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Harvest Festival Banquets Emphasize Integrity, Teamwork

Over the weekend Providence celebrated Thanksgiving and the fall season with their annual Harvest Festival Banquets. The harvest colours and candlelight provided a lovely atmosphere for an enjoyable evening.

Bruce Martin, Lead Pastor of Calvary Temple in Winnipeg, was the speaker for the evening. He spoke of the importance of every member of a team, small or great. He portrayed how the apostle Paul testified to this by continually shifting the focus off of himself to the people who helped his cause, whether they be born into slavery or citizens holding public offices. Pastor Martin then went on to point out those who make Providence what it is: the faculty, the support staff, the students, the Board of Governors, and the donors. Each of these is vital to the existence of Providence.

The guests were also given the opportunity to hear two testimonies via a video presentation from members of the Providence community. Heidi Martens, a fourth year student, shared from her experiences at Providence and some of the ways she has been challenged. Jeff Banman is an alumus and current Staff and Faculty member at the institute. He spoke of how his time at Providence proved to be valuable in its practical transferability to many circumstances he has found himself in. Both Heidi and Jeff emphasized the richness of the community that they found in the students and staff members of Providence.

Interim President Dr David Johnson explained the annual theme for the year. He said that this year the theme is Integrity and noted that Providence pursues academic integrity, theological integrity, and spiritual integrity.

Musical entertainment was provided by the Chamber Singers, Providence's auditioned and touring choir. They sang five pieces throughout the evening. Dr. Henry Schellenberg, the choir's conductor, was not able to attend the event this weekend, due to his ongoing struggle with cancer. He was remembered in silence and in prayer on both nights, and most potently, by the choir themselves. Their final piece, a song that in some ways has become “Dr. Schellenberg’s song,” was emotionally difficult but powerfully meaningful for the choir members. It speaks of bringing praise to Christ for his mercy and goodness, despite the fragility of life.

The fall season is an appropriate time in which to hold the Harvest Festival Banquet. As we remember and reflect on the bounty and blessings we have been given, represented so aptly by the gathering in of the summer crops, it is also good to share those gifts with others. Dr Johnson invited guests to become part of the Providence team and community by giving of their time and energy or by making a financial contribution.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and harvest, Providence is grateful for another opportunity to have presented their vision to their guests and thankful for the many people who support Providence University College and Theological Seminary.

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