In 2003, when Nic and Linda Wiens discovered there was no Sunday church service at the local seniors’ complex in Linden, Alta., they started one themselves. Now, all but a handful of the 35 residents regularly attend the Lodge service, which is held before local churches begin. This weekly service led the couple into a pastoral ministry at Linden Lodge. In addition to overseeing the lively hymn singing, Scripture reading, prayer, and preaching at the service, the Wiens engage in visitation, and provide pastoral care, including funerals. In support of Nic and Linda’s ministry, Linden MB Church commissioned them as chaplains in 2008. “To be able to minister to both people who have loved the Lord all their lives, and those who, in their senior years, are just realizing that God is reaching out to them, is such a privilege,” says Nic.
Church responds to house fires
Two devastating house fires in late winter 2009 shocked the people of Watrous, Sask., and galvanized the community to action.
The school administration, quickly overwhelmed with offers of material aid for the young family, called on the ministerial for help. Ruth Kornelsen, Philadelphia MB Church’s administrative assistant, became the call centre, compiling a list of donors of material goods, and communicating with the families about their needs.
Ross Shantz, a MAX Canada representative and member at Philadelphia, helped the church set up a matching grant to multiply funds church members donated to help the families.
“It wasn’t flashy or anything; it was just something we were able to offer – and did – and would do again,” says Philadelphia pastor Darren Holland.
“The thing we did right was to recognize the opportunity God put in our laps,” says Kornelsen; “You don’t say no – you just dive in.” MAX Canada Mutual Aid Ministries has named Philadelphia MB a Mutual Aid Hero for 2009.