World Renew’s new co-director Jamie McIntosh introduced himself to Synod 2023 in a heartfelt address.
World Renew is the relief and development agency of the Christian Reformed Church. McIntosh leads the Canadian arm of World Renew, a position previously held by Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo. He started in the role in February. Carol Bremer-Bennett will continue to lead the agency’s American arm, as she has for the past eight years.
“I don’t know what I’m doing here today,” said McIntosh tearfully at one point in his address. “I stand before you as a broken man with a broken heart for a broken world.”
McIntosh has a “deep-rooted commitment to humanitarian and development work that spans two decades,” Bremer-Bennett told synod in her introduction. McIntosh has worked for Compassion Canada and World Vision Canada, and he founded International Justice Mission Canada.
McIntosh was attracted to World Renew’s model of coming alongside other agencies in the countries where it works, Bremer-Bennett said. In his address, McIntosh commended World Renew workers who “toil often in relative obscurity working on humble tasks, walking with the wounded, broken and outcasts, seeing beyond the labels the world places upon them.”
In a pastoral manner, McIntosh began to encourage delegates in their resolve to “wrestle through difficult issues, finding a way to see Christ in each other and love more deeply.”
“If your resolve comes with humility, I believe God will use it to bind the broken-hearted and set the captive free,” he said. “We have a mission that’s been given to us. I ask that you send us like arrows to bring love, justice, and mercy to those so precious to God.”
“I know I’m just supposed to be introduced, but I would love it if you would commission me,” McIntosh requested.
Synod president Paul DeVries agreed, and soon McIntosh was surrounded with delegates who laid hands on him, while the whole synod raised their hands in prayer.
“Father, we pray that you would give to this man the overflow of God’s almighty Spirit,” prayed a delegate from Classis Muskegon. “When he is weak, make him strong. When he is afraid, make him bold. When he speaks to the powerful, give him the words to say. … In the midst of all this, may he experience the joy and delight of being used by you.”
Synod 2023 is meeting June 9-15 at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Find daily coverage from The Banner news team at thebanner.org/synod. Visit crcna.org/synod for the synod schedule, webcast, recordings, photos, committee reports, and liveblog. Synod is the annual general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church.