Here’s what I sent through our email list after our church-wide meeting at Calvary Ottawa on Monday, September 27th, 2021. I have edited a couple of sensitive details out because this is posted to the public.
Greetings Church Family!
Let me begin by saying thank you for the time away that you gave us. I know that it was short notice, and I know that many of you were troubled by that. Gen and I appreciate so much that we were able to take that time to pray, think and talk over all that’s going on.
As you all are well aware, our society has changed dramatically, and it has changed the way that we operate as a church. I’m afraid there are more changes on the horizon. We need to talk about that. We will need to make some changes in order to continue gathering as a church, continuing to grow as Christians, reaching out to others and maybe most importantly passing on the faith to our children.
In beginning to think about that and pray about that, reckoning with the changes that have already happened in Canada, what is on the horizon, and the particular needs of my family and my responsibilities to them, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not the right guy to pastor this church. I’ve been the right guy and I want to be the right guy, all the elders want me to be the right guy, but the Lord has made it obvious to both Gen and I, that I’m not going to be able to continue. We are going to try to relocate to the States.
There’s two important truths that we need to be reminded of in moment’s like this.
First, Jesus is the head of the church, He’s the brains of the operation, and He will lead and He will guide not only because He promised to, but also because He purchased us not with silver or gold or perishable things, but with his own precious blood. He is the Good Shepherd, and whatever good you have seen in me as a pastor has come from Him.
Second, the Christian life is a life of faith. And, it takes faith under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to step away, to release a role, in order to watch the Lord meet the need through someone else. We live by faith.
As, Gen and I have begun to walk down this road, by faith, to my surprise and delight, the Lord has provided for us a team of seasoned Calvary Chapel Pastors that are going to come alongside of us while we make a transition to a different senior pastor.
What I’d like to do is introduce a couple of them to you this evening, and then, we can share what we believe the future is going to look like, at least for the next several months.
The plan: I’ll finish our quarantine and be in-person at Calvary on October 10thand again on the 17th. We are going to be dedicating all the Petrenko children that morning, it will be glorious. Pastor Trip Kimball will be with us on the 24th and Poimen will take over from there.
Side note: The last time Pastor Chris was in Ottawa was the weekend that Jon Ruby was filled with the Holy Spirit, and his whole family came to Calvary for the first time.
Pastor John and the team from Poimen will become what’s called the “Transitional Senior Pastor” on that day. Trip will be around for a couple of weeks, and then Pastor John Cowan and his wife Laura are going to come shortly afterwards. They will be here for 4-6 months and help us identify who the Lord has called to be the pastor here at Calvary.
What’s going to happen to me and the Falleurs? Well, we don’t know yet. We are going to try to move back to the States. There’s some hurdles there, but it looks like we can do that. The good news is that everyone seems to be hiring in Florida, the population has grown significantly in almost every city, and Jesus has been faithful to lead us and guide us all these years, I’m sure he will lead us to some people that we can be a blessing to. We are open to what He wants to do.
What can you do to help?
- That’s the best thing to do, especially if you have anxiety or worry, or your overcome with disappointment, or you may even be angry. Let me encourage you to take that to the Lord in prayer. This is something that He’s doing. We are trying to follow the leading of His Spirit.
- Pray for us, pray for the elders, for Steve and Sharon and Zac, and for who the Lord has called to be our pastor here.
- Serve: There’s going to be new opportunities to help out. Look for those.
- Currently, we need a handful of you to take up this opportunity to disciple the next generation, our children. There’s 48 children here that are under 8 years old. Let’s share the truth in love with them.
- Let’s keep the Upper Room open to the church community. We need this available and accessible in Ottawa like never before.
- If you’ve been blessed by our ministry here in Ottawa and would like to help us with what the Lord has for us next, the best way to give is to donate to the church here. This will help us in tying up loose ends here, moving costs, and establishing a new home in the States.
- We are also looking for accommodations for Trip Kimball and then John and Laura Cowan for the time they will be with us. We will need an apartment, or house or room for them for several months. They also need a car to drive while they are here. If you have leads or ideas or friends with cottages or spare bedrooms or wings of their house, or mother-in-law suites, please let’s talk.
And, then we prayed and closed off our meeting by moving into the lobby of AltarLive and some conversations continued.
As always, the elders and I are open to your feedback. In addition, take advantage of our new relationship with Pastor John Cowan, Trip, Chris and Bill Holdridge.
May the Lord bless you.