By Les Pearson
The Board of the Medicine Hat Ecumenical College Ministry Society has unanimously acclaimed the Interim Chaplain, Pastor George Koopmans, as our new Chaplain. George brings a wealth of pastoral experience to the position together with his years as a member of our Board. He fully understands and endorses the spiritual and comfort care afforded by an ecumenical chaplaincy in an academic setting.
During the Fall, George served as Interim Chaplain. In this time he has won the welcome and acceptance of faculty, students, and College administration. He quickly resumed programs that had been implemented by his predecessors such as informal weekly coffee meetings in the Interfaith Room, the bi-monthly soup lunch, and snacks for students during exam week. In addition, he has established a prayer group and is working on a student retreat to the Cypress Hills. He has expressed personal satisfaction with a return to in-person instruction on campus. George’s special expertise is interpersonal relations.
For the chaplaincy to become sustainable it will require the financial support of Medicine Hat’s entire Christian community. As a former Pastor in the Christian Reformed Church, the new chaplain has a natural bridge to both mainline and evangelical churches. He is a trusted member of both communities. There is the hope that his visits to local churches with stories from this ministry will increase support and lead to an expansion of the chaplain’s time allocation.
Les Pearson chairs the Medicine Hat Ecumenical College Ministry Society of which The United Church of Canada is also a member.