Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter November 2020

Learning and Growing

By: Andrew Bird, Youth Pastor at Brightview Church

My philosophy of youth ministry has always been focused on relationships. The relationships between God with His people, and between the people of God with each other and with the world. However, my philosophy has developed greatly during my time at Brightview Community Church in Wetaskiwin County, AB. Here is a community of people who have long, family histories of farming, raising families, and doing life together in the county. Over these past 5 years, my philosophy of ministry has developed from an intellectual concept into something active and alive.

In my early days at Brightview, I was encouraged to meet with students in the schools and at their extra-curricular activities as much as I could. One of the opportunities that I had to connect with students was initiated by a small group of teenage boys who expressed a struggle during the days between youth nights. We talked together and decided to start each morning with prayer, so we began to meet in the school parking lot to pray together. Those boys have now graduated from high school, but what they started has grown to include many, resulting in 15 or more students meeting outside of the small rural high school every morning to pray. (We have even prayed in temperatures of -30°C). Little did I know that a time was coming when gathering would be difficult, and these relationships would be vital.

This year has introduced many new challenges to ministry, especially youth ministry, and yet God has, once again, proven to be faithful when the temptation for us is to lose hope. In July of 2020, I was having some difficulties with the home I was renting, but Kathleen (my wife) and I felt trapped there. We did not think we could afford any other living arrangements. We were wrong. With some advice and guidance by some of our friends (and not a few miracles), we discovered a house for sale that we could afford to purchase. We purchased our first home and moved in on August 15th. The house we purchased used to be a teacherage, a home provided for rural teachers at the local high school. I now live less than 100m from the high school. Kathleen and I prayed that God would make our home a useful tool in ministry.

When the school year began, many new restrictions had been put in place, and I was unsure how they would affect the ministries that I did within the school. I scheduled a meeting with the principal. As I sat down, the principal said, “I know you are here to talk about your involvement in the school, so I have already talked with administration. You are not allowed to come into the school during the lunch hour as you have in the past 4 years. However, I asked them specifically about the prayer group outside. That has been approved, so long as you wear a mask.” I was shocked! Furthermore, I learned that the school desires to reduce the number of students in the building during the lunch hour, so students in grades 10-12 have been given permission to leave campus during the break. I informed the students that my door would be open at lunch hour.

This year has been challenging for all of us, especially those of us in ministry. But each morning I walk out of my house and join a group of students in front of their school and we pray. Every lunch hour I encourage a group of students who come to my home. God’s mission continues, and I pray that He finds us faithful and ready to respond when He calls.

The Upside and Downside of Wearing Masks!

We enter the colder months still on the tails of COVID-19 restrictions. Never before, and likely never again, will we enter a banking institution that has a sign: “Put your mask on before entering.” My nephew sent his graduation picture to me… and he was wearing a mask. These days will be remembered, and we will all have stories to tell.

Although we have several churches postponing regathering in person, most are having some form of in-person meetings.

Sunday services look quite different, with people sitting six feet apart and wearing masks. As a speaker in a worship setting, I must say it feels very odd to speak to a group and not see facial responses. With an audience of masks, the speaker is unaware of smiles or grimaces. It can come across as though no one is really paying attention.

None of this is to judge an audience unnecessarily. People are generally happy to get together even without the privilege of personal touch. However, I would suggest that if seated in a pew it would be good to show some emotion somehow. Raising or clapping hands would be quite appropriate at the right time in the service. I highly suggest nodding instead of merely having a blank forward look. Help your presenter know that you are paying attention. After the service, take time and speak (six feet apart, of course) to your presenter to let them know you heard the message.

The extra duty of sanitizers will continue for a while, but when in worship gatherings let’s not sanitize our sense of responsiveness. Now, more than ever perhaps, you have a role to play to support the preacher while sitting, listening and participating otherwise in worship.

Welcome Joyce Rebman – Our New Mountain Standard Administrative Assistant

Joyce began her duties in the Mountain Standard office in August. One great advantage she offers us all is a public availability from 9am-1pm, Tuesday through Friday. She should be on deck to answer the phone and address regional concerns, as well as pastoral settlement items.

Joyce has experience working among a larger church staff and is known for her organizational skills. Among other former experiences, she worked for a number of years working to efficiently recruit and acquire volunteers for a large nursery– known by most church leaders as a thankless and difficult task. She is gracious, hospitable, and willing to learn. She is a lover of Jesus and rejoices to see the church function well and grow.

We warmly welcome her among us as a servant to our pastors, chaplains and churches! 

Mountain Standard Region Online Presence Expands

Pictured below are a few screenshots from some of our churches across the CBWC Mountain Standard Region. Each church will set up their website differently. Now we see more recorded video preaching than ever before. Some presentations will be more elaborate than others, but keeping the church community together during the time of COVID-19 requires extra effort. Pastors and church volunteers are working behind the scenes to keep connections with their congregation. 

A YouTube presentation of one of these services is only a few clicks away. Most churches are aware that even when services return on Sundays to the worship building, that the online presence will stay a significant part of the church’s future.

It is official: Now the ‘church mouse’ is made by Microsoft, Logitech or some other company dealing with the digital world.

Again, thanks for those who have shared their expertise to assist our churches in expanding their ministry potential!

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email our senior writer, Jenna Hanger: jhanger@cbwc.ca

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter June 2020

The CBWC Mountain Standard Region Under Covid Restrictions

 

It has been my privilege to meet on Zoom over the past month with all five of our ministry clusters across the Mountain Standard Region – South, Calgary, Central, Edmonton and Peace Country. To be truthful, I expected more panic and anxiety than I have seen. Here are some of my summary observations:

– ONLINE SERVICES – The first couple weeks threw most church leaders into some unfamiliar territory. Most had to work on skills relating to Facebook Live, Facetime, Zoom, or Youtube. Most have found that the numbers watching their services online has exceeded what would have been their regular attendance. With many watching as couples or families, the exact numbers are impossible to get, but past members, members’ relatives, and neighbours have logged on to watch. This is a time of challenge, but it is a time of opportunity as well. The online presence of the Church is likely to be enhanced after this period of isolation. I am personally pleased with the advances we have made in the use of technology at this time.

– GIVING – Budgets have been concerning for most of our churches. Many are unfamiliar with new ways to share their giving to their church. Direct deposits, mailing checks, and dropping off monies at the church directly are foreign ways for most of us, who are used to the traditional passing-of-the-plate. In spite of the inconvenience, I can relate that a few of our churches are being blessed and are actually ahead of their monthly giving compared to last year. Giving is hardest to maintain in our new Canadian churches. Our Filipino church in Calgary has seen more than 40% of their congregation laid off over the past months and giving, therefore, has dropped off significantly.

– CONNECTING WITH OUR COMMUNITY – Pastors and board members take seriously the challenge of connecting with the church family while they cannot meet corporately. Several of these have made intentional, personal contact through phoning everyone in their church directory on a consistent basis. The personal ‘feel’ is appreciated, and intimate prayer concerns have been shared that may have been missed before. The number of Zoom meetings for Bible studies, committee meetings, and for other teaching purposes have risen dramatically in almost every setting.

– AN UNFAMILIAR FUTURE – Regular events and annual schedules have taken space in the new unknown. Planning ahead is a luxury we may not have for a while. Governments are sharing news on a daily or weekly basis on new restrictions or new benefits. This new future seems to carry the stain of uncertainty. Some CBWC or church events have been cancelled or postponed (like SERVE, anniversary services, Ordination Examination Council, sabbaticals) and serious planning for most Fall events is still up in the air.

– GOD AT WORK – God is touching people’s lives and bringing people in contact with Himself through technology. One pastor shared about a neighbour across the street from the church who had lived there for years and never came to church. But now, after accessing online services, the person sends encouraging emails and notes, expressing a positive connection to the church in the future. Gull Lake Camp has ventured into virtual camping and has seen people come to Christ in that way. Compassion for the poor and inconvenienced has increased as some churches have used up their benevolent funds and now seek a way forward to minister to their communities.

April 2020 CBWC Board Meeting

May 2020 Edmonton Ministerial 

SOME UPDATES:

o The CBWC Board is working on a CBWC core values statement that is likely to come to the 2021 CBWC Gathering for our broader church family to discuss. Most of our pastors have seen the current version, but it is still a work in progress. More details on this will come in the future.

o Duane Guthrie arrived as the new pastor at Fort Saskatchewan Community Baptist Church in March. He preached to a small crowd his first Sunday, which was just prior to full blown COVID-19 restrictions, when some were already staying away from crowds. He has been online every Sunday since, but this is truly an unusual and challenging way to start a church ministry.

o Dayle and Dawn Medgett have announced that they will retire from Westview Baptist in Calgary around Easter of 2021.

o Ashley Winkel is the new Pastor of Children and Family Ministries at Trinity Baptist in Sherwood Park.

o High River Baptist has hired a new staff member that will be announced at a later date.

o Peace River Baptist is looking at a candidate for lead pastor.

o Zion Baptist Church has Allen McPhedran as their interim pastor. The job description for their Lead Pastor position is now online.

– ITEMS FOR PRAYER:

o Our ability to disciple, to share Christ and to serve our communities in the midst of this season of isolation

o Our churches that are struggling over finances at this time

o Our MSR representatives on the CBWC Board: Sam Breakey (Board President), Herb Ziegler (Vice President of Finance – Sherwood Park) Randy Loewen (Yellowknife – Regional Moderator), Sandra Goetz (Regional rep – Charlie Lake), Brad Penner (Regional rep – Red Deer)

o Our CBWC online assembly decisions on May 21st

o Our church plants comprised of new Canadians

o Our ability to plan ahead appropriately, for the denomination and our churches

o Our government representatives while they wrestle with difficult decisions

o Our chaplains, especially those serving in this challenging season with the elderly and those under medical care

“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Eph 4:3 NLT

Your co-worker, Dennis

Note from Paul Hebert

Paul Hebert attends First Baptist Church in Peace River and is one of the first credentialed in the CBWC as ‘Mandated Lay Chaplain’. Here, he shares his report on the exciting things that God has recently led him into.

Good day, my name is Paul Hebert and I am blessed by serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. These last six months have been so awesome. There are so many things I can write about, but I will try to keep this short.

For the last five years I have been part of the Bikers for Christ Motorcycle Ministry, and also the Gideons Ministry for six years. Four years ago, we started another outreach ministry called Picnic in the Park. All these ministries tie together our acts of serving our Lord.

Bikers for Christ allows us to safely navigate and learn the biker culture.

Gideons support our ministry in how to evangelize in our world and have Bibles for us to distribute throughout our ministry.

Picnic in the Park is a ministry where, every Thursday from April until mid-October, we have a free community picnic. Everyone is welcome to share in food, testimonies, relationships and scripture.

For all of these ministries, we have never asked for donations or support, yet God has always taken care of our them by providing finances, protection and volunteers.

This last year, God put it on my heart to expand our ministry and to seek out a charitable status. I was reluctant and stubborn but God, in His wisdom, knew to keep at me until I listened to Him. When the time was right in my heart, He introduced the Great Commission Foundation (GCF) to me.

I applied through the GCF for charitable status and was approved. Our ministry name is called Servant’s Heart Initiative. (Go to the GFC website and our ministry is on the programs list for further information)

Servant’s Heart Initiative is now the main ministry in serving in our community and the communities around us. It is growing daily, with Picnic in the Park as a leg of the ministry. We now have a Life Skill ministry to teach young adults how to cook, clean, shop and financially budget.

We also have a work ministry called Chisel and Hammer. This ministry is to help our elderly, widowers, those with disabilities and single parents with yard work, vehicle maintenance, cleaning homes, house repairs and more.

Another ministry we have is a food program ministry. This ministry is to help feed those in need, prepare meals for those that cannot do so themselves, and support lunches for children that are no longer being fed in the school lunch programs.

Lastly, we have our evangelical ministry which incorporates sharing the word, Bible studies, supporting churches, bringing churches together as one body, and youth activities and engagements.

This is a summary of what Servant’s Heart Initiative is and what all our volunteers and community support. It’s only been active since March 15, 2020 and God has led our communities to donate more than $28,000 so far—without us trying to seek funds. God is so, so good!

On top of all this, being a lay minister has allowed me to marry couples, share the Word and so much more. We build relationships every single day and there are daily testimonies happening in our community.

This is why I say that I have been blessed. God has picked me to serve Him and has blown my mind every day with how good He is.

Our goal is to spread this ministry to over 100 communities in the next five years. It’s been a vision that’s on my heart.

Thank you all for your support and prayers. God bless you all.

Need office furniture? Talk to Dennis! dstone@cbwc.ca

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email our senior writer, Jenna Hanger: jhanger@cbwc.ca

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter March 2020

Trust is the Measure of Your Ministry! 

Trust is the measure of your ministry. A person can be 100% right and people may not trust them. A person can make significant mistakes and yet people may still trust that individual. Just because a person has good reasoning skills and relevant head knowledge does not mean people will automatically place “trust.”

There is no class you can take in seminary that makes assurances that people will trust you. There is no past experience you can go through, no significant book you can write, and no quality reference given by another that can make people trust you. Then again, not all people who are trusted should be granted that privilege.

We live in a world of broken trust. People often point out (albeit inaccurately) the percentage of marriages that end in divorce. Politically, we can speak of treaties not followed. Businesses make agreements and then break them through some loophole. Too often politicians have said one thing and done another. The news emphasizes clergy that are guilty of moral inconsistency. Parents have been heard saying to their children, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Is it any wonder that the world is in a mess today? For the average person coming into the world today, the concept must be very strange one when we say “Trust God!”

We depend and trust in our bank accounts, our hard work, our achievements, our ancestry, our self-perceived position in society, our reputation, our plans, our discerning skills, our ability to defend ourselves, our goodness and other facets feeding our sense of self-sufficiency.

One stock market crash, one job loss, one hospital visit, one accident, one internet thief, one virus taking root… any of these can change our plans and perspective. It might even bring us back to reality.

Whatever happened to understanding “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10)? That kind of attitude makes one humble. It leaves one in awe of our Creator. It makes a person an individual of integrity even when no one is looking. It makes one trustworthy—worth being trusted. Even when we do everything right it does not mean people will trust us; that is a choice others make on their own. We do not make trust in ministry by doing our stuff, but by doing His—and it is usually over the long haul! It is not really about having people follow us, but it is all about our following Him. Too often people seek to go up some invisible ladder to make themselves a capable leader, when going down the ladder is likely more important. Keeping our attitude in check is the greater accomplishment. Unfortunately, it can be faked, so be genuine!

May all of us seek the proper balance of humility while being courageous in our own setting!

Your co-worker, Dennis Stone

The Chaplain’s Corner

 

It is always good to hear about the pastors and churches in the Mountain Standard Region, and to listen to the stories that bring our region together and identify us with the long history of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada (CBWC). There is a story that often remains behind the scenes, but deserves some recognition, as well. That is the story of the chaplains.

We have a number of different types of chaplains in our region, including a chaplain for the Edmonton Police, military chaplains, mandated lay chaplains, health care chaplains, prison chaplains, community chaplains and athletic chaplains, among others. I began my journey into health care chaplaincy only about two years ago, so although I am passionate about the work of companioning with others through various health conditions in various environments (long-term care, acute care, mental health), I realize I am a relative “newbie” when I read the list of chaplains in our region!

Often when I introduce myself as a chaplain, people ask me, “What does that mean?” Sometimes, patients assume we are there to give them “religious” advice or to get them to believe in God. One time, a lady who had requested I visit her after she chose to discontinue the life-sustaining treatment she was on, said to me, “Okay, I guess now is when I tell you how I made my decision, and then you will tell me if it is right or wrong.” I explained that I was there to accompany her on her journey with the decisions she makes. Chaplains are committed to providing client-centered care.

Outside of the chaplaincy work environment, there is also confusion about what a chaplain does. People will ask, “So, do you have the same qualifications as a pastor?” In order to become a certified Spiritual Care Practitioner with CASC/ACSS, we must have a minimum Master of Theology Studies (or other 2-year Master’s level theological degree) or Master of Divinity degree and then enter and successfully complete a program of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). CPE is comprised of four units of supervised chaplaincy along with intense theological reflection and psychodynamic group work. We are required to take a faith-based ethics course as well as a professional ethics course and write papers demonstrating competencies in spiritual care.

Within our health care environments, chaplains are called on to minister to and work with patients, their families and friends, as well as staff in health care facilities. We are considered an important part of multi-disciplinary teams, often providing other members of the health care team with insights into why patients might be behaving in certain ways or making certain choices. Chaplains are called on to provide guidance for ethical questions or dilemmas and participate on ethics boards/committees.

As chaplains mature through their chaplaincy work, some may choose to enter into guiding new students (either as a clinical preceptor or as supervisor-educator) through the CPE program and certification processes. We are privileged to have preceptors in our denomination- Reverend Lyn Beddoes, Reverend Jane Christenson, and Chaplain Becky Vink. We also have a newly certified Supervisor-Educator—Reverend Brent Watts—one of only three such supervisors in the Edmonton area and the only one in Edmonton working with Alberta Health Services.

I recently spoke with Brent about his journey to becoming a Certified Supervisor-Educator. He spoke of the additional coursework and papers required. He also assured me that he has by no means arrived and he is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from Carey Theological College.

I noticed at the most recent AGM of the Alberta Association for Spiritual Care (AASC), that eight of the approximately 40 spiritual care practitioners in attendance were a part of the CBWC–that is 20%! Three of the 10 AASC board members are part of the CBWC, representing 30% of the board. The CBWC is very well-represented within spiritual care providers in the health care and other environments in Alberta! I think this speaks highly of a healthy theological ethos within the CBWC, of which I am glad to be a part.

Respectfully submitted –

Kathy Brown, MS Region Administrative Associate Student and Casual Chaplain

 

MS Region Chaplains

Calgary

Cassandra Coster, James Scorgie, Becky Vink

Central  Ricky Williams

Edmonton Lyn Beddoes, Becky Bonham, Kathy Brown, Jane Christensen, Heather Donovan, Dean Eisner, Susan Hunter, Garret Parsons, Lawrence Peck, Gordon Poley, Howard Rittenhouse, Kayley Sanders, Amanda Strain, Craig Traynor, Brent Watts

Peace Herman Friesen, Paul Hebert

South Anna Braun, Jack Knight, Stefan Ulrich

2020 Gull Lake Ministers Retreat

We had better numbers and an excellent experience at this year’s annual retreat. Our Regional Advisory Group prepped this event so that it went off without a hitch. Every part went well. Even the weather was decent. It started with our spiritual reflection workshop led by Brian Burkhart. Brian started and attends our Webster Community Church. The past few years he led a retreat centre in Germany. He learned that the European community appreciates the visual arts, so that was part of his presentation, which was to our largest group yet to this part of the retreat. Tuesday saw Lynn Dietz and Brian Archer from the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada present some of their insights into discipleship. This theme is important to all of us regardless of our role, so the thoughtfulness on this topic was

appreciated. Wednesday ended with a testimonial by Brian Burkhart and then communion. Future years will be measured against this one. If you are a pastor or chaplain, don’t miss this event next February.

We also saw the brand-new Gull Lake Centre buildings that are almost completed. We heard about Gull Lake Camp’s 100th anniversary scheduled for June 13th. They expect about 800 people at that event. One interesting piece from the retreat was that our presenter, Lynn Dietz, knew that his dad came to Christ at Gull Lake Camp, but he had never been there before. In coming to the camp, he had come full circle with his spiritual heritage.

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email our senior writer, Jenna Hanger: jhanger@cbwc.ca

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter December 2019

Too often we feel that the work of God is in our human hands…our responsibility. Too often we limit the work of God by imagining only as far as our own actions and budget can take us. It is true that everything needs to be done ‘decently and in order’, but we need to be careful not to tie God’s hands (as if that was even possible!)

As believers we know that God intervenes in our human experience. God intervened in history when He sent Jesus to us and when the tomb was opened. In our own lives, if you are reading this, you likely experienced the direct touch of God when the Holy Spirit came into you and confirmed that you are a child of God. If that was not your personal experience when you received Christ, hopefully you have had those moments since childhood where you have known the Holy Spirit’s presence. That presence is literally God’s guarantee of His work in you and acceptance of you.

God’s intervention in our lives is so often unseen by anyone else. That is true of so many acts of God done in our heart. The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience/forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When God plants this fruit in our heart, where we even want those items to take over our actions, that is an invisible work of God in us.

Mary and Joseph saw the work of God like no other humans. They knew the whole story that few others could accept while they were in the manger adoring this newborn King. They had heard from angels—in their own private moments—what their minds might have hesitated to accept. This private moment for them was real…and that private moment has and will affect life today and in the future.

May God move you in your private moments, and not-so-private moments, to yield to and worship this King! This act is not only about Christmas, but it is about living in a world that our human hands cannot fix.

Your co-worker,  Dennis

Connecting with our Brothers and Sisters from the Congo

In Edmonton, we are working with a worship community of individuals that come from the Congo. They worship in their native language, but are an exuberant and welcoming congregation which has been meeting for about two years. On November 2nd it was my privilege to assist the church in a memorial service for the ninety-nine-year-old grandfather of Pastor Guillaume Munyakuri. On this particular Saturday, the church gathering was about sixty caring Congolese individuals. The story of murder in East Congo was not an unusual one for this crowd as many attending had also lost family members in a similar way in the past. News of the house burning and the initial scattered bits of information left the family short on the exact details. For a while, the pastor thought his cousin had died too—but he had managed to escape. Please pray for this worshipping community as they support one another here and seek to effect positive change back home. The Gospel can bond people together like nothing else can even when separated by oceans.  – Dennis Stone

Fun Times at the Fishing Retreat

In September the CBWC Peace River ministerial cluster was invited to lodging at Jasper Park Baptist Church for a few days on a fishing retreat. This group spent some time sharing casually, sitting on boats and enjoying food together. The scenery was phenomenal on Maligne Lake. The moose count was around a dozen or so. In our case, the two fish caught did not multiply, but maybe next time! It was a privilege for me to spend time with them. -Dennis Stone

In the picture from left to right: Herman Friesen – prison chaplain, Michael Hayes – Fort St John, Everett Budd – Peace River, Josh Goetz – Charlie Lake, Peter Ma – Grande Prairie, Nathan Friedt – Peace River, but recently moved to a pastorate in New Zealand. 

Visiting Brownfield Baptist Church

It was a privilege in September to be with our church in rural Brownfield. The church has multiple cameras going during the service to facilitate their online outreach. The service is shared with Nanton Baptist Church and that relationship continues to grow stronger, showing increased viability of ministry from one rural setting to another.  – Dennis Stone

CBWC Gathering at High River

 

This year, at the CBWC Gathering at High River, our Ordination Examination Council approved the following to proceed:

  • Pam Reichenbach, Strathcona Baptist, for ordination
  • Anna Braun, First Baptist Church Lethbridge, for ordination
  • Mikel Laurie, Highlands Baptist, for ordination
  • Sam Kim, Bonavista Baptist, for recognition of prior ordination

Pictured above is the congregants at Highlands Baptist singing a humourous song to their new ordinand. At that particular service the guest speaker was Mikel’s father. As I met Mikel’s dad, he introduced himself as Wayne, and I gushed out that his name would be easy for me to remember as that is my middle name—then he told me his first name was Dennis. That has never happened to me before.  –Dennis Stone

International Conference for World Evangelism

It was a privilege for me to take part briefly in an international conference hosted in Edmonton by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism with a specific focus on the Sikh community. People were there from around the world to hear about ministry to this community often neglected by the church. One fact shared was that about 40 per cent of truck drivers in California are Sikh—which was just one of the fascinating details shared that evening.  – Dennis Stone

Prayer Request

This Fall sees the return of snowy and icy roads. Please remember to pray for those needing to drive for the sake of ministry, such as your own Regional Minister!

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email the BCY office: msregion@cbwc.ca

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter September 2019

Leadership Tugs 

Many of us taught officially and unofficially a leader must lead.  In other words, stick your neck out, speak out, set a path for others to follow, plan, plot and set your objectives.  The structure of authority most of us were born into involved obeying parents, obeying teachers, and obeying bosses.  This bred a desire in many of us to reach that goal of climbing the ladder – being able to be rulers.  Part of that fits Jesus economy, but part of it does not.

Jesus took another position when he taught His disciples in Matthew 20:25-26, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you.”  At this point Jesus emphasizes the greater importance of taking the role of a servant.

I was reading in a book by fellow Canadian Len Hjalmarson (Broken Furtures) that leadership should be less about progress and more about process.  The process to which he alludes includes listening to the community.  Listening and teaching people to listen will ultimately mean more engagement and involvement.  This posture may be helpful in being a better servant-leader, but there is an even deeper element we must wrestle with to be better disciples.

That deeper element is to let the Spirit of God investigate our heart for the pride that may be rooted there.  If we are in any position of leadership there is the tug to prove oneself worthy of the role, the tug to make something of one’s opportunity, the tug to be seen as prosperous in the job, the tug to be esteemed by others, or even the tug to show oneself one’s own worthiness through obvious accomplishments.

Somehow in life we get lost and we can forget the phrase in Philippians that Jesus ‘made Himself nothing’.  (Okay, those of you with your Greek lexicons out, just put them away for a minute … I know this emphasis can go too far.)   Jesus faced all the same tugs/temptations, He wrestled with the opportunity to show Himself for who He was before His time.  For the true Christian servant, all of us need to take a step back from the ‘tugs’ of life and realize the temptation is often for something to happen ‘now’ … and for the ‘how it looks to others’ perspective.  Faithfulness reveals itself over time.

God calls us to know Him, to faithful service, to be obedient and to have a heart of service, no matter what things look like to others.  I think we will be surprised who in fact hears the ‘well done, good and faithful servant’.  It may be the single parent down the street, or the quiet elderly couple who need walkers to get around, or the believer who is also a Walmart greeter.  Our sense of what it means to be successful needs to get separated from that subtle pull of pride deep within us.

Let’s take steps to be better servants by accurately assessing and dealing with the pride that is deep within us.

Your co-worker, Dennis

Happenings & News

From the desk of Dennis Stone: August 2019

Here are some quick updates for our CBWC ministers of the region.  Most of us feel as though we start our year in September, so this piece is meant to keep you up to date.  The comments below are my own.

“THE GATHERING” AT HIGH RIVER BAPTIST IN MAY

This event was very well-received by delegates attending. Pastors Scott Fisk and Michael Lorusso and the whole crew at HRBC were highly hospitable and helpful in every aspect. The sessions were well-attended and all business was handled respectfully.

Regional Celebrations: 

  • OEC recommended Pam Reichenbach, Mikel Laurie and Anna Braun for ordination.
  • OEC granted Sam Kim from Bonavista Baptist ‘Recognition of Prior Ordination’
  • New churches welcomed at HRBC meetings included Filipino Community Christian Church – Calgary and Greenhills Christian Fellowship – Calgary
  • FBC Peace River celebrated 100 years in early August

PROPOSED UPCOMING MINISTERIAL CLUSTER MEETINGS:

Sept 10 – Edmonton Cluster at Braemar

Sept 15-17 – Peace Cluster in Jasper

Sept 19 – Central Cluster – TBA

Oct 1 – Edmonton Cluster at Braemar

Oct 10 – Southern Alberta Cluster

Oct 17 – Calgary Cluster at FBC

UPCOMING CBWC STAFF AND BOARD:

Sept 5-7 – Staff retreat

Sept 25-26 – Staff/MCC meeting

Sept 27-28 – CBWC Board meeting

 

OTHER NEWS:

  • New Mountain Standard Regional Advisory Group for 2019-2021:  Randy Loewen – Yellowknife (Moderator), Sandra Goetz – Charlie Lake, Mark Archibald – Lethbridge, Bill Christieson – Calgary, Brad Penner – Red Deer, Kathy Brown – Edmonton
  • New CBWC Board members for 2019-2021 from the Mountain Standard Region: Sam Breakey (President) – Edmonton, Herb Ziegler (VP of Finance) – Sherwood Park, Randy Loewen, Brad Penner, and Sandra Goetz
  • Our OEC examiners from the Mountain Standard Region this year were Brad Penner, Randy Loewen, Juli Wells, and Harriet Mitchell.
  • Our church in Pincher Creek is working on a merger with another church, to be effective for 2020.
  • Our Brownfield Church is using its own unique brand of “Rural Light Ministries” to assist Nanton Baptist with services through the use of technology. Other rural churches are interested.  (Click on “Donate” at www.cbwc.ca to contribute to this ministry).
  • A former CBWC Executive Minister and pastor among us, Doug Moffat, passed away on May 2nd.  His son Andy is one of our pastors at FBC Olds. Doug will be missed and remembered.
  • Our new Mountain Standard Region’s ministers since the 2017 CBWC Gathering where listed and shared at the HRBC assembly. They are as follows: Natalie Wong, Crescent Heights Baptist, Calgary; Leah Seguin, Braemar Baptist Church, Edmonton; Heather Hiebert, Community Baptist, Cold Lake; Ken Bender, McLaurin Memorial Baptist, Edmonton; Hovig Bajanian, Evangelical Baptist, Edmonton; Sarah Wipf, Westview Baptist, Calgary; Aaron Cranton, Strathcona Baptist, Edmonton; Nathan Harris, Brownfield Baptist; Dawn Stiles, First Baptist, Edmonton; Brandon Parsons, First Baptist, Red Deer; Tash Ingram, Westview Baptist, Calgary; Clinton Pigeau, Trinity Baptist, Sherwood Park; Kaleb Penner, McLaurin Baptist, Grande Prairie; Joseph Steeves, Faith Community Baptist, Claresholm; Joshua Goetz, Charlie Lake Community, Charlie Lake;   Sebastian Dykstra, Altadore Baptist, Calgary; Kent Dixon, Braemar Baptist, Edmonton; Ron Ford, Battle Lake Community Baptist; Wilbert Adolphe, Bonnie Doon Baptist, Edmonton.

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email the Mountain Standard office: msregion@cbwc.ca

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter May 2019

Most Learned; Most Judgmental 

The season is here where we remember the resurrection. In my view the best theologian on this subject, apart from Jesus during His earthly ministry, was Martha. At one point we have her telling Jesus about the resurrection (John 11:24). She is disappointed Jesus was late in responding to Lazarus’ sickness—too late, was her conclusion. Relying on what she knew, she was judgmental. In her mind Jesus should have been there sooner, hope was lost, a life was now gone!

Now there are great advantages of gaining knowledge. I am extremely thankful for the privilege of sitting under good teaching on many topics in my life, including an awesome amount of Biblical training through the years. I can add to that the preaching and teaching I’ve received. On one level I’m ready to argue theology until the cows come home, armed with resources to “give an answer to anyone.” Now, that stance can make me feel comfortable and smug because I know the answers. I also know now how churches “should” operate, how preaching “should” be done, and how others “should” behave. Unfortunately, if I let those “shoulds” get in the way, I can become hindered in further learning, argumentative, critical of others in their ministry, distant in relationships, too fast to speak and too slow to listen.

This winter I have audited a course on Islam at King’s University College with a teacher who is a moderate Shia Imam. I have mostly sat silent, learning about an area previously unfamiliar to me. It has involved middle Eastern history, the development of Islamic thought, and a sense of what is more normal for Muslim people. (Sure there are fanatics, but Christians have had many of their own over the years.) The class has not changed my theology at all, but I have been amazed how ignorant I have been. I was previously loaded up with stereotypes that would have kept me from speaking to Muslim people. Unexpectedly I’ve learned much about myself in the midst of this class. Now, I hope I can enter a better conversation with these people in my own neighbourhood. I think I could commend many pieces of their practices and beliefs without coming across as overly biased and judgmental. An actual, meaningful conversation can now take place. There is still lots I don’t know about Islam, but much of my irrational fear has disappeared.

Our own learning can keep us from truly listening to others. This might be from our own children, our spouse, our employers, or another pastor/teacher. Recent studies by Ambrose’s Joel Thiessen show that Christians are known by average Canadians as judgmental. People often close us out because of their stereotypes, but I’ve had my own through the years.

Can I change how the average Canadian sees me? Can I be known instead by my love, my grace, and my listening ears? I trust I can do this while showing an unwavering faith in the Resurrection of Jesus and His current work in me.

Your continually learning co-worker, Dennis

P.S.: Celebrate the Risen Jesus!

Rural Light Ministries

We are excited about rural churches! We love the Lord’s work that has happened at Brownfield, how we have partnered together to invite international people into our communities, prayed together, raised resources to feed the hungry, resourced the youth of a large region, sewed quilts, ate together and pursued Jesus together. Brownfield certainly has been blessed for a purpose we believe the Lord has big plans for Brownfield and rural churches.

However, some rural churches are struggling. There is a growing need for shared resources throughout rural and smaller churches. There is huge ministry potential but some churches are lacking resources to pay for all the costs necessary to run a “full service” church. Some rural churches need a new vision and possibly a different way of resourcing themselves

Rural Light Ministries has been developed to provide core competencies and services to rural churches around western Canada. The idea came out of previous ministry activities of the Rural Church Revitalization Initiative and Brownfield Baptist Church. It’s supported by CBWC, particularly by the Mountain Standard Regional Minister, Dennis Stone. In the simplest form, Brownfield Baptist Church is looking at what it has to offer and looking at ways to share our blessings as effectively as we can to build others up.

Ultimately, the goal is to help more people find Jesus around rural Western Canada.

As discussed, one of the primary needs of smaller churches is cost effective worship and preaching/Bible teaching. Therefore, we are asking Brownfield Baptist Church to consider partnering with other churches through Rural Light Ministries to broadcast our church service to be shared with other rural locations across Alberta. It is important to note that this material will not be shared broadly and publicly but only to specific partner locations and for member use. This is an important distinction.

 

This content and technology is already being used to serve our congregation. Archiving and sharing our services allows us to leverage this content to engaging people who are not in attendance.

Rural Light Ministries was born out of the Brownfield Baptist Church and precursor work done by the Rural Church Revitalization Initiative supported by the CBWC. From this beginning, Rural Light Ministries is working to become a network of people working together to build the kingdom of Christ in rural churches. Rural Light Ministries plans to engage highly skilled people to leverage their gifts and natural talents across our network to increase the capabilities, engagement and effectiveness of churches.

Rural Light Ministries is now partnering with Nanton Baptist Church and is in conversation with a few other CBWC churches.

Happenings in the Mountain Standard Region

(Click to open gallery)

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email our editor Zoë: zducklow@cbwc.ca or the Mountain Standard office: msregion@cbwc.ca

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter 2019

Mountain Standard Regional Administrative Associate Changes

It is with significant regret that I say goodbye to my Administrative Associate, Sue Hunter. She continues to take chaplaincy training, but others have seen her talents in that role. She finishes her office work for the Region as of December 21st and is privileged to begin in an esteemed role as a full-time chaplain at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton in the New Year.  

Kathy and Sue

Sue has been excellent in her role, diligent with the plethora of responsibilities of the office, able to work on her own, and responsive both to the requests of our churches and the numerous ones that came from me. She has been a creative writer and has set up systems that will continue long after she leaves us. We wish her well in her new work, now joining an ever-growing list of chaplains serving in the public sphere but supplied and supported by the CBWC.

A new hire was found rather quickly in order to facilitate some crossover time with Sue.  Our new Administrative Associate is Kathleen (Kathy) Brown. Kathy has a Bachelor of Applied Information Systems & Technology degree from NAIT, a Masters of Divinity from Taylor Seminary, and is also in the chaplaincy training track. She has worked in business and in church ministries as well. One recent role she held was in the area of employment counselling. We welcome Kathy to the team of those serving the churches and ministers of the CBWC!

Please pray for Sue and for Kathy as these new adjustments are sure to be challenging for a season.

-Dennis Stone

Zion Baptist Church of Edmonton celebrating installation of solar panels

Nathan and Chelsey Friedt FBC Peace River at Banff

Faith Community Baptist Church in Claresholm -Induction of Joseph Steeves

How to Pray for the Mountain Standard Region

In your bulletin, please place a rotating list of CBWC churches from the Region among your listed prayer concerns.

  • Pray for the Regional Minister with regard to safety in travel and for wisdom and insight into the situations he faces.
  • Pray for our pastors: for authentic spirituality, for balancing responsibilities with their family’s needs, for an ability to build team and community, for tact and wisdom as needed, and for supportive collegial connections.

Hugh Fraser and Dennis Stone – Oilers fans

Jeffrey Cardejon of FCCC

Recent Mountain Standard Region Issues

  • Our Banff Pastors Conference was well received by all who attended. Our region brings the most attendants.
  • A church grieves over the suicide of one of their young people.
  • A rural church wrestles with the prospect of having satellite churches with other rural CBWC churches.
  • A few churches are wrestling with growth… lack of building, parking and staffing.
  • A few pastors are considering transitions.
  • Pincher Creek, Awaken, Fort Saskatchewan, and Braemar are seeking full-time lead pastors.
  • Longview Bible Fellowship and Filipino Community Christian Church of Calgary are continuing through latter stages of recognition as churches within the CBWC.
  • Technical issues: a phone reset, internet bandwidth, etc.
  • Credentialing, orientation, and ordination processing for pastors.

Regarding Developments of the Canada Summer Jobs Program

There have been changes from last year’s application limitations. To get an update, look at the following EFC statement of response.

Faith Community Baptist Church in Claresholm -Induction of Joseph Steeves

Stained glass cross at Leduc Community Baptist Church

Settlement Report

  • CBWC: Shelby Gregg stepped down from her position as Administrative Associate at the end of December.
  • John Estabrooks will be the interim minister at Awaken, Calgary.

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email our editor Zoë: zducklow@cbwc.ca or the Heartland office: heartland@cbwc.ca

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter October 2018

A Dying Church Reborn

It was back in April 2016 when our Bonnie Doon Baptist Church in Edmonton decided to end services and pass their building on to the CBWC. The pastor and much of their small congregation were in their eighties at that point in time. A quick study shows the church’s rich 104-year history and recalls the influence of many highly regarded CBWC pastors and ministers in its wake. At the last meeting of the church, they appointed Dennis Stone, Sam Breakey, and Sue Hunter as trustees of the church.

The church building is situated in the French section of Edmonton. With a developing Haitian church in the area, there was a French-speaking congregation in need of a building, without the financial resources to obtain one. The CBWC does not wish to lose its inner city buildings because once they are gone, they are truly gone. Therefore, the CBWC board agreed to take a loan against the value of the building in order to make some necessary repairs. The CBWC would then rent the building out at a reasonable rate to the Haitian church and possibly another CBWC church plant in order to repay the loan. To date, the building has received a new roof, new windows, drainage work, and interior paint. Further repairs will mean new steps, new carpet, improved parking, and more.

Another significant step has also been completed. This new Haitian congregation has adopted the constitution of the existing Bonnie Doon Church. On September 8th Dennis, Sam, and Sue witnessed the church bring 52 new people into membership. The congregation is Haitian and French speaking. That night they appointed deacons and other officers to take over the functions of the church. They also appointed a new pastor, Jonas Seide (pronounced “saw-ee-de”). Dennis, Sue, and Sam were also voted out of their trustee positions as new ones were appointed.

Now this church on a Sunday morning has vibrant music, numerous kids, and excitement about the way forward. It is a church plant that has not had to take the tedious steps required to gain recognition by the CRA. It is now, in fact, part of the continuing story that is Bonnie Doon Baptist Church. Praise be to God!

FBC Calgary Manse Fire Rebuild

The manse at First Baptist in Calgary experienced a fire some months ago. As you will see in the accompanying pictures, it has now been newly refurbished. The manse will become the new office spaces for the church staff and will fulfill some other useful purposes. The rebuild maintains the classic and historical look of the building on the outside, but much of the inside also has the bold and sturdy wood look of the architectural period. Pictures show some of the CBWC Calgary ministerial looking through the facility, which is scheduled to open in just a few weeks.

Photos

Executive staff met for an annual retreat at Gull Lake in early September

This September, Clinton Pigeau started as Trinity Baptist’s new Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults in Sherwood Park, AB.

Dennis and Sue packed up their worldly belongings … well, the ones they had in their old office anyway… and moved to the Taylor Seminary campus as of July 1, 2018. Come visit Dennis in his new office!

Ministerial meetings: Central Cluster, Edmonton and Calgary

Settlement Report

To see open positions, visit our Careers page: https://cbwc.ca/careers/

New Hires
  • Rebecca Thornber, Minister of Discipleship and Community, FBC Vancouver, BC
  • Brian Munro, Senior Pastor, Kitimat First Baptist, BC
  • Brian Carnahan, Senior Pastor, Bethel Baptist Church, Sechelt, BC
  • Don Oddie, Interim Pastor, FBC Brandon, MB

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email our editor Zoë: zducklow@cbwc.ca or the BCY office: bcarea@cbwc.ca

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter July 2018

No, I Don’t Agree with You, But …

In life we cannot go very many minutes without running up against someone who has an opinion contrary to our own. We might see it in the paper, hear it on the radio, watch it on the television, possibly absorb it from our kids, sense it in advertisements, or glean it from clerks at the store. The feeling of wanting to stop the world and set others straight is a common experience, especially when we feel like we are in touch with the heart of God.
I, too, have to cool myself down on minor or even major confrontations to my values. The verses of 1 Peter 3:15-16 have had special meaning to me lately. You may have it memorized, but hear it anew: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (NIV) Historically for me, I have placed these verses as a shield about me for when I feel formally attacked for my beliefs. It can certainly be applied that way, but more often in my spirit, I feel attacked by informal encroachments upon my values. I think there is something here for me in terms of how I handle myself in those moments.

The part that sticks out to me is: “…Do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.” If, in my spirit and attitude or words, I fight back hoping to dominate as though I have an argument to win, then I lose. I need first to have gentleness, respect, and a clear conscience. The verse says I am to be ready to give a reason, but it is not my duty to convince an opponent. My opponents are ultimately accountable to God themselves. If my words convince them of my position, I will indeed be pleased. But if my words are void of gentleness, respect and a clear conscience, then something is truly wrong. Dare I forget the challenge to “love your enemies”? The internal attitudes reflecting the fruit of the Spirit in the inevitable challenges of opponents speaks volumes for the Kingdom.  

Another challenge in these verses is to be sure our behaviour does not give others the privilege of slander against us or against the Lord Himself. The moments we feel challenged are the very times we need to breathe, pray, request the Spirit’s filling, then respond with godly attitude, and then think of what words God might give. The truth sets us free, but it does not set us free to release attitudes that reflect badly on His name or His work within us.

May God help us all to be known for shining forth “love, joy, peace, patience …”

Your co-worker, Dennis

Recommended Reading

It’s All Your Fault!: 12 Tips For Managing People Who Blame Others For Everything by Bill Eddy

This book comes recommended by Paul Spate and a friend of mine, Alan Simpson. It speaks about ‘high-conflict people.’ The book gives some practical guidelines on how to understand and approach this difficult type of personality. Everyone comes in contact with these personalities from time to time, but those in ministry can find them especially awkward to handle within a church context. You can read an excerpt here.   

-DS

Canadian Baptist denominational leaders (CBWC, CBOQ , CBAC, and L’Union d’Eglises Baptistes Francaises au Canada) met in Guelph in May 2018. One of the projects they are working on together is the development of a new Worship and Service Manual.

Coming Up: Alberta Women in Focus Retreat

October 12-14, 2018 Canmore, Alberta. Get more information and register here.

Bonnie Doon Baptist Church is undergoing a transformation. In addition to some renovations of the building (a new roof, flooring, etc.), a growing Haitian group is holding weekly Sunday services in Creole. Bonnie Doon is a French neighbourhood in Edmonton, AB. We’re thrilled to see the ministry of Christ thrive in this place.

We’ve Got a New Name!

As promised, in our April newsletter, our region has agreed on a new name. Thank you to many who submitted suggestions. As of now, we are no longer the Alberta and Northwest Territories Region. The CBWC Board approved our new name in April 2018: Mountain Standard Region. This name is now inclusive of our AB, BC, and NT churches. Our corresponding new email address for our Edmonton office is msregion@cbwc.ca. 

Speaking of the Edmonton office, we’ve also moved! As of July 1st you’ll find us on the Taylor Seminary campus. Our phone number remains the same: (780) 462-2176.

11525 – 23 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T6J 4T3

We are planning to host an open house sometime in September so you can drop by and see the new space. Stay tuned for the date.

Obituaries

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Faye Webber. She died suddenly on the afternoon of May 29. Faye had a passion for mentorship and was involved in various ministries including marriage retreats and worship leadership. She had been involved with the Alberta Regional Advisory Group and with Gull Lake Camp. Along with her husband, Bob (a former CBWC staff member), Faye was actively involved in her home church, Brownfield Baptist Church, AB. The funeral was held at Brownfield Community Centre on Monday, June 11.
John Easter passed away on Sunday, June 17 after battling cancer for quite some time. He is survived by his three children, Martha Jean, Ian and Elizabeth. Along with his late wife Martha (who passed away in January 2017), John was a missionary in India for 19 years. They worked at First Baptist Church in Victoria and then settled into retirement and served at Laurier Heights Baptist Church in Edmonton. John’s love for God and gregarious positivity will be remembered by all who knew him. The celebration of life was held on Tuesday, June 26 at Laurier Heights Baptist Church.

New Ministers Orientation

We had 23 participants this year for New Ministers Orientation (NMO) at the end of April. Each year we hold the NMO at Carey Theological College in Vancouver. It’s proven to be a helpful orientation, and in fact, it is required that all of our pastors and chaplains attend an NMO within the first few years of their ministry. 

It’s a 2-day orientation, with lots of interaction between staff and participants. CBWC covers the cost of transportation, accommodation and meals at Carey.

Brenda and Everett Budd (pastor, First Baptist Church, Peace River) celebrate the birth of their son David James Budd. Congratulations to the new parents!

Sam Breakey (CBWC Church Health Strategist) facilitates discussion Fort Saskatchewan Community Baptist Church. If your church is interested in participating in this initiative, please contact Sam at sbreakey@cbwc.ca.

Settlement Report

New Hires:

  • Joseph Steeves, Senior Pastor, Faith Community Baptist Church, Claresholm, AB
  • Dick Schonewille, Interim Pastor, Virden Baptist Church, MB

Moving on:

  • Bill Christieson, Senior Pastor, Awaken, Calgary, AB
  • Barry Breker, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Pincher Creek, AB
  • Paris Perry, Interim Pastor, Sonrise Community Baptist Church, Calgary, AB

Retiring:

  • Al McPhedran, Senior Pastor, Fort Saskatchewan Community Baptist Church, AB

Alberta Regional Newsletter April 2018

This is the April 2018 regional newsletter from Alberta & N.W.T. We’re trying out a new format, instead of sending a PDF via email. Let us know what you think! You can give feedback to editor, Zoë Ducklow, regional administrator Sue Hunter, or regional minster Dennis Stone.

Let us go out of our way to be encouragers

Baptists have many wonderful qualities, but our independent streak can breed a cynical attitude. We may surmise the music could be different, the sermon could be more electrifying, the coffee much stronger and the attendance better. Without realizing it, our internal thoughts become judgments on others: on the coffee brewer, on the people who don’t attend, or on the people leading the service.

I know I can judge with the best of them. In fact, it’s not that I can, but that I do. Certainly there are times to judge, but the trails that lead to gossip or a non-cooperative spirit are easy to enter.

So last Sunday I sat through church and thought the music was excellent and the sermon was top notch—and I kept those thoughts to myself. Perhaps I perceive that these individuals are merely doing their job and they ought not to do less. Perhaps I quietly understand that they know they have done well with their gifts. But what, in fact, happens to me if I am quiet?

Hebrews 3:13 states, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Wow, encouragement helps resist sin’s deceitfulness!

At our recent Gull Lake Ministers Retreat, we had Joel Thiessen share with us statistics about how evangelicals are perceived by others. I gathered from what he presented, that we are generally thought of as judgmental, difficult, and unpleasant people. It was pointed out that those who declare themselves of no religion have the least interest, among other main religious groups, in evangelicals. My conclusion is that we are seen as the most judgmental.

Jesus “grew in favour with God and men/mankind/people.” Why is his church seen as a people from whom you keep your distance? Even the story of the woman at the well started with a positive, “You are right when you say you have no husband.” Why is it that people would so often look at evangelicals as negative and unfriendly? Yes, we have to discern and judge certain things, but our tendency is to “speak the truth” rather than “speak the truth in love”.

How we deal with people outside the church will take work, but let us start within the church. Let us go out of our way to be encouragers. When people take responsibilities, when they step up and speak or sing publicly, when time has been taken to prepare a message—all of these actions are worthy of our thanks and encouragement.

Let us be swift to listen and slow to speak. Let us listen for the heart of God. I think if we take time to encourage, God doesn’t just do a ministry to those we speak to; He does a work in us. Let’s seek that work too!

Your co-worker in Christ,

 

Dennis Stone, CBWC Alberta Regional Minister and Settlement Coordinator

dstone@cbwc.ca 

Follow Dennis on Twitter @Rockpileca or on his blog www.rockpileca.wordpress.com 

Rare and special time of connection at the Gull Lake Ministers Retreat

The annual Gull Lake Ministers Retreat was held February 5-7, 2018. On the first afternoon, Paul Spate led a number of people through a time of spiritual reflection. Our guest speaker was Joel Thiessen, a Christian sociologist at Ambrose with a long relationship with the CBWC. It was also a privilege to have our new Executive Minister, Rob Ogilvie, join us for two sessions. Activities included floor hockey (of course), ice hockey, table games, snowshoeing, and a few of us went out to a movie one night.

The privilege of this collegial connection is rare and special. Although our numbers were normal, let me speak candidly to those who chose not to come: this annual event is an elective, to be sure, but your absence means that your colleagues miss gleaning who you are and what you offer. True, those in the city have greater access to training and retreat events, but this unique event grants you opportunity to give of yourself to others. Some wrestle in ministry and some do not, but this time together provides us with a bonding opportunity. This is a place you can come and give encouragement and prayer with others travelling a similar road. You and your ministry experience and gifts were missed. I warmly invite you to consider joining us next year.

-Dennis Stone

New Church Joining CBWC

It is a privilege to be in dialogue with a church in Longview, Alberta that has expressed an intent to join the CBWC. It was once a Canadian Sunday School Mission church, and the CSSM churches later came under the canopy of One Hope Canada. With the blessing of One Hope, several of these churches are now affiliating elsewhere.

Longview is an hour south of Calgary in a beautiful spot near the mountains with plentiful fishing in Kananaskis country. Pastor Gilbert Kidd, formerly from the CBOQ, is semi-retired but 100% engaged in the Lord’s work. He and his wife Andrea are very gifted musically. Gil and his church family have already organized much of what the church needs for CRA recognition. Gil is looking ahead at whomever may be the next pastor of the church to take them to a new level of positive outreach in this region.

Occasionally churches look at affiliating with the CBWC because of our protocols, our practices, our resources, our beliefs and our history. Please pray for this church and others that enter this process.

Changes in the Alberta Region

We’re changing our name! Our office lease us up at the end of May, so we’re looking for a new space. Since this means we’ll have to get new stationary & signage, it’s also a good time to rename the Alberta and Northwest Territories Region to something shorter and that will be more inclusive of our east-of-the-Rockies B.C. churches.

Many of you submitted suggestions for this name change and you’ve been entered into a draw for a $50 Tim Horton’s card. Some of your more creative ideas were: “Western Canadian Middle of Western Canada for the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada Region” (WCMWCCBWCR for short), “The West of Us for the Rest of Us Region”, the “Too Big to be Named Region”, “God’s Country Region” (because Heaven is already taken), and the “Stoney Region” (named after Dennis Stone, though the timing is somewhat premature for a memorial designation!).

The CBWC board will choose the name shortly and we’ll let you know the results!

Photos Left-Right:

  • Israel: On the edge of the cliff site in Nazareth where an attempt was made to throw Jesus off. Mt. Tabor, the site of the transfiguration, is the hill in the background. Jeff Logan (Southgate Community, Calgary), Jodi Spargur (Healing at the Wounding Place), and Jason Johnson (High River Baptist) were part of a group who travelled to Israel in February to study the Holy Land. Jason Johnson led the group on a tour ranging from northern Golan Heights to as far south as the Ein-Gedi desert, bordering the Negev. “Much of our time was spent surveying the region around Jerusalem and Mt. Zion. It was a joy to fellowship and see scripture come to life as we shared in this as a small community of pilgrims. The next trip is tentatively targeted for the winter of 2020.  For any CBWC pastors or ministry workers who would like to be a part of the team, a limited number of discount clergy rates will likely be offered.”
  • Cluster Calgary: Pastors near Calgary met in March for a regular ministerial meeting with Dennis Stone.
  • Cluster south: Pastors in the southern area gather for a regular ministerial meeting with Dennis Stone.

 April Settlements 

Some extra news:  Former CBWC Executive Minister Jeremy Bell was appointed the General Secretary of the North American Baptist Fellowship (a regional organization for the Baptist World Alliance) in January. Congratulations Jeremy!

test test

Dean Eisner is the new Interim Minister at Braemar Baptist Church

Gord King is the new Interim Pastor of Community Outreach at Westview Baptist Church in Calgary

Alberta

New Alberta Pastors:

  • Dean Eisner, Interim Lead Minister, Braemar Baptist Church, Edmonton
  • Sarah Wipf, Interim Worship Leader, Westview Baptist Church, Calgary
  • Gordon King, Interim Pastor of Community Outreach, Westview Baptist Church, Calgary
  • Natalie Wong, Children and Family Ministry Leader, Crescent Heights Baptist, Calgary
  • Josh Goetz, Lead Pastor, Charlie Lake Community

Moving on in Alberta

  • Amanda Strain, Children’s Minister, FBC Edmonton
  • David Reed, Interim Pastor, Community Baptist, Cold Lake
  • Cliff Gonzales, Lead Pastor, Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Calgary

Retiring in Alberta

  • George Neily, Chaplain, High River Hospital
  • Geri Redekop, Senior Pastor, Braemar Baptist, Edmonton

Available positions in Alberta

  • Trinity Baptist, Sherwood Park, Youth Pastor
  • Braemar Baptist, Edmonton, Senior Pastor
  • Sonrise Community Baptist, Calgary, Senior Pastor

Heartland

New Heartland Pastors

  • Mat Lortie, Lead Pastor, Willowlake Baptist, Winnipeg
  • Noel Dwarika, Pastor, Faith Community Baptist, Souris

Moving on in the Heartland

  • Dwight Holditch, Interim Minister, FBC Brandon
  • Dean Lentini, Pastor, Fairmont Baptist, Saskatoon

Available positions in the Heartland Region

  • Asquith Baptist, Senior Pastor
  • FBC Prince Albert, Lead Pastor
  • FBC Brandon, Lead Pastor
  • FBC Moose Jaw, Senior Pastor
  • Strathclair Baptist, Pastor
  • FBC Portage la Prairie, Pastor

BCY

New BCY Pastors:

  • Gordon Patterson, Interim Associate, FBC Nanaimo
  • Ted Veal, Interim Minister, Kitimat First Baptist
  • Clark Taylor, Co-Pastor, FBC Penticton
  • Les Clark, Co-Pastor, FBC Penticton
  • Axel Schoeber, Lead Pastor, West Vancouver Baptist
  • Doris Kung-Poon, Associate Pastor, Trinity Baptist, Vancouver

Moving on in BCY

  • Jeremy Bell, Interim Minister, Kitsilano Christian Community
  • Randy Baker, Associate Pastor, FBC Nanaimo
  • Shane Wiebe, Lead Pastor, Southwest Community Baptist, Kamloops
  • Keith Boschman, Outreach and Evangelism Pastor, FBC Vancouver

Available positions in the BCY Region (with active search committees)

  • Southwest Community Baptist, Kamloops, Provisional Pastor
  • FBC Vancouver, Senior Pastor
  • Joy Fellowship, Vancouver, Pastor of Women’s Ministries
  • Grace Community Baptist, Vancouver, Associate Pastor for English Ministry
  • Kitsilano Christian Community, Vancouver, Senior Minister
  • Kitimat First Baptist, Senior Pastor

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