Making Connections June 2019

From CBWC Executive Minister | Rob Ogilvie

The Gathering 2019 was an awesome time of listening, talking and learning together. The overall theme was resilience, which was modelled to us firsthand by our host congregation of High River Baptist Church—who didn’t let a flood, which destroyed their church building several years ago, drown out their ministry. Below you will read much about what took place at The Gathering. Know that along with these activities there were laughter and tears, remembrance and renewal, and a spirit of grace-filled acceptance of one another. Thanks be to God for this family of churches known as the CBWC, and thanks be to God for all those who came and participated in The Gathering. It was great being together!


CBWC Family Night

After a wonderful welcome reception hosted by Hansel and Gretel Catering, we gathered for worship and to bear witness to the work of God in our midst. Pastor Scott Fisk of High River Baptist shared their story of resilience and restoration after the 2013 flood, as we sat in their new sacred space dedicated to the ongoing work and ministry in their context of High River, Alberta. Together we commended new ordinands, and marked the seasons of retirement for some and beginnings for others as they step into new ministry positions. A moment of silence, and a video marking the lives of those who have gone before us, gave space for lament, followed by a joyful celebration of affiliating four new churches with the CBWC. What an amazing way to kick off Assembly 2019!

Ordination Examining Council

Sam Breakey, OEC co-chair, brought forward the names of those who entered the ordination process and passed the examining council held on Wednesday and Thursday, May 22-23, 2019 in High River, Alberta. He reflected on these individuals as being evidence of how God is renewing our churches through home-grown pastors, as well those whom He is bringing to us from elsewhere.

Commended for Ordination at Assembly 2019:

Samuel Kim | Bonavista Baptist, Calgary, AB
Duane Guthrie | New Life Community, Duncan, BC
Anna Braun | First Baptist, Lethbridge, AB
Mikel Laurie | Highlands Baptist, Edmonton, AB
Pam Reichenbach | Strathcona Baptist, Edmonton, AB
Ella Cho | West Point Grey Baptist, Vancouver, BC
Nixon Solomon | Thompson First Baptist, Thompson, MB
Michelle Porco | Riverdale Baptist, Whitehorse, YK

Welcoming New Churches into Affiliation with CBWC

The Assembly joyfully granted membership to Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Calgary; Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Burnaby; Emmanuel Iranian Church, North Vancouver; and Filipino Community Christian Church Calgary. CBWC staff threw a “shower of blessings” to celebrate them and the continuing work they do in their communities to be the presence of Christ to both new and already believers.  Three of these new churches are in various stages of planting again!

“Showers of Blessing” is one aspect of our new Church Planting Trust Fund, initiated to build up our ability to support and celebrate the hard work of missionary planters. In the same way that new couples and new babies are given a huge boost to start their new life, our churches are invited to financially gift new initiatives to facilitate and support their work of being local missionaries where they are. 

It can cost up to $15,000 in the first year alone for leader assessment, training and CBWC integration. It can cost up to $50,000 in the second and third year to help with staffing and ministry costs. All told, the potential 5-year investment in a single church plant could cost as much as $165,000 to see it reach maturity. We need your help! We need individuals and churches to invest in church planting today. Without new donations, we will not have funding in place to the end of this year.

Planting a church is hard work Planting a church takes hours and hours of commitment, often from a pastor who must work full-time elsewhere to pay the bills, and then volunteer near full-time hours again to the work of the church. They do this because they love the church, they do this because they love God, and they do this because they have been called by God to make missional disciples and grow God’s Kingdom in the context of their community.

Click here to financially support our church plants in their formative years.


Gap Year Challenge

Rob and Bonnie Ogilvie, graduates of the Baptist Leadership Training School (BLTS) in 1983, are challenging all former BLTS students and faculty to match or exceed their donation of $500.00, to go toward a new Gap Year Experience known as Kurios, which the CBWC will launch in Sept 2020.

Kurios (pronounced koo’-ree-os) is the English transliteration of the Greek word for “Lord,” which means master and ruler. One of the biggest decisions adolescents must make is who or what will be Lord in their life.  As this program is aimed at those who are already Christians, they will be challenged to make Jesus Lord of every area of their lives. This is a lifelong pursuit.    

What we expect each participant to take away from the experience is:

Identity: Participants will first and foremost understand that their shared identity is centred in being created in the image of God and being “in Christ.” 

Biblical Engagement: Participants will develop a love for Scripture through reading/memorization/study and gain an understanding of its overall story and themes, while being able to contextualize it for today. 

Prayer: Participants will explore the fullness of what it means to communicate with God and will grow to embrace prayer as a way of living, rather than a task to be carried out.

Autonomy and Responsibility: Participants will mature toward adulthood as they experience guided opportunities for independence and freedom in conjunction with given responsibility. 

Holistic Ecclesiology: Participants will wrestle with what it means to be the “bride of Christ” globally, locally, and individually; developing an ecclesiology that is centered on what they have to give as well as what they can receive from God. 

Christian Leadership: Participants will gain the tools they need to lead like Jesus through intentional training and leadership opportunities.

Praxis: Participants will learn that faith is meant to be lived out in every area of life. They will gain a deeper understanding of what it means to follow Jesus and will be given opportunities to live it out in practical ways.

Evangelism: Participants will yearn to proclaim the Gospel freely to everyone, so that everyone would declare Jesus their Saviour and Lord. 

Authentic Relationship: Participants will be challenged and equipped to develop deep and meaningful relationships with those they encounter during the program.

Kurios is set to launch in September 2020.

Side bar: Thank you to everyone who bought one of the floral centrepieces lovingly created by Roselyn Shakotko and Sharon Loewen of Lethbridge, AB. We raised $670 for our new Kurios Gap Year Experience!

Executive Minister Address

Before the Business began on Friday morning, Rob used the Executive Minister’s address to set the stage for the table talk discussions which were about to take place that afternoon. He challenged the Assembly that it’s important to talk to each other, not about each other; that we should be striving toward unity, not uniformity; and to never forget that in so many areas- including the Trinity, the death, resurrection and return of Jesus, the Great Commandment, the Great Commission and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus- we all agree.

Rob also reminded people how, through an intentional period of prayer and discernment, we have created the new CBWC Priorities of Cultivating Leadership, Investing in Relationship and Engaging in Mission.

Learning Together

Table Talk

On Friday afternoon, those in attendance were invited to learn together and engage in healthy dialogue on Ministry and the LGBTQ Community. Renée Embree, from Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada, led us through a workshop that challenged our thinking and inspired us to live out the Gospel in new ways. It was a time to practice talking about difficult things together, in ways that uphold the best of the Kingdom of God, including striving for peace and unity even though holding differing views. Friday afternoon offered a safe space to dialogue about this relevant issue in our culture and society and the local church context.


On Friday evening Dr. Tim Schroeder spoke on how resilience is a biproduct of how well we connect the dots in our life. He referenced Exodus 31, where God called ordinary people for His extraordinary plans. We were challenged to take a look at our own life to see whether we had a clear sense that what we do matters. We learned three ways to recognize a call on our life: 1) When we connect the dots between what we do and what God is doing, 2) When we acknowledge that God is the source of our talents and abilities and we connect them to His agenda, and 3) When we become aware of the far-reaching impact of our actions and its ripple effect on the world. What an amazing privilege to know that God uses our stories to minister to others!

Youth Rally 

On Friday evening, we welcomed teens from 6 different youth groups to come together and worship with the broader CBWC family, which was then followed by keynote speaker, Randy Carter. Despite the torrential downpour, indoor dodgeball and other wide games as well as pizza were enjoyed by all!

Randy Carter’s challenge to the kids was to stand up for God rather than hide in the shadows, using Daniel and his friends as examples.

One of the participants, Ryley, says, “Randy’s message was engaging and helped bring me into the story of guys who had their names changed to represent their position in society rather than who they were. The games in the gym were fun and I liked finishing the night with pizza!”

Nathan Graftaas from Crescent Heights Baptist Church in Calgary said, “It was a great experience filled with fun and an engaging speaker challenging us to stand up for what we believe about God.”

Noelle Graftaas (same church) said, “Kurios sounds interesting” and is anticipating the opportunity when she graduates in a couple of years.



On Saturday morning, delegates, pastors and visitors were invited to engage in important dialogue and reflection by attending their choice of 5 workshop options:

Developing Spiritual Resilience: Using Tools From The EQ Toolkit | Dr. Paul Spate

Staying is the New Going: Abundant Life Together On Mission | Rev. Shannon Youell and Cailey Morgan

Resiliency In Our Global Sisters | Rev. Faye Reynolds

The Design and Implementation of a Personal Resilience Plan | Dr. Tim Schroeder

Resilience: The Transformative Power of Radical Generosity | Victor Ku and Louanne Haugan


Our time together concluded with worship led by a High River Baptist Church team as well as a time of communion led by Executive Minister, Rob Ogilvie and served by CBWC’s three Regional Ministers and their Assistants. 


An important part of our work together as a family of churches is to receive reports from our CBWC Board and partners in ministry and to make decisions that guide our day to day work together. We received 2018 Year End Reports, approved the 2019-2021 budgets, and received reports from our Partners in Ministry: Carey, CBM, and CBWC Foundation. Peter Anderson did a presentation on the Gap Year Program, Faye Reynolds informed us about an important resource available for pastors and home groups to assist in exploring the Good News of the Gospel, and Jodi Spargur brought an update on how our CBWC churches have engaged meaningfully with UNDRIP. Steve Simala Grant explained proposed changes to the CBWC Bylaws as well as the CBWC Ministerial Protocol Manual. Josh Goetz brought forward the names nominated for the CBWC Board, Representatives of CBWC to the CBM Board, as well as the Carey Hall Board of Administration. Callum Jones verbally honored Kayely Rich for her leadership as President of the CBWC and she in turn welcomed the incoming CBWC President, Sam Breakey, and led us in a prayer of dedication over the new board.

New CBWC Board:

President- Sam Breakey
VP Planning- Loralyn Lind
VP of Personnel and Prog- Nora Walker
VP of Finance- Herb Ziegler
BCY Rep- Kevin Green
BCY Rep- Callum Jones
BCY Rep- Fay Puddicombe

MSR Rep- Randy Loewen
MSR Rep- Sandra Goetz
MSR Rep- Brad Penner

HRT Rep- Tim MacKinnon
HRT Rep- Ravi George
HRT Rep- Brendon Gibson

Review 2018 by click on this Annual Report Link:

Thank you to Zoe

We wish to thank Zoë Ducklow, our senior writer for the past 4 years, for her excellent work in capturing the voice of our church family and penning it to paper so eloquently. While Zoë will no longer be writing for the CBWC, she continues to work as a freelance journalist and serves on our Justice & Mercy Network team. Thank you, Zoë!

Making Connections will be taking a break for the summer. We look forward to reconnecting with you all in the Fall. Have a safe, fun-filled summer, everyone!

Copyright ©  2019 Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, All rights reserved.

Making Connections is the Monthly Newsletter of the CBWC.