News & Notes Vol 13 No. 20

An Invitation to the Health of the Church

Dear friends,
The Gathering 2017 is happening in one week’s time. We will celebrate our heritage, our present, and our future as Canadian Baptists. Gary Nelson from Tyndale will speak to us on leading in disorienting times. Our own Sam Breakey will encourage us to look to the health and renewal of our churches. We will engage in conversation and voting in areas of our shared ministry including human rights, education, and ministerial protocols. Shaila Visser, director of Alpha Canada, will share an exciting vision of evangelism across Canada. Gifted performer, Deanna Storfie, will weave our imaginations in a story of William Carey. We will welcome our new Executive Minister and new BCY Regional Minister. All this we will do together in prayer and fellowship from May 25-27.

A couple of weeks ago our first Potential Impact event happened.  Shannon Youell writes about it: Potential Impact found more than twenty young adults from Alberta, BC & Saskatchewan, gathered at Gull Lake Camp to challenge the next generation to focus on spiritual direction, an openness to ministry potential, and general calling and leadership in their life. Facilitated by CBWC ministry leaders and pastors, the conference metaphor quickly formed around the charging rhinoceros, who can see only twenty feet in front of itself yet knows that to see the next twenty feet requires stepping into the unseen-ness of the future. Participants commented that, though they “don’t know the exact details of (my) direction, I do know that what I am to do is make the most of where I am.”  Others commented that they had finally accepted the calling that they knew God had been asking of them for a long time.  For others it was confirmation that they were moving in the right direction.
The call to ‘join God where he is at work’, no matter where life leads was dominant in both the presentations and in the small group coaching and peer sessions where participants could wrestle with the presented material and “engage in the topics of identity and call”, with speakers and coaches who “were awesome, encouraging, helpful and practical.”
As a session presenter and coach, I was deeply affected by the passion and honest wrestling of these young adults to hear God and pursue the ‘ministry of reconciliation’ wherever and however that may look.

I would like to close with this. Many have experienced loss over the last year. Several have been mentioned in these newsletters with the recent additions of Tim Kerber and Nora Walker whose fathers have passed in the last 2 weeks. My dad Roy Bell passed away at noon on Thursday amidst family, prayers, tears and some light moments too. He struggled in these last days, but was peaceful in the end, as we his family are as well. My mum is well embraced by her strong faith and a very diverse and supportive family. Roy served at Westlane Baptist (Moncton), Atlantic Baptist College/Crandall, Strathcona Baptist (Edmonton), First Baptist (Calgary and Vancouver).  He also was principal of Carey Theological College and in that role taught at Regent College.  My dad loved this family of churches and more clearly loved Christ’s body, the church. The service is on May 28th at 3pm at First Baptist Church, Vancouver. On a more personal note I have been very touched by the kind notes of support. It has been a great encouragement.

In Christ,

Roy Bell

Roy Bell, former Pastor at Strathcona Baptist Church (Edmonton, AB), First Baptist Church Calgary, AB and First Baptist Vancouver, BC, and former Principal of Carey Theological College, passed away Thursday May 11th, 2017 in Duncan, BC, 2 days after his wife Elizabeth and he marked their 65th wedding anniversary. More to follow.

News & Notes Vol 13 No. 19

From Alpha to OEC

Dear friends,
You will hear more about this from Shaila Visser (Head of Alpha Canada) at the Assembly later this month. Over 75,000 people took the Alpha course last year, and over 35,000 people made first time commitments or recommitments to a relationship with Christ. A very exciting year. Click on the image to see a great video about Alpha, and then come to hear more at Assembly.

We engage every year in a wonderful process known as Ordination Examining Council.  This has always been a community event. We have representatives from the three regions, staff, and Board.  This year’s council will be held at Westview Baptist Church, in Calgary, AB, on 24 – 25 May 2017, preceeding our biennial Assembly.  Let me introduce you to the folk on this years council:
O.E.C. Chair: Steve Simala Grant
O.E.C. Recording Secretary (non-voting): Doug Johnston 
CBWC Executive Staff (non-voting members)
Jeremy Bell, Executive Minister (voting)
Dennis Stone, Alberta Regional Minister
Mark Doerksen, Heartland Regional Minister
Rob Ogilvie, BCY Regional Minister
Faye Reynolds, CBWC Director of Ministries
CBWC Table Officers (voting members)
Laura Nelson, President
Kayely Rich, VP Planning
Tim Kerber, VP Personnel
Michael Hayes, VP Finance
Elected or Appointed Regional Representatives (voting members)
Alberta Regional Representatives:
Greg Butt
Connie Shalagan
Brent Watts
Shelley Utz
BC/Yukon Regional Representatives:
Jodi Spargur
Larry Schram
Moreen Sharp
Gerry Davison
Heartland Regional Representatives:
Paul Matheson
Debra Cwir
Mike Engbers
Francine Vandergucht
Mentored Ministry Coordinator (non-voting)
Axel Schoeber, Carey Theological College
And let me introduce you to the candidates who are presenting themselves before the Council this year:

Eric Brooks, Edmonton, AB
Darlene Edwards, Sherwood Park, AB
Nathan Friedt, Peace River, BC
Rob Klingbeil, Lacombe, AB
Doug Liao, Surrey, BC
Kayley Sanders, Peace River, BC
Mervin Tippe, Regina, SK
Andrea Tisher, Vancouver, BC
The task of the OEC is not to rubber stamp what has been decided by a local church or a regional interview committee, but it is to sincerely discern and enquire of the candidate in an ongoing process.
Finally, let me draw your attention to a simple explanation of ordination and its process; this piece has been worked on over the years by Wayne Larson, Steve Simala Grant, and Laura Nelson in their roles as Chair of the Council.
Ordination and its Processes
One of the most serious aspects of our life together as Baptists in Western Canada is the examination of Candidates for ordination to the gospel ministry. Under Baptist polity, and in keeping with our understanding of the nature of the church, the ordination of a Candidate is the prerogative of the local church, while the official recognition of the Candidate is the prerogative of Canadian Baptist. 
From the local church the call for ordination is issued; to the local church the recommendations of the Examining Council are returned; on those recommendations the local church acts. The church convenes the Service of Ordination and on its behalf those who have been previously ordained to the gospel ministry join with members of the local church to lay on hands, with prayer, for the plenitude of the Spirit and His gifts in thus setting apart a man or a woman to a life of ministry in the church.  
But, although ordination is at the request, under the auspices, and by the authority of the local church, it is the custom in Baptist churches to request the fellowship of sister churches in this solemn act. To this end, sister churches are invited to send representatives to an Examining Council. Previously ordained ministers take part in the ordination service; and the Regional Minister normally conducts the service so that all may see that the universal church has a share in the solemn act of a local church.
In Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, by mutual agreement of the churches and areas, and at their request, the denomination convenes a central Examining Council each year. This council is composed of representatives elected by the Regional Executives or Advisory Groups, the elected officers of Assembly (President and Vice-Presidents), up to two representatives from a Candidate’s local church, the Executive Minister and the staff ministers (Regional Ministers and the Director of the Graduate Internship Program) who are non-voting members of the Council.  
The Co-Chairs and Secretary of the Council are appointed by the Credentials Committee of Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. The Co-Chairs are responsible to ensure that questions are clear, that the Candidate is not harassed, that communication between both Council and Candidate is open, and that the business is conducted in an impartial and orderly manner.
Candidates are invited to the Ordination Examining Council at the request of the local church on the recommendation of the area in which the Candidate serves and by the approval of the Ministerial Credentials Committee when they have satisfied all requirements of the Ministerial Ordination Standards and Procedures (MOS&P). 
In Christ,
Jeremy Bell

News & Notes Vol 13 No. 18

New Ways of Listening To God and Each Other

Dear friends,

There was so much to choose from in our life and ministry together this week, that I was challenged to limit it to these 2 wonderful experiences before us.
The first is Potential Impact, which we have spoken of before. Several dozen youth have followed the pattern described below. We are very excited about what God will be doing in their lives.

Every generation needs to encounter Jesus, rise up and put faith into action. That action might be as a waitress, a carpenter, a pastor, a children’s church leader, a board member, a musician, a youth leader, and the list could go on and on. I Corinthians 10:31 states, “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
We come to an age where bigger questions are being asked about our place in the world and the plan God might have for our lives. Every believer faces these challenges, but no one stares them in the face as much as those us of between grade 11 and age 24. This retreat is intentionally wired for those who are taking these questions seriously.
Potential Impact is not about someone telling people what they should do. Potential Impact will be asking questions: “What is God calling you to do?” “How do we help you prepare for that challenge?”
You will be joined by peers and coaches who are committed to helping you explore your future – your “potential impact.” They will help you hear and clarify the call of Jesus in your life.
Join us from Thursday evening April 27th, 2017, at Gull Lake Centre until Sunday, April 30, at noon. Early bird cost is $160, regular registration $175.
This retreat is the first of its kind among the churches of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. If you are a church leader, determine who among your church will profit from this experience and do everything in your power to see they come. If you are a dedicated young person, now is the time to seek God and say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
Secondly, the New Ministers Orientation is of critical importance to building relationship, collegiality, cross-resourcing and a sense of family beyond our backgrounds, geography, and the many miles we travel in Western Canada. These are the folks who are attending this year.
Eric Brooks, Strathcona Baptist, Edmonton, AB
Troy Dennis (Chaplain, Canadian Forces), Shiloh, Edmonton, AB
Aaron Hansen, FBC Cranbrook, BC
Brian Louw, White Rock Baptist, BC
Kevin Corbett, Hope Farm (Mustard Seed), Duncan, BC
Hannah Juras, Southwest Community Baptist, Kamloops, BC
Ella Cho, West Point Grey Baptist, Vancouver, BC
Alisa Powers, Moosomin Baptist, SK
Kevin Dyck, Moosomin Baptist, SK
Troy Taylor, FBC Lethbridge, AB
Norm Derkson, FBC Calgary, AB
Nixon Solomon, Sonrise Community Baptist, Calgary, AB
Heather Hiebert, Community Baptist, Cold Lake, AB
Terry Coe, FBC Dawson Creek, AB
Samuel Kim, Bonavista Baptist, Calgary, AB
Lee Young, Summerland Baptist, BC
Everett Budd, FBC Peace River, AB
Gabriel Alalade, Northmount Baptist, Calgary, AB
Anna Braun (Chaplain), FBC Lethbridge, AB 
Ryan Friesen, Keats Camps, Keats Island, BC
Isaac Godwin, Kitsilano Christian Community, Vancouver, BC
Jerry Wang, CBWC Staff, Calgary, AB
Please be in prayer for these events as they have unfolded, and I will update you with news of God’s faithfulness in them and around us.

In Christ,

Kinbrace receives funding for refugee support work

“The voice of the asylum seeker … is a voice that’s difficult to hear at times. The asylum seeker’s voice … gets lost in the noise of politicians who shamelessly conflate asylum seekers with risk and terrorism … [and gets] crowded out by our own instinctual fear of the ‘other’.”

— Loren Balisky, executive director of Kinbrace Community Society

Last week Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson awarded $181,220 to five refugee support services, including $5,000 for CBWC-affiliated Kinbrace Community Society. 

The money comes as Canada experiences an increase in refugee claimants. British Columbia and Manitoba have both had over 400 refugee claimants in the first three months of 2017 alone, and Alberta has received over 300. 

Mayor Robertson spoke out in favour of refugee claimants during the funding announcement, something no other Canadian mayor has yet done.

Immigrant Services Society of BC received $70,220 towards their work in facilitating the myriad logistics of asylum claims. They are heavily relied on by refugees, government and other support agencies to connect refugees with services, housing, work, training and support. The funding is welcome, ISSofBC says, as they work to meet “unprecedented service demands.” 

Kinbrace provides transitional housing for 30-40 refugees annually while the refugees wait for their claim to be processed.  Kinbrace has a community living model where refugee families and several Kinbrace staff and their families share their lives in the same houses.  Kinbrace staff embrace refugees in a community that walks alongside them during the complex and arduous refugee claims process.  In addition to providing shelter, Kinbrace provides other essential supports like its very practical READY tours that orient refugees to the refugee claims system and for its advocacy on behalf of refugees.

Kinbrace is one of many community-based ministries associated with Grandview Calvary Baptist Church on the east side of Vancouver.  To learn more about Kinbrace and its work with refugees, go to or contact Loren at

With files from ISSofBC

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The French Connection


CBWC member Kim Louise Clark has published a collection of devotionals, called The French Collection. The book follows a walk through Paris and parallels the deeper journey of faith. 

Here’s a teaser excerpt from the first chapter. The French Connection can be purchased on Amazon, online at Chapters Indigo and at a few select bookstores in Alberta. A portion of the sale proceeds are being generously donated to the CBWC. Thanks Kim!

My mom used to say that a vacation that started off badly would be a great trip. I never took this seriously, and certainly never purposefully attempted to do something foolish before a trip if nothing bad had yet happened. I also do not remember her saying this after she became a Christian, and not surprisingly, I can’t find any Scripture to substantiate this idea.

It was a few days before I flew to Paris, and my feet were resting comfortably in bubbly, silky warm waters: I had finally used my gift certificate for a pedicure. From the wide selection of colours, I chose a deep pink called ‘Bijou’, which is French for ‘jewel’. My silky smooth feet would soon be strolling around the exotic streets of Paris.

With a sense of enchantment, I stepped back out into the shopping mall but the feeling of specialness quickly began to fade as the tinges of a migraine that had been lurking around the back of my head grew painfully obvious.

I took meds but they proved ineffective and, as I passed a few stores, every movement emphasized the headache’s onset. I began to feel extremely ill. While I made my way over to one of the comfortable chairs clustered throughout the mall, I dug out my cell phone to tell my husband that I didn’t think I could drive home.

How life’s situations can change so quickly. One moment I’m a lady exiting an expensive salon; the next, I’m a crumpled heap in a chair, vomiting into a bag.

I can’t go to Paris. How am I going to manage on my own for six days, when I can’t even get home by myself from the mall? …

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New BC Yukon Regional Minister Announced

On behalf of the CBWC Board, it is my great pleasure to announce the hiring of our next BC/Yukon Regional Minister, Rev. Larry Schram. Larry currently serves as the Lead Pastor of Summerland Baptist Church. For over thirty years, Larry has encouraged local churches and pastors to be healthy, effective and faithful. Larry has been part of the BCY Region for the last 10 years and has already been an asset to Rob Ogilvie in encouraging and assisting the Okanagan churches. Larry rounds out the Executive Staff team well and he is eager to ensure we are prepared for upcoming cultural changes. Larry will begin orientation for this new role on Sept 1, 2017. 

Even before Larry begins, you will have the opportunity to welcome Larry to this new position and get to know him a bit better at our upcoming CBWC Gathering May 25-27 (see for details of this event).

At The Gathering, we also look forward to thanking Rob Ogilvie for his service as BCY Regional Minister over the last decade and will commission him for his new role as Executive Minister effective July 1, 2017.
Please join us in prayer for our BCY churches during this time of transition, for Larry and Erna Schram as they prepare to move to the Lower Mainland, for Rob Ogilvie as he transitions to his new role and for Jeremy Bell as he juggles many details in wrapping up his time as Executive Minister. It has been my privilege to hear each of these people share their heart and passion for advancing God’s Kingdom and I am grateful for their service in our midst.   
Rev. Kayely Rich
Vice President of Personnel & Programme

Written by Kayely on behalf of the CBWC Board.

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