On Sept. 7, 2014, the congregation of Justice (Man.) MB Church celebrated the 25 years pastor Gerry Harms has served the congregation.
Before Harms was called to Justice as a bivocational pastor in 1989, the church was seriously considering shutting down, but the new pastor didn’t see a reason the doors should close on this small country church. Twenty-five years later, the church is still there, and so is he.
Harms has held a variety of jobs outside the church, working as a carpenter and farm labourer. It’s helped him be not only part of the rural community but also of the congregation. “How long can you talk to a pastor about
nothing?” he laughs. “We can talk about cultivating or combining because I’m involved; that opens doors.”
And, of course, Harms serves in the church: encouraging the seniors, working with the youth, teaching Sunday School from adults to children, participating in Bible studies, Christmas choir programs and Christmas Eve services. He and his wife Nora treat everyone special.
Throughout the years, Gerry and Nora’s dedicated service of active love, compassion and encouragement for others has created solid relationships within their congregation, says church member Ruth Slezak. “This church that love built is still a light in the community.”
The anniversary service featured messages of appreciation from members of the congregation, followed by guest speaker Bert Bell, former CCMBC stewardship staff, now pastor of community care at Portage Avenue Church, Winnipeg.
Mary Willms encouraged Harms with 2 Corinthians 8:11: “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.”
“We never expected [to stay 25 years in one place],” says Harms; he’s simply never felt God calling him away. “We feel God has given me a place I can serve. People have been gracious, and it works.”
—submitted by Justice MB Church