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Developing spiritual gifts was the focus of this year’s Day of Encouragement in Ontario. On October 19, more than 450 people from Christian Reformed churches across Ontario attended the annual event held in Ancaster, Ontario, to become better equipped for their roles in the church. Through worship and workshops, attendees gained practical training for their respective ministries and enjoyed fellowship and spiritual rejuvenation.

“The mission of God’s people is to be distinctive, a counter-cultural community,” said keynote speaker Michael Goheen. “Our gifts can challenge and shape the body to be that distinctive people, to be that change, that light.”

The range of workshops offered—from church finances to racial reconciliation to cultivating artistic creativity in worship—reflected the many gifts within church body. Herman Praamsma of Rehoboth Fellowship CRC in Toronto appreciated the “very knowledgeable, prepared, and passionate” presentations. George Elzinga of Hagarsville CRC enjoyed the learning experience.

For many others, the conference provided a time of refocusing amidst busy lives. Krista Taekema of Ancaster CRC affirmed, “It is a great place for renewal.”

The conference also hosted displays of various Christian agencies and ministries. For Corrie Mulder of International Needs, the Day of Encouragement was an important place to connect with church leaders and to say thank you for the support. Winnie Visser of Faith and Hope Ministries hopes that the awareness created will serve to “spread a groundswell for all the CRC” to better serve those with mental illness.

For organizer Joanne Adema, the conference offered a way for ministry workers, who give a lot of themselves, to be better equipped in their roles. “Christ wants us to be a body of believers, and the Day of Encouragement is a step to that goal.”

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