I haven’t talked about this much (if at all?) on this blog - but you may or may not know that my family and I are expecting my second child. In fact, he (yes, it’s a boy!) is due to arrive in about a week!
I have to admit, it’s been a challenge to do much of my first year of church planting while pregnant. However, it’s also been a constant reminder that this work is not my own; instead, I get to spend my whole day, each day, doing my best to partner with what God is already doing in Oshawa. And He has brought us here to this point, and He will carry us through to what’s next. I knew this truth in my head from the very beginning, but the process of preparing for the birth of my baby alongside the “birth” of my baby church has made me feel it and know it and live it with my whole heart these last months.
My maternity leave begins this week. So, before I take some time off and focus on this new chapter for my family, I wanted to stop in and let you know what all these changes will mean for Ecclesia.
As I said, I’ll be taking some time away from work. I’m not taking the full year of maternity leave that’s standard here in Canada; instead, I’m taking mid-September through mid-December off, and then returning part-time through the end of December so we can hit the ground running in the new year. In conversations with those who are used to the Canadian maternity leave, people tend to look at me like I’m crazy when I talk about this shorter maternity leave. But, my daughter was born in the US, where I had a 12 week maternity leave, so this feels like what I’m used to. Plus, I can take advantage of the fact that my husband is at home with our children, and my work as a pastor is busy, but fairly flexible - and certainly not the kind of work where I need to commute 2 hours every day and spend my full day in an office downtown. So, especially in the early months, you can expect to see me with a new little sidekick in tow from time to time, and finding creative ways to balance work and family well.
As for Ecclesia, I’m really excited about where we are and what’s in store for the fall! As you may already know, we just had our first worship gathering this past weekend, and we’ll continue to gather weekly on Saturday evenings at 6 pm in homes of our Core Team members. The way that we’ve structured our worship gatherings allows for anyone on our Core Team to lead, and we have a schedule of worship leaders and facilitators to take us through Christmas. I have an incredibly passionate and gifted team, and I have no doubt that they’ll lead these worship times with a whole lot of beauty. I’ll be there as often as I can, but I’m grateful for my team for stepping up to take on the real, on-the-ground leadership each week. Plus, we have great plans for some events in our neighbourhood to help us build relationships with those with whom we live, work, study, and play. Again, members of our Core Team are taking the lead on these - and I am 100% confident that God will use them in powerful ways!
So, that's a bit of the low-down on what’s happening with the Koh family, and with Ecclesia. This space will probably be a bit quieter for the next few months, although I might pop in for an update from time to time. In the meantime, check us out on Facebook and Instagram (look for @ecclesiaoshawa in both places!), as well as on our website, to follow along with what God is doing in North Oshawa!
And check back here in a week or two for some cute baby pictures. 😋 Thanks for your support and encouragement along the way!