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SKMB On Mission Together – June 21, 2023

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Canada Summer Grants and Summer Interns

I have had the interesting position of being both summer intern and person hiring the summer intern via the Canadian summer grant. This opportunity has provided a few things. As the intern, it was my first real experience with ministry as a job opportunity, it ignited in me a desire to serve within the church in more than just a volunteer capacity. With the diminishing of candidates to fill staff roles within the church, the summer intern opportunity can be the perfect place for those ages 15-30 to test the waters. Under the direction of an experienced ministry person, they get the opportunity to experience the depth of ministry on a smaller scale.

Summer Interns are a great way to help to achieve summer ministry goals while giving regular ministry leaders and teachers a bit of a breather. In the realm of family ministry I could not do what I do in the summer without my intern. They handle a majority of the planning and operations of all the events we plan from VBS, to family gathering. They also provide support through prep and organization for the upcoming year. This enables me as the paid staff to beginning planning and preparing for what the fall brings and take holidays. While reliance on volunteers has always been a part of the church life, families are getting busier and busier and don’t always have the hours required to pull off the VBS or extra ministries.

For smaller churches who recognize the value of interns but are feeling overwhelmed by the extra costs of hiring an additional person, I hear you. The Canada Summer Jobs Grant program is a wonderful way to help cover these cost while providing the opportunity of ministry to our youth.

Kristen Cowman, Children’s Ministry Director, Parliament Community Church

Canada Summer Jobs provides Not-For-Profit organizations, including churches, the full wages for minimum wage plus half of employment related costs (vacation pay, EI, etc.). Applications begin being accepted around January and grant recipients are notified at the end of April/early May. For churches this is a very low cost way, if the grant is received, to extend summer ministry while developing young leaders 

Pastor to Pastor

I was recently asked if the Regina Pastor’s ministerial would be willing to talk to the government about some concerns a parachurch organization had. I had to respond that the ministerial doesn’t really function. This conversation stimulated two different thoughts for me. First, I have a sinking feeling that the idea of collegiality between pastors is dying in communities, and I fear Regina is not alone. Second, I was reminded that I’m thankful for the various SKMB connecting points and the larger MB gatherings. With the disruption of COVID, I’m still getting to know many faces in my four years with the MB. However, I found people to be welcoming and encouraging, and I have valued honest conversations. I’m looking forward to opportunities such as Equip this fall, another Pastors and Spouses Retreat in the future, and hopefully some breakfasts with Phil and others along the way.

What I would like to ask of us as SKMB pastors this summer is hopefully simple – take time every week or two and reach out and check in with another pastor. Find out what is exciting them and challenging them, ask about their families, and well, the list of things could go on, but I think you get the idea. Phil is often the key to our connecting with each other. While he’s on Sabbatical, lets take time to own our connections with each other, and build relationships so we have the support when we are struggling, and colleagues to rejoice alongside us when we are celebrating.

Peace and Grace,

Mike Engbers, Lead Pastor, Parliament Community Church