“Pastorates are medium sized regional groups within St. George’s that meet monthly in their respective regions for local fellowship, worship, and mission.”
Click on one of the above links to learn more about the individual pastorates or continue reading to find out more about the vision behind pastorates.
A) What is a Pastorate?
1) Pastorates are regional
2) Pastorates are monthly
3) Pastorates are for fellowship
4) Pastorates are for mission
5) Pastorates blanket our area with a safety net so no one slips through the cracks
1) Pastorates are Regional
Being regionally defined is one of the strengths of the pastorate model. It fights against the consumerism that can creep into commuter church life. It facilitates regional fellowship (i.e., getting to know other St. George’ites in your area) and regional mission. The fellowship is special in that it is cross-generational. We are asking everyone to attend the pastorate in his or her region. However, no one will be forced to attend a particular pastorate if a neighbouring one meets on a more workable day.
2) Pastorates are Monthly
One week every month we will all meet in our regional pastorate groups. All pastorates will meet on this same week so we can avoid booking any other church activities on that week. We are asking everyone to prioritize the pastorate meeting on that one-week per month. For example, if you can do your small group and still make it to your pastorate then by all means do both. However, if you can only do one, please prioritize the pastorate for that week.
3) Pastorates are for Fellowship
By meeting in these mid-sized groups we will get to know the other people in our church family who live close to us. Our prayer is that this will foster deeper relationships and a stronger sense of community within the body at St. G’s. The mid-sized group is a comfortable size, too. Being regional it allows our parishioners to attend something without driving an hour to get there.
4) Pastorates are for Mission
The regional, monthly pastorate creates a mid-sized group optimal for inviting neighbours. Many of us find it difficult to invite our friends to drive a long distance to come to church. Invite them to the pastorate instead. Also, this pastorate group will allow us to drive our mission into the local communities where we live. It will enable our church to make a real difference in our cities and towns. For example, a pastorate may decide to serve in the local Salvation Army a few times per year.
5) Pastorates as a Safety Net
The pastorate will become the entry point for newcomers into the life of St. G’s. Sunday morning newcomers will identify themselves on newcomer cards. These newcomers will be contacted and invited to the next pastorate meeting in their region. In addition to newcomers, the regional nature of the pastorates means that every person on our parish list belongs to a group, whether they attend or not. So, for those in our church family who are not currently in a small group or engaged in any other ministries outside of Sunday, the pastorate will connect them to other St. G’s disciples in their area.
B) What to expect when you go to your pastorate meeting
The overarching reason for pastorates is simply to be disciples making disciples. The monthly regional meetings will each consist of:
1) fellowship over coffee/tea/cookies (and hopefully butter tarts …)
3) a song or two
4) time of personal testimony
The importance of sharing personal testimony cannot be over stated. It provides the opportunity for individuals to reflect on God’s work in their lives (both at conversion and in the past week) while allowing others to hear about the ways God is at work in our church family. There has been a strong link between personal testimony and revival movements throughout recent church history.
The Pastorate meeting is will begin at 7:30pm with fellowship and end promptly at 9pm. Children are welcome to attend and participate. We realize that 9pm may be late for some of our young children, and especially on a school night, however, it is only once per month and the richness of children’s participation is worth one late night per month.
When you go we hope that you will find it to be a relaxed, comfortable and inviting meeting where you will connect with other people and connect with the Lord, celebrating what He is doing in our lives, families, communities and through our church.