Making Connections August 2023

SERVE 2023

By the Director of Next Generation Ministries, Peter Anderson

From July 2-8, over 200 people from 17 CBWC churches gathered in Kelowna for the 25th annual SERVE experience. For the first time in many years, youth groups from all 4 provinces and 2 territories of the CBWC were represented. It was truly a special gathering.   

During the days, groups dispersed all across the city demonstrating the love of Jesus through active service and in the evenings regathered for incredible times of worship. The theme of the week was “Something Different,” and youth considered how Jesus calls them to live differently in the world around them. Choosing to spend the first week of summer sleeping on a gym floor and serving complete strangers was certainly a good start for the different kind of life Jesus wants for those who love Him.  

All together SERVE participants poured out over 5,000 hours of volunteer labor into the community, and many of those served were blown away by our youth’s selflessness and generosity (especially because of the 35-degree heat). A few of those who were served commented that the youth they encountered gave them a renewed hope for the future of the church and our world. Praise God for the impact that SERVE 2023 has already had and will continue to have for months and years to come.    

SERVE 2024 will be held in Prince Albert, SK.

Watch the recap video HERE!

 Partner Spotlight: Carey Theological College

Carey Theological College Begins Construction Of New Student Residence

Exciting growth is underway at Carey Theological College as we begin the construction of a second Christian student residence building at the University of British Columbia. This new facility continues Carey’s longstanding commitment to nurturing the faith and community of young adults as they venture through their post-secondary studies.

Rev. Dr. Colin Godwin, President of Carey Theological College (front row, left) with the Carey Board of Administration, breaking ground for the new building project.

The new building will accommodate 104 additional students and offer a range of suites, from studios to three-bedroom apartments.

Each unit has been thoughtfully designed, with kitchens and ensuite laundry facilities, providing students with a comfortable living environment. Moreover, our focus on fostering a vibrant Christian community is reflected in the dedicated spaces within the building—designed specifically for Bible study, worship nights, and small groups. With the support from our Deans of Student Residents and volunteer Resident Assistants, these spaces will enable students to deepen their faith and engage in meaningful spiritual exploration. Additionally, the common areas will serve as gathering spaces, fostering connections and friendships among residents that will last a lifetime.

Proposed image of the new residency building.

As we reflect on the past year, we are humbled to share testimonials from two students who experienced the impact of Carey’s student residence program.

Nate L, 2nd year, Engineering:

“Carey gave me a supportive, Christian environment, something that I felt was necessary when moving to UBC. The biggest factor in my decision to come to Carey last year was the tight-knit community. Carey made sure that I had the resources I needed to succeed. Carey has been a place of growth for me, both spiritually and academically. Without this supportive community behind my endeavours, it would have been difficult for me to keep pressing forward. Thank you for your support in pushing the next generation to persevere, and to become the Christian leaders of tomorrow.”

Sarah S, 4th year, Land and Food Systems:

“Carey has been such an amazing blessing in my life. I thank God every day for bringing me to this amazing community that has truly been a home away from home in my life. I can assure you that God is using your generosity for His glory and to build up an amazing community of believers during their time at UBC, where we are all figuring out life together. That is why I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to live at Carey, for God has blessed Carey so abundantly and has brought each and every one of us here for a reason.”

These heartfelt accounts highlight the profound impact that Carey has had on these students’ lives, both spiritually and academically. We firmly believe in the transformative power of Christian community and the lasting impact it can have on the lives of young adults. We are honoured to be part of empowering the next generation of Christian leaders, equipping them with a strong foundation of faith, discipleship, and community.

To contribute, please visit our website at Your generosity and prayers are greatly appreciated as we embark on this exciting journey of growth and discipleship. Thank you for your support in shaping the lives of future Christian leaders.

Heartland Regional Newsletter

August 2023

Getting Active!

On Saturday, July 15th, nearly thirty individuals gathered together for a 12hr volleyball game. From 7am to 7pm 43 sets were played, the Redneck Rangers barely beating the Blue-collar Busters. It was incredible to see all the people come together for the event. Gatorade and oranges were donated by the local grocery store and the beef on the bun meal afterwards was covered by Brownfield Baptist Church. It really was a community effort to pull off. We were very excited to have raised $2,760, and counting!


One of the participants was Jordan Webber, the current President of the Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) Board. Below is a reflection by him about the act of Giving:

In Bible study last week, we looked at Mark 3 and 4. One high school student pointed out Mark 4:18-19.

18 The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, 19 but all too quickly, the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

The message is crowded out by worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. That seems painfully close to home. In thinking about that passage since, it seems to parallel Jesus’ interaction with the rich, young ruler. This man had been putting effort into following the commandments since he was a boy but still longed to have eternal life. Jesus lovingly responds, “One thing you lack; go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me.”

Three simple commands in that statement are to: liquidate our stuff, give to the poor, and follow Jesus.

In general terms, we have a wrong relationship with worldly possessions. Wealth, riches, and money are hoarded, stressed over, and lavished upon ourselves—to our detriment. “How hard will it be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23b). One sure way to break this negative spiral is to give our riches away. Through the Holy Spirit, let’s produce fruit!

As we give, our eyes open to the needs of this world. Many individuals and communities lack the means to access sufficient food and nutrition. The consequences of hunger extend far beyond physical discomfort—leading to impaired physical and cognitive development, increased vulnerability to diseases, and reduced economic productivity. Moreover, hunger perpetuates a cycle of poverty, hindering individuals and families from breaking free from its clutches.

Hunger is driven by war, inadequate social policy, weather, agriculture degradation and waste. As followers of Jesus, we are called to respond to the needs of those hungry and suffering. The staggering statistics of global hunger and the rising food insecurity in our own country demand our attention and action.

I am thrilled that Canadian Baptists nationwide are taking positive initiatives to raise awareness and support for feeding the hungry. Our Baptist family has embarked on a mission to raise $100,000 to combat food insecurity in 12 countries, including Canada, called Active in Mission. My family and I are thrilled to be a part.

In our church, Jenna Hanger thought we could play endurance volleyball! We ran up and down the gym floor, diving, serving, volleying, and having lots of fun for 12 hours to raise support for the Active in Mission campaign and awareness for the needs around the world. I was personally inspired to join by Biker Betty and Sam Breakey from Trinity Baptist Church.

I would encourage everyone towards three things:

1. Pursue Jesus, read His word, and apply it to your life. Make Jesus’ passions your passion. Jesus loved, cared for, and sacrificed for people experiencing poverty.

2. Give sacrificially. Give until it hurts. Give until the spirit of mammon loses its influence in your life.

3. Make a special effort to join in what God is doing in our Baptist family. There are a lot of great leaders that are authentically following God in His work, and we are called to join in the mission.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”


Jordan Webber

Heart Smart HR: Sick Leave and Disability Benefits

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” ~ Galatians 6:2

Minimum employment standards do not require employers to provide any sick leave pay to their employees. According to human rights legislation, employees cannot lose their position, be terminated or treated differently, for being away due to illness or disability. However, employers are not required to pay them during their absence. So, in short, the minimum requirement is zero. 

However, in practice, most employers make some provision for reasonable absences due to sick leave, and for exceptional circumstances and/or extended illness. Since employers set their own policies, these can vary widely, but in general, a typical number of sick days may be in the range of 10-15 days per year.

The CBWC does not have Short-Term Disability insurance benefit (STD) as part of its insurance package under the CB Benefits Plan. Premium for this type of insurance is very costly. In lieu of STD insurance, we recommend churches utilize benefits provided through the federal government’s Employment Insurance Program (EI). Every employee pays EI premiums and therefore is eligible to qualify to receive EI Sick Leave benefits, subject to the requirements of the program. As an addition to EI coverage, Service Canada also offers the Supplemental Employment Benefit Program (SUB Plan), which allows employers who are registered to top-up income to 95% while an employee is on EI sick leave without claw back. We recommend adding the SUB Plan to existing Staff Policies as a means of pastoral care.

EI Sick Leave benefits now terminate at 25 weeks from date of disability. This was recently increased from 17 weeks, which is the current waiting period for Long Term Disability benefit provided in our CB Benefits Plan. If an employee anticipates that they may not be able to return to work by the end of 17-25 weeks, both they and their employer should begin the application process for LTD with Canada Life as early as possible, around the 10- to 12-week mark. Assuming the criteria of LTD is met, the employee will continue to receive LTD benefits until they recover and are able to return to work, or reach age 65.

LTD benefits are payable for the first 24 months following the waiting period if disease or injury prevents the employee from doing their own job. You are not considered disabled if you can perform a combination of duties that regularly took at least 60% of your time to complete. After 24 months, LTD benefits will continue only if their disability prevents them from being gainfully employed in any job. Gainful employment is work they are medically able to perform, for which they have at least the minimum qualifications, and provides them with an income of at least 75% of their indexed monthly earnings before they became disabled.

Human rights legislation imposes on employers a duty to accommodate. This duty is phrased differently in each jurisdiction, but generally speaking, before an employer can refuse to employ or terminate an employee because the employee is unable to perform their duties due to a disability, the employer must try to accommodate the employee to the point of undue hardship. This means that an employer may be required to incur some expenses or make other adjustments to accommodate the employee. If you have questions about your duty to accommodate or need more information on the scope of your duty to accommodate, you should consult a lawyer. These can be complicated issues.

For more information about disability benefits or assistance in registering for Service Canada’s SUB Plan, please contact Louanne Haugan at

Kurios Update

Dear friends,

Our last update requested prayer for a meeting with Parks Canada. We did not get the response we were hoping for—we were informed that the Superintendent was not supportive of our plans and would not approve any development on the property.

While this was discouraging to hear, we have continued to move ahead with our intention to relocate Kurios to Jasper this fall. Instead of development, we are currently renovating the existing manse to be more functional for a group of 10-12 to live in and are moving forward with an offer to purchase a house within the community to allow us to grow to our target of 20-25 participants each year! 

Work crew from Hinton.

Kitchen after demo.

Hardwood found after removing carpet!

There is much to do in the ongoing manse renos, and we need help! If you or your group are able to assist, please contact me at We need floor repair/refinishing, wall patching and painting, a new sidewalk, and our new kitchen installed.

The Kurios Jasper planning group appreciates and covets all of your prayers, now and going into the future, for the continued renos in the manse, for the development of the program in Jasper, and for the students that are enrolled for the September start.  

For the King,

Rev. Steve Simala Grant
Kurios Director

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Eph 3:20,21

Summer Reading List 2023

Shannon Youell and Cailey Morgan

What have you been reading lately? Shannon’s always got a list of books longer than her arm that she has just read, wants to read, or is in the middle of reading. Cailey’s a slower reader, and also has a 4-year-old daughter, so her list is shorter (although her arm is longer—some achievement at least!) Here are some books that we think may be of interest to you:

CONFRONTING OLD TESTAMENT CONTROVERSIES: Pressing Questions About Evolution, Sexuality, History, and Violence by Tremper Longman III (Baker Books, 2019). Longman tackles these difficult topics fairly and with years of Old Testament scholarship behind him. He confronts these pressing issues with a balanced approach, rather than through our tendencies toward the extremes of either ignoring tough issues or “treating them as though they are the only thing that matters.” Shannon says, “I found this book interesting, insightful, orthodox, and while I may not personally agree with all his conclusions, he presented the material in ways that I am still thinking about!”

MISREADING SCRIPTURE WITH WESTERN EYES: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien (IVP, 2012). Here’s a link to read the intro of his other book (…through Individual Eyes vs Collective Eyes) to give a good idea of what they are tackling. It is fascinating reading, highlighting how our predominantly western, white, not-on-the-margins, high-context-culture read and interpret Scripture differently from so many other Christian folk in the world.

I’LL SEE YOU TOMORROW: Building Relational Resilience When you want to Quit by Heather Thompson Day, Seth Day, et al. (Thomas Nelson, 2022). Recommended by Tim Kerber and Larry Schram, this book helps us find ways to “choose community over division, commitment over cancelation, and vulnerability over indifference, and offers a bold response to today’s surface-level relationships.”

HOW THE BODY OF CHRIST TALKS: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church by C. Christopher Smith (Brazos Press, 2019). This is one of the books Cailey refers to in “Shannon’s want-to-reads.” Recommended by some of our pastors as helpful in guiding ourselves and the church to get beyond just “talking past one another,” and actually hearing each other. Watch for Mark Doerksen’s full review of this book on our blog this fall in our Healthy Leadership Cultures series.

TELL HER STORY: How Women Led, Taught, and Ministered in the Early Church by Nijay Gupta (IVP Academic, 2023). This is a great treatment of looking at women who lead in the Old and New Testaments. He addresses the “What about…?” passages regarding what Paul says in 1 Timothy and the submission texts in the NT Household Codes. A great way to read this is to sign up to join our CBWC Theology for the Ordinary book club. They will be tackling this book together in the fall (see below for how to sign up!)

THE BIBLE VS. BIBLICAL WOMANHOOD: How God’s Word Consistently Affirms Gender Equality by Philip B. Payne. Recommended by Tim Kerber and now listened to by Shannon on Audible, this book is well worth reading and does a thorough job of looking at how we read and interpret Scripture and thus come to particular conclusions (see above book recommendation on Misreading through Western Eyes). Both Tim and Shannon suggest getting the book copy. There are so many Scripture citations that this is a book you will want to reference again and again. Here’s the Amazon description: “In The Bible vs. Biblical Womanhood, New Testament scholar Philip B. Payne argues that the very Bible passages that are often believed to teach male headship and female subordination actually teach gender equality. He demonstrates that the Bible does not endorse gender hierarchy but instead emphasizes:

  • The Holy Spirit gifting all believers for ministry
  • The oneness of the body of Christ (the church) and the priesthood of all believers
  • Humility, service, and mutual submission required of all believers
  • Freedom and willingness to relinquish freedom in order to spread the gospel”

JESUS AND THE DISINHERITED by Howard Thurman and Dr. Kelly Douglas. Speaking about talking past one another and misinterpreting through Western eyes…wow! Thanks to one of our BCY pastors for recommending this book (in the airport, after Assembly. You know who you are!) Howard Thurman was a Seminary student of Martin Luther King Sr, and this book–published in 1949–influenced Martin Luther King Jr as he took up the call to the civil rights movement. Thurman’s perspective on reading and interpreting the Gospels as an oppressed and marginalized group will get you thinking about how much we miss of the hope of Jesus to the world when we only read/interpret through our own particular cultural and societal lenses. 

Read this alongside Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulley’s award winning work, Reading While Black. The reviews from many known scholars attest that this is for all those who long to find the hope of the gospels in our world today.

THE RUTHLESS ELIMINATION OF HURRY: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer (WaterBrook, 2019). Shannon originally took this book out of the library. When you are getting close to retirement, you start finding ways to reduce your discretionary spending, and she tends to spend too much on books (as if that’s even possible!). But this is a book that will need to be marked up and read every year as a refresher, so there is now a hard copy on her bookshelf.

This is a must-read for every person in any type of lay or professional ministry. People need to be forced sometimes to be reminded to go God Speed, and Comer does an excellent job is sharing his own realization that to be a long-hauler in ministry we’ve all got to stop living ministry life and ordinary life as “hurried souls.”

EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY DISCIPLESHIP by Peter Scazzero (Zondervan, 2021). This book is another of Shannon’s “to-reads.” Sam Breakey often quoted Scazzero in the work he did in Church Health Assessments. This book addresses some of our favorite topic areas: Discipleship and Healthy Church Cultures and Christians! And the sub-title just screamed “read me”—Moving from Shallow Christianity to Deep Transformation! Shannon may have skimmed some of the chapters, as the chapter titles were irresistible: “Follow the Crucified, Not the Americanized, Jesus;” “Discover the Treasures of Grief and Loss” (our lament the last several years is we don’t do lament well in much of the evangelical world); “Make Love the Measure of Maturity;” and “Lead Out of Weakness and Vulnerability.” We hope some of you read it this summer so we can discuss it. You know how to reach us!

Theology for the Ordinary
Our colleagues Mark Doerksen and Cindy Emmons have been coordinating a great initiative called Theology for the Ordinary, which uses spaces like book clubs and a podcast to create ways for CBWC folks to read and learn and have meaningful discussion on theological issues together. Over the next two months, we’ve made space on this blog to share book reviews: one from Cailey’s recent reading, and then several that have come out of the Theology for the Ordinary initiative. We hope you are challenged by the helpful reflections of these reviews and inspired to pick up books yourself this summer.

By the way, Theology for the Ordinary’s next Book Club meeting is on September 13 to discuss Nijay Gupta’s book mentioned above. Contact Cindy at for details or visit

And speaking of gatherings of learning, registration is now available for our next series of Evangelism Masterclasses, covering topics such as prayer evangelism, poverty and faith, cross-cultural witness, planting house churches, and more. Head over to our Masterclasses page for details.

Assembly 2023 Wrap-Up

We were pleased to have 107 churches gather together for the in-person 2023 Assembly this past June in Calgary. Click HERE to view the wrap-up information!

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Making Connections is the monthly newsletter of the CBWC.