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The rhythm of meeting monthly to share, pray, and discuss readings helped pastors reconnect with the human side of ministry, says pastor Ken Gehrels of his participation in a Sustaining Pastoral Excellence peer learning group.

Gehrels is one of 16 ministry leaders from Eastern Ontario and Quebec whose common hunger for support initially brought them together to share their ministries, experiences, and insights.

The blessings of mutual care, prayer, collegiality, and encouragement—as well as support—kept them coming back.

One pastor reported, “I enjoy getting to know the other CRC pastors/leaders. . . . It’s nice to have other people in the same boat as I am.”

Group members formed smaller groups of two and three that meet between their larger gatherings.

Since most of the pastors minister in significant isolation, these times of interaction are important. Gehrels says there’s “a very high need for fellowship with others in a similar life position.”

The peer group has become a safe place. Bridges have been built between colleagues who are geographically separated and who have few opportunities to make meaningful connections.

Those wishing to apply for a peer-learning grant must submit their application to SPC by May 1.

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