Mennonite Gospel Church, Vauxhall AB celebrated baptism on Sunday, December 2.
back row: Pastor Wilf Unrau, Amanda Dyck, Elda Dyck, Lay Minister Henry Unrau. Front row: Martha Rempel and Jessie Guenter.
In early summer of 2018, Wilfred and I (Margaret) were approached by EMMC leadership about taking on a three-month interim pastorate in southern Alberta. We had never pastored a church before, and we were not very familiar with the whole interim pastoring idea. However, a few weeks later we accepted the position and began to prepare for our move.
When we arrived in Grassy Lake, Alberta in September 2018, we found a lovely upstairs suite furnished and stocked for us. We were greeted by a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card of welcome from the Mennonite Gospel Church congregation. We soon realized that being located in a town where numerous church members lived, and having the opportunity to meet people in the restaurant below us, was the best option for us.
Many conversations happened with the church board chair and board members, encouraging them and exploring ways to give leadership to the church. Wilfred also worked closely with MGC’s lay pastor, meeting almost every week to talk through and plan for Sunday services and pastoral duties. As the people became more comfortable with us, they took the opportunity to text Wilfred for explanations of various Bible verses or suggestions for Bible passages of comfort. Later, we hosted evening Bible studies where we discovered God’s truth in the Book of John. We felt so blessed and humbled to be conduits for God’s Spirit to encourage people through these avenues.
Margaret was able to meet the women and take part in some great activities with them. Once a month the ladies spend the day at the church, setting up sewing machines and quilt frames to make blankets and pillows for local homeless shelters. These days were good for conversations and working together.
Several of the women also joined together to meet for an afternoon Bible study. These afternoons included prayer times, memory verse reciting, personal testimony sharing, and the searching out of many precious promises from the Lord to us in His Word.
Another exciting component of church activity was involvement with worship and music. Margaret was pleased to sing special songs with numerous people, as well as several chances to play piano and guitar.
It was a great privilege to be able to participate with the people of MGC in communion, baptism celebrations, and then Christmas joy. Each event endeared the Vauxhall people to us.
We were very excited by the joy and positive energy present among the people of Mennonite Gospel Church as we prepared to leave in December. MGC showed eager anticipation for the future.
God is so good, and always faithful. We are thankful to have been used by Him in Alberta.
Wilf and Margaret Unrau are at Steinreich Bible School, Mexico, where they are involved with teaching and mentoring until the end of March.
Wilf & Margaret Unrau
Interim Pastor assignment summary
Mennonite Gospel Church, Vauxhall, Alberta
Home church: Bergfeld EMMC, Manitoba