Lacombe Ministerial Association welcomes new president

Leon H. Johnston begins term with the City’s inter-faith collaborative

NEW POST - Reverend Leon Johnston began his term as president for the Lacombe Ministerial Association with the turn of the year and has already defined some goals for his term.

NEW POST - Reverend Leon Johnston began his term as president for the Lacombe Ministerial Association with the turn of the year and has already defined some goals for his term.

The Lacombe Ministerial Association has a new president.

Effective at the turn of the year, Reverend Leon H. Johnston, or Pastor Leon as he likes to be called, has begun his term as president for the inter-faith collaborative group based in Lacombe.

Members of the Lacombe Ministerial Association take turns serving as president of the association, said Johnston. Terms are usually for one year, and the group discusses and decides together whose turn it is to be president.

“It’s more of a communal discernment,” said Johnston.

Because he had been in the community for three years previous and was deemed to be well established, the association decided that it was Johnston’s turn to serve as president, he said.

He added that some who have been members of the Lacombe Ministerial Association for several years had already had their turn, or even a second one, at being president.

Johnston, who has been ordained for five years, said he decided to become a minister because he felt a calling from God. He added that it took some time, years actually, for him to realize this calling.

Before making that gradual realization, Johnston was a teacher for four years. Even then, Johnston was beginning to feel a call to a faith-related career. He said that most of the classes he taught related to religion in some form like church history or faith studies. “I could see my trajectory was more headed toward the church anyway, so I was preparing for that.”

Johnston came to be at Wolf Creek Community Church in Lacombe after serving a church in British Columbia. He said his denomination, the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA), works on a “calling system” and members of the community called to ask him to come to Lacombe and serve a church in the community.

Bethel and Woody Nook are also CRCNA churches serving the area. Johnston said it is quite common to have multiple churches in the denomination serving the same community because each church serves a different facet of it.

Woody Nook is outside of Lacombe and serves the rural population.

Bethel is inside the City and serves what Johnston called the more “traditional” members of the Christian Reformed Church. Wolf Creek Community Church, as the name implies, serves the community as a whole.

“We do all have, if you like, different target audiences,” said Johnston. “It actually works very well.”

As with any organization, the purpose of the Lacombe Ministerial Association has changed a bit throughout the years, said Johnston. However, the general purpose of the group remains the same, to gather church leaders for mutual encouragement, prayer and to collaborate in ministry.

A good way to sum up the Lacombe Ministerial Association might be to say it is one part networking group and one part support group. Collaboration among Lacombe’s ministers is valuable, said Johnston, because ministry as a profession is quite unique and there is a sense that only other pastors will understand some of the strains and stresses of their work.

He said the first half of the ministerial association’s monthly meetings are spent sharing stories and learning how they can pray for and support each other.

“There is something very encouraging about meeting with people that totally understand what you are going through.”

With that collaboration, the ministers of Lacombe are more effective at preaching the word of God and serving the community of Lacombe, said Johnston. He added that it also important for the association to serve the community as a whole or the ‘Church of Lacombe,’ as Johnston calls it.

Even when the ministerial association gets involved in community projects that aren’t necessarily directly related to religion, they are still embodying the Christian lifestyle through work that benefits the community.

What direction the Lacombe Ministerial Association decides to go this term will depend somewhat on what the body decides as a whole, but Johnston said he already has some goals in mind.

He said he would like to work at unifying the group and defining some clear goals in order to increase efficiency.

As part of the goal of the ministry is also to promote and spread the word of the Gospel, Johnston is also looking at new avenues of sharing the Good Word with the community, he said.

To that effect, the ministry is working on bringing a new feature to the Lacombe Express, a faith column written by the church leaders of Lacombe and area that will discuss issues of religion and reflect on theological doctrine.

Readers can look forward to reading the bi-weekly column in coming issues of the Lacombe Express in the near future.


Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Most Read