Introducing New Pastors:
Mr. Silas Kittikundamrongpon, Youth & Young Adults Pastor at Trinity Baptist Church
My name is Silas Kittikundamrongpon. I was born in Chiang Rai, a small town in Northern Thailand. I was born into a Christian family. My father was a pastor, and my mother was a school teacher. I also have one younger sister.
Looking back, growing up in a devout Buddhist country taught me much, laying the foundation for the future in terms of cultivating relationships and sharing the gospel with people of different faiths. My family and I moved to Australia in 2004, and I was baptized there in my teenage years. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 2018. I moved to Vancouver to pursue education in Theology at Regent College, graduating with a master’s degree in Theology at the end of 2022.
I joined Trinity Baptist Church in early 2023 as a pastor of youth and young adults. I love the scene in Revelation 7 depicting the multitude of every nation, tribe, people, and language coming together before the throne of God. I see Trinity as a small glimpse of that; people of different backgrounds coming together in unity. I enjoy the presence of the younger generations, cultivating relationships and growing deeper together in the knowledge of the Lord. I am fascinated by contemporary youth culture, including its many opportunities and challenges. I am excited to see and participate in what the Lord is doing in such a time in history. I enjoy reading and collecting books. I am in the process of building my own library in my study.
Dr. Luz Figueroa, Family Pastor at West Point Grey Baptist Church
Dr. Luz Figueroa is the founder and director of Entre Niños—a ministry with global reach. Luz has a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation from Carey Theological College. She also has the Master in Divinity equivalent and a Doctorate in Theology and Leadership from Bethel Seminary. She has served as a children’s and family ministry pastor, speaker, writer,
and academic professor. She is passionate about education and the Christian spiritual formation of the family. She resides in Vancouver, BC, with her husband José. They have two married children and are the proud grandparents of two of the sweetest granddaughters and one adorable grandson.
We welcome back these pastors who are serving in an Interim role:
Rev. Awlywn Balnave at Berea Baptist Church
Rev. Bob Bahr at West Vancouver Baptist Church
Pastor Mike Oshiro for 15 years of ministry at The Forge Church
Rev. Chris Kibble Interim minister at West Vancouver Baptist Church
We were saddened to hear the news that Heritage Mountain Community Church voted on the closure of their church and ministry after 21 years of faithfulness serving the community of Port Moody. They had just recently affiliated with the CBWC after years of looking for a denominational home. We rejoice in the many hearts and lives touched by God through their ministry being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
By Grace Wulff
This week it will be three weeks since I “retired.”
I really don’t like that word; it sounds like I’m tired… And although that is true, I’m seeing this season of my life as changing gears, transitioning.
Retiring from ministry or any life’s calling is foreign to me. I’ve long believed (and have been told) that we follow our calling for life. There is always service to be done, a purpose to life. But I have stepped back from the intensity of my position as a hospital chaplain and am taking a rest.
Or at least that is my intent! I think of other major transitions in my life—the day I became a widow at age 37, and my life as I knew it was finished. It took time to grieve, to mourn, and establish a new normal. Remarriage was another big transition. When my hubby and I found ourselves without work in our early fifties, we faced another major shift, a challenge to learn new skills; he started a painting business, and I found myself led to a ministry role.
These transitions didn’t come without feelings of loss, grief, learning, adjustments, and at times, even depression. So, I’m not surprised to find myself on this new journey with all of its emotions.
Major transitions can be very unsettling. I’m finding this to be true, all over again. Life feels sideways, even upside down. The familiar has changed. Who am I in this place? I remember, as a new widow, thinking, “Am I still married… or not?” It can feel discombobulated. Yes, that is how I feel. I like that word!
I’ve watched many reach this step of “retirement,” some with absolute joy and anticipation, where others take time to find their way. There is a loss of identity, and even purpose. But there is also relief.
I want to be intentional about this journey. I will read and learn more. I want to move and be active. I want to nourish my connections with family and friends. If there have been painful conclusions, there must be time for process, for counselling, for forgiveness.
I want to grow in my spiritual life, to go deeper. I want to find time for creativity. But yes, there is also time for naps. It doesn’t all have to be done today.
Who knows what the next steps will be. I’ve been encouraged to take a sabbatical, a step back, a time for deep rest and freedom from responsibilities.
And then, I will trust God to guide the way. I think of Moses leading the people of Israel at age 80. There are many authors who started their writing careers in their seventies. I know many who continue to serve and teach, to counsel, to provide spiritual direction, and to be active in ministry, no matter their age. There is a world of possibilities.
So, instead of saying I’m retiring—I’m relearning, and I’m resisting the notion that I’m done. There are new beginnings as I transition into a new phase of life.
This past year my word was joy. I tried to start each day with the words, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I want to continue that. My word for 2023 is “Hope.” I am thankful we can live each day with hope, whatever tomorrow will bring.
“See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?” ~ Isaiah 43:19