For a number of years now the Vermeer Charitable Foundation has invested in the continuing education of Pastors in the surrounding counties. Christian leaders have been invited (largely at the expense of the Foundation) to conduct seminars that inspire and advance ministry effectiveness in our local churches. Every effort is made to select speakers that can meet the needs of pastors and their communities. Twice a year, the highest caliber Christian leaders are brought to the Vermeer Global Pavilion in Pella to speak to the community at a free public event the evening before the Pastor/Ministry leader seminar. Recent speakers include notable teachers and authors, Jack Hayford, Will Willimon, & Dr. Kara Powell, Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute. I applaud the efforts of Vermeer to invest in the development of Christian leaders and the cause of Christ in our communities. They are providing a valuable service to Pastors in training, equipping, and inspiring them for ministry.
I go to these events because they are always intellectually stimulating, spiritually uplifting, low-cost, high quality, and close to home.
Leadership is difficult. Leadership which honors Christ and expresses the values of the Kingdom of God requires much. How can church leaders more effectively live as "servants" and "shepherds" among the people God has entrusted to them?
One source of encouragement for local church leaders is funded and administered by the Vermeer Charitable Foundation. Over the years, this unique Charitable Foundation has invested heavily in the pastoral leadership impacting this region. They have done so by inviting outstanding teachers, theologians and therapists to equip local church leaders.
Recent speakers have included Jack Hayford, Will Willimon, Kara Powell, Leonard Sweet and Richard Blackaby.
Our staff has been encouraged and strengthened by the Vermeer Charitable Foundation's gifts to our region. Many other pastoral leaders report the same. Please prayerfully consider this wonderful opportunity.
Please note that the recent conference featuring Dr. Ruth Haley Barton, was, as always, an outstanding and productive meeting. I was so pleased with the fact that the focus was on the spiritual health of pastors. I have been a lay pastor in a tiny United Methodist Church in rural eastern Iowa for 10 years. Pastors hear everyone's problems, but they haven't a "pastor" of their own, so sometimes things can get fairly heavy. I most enjoyed the spotlight on finding time for our own "self-care" with the Lord, and how important it is for our health and well being.
Thank you for sponsoring these very reasonable conferences and the caliber of speakers you provide. This was my third conference, and they just keep getting better and better! May God truly bless your efforts!