow Jesus but have a difficult time finding their way into the church. How can we bridge their youth group experience to being part of the community?”

She finds answers and resources to these and other questions through classroom study and interaction with instructors and students.

“I love envisioning new ways of being a church,” she says. “How can we change the packaging without changing the theological core and without altering what we as MBs believe?”

A relative newcomer to the MB church, McCamis enjoys learning about the history of Anabaptism and the global fellowship of MB churches. “It gives me a deeper appreciation for the church family I have joined,” she says.

As a recipient of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC) leadership training matching grant (LTMG), McCamis has 50 percent of her tuition costs covered by CCMBC and FGMB who each provide 25 percent of the total.

Answering the call

As McCamis writes her thesis on the call to ministry, she is especially interested in examining how MB churches mentor and encourage women and men to discern God’s call to pastoral ministry, and how pastors are called and affirmed by churches.

Learning about God’s mission in this world, she says, lends itself to thinking deeply about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the call to be disciples.

“Churches need to follow Jesus faithfully,” she says. “The call to discipleship is about having compassion for the marginalized, awareness of social issues and a love for people. It is important to love and serve others.”

—Gladys Terichow, CCMBC writer

For more information about the Leadership Training Matching Grant, go to mennonitebrethren.ca.

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