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Only a few weeks ago I wrote my final contribution to these pages as an employee of the denomination—or at least I thought so at the time. Because of an unexpected change in plans, I am back for a while.

As was reported in the September issue of The Banner, the reasons for this unexpected change were sad and painful. As a community, we had to collectively come to terms with disappointment.

All of us have firsthand experience with disappointment. At times our disappointment is purely personal and private. At other times it is shared and communal.

The Bible says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). Many people have helped our denomination bear the burden of disappointment in recent days. There also were some who increased our burden, but that is another story.

In community we experience both joy and pain. We may only be able to feel one of these at a time, but in our hearts we know that when we are in pain we may anticipate “that joy comes in the morning.” No matter how much pain we feel, there is always the hope that the sun will rise again and that the experience of joy is just around the corner.

I want to tell you about some joyful events. By the time you read this, the Sea to Sea bicycle tour across Canada will have ended in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Quite apart from the sheer dedication and endurance of those who rode for many weeks, or even a few weeks, this was a remarkable bonding event. Yes, the individual riders each contributed much, but the joy was experienced in community. We offer a sincere “thank-you” to all who played a part in making this event a great experience!

I want to tell you about Wayne deJong, the director of CRWRC-Canada, who is leaving us in October to take a new position with Habitat for Humanity-Canada. Wayne is a hard-working and dedicated leader who served the ministry of CRWRC with honor and distinction. We are grateful for the service he rendered to our CRC community as well as the encouragement he provided for many of our partners in ministry throughout the world. Thank you, Wayne, and Godspeed in your new environment.

Finally, I want to tell you about the ministries we celebrate in this issue. The Church@Work section this month is devoted to an Annual Ministry Report coming to you from the agencies and educational institutions of the denomination.

The purpose of an annual report is to give supporters an overview of the ministry programs they support and to celebrate the many ways God is using those ministries to advance the kingdom.

It would be presumptuous to say that this is God’s annual report to the CRC, but in a real sense it is an account of God’s activity, accomplished through these agencies and institutions, to establish the kingdom more fully among us.

Please look at the information provided in that light. Think of the ministries we do together as a denomination as God@Work. It puts the annual report in an entirely new light.

Until next time.

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