What’s Happening in December
- A huge thank you to everyone who responded to our GivingTuesday project this year! $16,150 will be sent to Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church in Winnipeg to help cover costs in resettling Ukrainian refugee families
Theology for the Ordinary Book Club: Our next meeting is Wednesday, January 4th at 6 pm PST using zoom. We’ll be focusing on Seven Things I Wish Christians Knew About the Bible by Michael F. Bird. RSVP to email@example.com for the zoom link, even if you have attended in the past.
Save the date for Assembly June 1-3 2023 in Calgary; registration opens February 1, 2023.
Exciting Kurios News
It is with great excitement that we announce the Kurios Gap Year Experience will be moving its home base to the beautiful town of Jasper, AB!
We are blown away by the news that the Jasper Lutheran Church (JLC) has decided to gift their historic sanctuary, land and manse––located in the middle of Jasper––to the Jasper Park Baptist Church in partnership with Kurios.
In late March of 2022, JLC had announced they would be closing their doors, and accepting proposals from non-profit organizations for the building and grounds. Adam Parsons, a key lay leader from Jasper Park Baptist Church, had organized the bid on behalf of Kurios and the church. He passionately believed that the move would be hugely beneficial to the church, our Gap Year program and to the community.
JLC shared that they were blessed by the proposal and celebrate that Jesus will continue to be a visible and active presence within Jasper’s community. Their mission was to uphold the cross. They are excited that the property and sanctuary, which was passed to them 56 years ago from the Catholic Church, will continue to honour its Christian heritage.
The Baptist congregation intends to sell their existing building and property and use the funds to build a new facility where the manse is currently located. This new, multi-purpose building will provide a fantastic home for Kurios participants, ministry space for Jasper Park Baptist Church, and a place to facilitate outreach within the community.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Kurios to broaden its appeal and solidify its future,” Steve Simala-Grant, director of Kurios said. “Now we can invite young adults to experience the timeless majesty beauty of the Rockies, while challenging them to give their whole lives to the high call of loving God and neighbour.”
The goal is to relocate Kurios by the fall of 2023 in time for the beginning of the new Kurios year. Applications are now open for the 2023/2024 year! Click HERE for more info!
Carey’s UBC Residence – A Place of Preparation
In this season of Advent, we’re looking forward to Christmas, preparing for the celebration to come. Here at Carey, we see the work of our residence program resembling this season. Advent is a season of ‘already and not yet.’ Jesus has already been born, but we’re still preparing to celebrate His birth. Similarly, with the University of British Columbia students who live at Carey during the school year, we minister to them in their season of ‘already and not yet.’ They haven’t yet entered the real world of adulthood, but already do experience much of the real world in their day-to-day university experience. This year, there are 44 undergraduate students in programs from geology to music, dietetics to kinesiology. Many students feel uncertain about where God is leading them and how they’re called to serve Him with their unique giftings. At Carey, we help prepare these students by looking ahead to the life God is calling them to, while knowing that the life God is calling them to, doesn’t just start after they finish university—but matters today.
Photo from Fall 2022 Annual Carey Resident Retreat; Camp Kawkawa, Hope, BC
Not only does Carey offer a safe place to live, our studen programs also help foster Christian community, guiding and nurturing these students navigating adulthood. They learn how to be neighbourly, how to resolve conflict with compassion and generosity, and how to build good habits of time management. Weekly Bible study, prayer and worship nights, end-of-term events, an annual camp, and many meals shared together bring an integrated approach to Christian formation during their time studying at UBC. These rhythms of activity, with academics, help to shape students as they prepare for the life ahead of them—while teaching them how to integrate their faith in their work.
Living in a safe, Christian community, students have the opportunity to practice, try, and even fail—but to get up and try again. Those opportunities to practice and try again are for everything; from knowing how to graciously engage unbelieving peers or fellow Christians who might think differently, how to act when a friend they care about is hurting, or even how to spend their money and time. Carey provides a community so that students don’t feel isolated in this journey. It’s estimated that about 1% of UBC students are Christian. By living at Carey, these UBC students are supported in a community of life, where they can grow in love and compassion, without feeling anxious or alone. As Grace, a second-year science student described,
“At first, my transition to university was very difficult, but the people at Carey made all the difference… Everyone has so much compassion for those around them.”
This brings the light of Christ into the classrooms, lecture halls, libraries, and coffee shops.
At Advent, we are preparing for something magnificent: the incarnation, God’s presence in the birth of His Son, Jesus. Similarly, here at Carey we seek to minister to these students in an incarnational, present way. As we look forward and prepare for this celebration of God’s presence, we are so grateful for the opportunity to be present to these students. At Carey, we help students grow their light in Christ, letting it become a great brightness, preparing them not just for their post-undergrad life, but for their life today and beyond.
Rachel Hart and Rafael Franco are the Deans of Student Residents for Carey. Do you have a student beginning their degree at UBC? Are you interested in supporting the Carey Residence program or helping fund the construction of our new building? Visit our website to donate or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions about living at Carey.
Darkness to Light!
By CBWC Executive Minister, Rob Ogilvie
The Christmas Story! Not the “Go to the malls or to Amazon to buy endless gifts for those in your life” story. Not the “Eat so much turkey and stuffing that every January you seriously consider buying a new gym membership” story. Not the “Santa and Rudolph and chestnuts by the open fire” story. All of which are pretty good stories. But the Christmas Story. The story—when first foretold by the prophet Isaiah to the Israelite nation—of a child being born who would not only be known as Immanuel, God with us, but also Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
When Isaiah tells the story, he describes how—with the coming of Jesus—darkness turns to light.
Many people would describe the last few years we have gone through, and even the times we are in right now, as pretty dark. Sickness, economic hardships, polarization, and war are just a few of the challenges—the darkness—that our world is facing. My prayer for you this Christmas season is that you would know Jesus, the One who turns darkness into light. The One who offers hope when everything else seems hopeless. The One whose peace surpasses all understanding. And the One who is the Light of the World. That’s right—the world, of which you are an important part.
The Christmas Story! May it never become too familiar, and may the light and hope and peace of Jesus be yours this season and forever more.
MSR Regional Minister, Dennis Stone, is Retiring!
By Jenna Hanger
After serving as the Mountain Standard Regional Minister for the past 13 years, Dennis Stone is officially retiring in the New Year.
He has had a long career, faithfully serving the Lord in many capacities. His story started in Montana, where he was born and raised. In grade seven, he gave his life to the Lord after attending a Methodist Church special event.
In high school, Dennis met the love of his life, Anita. They have been married 44 years, during which they have had four children and three grandchildren.
While in high school, they assisted in developing an exciting youth ministry that several of their peers ended up joining.
“It was significant work for God at the time. Many people who attended went into other ministries later in life,” Dennis said. He believes the teenage years are among the most productive for people and the church. It’s a time of connecting with people with high energy, and enthusiasm to learn.
After graduating high school, Dennis decided to attend Bible college. At that time, he wasn’t considering going into full-time ministry; he went with the aim of learning more about the Bible so he could be useful to the Kingdom of God. His education took him to Prairie Bible Institute, the College of Great Falls, Montana State University, and Northwest Baptist Theological College and Seminary in Vancouver.
Over the course of the years, Dennis was involved in many denominations before—he jokingly says—he was paid to be a Baptist. In 1986, Dennis got the call from White Rock Baptist Church in Surrey, BC. He was ordained there and was the lead pastor for a few years. He then pastored a church in Northeast Edmonton before pastoring Claresholm Faith Community Baptist church for 14 years.
When the Mountain Standard Regional Minister position came up, Dennis was encouraged to apply. His four children had already moved to Edmonton, so the decision to move had additional benefits, besides being central within the Mountain Standard Region. The job proved to be an excellent fit. Dennis loved connecting with people in the region and across Canada, encouraging pastors and churches, and working with executive staff.
“I’m probably better at pastoral care than preaching. That carried over, I think, into how I’ve done some of my regional ministry work. It’s been caring for pastors and church leaders.”
Dennis shared that a few highlights over the past 13 years include seeing some of our immigrant churches enter the denomination, working with pastors to get their credentials and ordinations, and connecting with Baptist colleagues across Canada.
Another highlight has been working with people in other denominations––helping form relationships and understanding between people of different backgrounds. Dennis shared that one of his gifts is pulling people together into community who otherwise might not be, and that this was something he enjoyed doing.
Dennis’ last date in the office will be January 31st. While Dennis and Anita are looking forward to traveling a bit and being with family, they haven’t made very many concrete plans for retirement.
“It’s kind of like graduating from high school,” Dennis laughed. “It’s like, now what? There are so many unknowns. We are open to whatever comes.”
Do you have more Christmas spirit than Louanne??
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time we get to celebrate for a month that Christ has come. The lights, trees, and decorations are all a reminder of this amazing miracle, and we want to see how you celebrate!
During the month of December, we want to flood our social media page with pictures from CBWC members. Whether it’s decorations from your church, your home, or your town, snap a selfie, send it to us, and tag a friend to do the same! Email it to Cailey at email@example.com or hashtag #cbwcchristmas on Facebook and Instagram to be featured on our page!
Highlights from Banff!
We had so much fun connecting at the Banff Pastors and Spouses Conference on November 7-10!
Check out the highlight video HERE.
To view the TIMTalks showcase, click HERE.
NOTE re 2023:
The CBWC Leadership recognizes that CBWC church budgets will face possible financial pressures over the next couple of years as congregations resettle, interest rates and inflation rise, and we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. With unexpected costs to church budgets of two in-person assemblies back-to-back, and to faithfully steward all of our joint resources well, Banff 2023 has been postponed to 2024 to allow financial margin and recovery. The CBWC Leadership also recognizes that the Banff Conference serves as an important lifeline for mental health and well-being as well as ministry sustainability. Pastors and spouses are encouraged to connect with their regional offices for possible regional retreats and resourcing offered in 2023.
Assembly 2023 will also provide an opportunity for connection, encouragement, dialogue, and resourcing.
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Making Connections is the monthly newsletter of the CBWC.