Getting to Know Us: New Pastors and Spouses
Orientation 2005

In mid-October, 17 new pastors and almost as many spouses traveled to Grantham, Pa., for the annual orientation of ministry newcomers to the Brethren in Christ Church. The contingent from the Canadian Conference was the largest, representing over 50 percent of this year's participants.

The orientation event is an example of the denomination’s commitment to encouraging leaders in ministry, and is just one of a multi-year series of events designed to help pastors and other workers in BIC churches understand and own the denomination’s distinctive theology and ministry vision. Craig Sider, bishop in the Atlantic Conference and the General Church’s point-person on leadership development, coordinated the orientation activities.

Over a three-day period, the new pastors were introduced to the vision and values of the BIC Church, shared meals and stories, met with staff in the General Church offices, toured the BIC historical archives, and enjoyed fellowship with pastors and leaders from each of the eight regional conferences. And based on their departing comments, the orientation session was successful in making the new pastors feel part of the wider church. Exit remarks included:

  • Great stuff, especially for those first starting out.
  • Valuable info for me right now. I’ve been provided with things I can use immediately.
  • I enjoyed the practical outworking of each session through group discussion.
  • It was helpful to hear others share and to realize that my passion, in many cases, was theirs too.
  • Great discussions and interaction about who we are as the BIC Church.
  • I got a sense of the heart of the church and developed a strong sense of camaraderie.
  • The interest groups helped me to clarify and expand my understanding of who (the new pastors) will be in ten years.
  • It was a blessing just to spend time with people from all around the continent and who come from so many different backgrounds.
  • I enjoyed meeting a variety of church leaders. Their passion for the church is clearly evident and that was contagious.

For a look at who’s new (along with some who are not so new) to pastoral leadership in the BIC Church, check out the photo gallery below. 

Matthew & Kerry Bradbury
Bertie BIC, Stevensville, ON

Shawn & Robin Spence
The Gathering Place, Caledonia, ON

Dave & Mindy Hamill
Stayner BIC, Stayner ON

Michael & Elizabeth Abell
New Vision BIC, Pewaukee, WI

Jeremy & April Tyrell
The Well, Fort Erie, ON

Lester & Lucia Altermatt
Lakeview BIC, Goodrich, MI

Matt Wilkinson
The Meeting House, Oakville, ON

John & Margaret Crozier
Houghton BIC, Frogmore, ON

Rob & Karen Henderson
New Life BIC, Collingwood, ON

Al Frank
Conoy BIC, Elizabethtown, PA

Curtis & Jamie Zoerb (& Lori Bell)
Clearview BIC, KIndersley, SK

Tammy Smith, The Meeting House
Kie Nadoo, The Meeting House

Bishop Craig Sider, Atlantic Conference
Bishop Rob Patterson, Allegheny Conf.

Bishop John Zuck, Great Lakes Conf.
Bishop Ken Letner, Susquehanna Conf.
Bishop Perry Engle, Pacific Conference

Relaxing in the Messiah College Student Union after a hard day of orienting.

Darrell Winger, General Secretary
Bishop Brian Bell, Canadian Conference

Associate Bishop Eduardo & Jill Llanes, Southeast Conference