May 2nd will mark 37 years of ministry with Threshold Ministries (formerly the Church Army) and May 31st will mark my day of retirement. This does not mean that I will stop ministry or that Street Hope will not continue. In fact this will allow me to give more time to the work of Street Hope. It does mean that I will begin to receive a pension, which I have been paying into for all these years. These pension funds will allow me to leave my part-time position as ‘Faith Re-integration Officer’ for Corrections Canada. Over the last few years this has become a more and more bureaucratic position and I have enjoyed it less and less over that time. I am looking forward to spending even more time dedicated to the focus of Street Hope i.e. creating Christian Community that serves others.
Since the very beginning Street Hope has been a faith based ministry and has relied on the generous financial and prayer support of friends of this ministry. We are grateful for the support we have received over the years and we will require this support to continue. Receiving a pension and losing the part-time income will basically cancel each other out (there will be some limited savings to Street Hope) but the financial requirements will remain the same.
We have some exciting plans for the next months. Last week I wrote about our “Fandango” a mid-summer party for the friends in our neighbourhood. We are planning a quality party with gifts of a fan to our friends. This weekend Linda and I will be attending a “Round Up” offered by Concillio Ministry. A ‘Round Up’ is a ‘healing circle’ which has been effectively used for years here in the Maritimes especially for those in recovery from addictions. We have a saying that when a drunk stops drinking his problem is solved but when an alcoholic stops drinking his problems begin. We are hoping to import this form of ministry to Saint John as another tool to help our friends, not just recover from addiction but to discover the abundant life Jesus offers. We will also be looking at another “Finding Your Way Back to God’ month long program. This needs to be preceded by a concentrated time of personal evangelism and invitation by our Street Hope community.
In many ways what we will be looking at is a re-firement rather than a retirement! I hope that we can continue to count on your support.