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Family Update

Family Update

Instead of answering all the emails and phone calls… this might be a good way to share how we are doing.

I underestimated a couple of things with this transition. I knew it would be tough, but there were some parts that I didn’t anticipate.

First, I knew emotionally it would be a challenge. What I didn’t completely calculate was how it would affect everyone else in the family. That’s not to say that I would not have made the decision to relocate, no, just didn’t realize really how big of a change it is for everyone else.

Thankfully, early on, someone encouraged me to seek out “family debriefing” which is what missions agencies do for missionaries and their families when they return to the US from another culture. You would think that the Canadian culture is so similar to the one in the US and so it shouldn’t be a big deal. That’s true. But, the difference is the transition. When we went to Canada, we were excited, and it was an adventure, and we had lots of hope and expectation and wonder. This transition is different. We didn’t want this one, it’s not all that exciting, there doesn’t seem to be much adventure, and we all in different ways mourn the loss of what we had.

We are scheduled for “family debriefing” in a couple of weeks. My prayer (and I hope yours too!) is that each member of our family would have an opportunity to process all that’s happened to us, so that we can be ready and open (and have an attitude of adventure) for what’s next.

The other thing that I didn’t calculate was how much paperwork is involved. Our society is intense on the maintenance of life just in paperwork. And, because of the pandemic, it’s slow. There’s government documents, identification documents, licenses, tags, insurance, banking, tax returns, phone numbers, addresses, two factor authorizations. On top of all of that, we trip over things like app stores and blocked IP addresses to get things done.

What complicates that further is that it’s still not clear what’s next for us. We don’t know where to settle down yet, and I don’t know yet what’s next for work.

I finished officially at Calvary Ottawa on December 15th. I’m grateful for what a blessing that whole process was for me and my family. I hope it was a blessing for the church as well. Pastor John Cowan and his wife Laura are a gift from heaven distributed all around.

After that, we threw ourselves into anniversary, birthdays (2 on the same day!), and very different ways of celebrating Christmas and New Years. There’s no snow. It wasn’t even cold. We all missed “Christmas in the Park.”

In that period of time, we did get around and started visiting potential schools for Olivia. She’s done well at home with the A.C.E curriculum, but we could see how she would really thrive to be in a school that offers that curriculum in a dedicated “learning center.” Just before the holiday break, we visited a small school in St. Petersburg that looks like it will be a good fit.

We enrolled her and one of the big reasons I’m able to write this post is because she’s on her third day there, and it appears to be going swimmingly. She LOVES wearing a uniform and has already made a couple of acquaintances by bringing her bubble mixture and wand for the times of recesses.

My heart is full of gratitude for people that pursue that calling of investing in children, and do it well, because they love the Lord.

While we wait a few weeks to ensure that it’s a good fit, I’ve been connecting with a couple of local pastors and volunteering. I’m happy to report that I was able to teach the Bible on Wednesday morning to a group of young people including my eldest daughter at Zeal School of Ministry. That was a real delight. I haven’t taught since October 17th in Ottawa. Well, I did share for a couple of minutes at the U-Turn Ranch in California… but not a full Bible Study.

Oh yes, and I’ve been reading some interesting books. I’ll share some reviews in upcoming posts.

We’ve also been visiting churches in the area. We wanted to see what was going on down here in the Calvary Chapels and we’ve even visited some churches that aren’t Calvary Chapels… just to see what’s going on, what the Lord is doing. I doubt I will write publicly about that, maybe I’ll make some general observations about the culture at some point.

Oh… and I stopped drinking coffee a few months ago. I don’t want to change my blog name though! LOL. I still love it. The problem was I loved it too much, and the caffeine was wreaking havoc in my body.

So, that’s the update. And, if we went for coffee today and had some time we would likely hit all of those topics at some point.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

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Big Changes… Letter to the church after the Church-Wide Meeting recently…

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. 

(We introduced Bill HoldridgeChris McCarrickTrip Kimball, and John and Laura Cowan)

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? 

  1. Pray:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  2. Serve: There’s going to be new opportunities to help out. Look for those.
    1. 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.
    2. Let’s keep the Upper Room open to the church community. We need this available and accessible in Ottawa like never before.
  3. Give:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.

soon!

andy

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Spiritual Gifts Series

I did a series several years ago on the gifts of the Spirit. It’s still relevant today, and I wanted to share it here.

This came up recently, because at http://calvaryottawa.ca we took a Sunday to look at the baptism of the Holy Spirit that John proclaims in John 1:33. I had a follow up conversation with a couple of people, and the gifts of the Spirit and the baptism of the Spirit was a new topic for them.

That particular message is available by video or audio.

It was a fun conversation because one of them confessed: “I didn’t think you were one of those guys!”

I suggested listening to this series.

The backstory is that several years ago I taught through “Jude” and it left some people confused about what the Bible had to say about the gifts of the Spirit. So, we took a break from going through the Bible and went back to 1 Corinthians 12-14, and I did a series on the gifts of the Spirit.

In the first message, we looked at how the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit is very much for today, and then examined the common passage that “cessationists” use to argue that the ministry of the Holy Spirit has changed from the time of the apostles.

In the succeeding messages, we took a closer look at each one of the gifts of the Spirit that Paul lists there in 1 Corinthians 12 and how they were manifested in the Old Testament, the life of Jesus, the New Testament, and then we crowd-sourced some current examples.

The final message is a study in 1 Corinthians 14 and how Paul describes how the gifts of the Spirit are to be used in the church meetings.

Here’s the links to the audio files for those messages:

God Speaks! 1/6

Message 2/6

Message 3/6

Message 4/6

Message 5/6

Last one: Message 6/6

I’d love to hear from you, especially if these recordings helped you, or if you have any follow up questions.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2021 in Bible Studies

 

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