Exploring a New Direction

Craig and Kim Frere in Welland

“We don’t know this town, we are explorers here,” says Craig Frere, MCEC pastor. “We are learning the language and culture as we live our lives with those surrounding us.” 

Craig and Kim Frere recently left Community Mennonite Fellowship in Drayton where Craig was pastor for the past five years and Kim worked as an educator in the school system. They sold their home and moved to the Niagara area in southern Ontario, settling in Welland. In anticipation of their move, they joined Welland social media chat groups and became members at the local historical museum to familiarize themselves with their new community. 

“As we put down roots, find jobs, meet neighbours and get involved in the community, we are looking for the people that God is already speaking to and those whom God brings into our lives,” says Craig. 

Craig and Kim in front of a coffee shopDeliberately grocery shopping at a local “mom and pop” grocery store and spending time in a local hair salon has allowed them to integrate and know more about the community where they now live. “I’m excited to really connect with the community,” says Kim. “I’ve met some great people and we already have a wonderful coffee shop where I am greeted by name.” 

After many years in congregational ministry, Kim and Craig have stepped into a new adventure, sensing a nudge to move into a different type of ministry. “Hearing God’s voice and preparing to move in a different direction has this aspect of holy unrest - you just aren’t satisfied with the way things are anymore,” says Craig. 

"Together we need to explore more ways of being church."

Craig and Kim have participated in and been a part of the leadership of ReLearning Community, an MCEC initiative to foster intentional disciple-making relationships. “I used to think that church planting is working toward planting a new worship service or Sunday morning expression,” says Craig. “ReLearning Community helped me to realize and recommit to the idea that we are called to go into all the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus in people’s lives.” 

Kim and Craig are returning to a ministry model that Jesus and the disciples followed in the early church. It will include small family groups where people eat and share their lives together, not just on Sunday morning but throughout the week, in many different ways. 

"We are called to go into all the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus in people’s lives.”

“God has invited Kim and me into a different mindset of how we function as a church,” says Craig.

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can be and do church differently. Together we need to explore more ways of being church if we are going to faithful to the call that God has given to us.” 

You can follow Craig and Kim’s ministry at https://craigfrereblogspot.com/.