Vol 12 No. 17 Beginning and Ending Well

Dear friends,

First is a discussion with Tammy Klassen and national youth leaders at their gathering this week in Niagara Falls:  The story of youth and beginning well in Christ.

The Canadian Baptist Youth and Family Forum is taking place April 25-28 in Niagara Falls.  This is an invitational forum comprised of 50 influential Canadian Baptist youth leaders from across Canada, including 9 from Western Canada, where we are looking at what unites us as Canadian Baptists and what the church needs to address moving forward to ensure the ongoing healthy investment in the next generation.  It is a time to learn, connect, wrestle, voice opinions, and pray as we are united in the goal of advancing the kingdom of God among the youth of Canada.  We also enjoyed a night celebrating what is happening among Canadian Baptists across Canada and looking at our identity.  We have been blessed by amazing speakers, Dave Overholt, Dr. Anna Robbins, Dr. Steve Brown, and Dr. Gary Nelson, who have challenged us and paved the way for our cluster group discussions.  The full content of what is being discussed in our groups will be compiled into a report that we hope will go out to all our Canadian Baptist churches.  This has also been an opportunity for most of our CBWC Youth Leadership Team to connect and share ideas.  We will be closing Thursday morning with communion and will leave with new ideas, renewed passion for youth ministry, and new friends.

Second is the story of the passing of Judy Hoefling and some comments from her colleague Sam Breakey, former Regional Minister and current Church Health Strategist.  His comments are followed by Judy’s successor in the CBWC Administrative position, Sharon Onciul.

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Sam Breakey, April 20, 2016

Good morning,

Most of you may recall the name and service of Judy Hoefling, who served as CBWC Administrative Assistant for Alberta from 2002-2009. I had the privilege of being served generously by her during my season as Alberta Regional Minister. Last week I attempted to put together a list of words that might describe our friend:

Godly woman

Graciously stubborn

Keeper of promises

Capable administrator


Confident in God’s promises

Quietly competent

Anchoring mother and wife

Carrier of burdens

Holder of secrets

Judy has been in a lengthy battle with cancer and just this weekend received confirmation that the cancer had spread significantly. The family has been told that she probably has about a month to live. I would ask that you would pray for her at this time – for freedom to breathe without discomfort and for peace of spirit.

Please also remember her husband Ron, there three daughters and one son at this time. Judy’s oldest daughter, Amber, is married to Rob Low.

Sam Breakey, April 26, 2016

We have just received word that Judy Hoefling passed away this morning.

In Sharon Onciul’s words:

“Judy passed away into the arms of Jesus very peacefully & comfortably at 5 am this morning.  Ron opened the windows for her & the robins were singing as she passed.  All the family were with her surrounding her with their love.  Ron wanted me to let all of you know as soon as I could since he knows that we love her too. In his words the family is dealing with the shock and finality of it all but are comfortable knowing she is in heaven now.  The service will be sometime next week. Details will follow at a later date.”

I am thankful to have been called to visit with her early Sunday afternoon, after she received word from the doctor that it would just be a matter of days, rather than weeks. We laughed, and reminisced and prayed together. Her smile was as big as ever and her trust in God was deep. She thankfully was at peace with her circumstances and with each member of her family.

We will pass on the details of a future service when we have them. Jeff Gullacher, the pastor of Trinity Baptist, will officiate. Judy has asked me to speak of her work among us.

If you wish to send a note to the family, you can address it to

Ron Hoefling, 671 Village Drive, Sherwood Park, AN T8A 4N2

One last comment about beginning, living, and ending well comes from Angus Reid, well-known Canadian pollster and person of faith.  In his presentation at the BC Leadership Prayer Breakfast he talked about the value of teaching children to pray and its central importance for prayer later in life:

[The] third thing I’ve learned about prayer in Canada is that the single most important factor which determines whether an adult will pray or not is their experience as a child. When I first looked at the data on this I admit to being awestruck – maybe it’s because one of my favourite hymns is “Faith of our Fathers” – but the cross generational transmission of prayerfulness is massive. If you prayed frequently as a child the chance that you would be a non prayer today is 7%. If you didn’t pray as a child the odds that you would be a frequent prayer today is 6%. On the other hand if you prayed as a child the odds that you will pray as an adult are 93%. No matter how I looked at the data I was left with the inescapable conclusion that the actions taken in childhood – with parents, caregivers and yes, schools; place an indelible mark of faith which lasts a lifetime.


In Christ,

Jeremy Bell

New Paths

CBIPMC LogoCanadian Baptist Ministries is sponsoring a conference on First Nations ministry in Mississauga, Ontario on April 4-5.  All members of the Canadian Baptist family who sense God leading you and your church into a more significant relationship with Aboriginal people and communities are invited to attend.

The New Paths: Canadian Baptist Indigenous Peoples Ministry Conference will be held at Lorne Park Baptist in Mississauga April 4-5. The conference is being planned in response to God’s leading Canadian Baptists to more positively engage with Canada’s indigenous peoples – First Nations, Inuit and Métis.  Come and be inspired and challenged through the plenary speakers, workshops, worship and sharing.

Among the presenters will be Terry LeBlanc, a First Nations leader involved in the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS) which trains First Nations leaders in theology and My People International, which provides mentoring, healing and leadership training to aboriginal people.

Cheryl Bear, an award-winning aboriginal singer and speaker from the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation (Bear Clan) in the Carrier Nation located in northern British Columbia will lead worship  She has worked with Indigenous people across Canada, the United States and in over 20 countries of the world raising awareness of the value and uniqueness of our Indigenous people and our culture.

Chief Stan Beardy, of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) who is the Ontario Regional Chief, will also speak.   He will be joined by other native Christian leaders in telling of God’s doings among indigenous people (Canada’s youngest and fastest growing demographic).

Rev. Mark Buchanan, Senior Pastor of New Life Community Church in Duncan, BC for 17 years and now an Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Ambrose University College in Calgary, will speak and will be joined by other non-native leaders to share how they are reaching out to First Nations communities across Canada.

There will be workshops on culture, language, urban and rural realities and opportunities, worldview and the environment, integral mission, contextualization, culturally authentic worship and discipleship.  The conference will be an opportunity to network, hear stories, tell stories, learn, vision and worship together.

New Paths will take place April 4-5 at Lorne Park Baptist Church, 1500 Indian Road, Mississauga, ON.  It will run from 10 am Friday to 4:30 pm Saturday.  The $50 registration fee covers 3 meals and helps with conference costs.  Transportation and accommodation are not covered.

Register Now

Contact Paul Carline, the Director of Inter-Cultural Ministries for Canadian Baptist Ministries for more information at Paul.Carline@baptist-atlantic.ca.

Congratulations to OEC Candidates

OEC 2013 (18)
BC/Yukon Regional Minister Rob Ogilvie, Dr. Axel Schoeber, OEC Candidate David Jenkins & Sue Ferguson, moderator of Kitsilano Christian Community and Executive Minister Jeremy Bell

June 3, 2013 — Congratulations to six  pastors who passed the CBWC’s Ordination Examining Committee at the end of May.  They were welcomed by delegates at The Gathering, the CBWC’s biennial assembly in Calgary, May 30 – June 1, 2013.

The following pastors are now eligible for ordination at their home churches:

Edgar Unrau of Calvary Baptist, Chemainus, BC
Amanda Hecht of Faith Community, Wakaw, SK
Eijiro Campo of First Baptist, Calgary, AB
Ceu Hrin of Vancouver Chin Baptist, Vancouver, BC
Cung Bawi Thawng of Vancouver Chin Baptist, Vancouver, BC
David Jenkins of Kitsilano Christian Community, Vancouver, BC

Examiniers commented on the theological depth and spiritual maturity of each of the candidates and believe them to be very worthy of ordination.  Congratulations!

Twelve pastors who passed  OEC in 2012 were also welcomed. Five pastors had their prior ordination recognized.

We would like to thank Dr. Axel Schoeber for guiding the candidates through the ordination process, as well as the members of the Ordination Examining Committee who did such a thorough yet gentle job of examining these candidates for ordination.


Justice & Mercy

Helping HandsApril 11, 2013 — The CBWC Board has approved the formation of the Justice and Mercy Committee to provide resources and guidance on issues of great concern to CBWC churches and their members.

The committee has been active since 2010 but received approval on April 6, 2013 so that it is now recognized formally as a committee of the CBWC.  It has been active in coordinating workshops on topics such as homelessness, affordable housing and refugees at past Assemblies and the Banff Pastor’s Conference.

The Justice and Mercy Committee works to develop a biblical theological vision of the Kingdom of God that fully includes the pursuit of justice and mercy, to analyze the root causes of injustice and to provide relevant resources and ideas for engaging in meaningful action to alleviate suffering and change society.

To find out more, go to Justice and Mercy Committee

The JMC is planning 5 workshops for The Gathering 2013, the CBWC’s biennial Assembly, held in Calgary May 30-June 1.  At these workshops, theological reflections, information sheets and reading lists will be available as resources on the topics of:

  • Restoring Our Relationship with Aboriginal People
  • Welcoming the Stranger
  • The Church’s Worship Engagement with Poverty
  • Earthkeeping and Care
  • The Face of Homelessness in Western Canada

These materials will be made available on the CBWC’s website once The Gathering is over.

What is Prostitution Really Like?

REED logo
REED logo

February 25, 2013 —  REED (Resist Exploitation Embrace Dignity) of Vancouver will mark International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8 by screening the film The Fallacy by Ève Lamont.  The film explores how prosititution has been portrayed in films like Pretty Woman and contrasts this with a candid look at the  reality of the lives lived by women working in the sex trade.

The screening will take place at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church in Vancouver, located at 1803 1st Avenue East from 7-9:30 pm.

The film will be followed by a discussion.

Plan to attend this free event.  For more information.



Praying Through Lent

cross & thornsLent is a season of prayerful reflection. For 40 days before the joyful celebrations of Easter, we sorrowfully mourn the necessity of Good Friday and the loving sacrifice Jesus Christ made for our brokenness.

To help you reflect on what Lent means for you personally, we are gathering Lent devotionals from CBWC churches and publishing them on this website.  You can find them  in the Learn section of the website HERE.

We thank the CBWC churches that have so generously agreed to share their devotionals with their CBWC community.

Dr. Ron Watts

yellow flowerThe CBWC family is deeply saddened to learn  of the death of Rev. Dr. Ronald Francis Watts on January 16, 2013 in Edmonton after a short illness.  Dr. Watts was the founding Principal of the Baptist Leadership Training School (1949) and had a very significant influence on hundreds, if not thousands, of Baptist young people over the life of BLTS and, through them, all churches within the  CBWC.

Ron was born in Calgary on August 21, 1918 to Avis (Greer) and Frank Watts, who worked for the RCMP.  His family moved to Vancouver, where Ron attended elementary and junior high school. The family returned to Edmonton for a new RCMP posting where Ron finished high school and was confirmed in the Anglican church. His interest in amateur radio, as well as an invitation from a friend,  led him to join a radio operators’ club at Macdonald Baptist Church where he was baptized,  came under the mentorship of Rev. Harold Stibbards and decided to enter Christian ministry.

Ron began his pastoral studies at St. Stephen’s College, Edmonton and served as a student pastor at Shiloh Baptist and Bonnie Doon Baptist.  At Bonnie Doon, Ron met his wife Fanshun who was a leader in the Christian Girls in Training.  Together, they had three sons:  David, Jonathan and Peter.

Ron and Fanshun moved to Hamilton, Ontario where he completed his divinity degree at McMaster University and Fanshun worked in the University Library.  In 1944, they were called to serve at Calvary Baptist in Weyburn, SK, the only full-time pastorate he undertook during his career.

In 1949, Ron and Fanshun moved to Calgary to establish the Baptist Leadership Training School.  In 1960, Ron received an honourary doctorate from McMaster University to honour his work founding and running BLTS.  In 1971, Ron and Fanshun moved to Oakville, Ontario where Ron became the General Secretary of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec and Fanshun worked as the National Secretary of CGIT.  Ron retired from the CBOQ (formerly the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec)  in 1984 but was active in Oakville’s Central Baptist Church and  named Pastor Emeritus for the church.  Ron was also the VP of a local chapter of Amnesty International.

Ron was predeceased by his parents, his loving wife Fanshun and his son, Jonathan.  He is survived by his sons David and Peter (Caitlin).  The family held an open house at son David’s home in Edmonton on Saturday, January 19.  A memorial service will be held in Oakviille at a date and place to be announced.

Please pray for Ron’s family as they grieve his passing.  We share their sadness yet also rejoice that Ron is now home with the Lord and Saviour he loved so much.  We are eternally grateful for Ron’s life and ministry among us. His legacy and service to God endures. Praise be to God.


Banff 2012 Speakers Online

The CBWC has audio files of the keynote addresses and Bible studies from the Banff Pastors and Spouses Conference 2012.

We have all four talks by Myra Blyth:  God in the Desert, God in the Storm, God in the Tears and God in the Bread and Wine.  Chaplain and Tutor in Pastoral Studies at Regent’s Park College, in the University of Oxford, Oxford.  Editor of Gathering for Worship.

We also have two of Cal Malena’s Bible studies on intimacy with God. Cal is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist, Prince George, BC.

To hear these audio files, go to our Audio Blogs Page.

New Church Planting Blog to Read

Tom Lavigne

The Church Planting team has created a new blog to share the excitement of new churches reaching more people with the good news of Jesus Christ in Western Canada.  Read this blog at http://churchplantingatcbwc.wordpress.com to stay connected with the expansion of God’s kingdom.

On this blog you will be able to read  the reflections Tom Lavigne, the CBWC’s Director of Church Planting, about the rewarding work being done to start and grow new churches.  You can keep up with the latest news on specific church plants as they share their joys and challenges.  And you can find out how you and your church can get involved in this important work through prayer and by becoming a Venture partner.

Read the latest Church Planting Blog today!  Subscribe today to make is easy to receive new blogs as they happen.

August 30

Revelation 15:3

And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!  (ESV 2002)

Pray for Pray for Chaplain Steve Bradley (Mustard Seed)