Dear Artizo family,

If you are like me, since the beginning of COVID-19 you’ve heard from almost every organization, business and individual you have ever had contact with. Everyone seemed to want to tell me how they were managing COVID-19. While this note from Artizo may seem a little late, I hope it won’t get lost in the fray of COVID-19 oversharing. But more importantly, I hope this message finds you healthy, safe and well.

As you might well imagine, our ongoing training programs had to adjust to a different kind of training in mid March. Suddenly all the in-person mentorship meetings, the group prep time, the bible study and preaching practise was no longer possible in person. But, being the creative beings we were created to be, everyone adapted. Ben Roberts, our trainer, has managed to keep everyone on track, engaged and continuing in Artizo.

If you attended the St. John’s Vancouver Sunday morning service online on June 14th you would have seen interviews with apprentices Katy Der and Andrew Buchanan to mark their completion of the two-year program. While we would love to have shared cake in person with them as we regularly would at a graduation, we were thrilled to hear from them as they reflected on their time with Artizo and look ahead to teaching the word of God and caring for His people.

All the interns have continued to be engaged in active ministry, even though the in person, real face-to-face has been replaced mostly with Zoom, facetime and the like. Our apprentices are still forming and leading home groups, helping by preparing for and leading online daily devotionals and preparing for and leading Morning Prayer and Compline. So, while the preaching practise at the 7:30am service is not available, they are getting lots of opportunities with so many services and groups happening online. In fact, if you are doing Morning Prayer or Compline online you will have had more opportunity than usual to hear from them!

Now that you are up to date on Artizo’s response to COVID please do take some time to browse around. In this edition you will find Tripp Prince’s church planting story, Ben Robert’s training update, an interesting article on prayer from Susan Norman, and you can watch an exciting new video titled “Artizo to Church Planting: The Story of The Table Church”.

I’d especially like to draw your attention to our new Artizo Residency Program. The Artizo Residency Program grows out of the same vision and goals as the Artizo Apprenticeship: to equip ministers to faithfully teach and preach God’s word and entrust it to others. But although the need for the gospel is greater than ever, there are generally not enough positions available for Artizo graduates. To address this shortage, the Artizo Institute, through the Residency Program, will provide funding to help existing churches or new church plants hire qualified Artizo graduates, providing them with employment, ministry experience, and additional mentorship. You can read all about the Residency Program here.

Going forward, we enjoy the summer while we wait with anticipation to see who God will bring to us to begin their Artizo training in September. This year we would love you to pray along with us for these new apprentices. Regent will not be having in-person classes this fall and will be online only, so we are unsure about how that will work for us. We do pray that God will bring to us those who are committed to learn, to teach and preach the word of God and care for His people. We have a great curriculum, a dedicated trainer and plenty of opportunity.

As always, we so appreciate your support of Artizo. Many of you give faithfully monthly, annually or occasionally and we remain thankful for each gift. While we know many people’s circumstances have changed we also know God is in control and we at Artizo have the work set before us to do. So thank you for your part in making it happen.

With gratitude to you and to God for his provision,

Lesley Bentley
Chair, The Artizo Institute