ANVIL Ministry for Men saw continued growth and maturity in 2012. ANVIL leadership continued to be broadened, as various areas of service or "portfolios" continued to be delegated. These areas included; Prayer, Resources, Fellowship, Service and Discipleship. As more men participated in leading our group, we enjoyed consequent growth throughout the year. A strong effort was made to increase awareness of and continually invite men to ANVIL events through regular online email and newsletters.
ANVIL men found many ways to serve during 2012, as we identified needs within our sphere of influence and sought to bring relief. We conducted a Christmas Food Drive, ministered with grocery hampers, and sometimes cash to designated needy families. Help was given to people during their big house-move and we ran the BBQ's for the church parking lot picnics. Increasingly, ANVIL men pair up to visit various homes to offer prayer for the sick and shut-ins. The Ft. Albany, (Northern Ontario) missions trip was a highlight for many of our members. Under Rev. Tom Quinn's guidance from our PAOC SW Ontario district office, we were able to participate in the Ft. Albany church-building restoration as well as bring encouragement to this First Nations community.
Fellowship and friendship continues to be a vital aspect for men within ANVIL. New friendships are created, bonds are strengthened and "iron sharpens iron" as we grow and learn from each other, building genuine brotherly relationships. To this end, a number of events during the year have become mainstays of the ANVIL experience. This occurred again this year with a pigroast, a lobster cook-off and the near-famous 4th Annual Christmas Garage party being held, to mention a few. Frequently, with each fellowship event, we discover a number of new people who show interest in joining our group while attending an ANVIL function. In response, our leadership commits to a "no-man-left-behind" attitude to all men seeking fellowship and offer assistance where help is needed in their lives.
In a similar fashion, the annual Kapikog Lake retreat was held with a refreshing time of bonding, teaching, worship and prayer in a camping and outdoor setting. Fathers were mentored through a PK Fatherhood Seminar and the local area PromiseKeeper's "Alive" Conference was well attended by our group in the fall. Also in the fall, we supported the Movember prostate cancer research campaign. Many ANVIL men contributed financially to the Teen Challenge "Freedom Ride" event, which saw participation from ANVIL members.
One noteworthy discipleship program was a study based on the movie "Courageous", which looked at the lives of Christian men impacting their world for Christ. Often Thursday evening round-table discussions led men to vocalize areas of struggle where other members could respond, offering wisdom and practical help, while talking the matter out. Other times of study and discussion enabled men to discover their spiritual gifting.
Special speakers in 2012 included Rev. John Howson (Winnipeg) and Aris Metaxukis (Peterborough). Both men challenged our ANVIL men through their inspiring messages. No weekly ANVIL meeting is complete without a time of closing prayer where we offer prayer cover for our church, it's leadership and the many needy people in our community. ANVIL men pray with a passionate expectation that God hears and will respond to our call!
Looking ahead to 2013, we have focused on outreach to our community, developing the prayer lives of men and continuing growth through discipleship in our never-ending quest to be "more like our Master". We anticipate that God will cause his will to be done through the hearts, hands and minds of ANVIL men as we live out our faith in practical and exciting ways.
Respectfully Submitted, Mark Howson