Erna and I have experienced this in wonderful ways over these last months. We have been blessed to travel around our province and visit many of our church families. In small gatherings and large, we have seen our family of faith gather to pray, worship, serve, discern and respond to the leading of Jesus. As a result, I am more convinced than ever that we are indeed a family. Not only because of our salvation uniting us in Christ but also because we share a common set of values and presuppositions, which I call our Baptist identity markers. Our local church families, governance structures, worship styles, ministry foci and preaching preferences vary greatly but we are still all interconnected through a common set of assumptions that make us Canadian Baptist. We are indeed a family.
Let’s remember that and strengthen the family relationship. When we gather this July as the Convention of Baptist Churches of B.C. in Victoria, let’s gather as a family and deliberately and personally connect with one another. When we hear that one of our churches has called, ordained or commissioned a new leader or started a new ministry let’s intentionally rejoice with them and join them in the celebration. When we discuss some hard things, experience hard seasons and disagree with one another—Baptists do this well—let’s do so in love as a family. Let’s recognize that our family is larger than our local region and that together we are called to faithfully follow Jesus into the future he has for us in Canada.
We are family and I am glad to be a part of the BCY region of the Canadian Baptists.
* See Galatians 3:28
Potential Impact 2018
“Speak, Lord, for your servants are listening.” This prayer echoed throughout the weekend of April 26-29 as young adults from across the CBWC gathered at Keats Camps to explore the call of Jesus in their life.
Potential Impact, a three-night retreat, was hosted by the BCY region for young people from the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Yukon, as well as from CBWC’s regions further east.
A well-rounded team facilitated the retreat, diving into the theme of hearing God’s voice as found in the book of 1 Samuel. Speakers included Colin Godwin of Carey, CBWC Director of Church Planting, Shannon Youell and Church Planting Associate, Cailey Morgan, author and teacher Linda Smith, youth pastor Eric West, and CBWC Youth Director, Tammy Klassen.
Beyond studying stories of God’s voice in the past, and beyond even considering the exact life choices these young adults would make, the retreat pushed participants to make listening for God’s voice an everyday rhythm by choosing postures of open-handedness and attentiveness.
CBWC Administrator Sue Hunter, who also serves as a chaplain, took participants through a series of multi-sensory spiritual formation exercises throughout the weekend, such as a silent hike, lectio divina and praying through colour. Local pastor Phil Wambua led worship.
Tianna, a receptionist from Victoria, said that Potential Impact helped her grow in her ability to be vulnerable with others, and with God. “It helped me deepen my connection with God in a way I never really knew I needed,” she said.
Stay tuned for next year’s dates!
North Shore School of Mission
The ministry placement involves real responsibility for a specific ministry within the church, determined in discussion with the student. Students can serve at Hillside or another nearby church.
The program ends with a one-month short-term missions trip with one of our partner missions: Reachout to Africa (working with orphans in South Africa), Bulembu (holistic community ministry in Swaziland), Himalayan Life (work with street children in Nepal), or Keats Camp.
The School’s hope is to identify and nurture leadership gifts, and to empower, encourage and equip younger leaders to be great servants to their churches, whether or not they take up vocational ministry.
In the first year, there were three full time students who served as ministry apprentices at Hillside Church. They’re going on a short-term missions trip to South Africa this Fall, where they will conduct research work.
The school isn’t just for full-time students; it’s designed to benefit the community as well. Monday evening classes were open for anyone to audit. At times there were up to 90 participants from nine different churches. The school also has a theological library with over 6,000 selected volumes, which has been made available for local church leaders. Recently a local pastor spent a week at the library studying church renewal.
Several CBWC pastors have taught classes, plus four pastors from other churches, as well as John Hall, Director of Missions Fest and Mission Central. Even more great teachers are scheduled for next year.
The three full timers who served as ministry apprentices at Hillside ran evening programs for pre-teens, Sunday programs for middle schoolers, served as youth leaders and in participated in worship ministry. They’ve been a huge blessing to the church as they served and grew in their ministry and teaching capabilities.
The North Shore School of Mission is accepting applications for September 2018. If you know someone who would be a great candidate for a year of post-secondary, ministry-focused schooling, and your church has space for a ministry apprentice, then we invite you to explore this opportunity with us.
Greetings from Norm Sowden at
Mill Bay Baptist Fellowship
The key word echoing in my soul just now is gratitude:
- To the Lord for causing Mill Bay Baptist Fellowship to germinate and come to life in March 2011 under the leadership of Pastor Chris & Lois Naylor with a dedicated core group.
- To Pastor Chris and the MBBF Church Family for the opportunity to share some of the early services and eventually a call to be their pastor.
- To Pastor Tom Lavigne for guiding this visionary church family into affiliation with CBWC.
- To Pastor Tammy Klassen and Rick who, when suddenly without a church home, were willing to trust our vision for a Pastor of Family Ministries and jumped into the deep end without any guarantees or assurances, but faith that the Lord has a BIG plan for this church family.
- To our BCY Region and the CBWC for support and acceptance in so many ways.
- To the Baptist Foundation for having faith in our vision and especially in developing 4.97 acres alongside the Trans-Canada Highway… our cross and church home will soon be the first human structure that greets people as they cross the famous Malahat Pass and enter the even more famous Cowichan Valley.
- To the small group of loving sacrificial Christians who have raised over $400,000 to purchase the land and begin building, and to finance the mortgage the first five years.
- To those coming out in fair and foul weather to supervise and work and clean so that we can keep the cost of building as low as possible.
- To our dear Nora Walker and the amazing prayer team she inspires to back up all that we do.
- To Shannon Youell, Dawn Johannesson and Larry Schram who are always there in a time of need.
Our desire as a church family is to love the Lord, one another, our community and our world. We seek to worship, fellowship and play inter-generationally as much as we can. Our garden has been a real spark plug for that until this year when construction de-railed gardening for a year. It has given an opportunity for seniors to share their gardening knowledge and skills with our children and teens. We also use those times for wiener and marshmallow roasts! We have several music teams who take turns leading worship, so every Sunday in a month can be different from each of the others.
Mill Bay is a very rapidly expanding area north of Victoria as housing prices in Victoria keep driving people north over the Malahat. The Lord has planted us in a very strategic location, right on the edge of several new building developments. As well, we are the only church south of Mill Bay, where most of the residential population is. Outreach is a great opportunity for us. On our eastern edge we are fortunate to be in close proximity to the Malahat Nation. SERVE have twice blessed us by providing teams to work with the Malahat people assisting in some of the needs they have.
Personally, I am blessed to be invited by Pastor Joey Cho to attend and share in weekly services Sunday afternoons with Malahat Grace Church.
QUESTION… Are there any people out there who would like to come and camp on our property for a few days or weeks and help us with siding, suspended ceilings, flooring or finishing carpentry? We would love to have your fellowship and building expertise… If you shoot me an email or text, I will put you in touch with Gord Gonske, our Project Manager.
TONS of thanks to all. Love, hugs, prayers and thanks for all the support you have blessed our MBBF Church Family with.
To see open positions, visit our Careers page: https://cbwc.ca/careers/
- Larry Boss, Provisional Pastor, Southwest Community Baptist Church, Kamloops, BC
- Gordon Patterson, Interim Associate, First Baptist Church, Nanaimo, BC
- Aaron Cranton, Street Ministry, Strathcona Baptist Church, AB
- Rob Priestly, Associate Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Saskatoon, SK
- Eric West, Associate (Youth, Children, Young Adults), Gateway Baptist Church, Victoria, BC
- Eric Scramstad, Family, Children, and Youth Minister, FBC Kelowna, BC
- Stephen Carleton, Youth and Young Adults Minister, Westview Baptist Church, Calgary, AB
- Kevin Haugan, Youth Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Sherwood Park, AB
- Greg Anderson, Lead Pastor, Riverdale Baptist Church, Whitehorse, YK
- Marcel Leffelaar, CBWC Chaplain, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, AB
- Paul Matheson, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Saskatoon, SK
- Dave Bonney, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Neepawa, MB