Investing in Relationship
Happy New Year, folks! We trust you’re feeling rejuvenated to plow through the winter, buoyed by festive memories and plenty of food. Now is the time to take stock of our investments. Not just financial, but time, energy and relational. What do you need to do this year? What ought you to stop doing? Where do you want to invest your life? Blessings to you as you consider these things at the turn of the year. – ZD
Calvary Community Church is further north than any of the CBWC churches, but it’s accessible as any of them, thanks to a new wheelchair ramp and electric front doors.
Last year Calvary received a $50,000 federal accessibility grant to build the ramp and electrify the front doors. Inside the foyer, they also built a temporary ramp to assist people up the few steps into the sanctuary.
“We didn’t want anyone to be unable to be part of things going on here because they couldn’t physically get here,” says Pastor Randy Loewen. The congregation has three or four members who have difficulty with stairs, and the church gets heavy use from community groups. “We really wanted to be able to be accessible for all.”
Next year they hope to install an elevator to the basement (which will also replace the temporary ramp to the foyer). Another grant will make that possible.
“We often host Sandwich Sundays in the basement,” Randy says. “It’s hard for some members to make it down those stairs. It’s an ache in our heart and a sadness that they sometimes can’t participate.”
But not for long. Sandwiches, get in formation. We’re coming for ya!
Calvary was one of four Yellowknife facilities to receive a grant as you can read in this CBC article.
FEARLESS: A guide for small groups
When I was with you for your assembly back in 2013, and with the pastors and spouses in Banff in 2016, I engaged with people on some of the basics of relating faith and culture in today’s world. I have given similar workshops with regularly-updated material in many places before and since, and the MacRae Centre for Christian Faith and Culture at Acadia Divinity College has decided to produce this as a six-week small group resource, complete with teaching sessions and leader’s guide with discussion questions and bible studies.
We are so deeply committed to the contemporary church in Canada, that we want to share this educational resource with your leaders for free. We have already given out over 100 copies to pastors and churches in Atlantic Canada, and we would like to offer it free to the wider Canadian Baptist family as well.
The world is changing so rapidly; we find it difficult to understand what’s happening to our churches, or where our faith fits. We can lock the doors and hide in fear, or we can engage our mission to the world with courage! Fearless is a new resource designed for small groups to tackle what it means to live out the Christian faith in an ever-changing culture. Lively introductions by Lennett Anderson, and clear teaching by Anna Robbins, together with a leader’s study guide, will equip your group to understand the relationship between faith and culture, so that they can live courageously as Christians in the world today.
CBWC churches and leaders use the CODE: CBWC-Fearless at checkout for free access.
The six sessions include the following topics
- What is culture?
- How do faith and culture relate?
- How does culture influence faith?
- What does it mean to be in the world and not of the world?
- How does faith influence culture?
- How do we live out Fearless faith today?
Being Truthtellers and Peacemakers
in the Heart of the City
Justice & Mercy Network Blog
By Chuck Harper
When I was asked to write a blog for our denomination’s Justice and Mercy Network, I felt a bit intimidated by it all. My peers in the network and in our denomination do such an awesome job in so many areas. Our churches continue to reach out in so many varying ways in our communities, country and world. A ‘well done’ needs to be said.
When I think of the one, burning question in my heart, the one thing I wish I could bring to people’s attention, something that crosses all beliefs and lifestyles, that one thing is this: men and women in our marginalized communities continue to die at an alarming rate.
In October we held our 5th annual homeless memorial in Vernon. In the past 5 years we have lost more than an estimated 100 men and women. This is not including those who were weekend partiers who died from overdoses. The frustrating part for me as I continue to perform memorials, try and research the causes and the numbers of people we lose, is the political minefield of trying to respect privacy, organizations and governmental policies. It is hard to get the right info out there so that we can do more about stemming the tide of homeless-related deaths.
In 2006 there was a census done, and in BC the province was spending $55,000 per year per person to keep someone sheltered. That same person could be housed for something like $37,000 a year. There are few statistics out there that can count the cost of these deaths, complicated by the Freedom of Information Act.
As of the date I spoke at the memorial this year, there were 87 people who had passed away that I could verify. I shared that if 87 people died at an intersection, you could guarantee something would be done about it. There would be a cry that people couldn’t ignore. Well, so many people are dying in our country from addiction, poverty, compromised health, violence and accident. We need to do more to stem the tide. As a man of faith, my heart cries when I think of the number of men and women who are dying without knowing our risen Saviour. The cost of poverty, homelessness, addiction is far too high. We as Christ followers need to stand up and be counted. The next homeless death or overdose death may be someone you know and love.
The Justice and Mercy Network is a network of pastors, leaders, and CBWC staff that exists with a mission to further out denominational response in areas of justice and mercy. Stay tuned for an updated page on this site with resources and information. In the meantime if you’re interested to learn more, get in touch with the JMN chairperson, Pastor Tim Dickau at tim (at) gcbchurch.ca
Copyright © 2019 Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, All rights reserved.
Making Connections is the Monthly Newsletter of the CBWC. The senior editor is Zoë Ducklow, who works under the executive editorial direction of Rob Ogilvie and the Communications & Stewardship committee. Have a story idea? Want to tell us how great we’re doing? Or how terribly? Email Zoë at firstname.lastname@example.org.