How many times did God have to start over? Adam and Eve had a rough start, and God had to reset and restructure their lives to move forward. Under Noah, God dealt with a corrupt society, and He started anew with our physical world. Under Abraham, He created a new covenant relationship. After enslavement in Egypt, a new nation was built. After the time of the judges came the kings, after which came captivity, after which came restoration of Jerusalem. All of this preceded Jesus, through whom came life and rebirth through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling––changing people from within. It was something completely new that was beyond expected structures of what was before.
So, we stand at this point in our world history wondering: Is Covid over? Can we make plans again? Is there going to be a ‘new normal’ or can we just go back to our old sense of what was normal? Can we really start over with any level of confidence that our world will not be thrown into chaos yet again?
Starting over is difficult. I work with church search committees that have worked and prayed to discern who should be their candidate of choice. Sometimes a candidate is chosen by the committee, only to be turned down by the candidate, or by another level of authority within the church’s structure. Reassembling a search committee, after a season when they thought their work was done, is difficult. Momentum levels are hard to rebuild after such disappointment. Some may want to just settle on a ‘someone’ rather than taking the time to discern a true calling to this particular ministry.
Starting over is actually something I do every day when I roll out of bed. I admit it is easier with the sun coming up sooner every day this time of year. Every day includes some Scripture, some prayer, some encouragement of others, some questioning of philosophical positions…and life goes on. On very few days, there is a big success story to tell—though they do come occasionally.
This all reminds me of the text: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9 NLT).
So, let’s pick up our cross again and follow. Faithfulness is sure to be rewarded.
May God help all of us with our ‘restarts.’
Your co-worker, Dennis
Sherisse White, The New Mountain Standard Regional Administrative Associate
Sherisse lives in Edmonton with her husband, Terry, and their two kids. She has been involved in volunteering at church her whole life. She spent 10 years as a volunteer leader and teacher in church preschool children’s programs. After spending many years as a stay-at-home-mom with her kids, she rejoined the working world in administrative positions with her community league and in the mortgage industry. Sherisse is excited to part of the team at CBWC and the Mountain Standard Region.
1. What’s your job title? Administrative Associate, CBWC Mountain Standard Region
2. Who inspires you? My Family
3. Do you like traveling? I love to travel with my family. We are thinking about a beach vacation and a trip to Germany and Europe in the future.
4. What’s the best place you’ve traveled to? I loved my time serving at an orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania.
5. Do you like reading? If so, what genre of books do you like? I have always been a bookworm. When I have the time to read, I enjoy mysteries and personal development books, and anything by Robin Jones Gunn.
6. What’s the most exciting part of your job? Working with amazing people
7. Where did you work before this position? Since going back to work after being a stay-at-home-mom with my kids, I have worked in administration positions with my community league and, most recently, for a mortgage broker.
8. What’s your most-used productivity hack? Moving passed thinking about the task and just do it. The task will take less time than I think and often is easier than what I am making it by overthinking it.
9. What’s something you’re proud of? The independence I am seeing my kids
10. What’s your favorite food? Anything
11. Do you have any pets? Luna is our Sheltie/Collie family dog.
12. Are you a sports fan? Who are your favorite teams? I love watching the Olympics.
13. Are you a morning person or a night owl? I am more of a late-morning/early afternoon type of person.
14. Are you a coffee or tea person? Both
15. What’s one thing you’re really bad at? I lack sports and artistic talent.
16. What’s one thing you’re really good at? Driving my kids to school and activities
17. What’s a skill you’d like to improve on? Adding more movement and exercise into my daily life
18. What’s your favorite memory? Marrying the love of my life
19. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A nurse. I did achieve this, as I was a registered nurse before I had kids.
20. What’s your least favorite chore around the house? Anything I can get my kids to do
21. What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekends? Sleep in and enjoy a whole cup of coffee before it gets cold
22. What’s your favorite holiday? Any of them that I can spend with my family
23. Can you speak more than one language? I can speak German.
24. What was your favorite subject in school? Sciences
25. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert
26. Do you like roller coasters? Some, as long as they do not go upside down.
27. Do you have any phobias? Falling from tall heights
28. If you could play an instrument, what would it be? I can play a bit of piano but would love to be better at it.
29. Which historical figure would you most like to meet? Jesus
30. What’s your favorite season? Spring and Summer
Sherisse is in our Edmonton office regularly from Tuesday through Friday from 9am-1pm. Skip the answering machine and call between these hours as needed… hear a human voice! Her contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-462-2176.
The Mountain Standard Region Virtual Retreat – February 8, 2022
In lieu of meeting at Gull Lake this year, a virtual retreat was held together with ministers across the Mountain Standard Region of the CBWC.
This year, we were privileged to have Dr. David Williams, president of Taylor Seminary in Edmonton, lead us in some thoughts on ministry ethics. There were close to 40 attendees on Zoom—a good number for this opportunity. Our presenter pulled some interesting topics from After Virtue by Alasdair McIntyre.
If someone asked me about the main piece I pulled from our morning on February 8th, I would answer that I was intrigued by the need to choose virtue over power. One quote I wrote down was, “Those in power do not listen well.” It made me think that in ministry, we can easily sacrifice positive Christlike character traits and yield to seeking power over what we perceive to be an obstacle.
The retreat was interactive in that we shared in ‘breakout’ rooms in smaller groups to discuss three themes relating to the topic: ‘narrative, practice, and/or virtue.’ These groups discussed
some applications of ethics as it related to these three tactics. After this experience there was some time for Q&A, after which we went back to our groups for a time of prayer.
The retreat was positive, but we look forward to meeting again in person next year at Gull Lake!
Aziz Aslami who has moved to Calgary and is working with Northmount Baptist Church to set up ministries to Afgani refugees.
Zion Baptist Church Edmonton has done renovations to extend the auditorium into part of a former foyer, relocating the sound system, allowing more room for congregants.
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: email@example.com