Reflection of Appreciation
As I write, we’ve just marked Thanksgiving, and I know that October is supposed to be Pastoral Appreciation month, and I appreciate pastors—but I wanted to reflect on some other folks that come to mind when I hear the word “appreciation.” This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but a sample of some folks that I’m grateful for.
For example, I have in mind leaders in rural churches that have gone on a long time without a pastor. They have been looking, but it is difficult to find one because of the geography and sustainability of such an arrangement. Yet in that church, there are leaders that take it upon themselves to see that the work of the church continues, including making arrangements for Sunday mornings.
Some of these folks could be a church elder who does their normal job, plus their elder duties, and then finds time to prepare and preach because there is no one else to do so. These folks seldom get the credit they deserve—and they don’t seek it—but I appreciate their efforts very much.
I think, too, of a Regional Minister that I am familiar with, who drives around Alberta quite a bit. In doing so, he has found some prime fishing spots that he wants to visit upon retirement. Fish fear him, apparently. He does his work faithfully; he does not get flustered by much, and he genuinely cares about pastors and churches. He works with churches when they are seeking pastors, networking and praying as he does his work. He’s been steadfast and dependable. And what I appreciate most is his willingness to listen to me when I’ve got “a scenario” to run by him. I’m going to miss him and his perspective.
I think of the president of the CBWC, who has plenty of responsibilities and gets to hear opinions from both sides of most issues. She has been attentive to the Holy Spirit and prayer as she’s done her work. And, of course, she could not do such work if her family and congregation were not supportive.
I think of our Executive Minister, who also has plenty to do. I describe his work as some sort of domino chain, going from one serious matter where he’s trying to discern what is best in the moment for people and for our group of churches, and then off to the next one. I pray for him often, as I don’t think his work is possible without prayer—giving thanks for his leadership and asking for encouragement for him.
I think, too, of Cindy Emmons, who works with me in my region, and who has just marked 10 years in her role with the denomination. She puts up with me—with my idiosyncrasies—helps keep me organized, and puts up with my warped sense of humour. She goes above and beyond, learning new skills as different tasks are asked of her. She is genuinely interested in learning and growing, and has even read a commentary on Revelation as part of our shared work. I appreciate her work, her perspective, and her dedication.
Charline McAlpine Bio
Part-time Lead Pastor at Broadway First Baptist Church, Winnipeg
I was born in Trinidad and Tobago in January of 1967. In July of the same year, my parents and I moved to Winnipeg where I lived until August last year. My husband, daughter, and granddaughter are now living near Niverville, MB on a lovely one-acre lot with mostly farmer’s fields for neighbours. I never expected to love living outside of the city so much! I am currently the part-time lead pastor at Broadway-First Baptist Church in Winnipeg and celebrated my commissioning service with the congregation on September 18th. I am also very close to completing my studies at Providence Theological Seminary to receive my M.Div. degree.
I was raised in a Christian home by two very loving parents who also loved the Lord and served faithfully at the Nazarene Church in Winnipeg. I was saved and gave my heart to the Lord at the teen summer camp from that church, and began serving as the youth leader as soon as I was able.
My story, however, is not all smooth sailing. There was rebellion toward my parents and God. There was even a time when I turned away from God and chose to follow my own sinful path which led me into pain, suffering and through a long darkness of my soul.
Still, the prayers of my parents and church family were heard and answered by the Almighty God who knows and orders our steps. I was never too far away from God, and attended a few different churches off-and-on while trying to find my way through life.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is older, he will not depart from it.
~Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
There are many moments in my day when I truly wonder how I got here. As a teenager and young adult, I would never have imagined that I would be here; pastoring a church with a master’s degree on the horizon. Yet God is good and works all things together for His good purpose. I thank God each day for the rich blessings in my life today, and look forward with anticipation to the future full of hope as I journey with and closer to my Heavenly Father.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
(2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)