Farewell, from the Bidell's


This is our last weekend in ministry at CLA and that brings up a wide range of very real feelings. With the new call comes excitement. And in the same moment we also feel sad. Goodbyes are difficult. CLA has been a very important church for Laura and I for decades. Laura came to CLA at 6 months old and grew up, served and led in worship here as her parents pastored. Our family attended here. I was baptized at CLA. I began ministry here. Laura and I met and married here. We enjoyed six years as youth pastors here and then in 2017 were privileged to return here to serve again. We have nothing but fond memories and gratitude when we think of CLA. What we will miss most is you.

The present pandemic has served to remind us all that at the end of the day church is not just a Sunday gathering, and CLA is much more than a building. CLA is people. CLA is you. And we will miss you.

Saying goodbye is hard, and it is made even more challenging in a pandemic. You can watch for us saying goodbye to you at 9am this Sunday when I speak and Laura leads worship for a last time, or you can drop by the “drive-through” Pastor Derrick has arranged from 10am-12 and we could say goodbye in person.

When you think of us, please pray for our transition. We need God’s help with finding a home for our family, and with settling into a new church and community. Thank you. We will be thinking of you.

CLA has health, strength and world-class leadership. Through pandemic and changes, CLA will continue to bring real transformation to lives surrounding each of our campuses. It will continue to bring care and connection to its congregations. It will continue to prioritize children and youth and passing the baton of faith to future generations. It will continue to be an important example to Canadian churches. It will continue to reach around the globe with generosity and impact. It will continue to house the moving and power of the Holy Spirit, in increasing measure! And it will continue to take the kind of bold steps of faith CLA has been known for, for over 80 years. Please, for Christ’s sake (and I mean those exact words, with utmost sincerity): Stay on mission. Keep connected to your neighbours and make new friends who don’t know Jesus yet!

I want to conclude by acknowledging Pastor Derrick. He will continue to be a friend, inspiration and mentor to us for the rest of our lives. We also want to express our appreciation to all the staff we have had the pleasure of working with these past years.

CLA, your God is great and your future is bright!

Mike & Laura Bidell

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