Word from the Pastor

A Reason To Rejoice

Honour is defined as “an act of high respect and great esteem”. This weekend we honour Pastor Carl Willis for 3 decades of work with Christian Life Assembly and more than that with Bus Ministry. As he officially retires from CLA his work of love and compassion will continue. Today we also celebrate his family, Colleen (his wife) and Ashley (his daughter) as they have been at his side from the beginning. CLA Bus Ministry has been a family endeavor. They have worked in tandem to bring Christ’s Gospel to children across the Fraser Valley. Their tireless work and deep care have won them recognition and esteem, both in this world and in the one to come. As part of Pastor Carl’s succession path, on July 1, CLA Bus Ministry will be entrusted to Metro Kids Ministry under the leadership of Mike Brownlee. Our goal is to continue a partnership that already exists, to remain devoted to kids outreach in Langley and Surrey as well as to help Pastor Carl transition to a retirement that embraces both ongoing ministry and new times of rest and revitalization.

For ten years I have watched Pastor Carl work and celebrated his achievements. Let me say a word about him. Carl is compelled by a vision, a calling that gives him a deep determination to get work done. Although low key, for those of us who work with him, he is also assertive and persistent when it comes to all things “Bus Ministry”. He has built an environment of trust, both on his leadership team and with families in the outreach. People love him (and he loves people). He is action orientated. He is approachable. He has learned a lot of skills along the way to make him “street smart”. I love his heart for justice and am often amazed at the lengths he will go to help the “one”. Pastor Carl is very persuasive and is motivated by the needs of people. He loves God. He is a spiritual learner and has represented his Saviour Jesus Christ very well. A job well done, congratulations on your retirement!

Metro Kids is and remains a key local mission partner for CLA. We are expanding our support for this ministry both by subsidizing its hiring of new staff and through a monthly mission gift to aid them in their outreach. Our building will continue to host their weekly programs. Carl will continue to be an ambassador and fundraiser for their important work. This month CLA raised $20,000 for their Sidewalk Kids Klub through our Beyond Our Walls campaign.

This weekend I encourage you to embrace Carl & Colleen as well as Ashley & Richard as we celebrate their significant contribution to the Kingdom of God and rejoice in this milestone.