For the past two years, a group of pastors from Classis Toronto (a regional group of Christian Reformed churches) has been meeting monthly to share breakfast and to grow spiritually together.
The breakfasts are part of a larger effort to encourage further study and to build community together as pastors. Funding comes from the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program.
Toronto area pastors meet monthly for breakfast and encouragement.
According to organizer Richard Bodini, pastor of Holland Marsh CRC in Newmarket, Ontario, this year’s theme is spiritual direction and how that applies to preaching, teaching, and pastoral care.
“We believe that practicing spiritual direction as pastors is important for us in our calling and task, but also for our personal growth as followers of Jesus Christ,” Bodini explained.
Several participants expressed appreciation not only for the study aspect of the breakfast club, but also for the opportunity to share life with others who face the same joys, challenges, and sorrows.
“I have looked forward to the mutual support and simply being together. It has been a safe place, a time to be refreshed, where you could simply come and rest and be refueled,” said Doug Nieuwstraten, pastor of Richmond Hill (Ontario) Community CRC.
Nathaniel Van Denend of Maranatha CRC in Woodbridge, Ontario, agreed. “After leaving the close community of seminary friends, it was a bit of a transition into solo pastoral ministry. The breakfast meetings provide that sense of community. We are in it together, we face similar situations, and we are thinking about similar issues.”
The group is also planning two one-day retreats in the upcoming year.