Making Connections November 2023

Things Happening in November

– It’s Book Club Night! Join us at 6pm PST TONIGHT, November 1, for the Theology for the Ordinary Book Club on Zoom. Email Cindy at to get involved.

– A reminder that there is no BPC 2023, but save the date for Banff Pastors’ Conference 2024! See some of the exciting details below!

Banff 2024
Dates: November 11-14, 2024
Location: Banff Springs Fairmont
Speakers: Rev. Skye Jethani, Carolyn Arends
In Concert: Carolyn Arends & Spencer Capier
More details to come!

-November is a great time to think about Advent rhythms for your home and church. Find resources at, and watch for more resources being added in the coming weeks.

-Upcoming Evangelism Masterclasses: November 7 – Relating to Newcomers, and January 14 – Sharing Faith with Children and Youth. Register for free at

-Join us this month for CBWC Sunday: an opportunity for your church community to celebrate our shared ministry across Western Canada. Visit for resources, or contact your Regional Office to make arrangements for a CBWC Staff person to participate in your service.

-November 28 is Giving Tuesday! We’re raising funds for the Disaster Relief Fund, which provides support to on-the-ground relief organizations in times of crisis.

Apply Today for an AiM Grant!

Over this past summer, many folks from CBWC churches participated in Active in Mission, raising money with other Canadian Baptists across Canada to ensure people around the world and here at home have access to adequate, nutritious food. You championed the cause as individuals, teams, youth groups, and churches by running, walking, cycling, playing volleyball, and so much more! 

Collectively, over $90,000 was raised! Amazing! Half of the funds will be used to fund global food programming in 12 different countries, while the other half is being shared between our Canadian Baptist denominations to fund local food programs.  

The CBWC’s Justice and Mercy Network wishes to thank all those who participated and now looks forward to dispersing our portion of monies raised by way of grants to CBWC churches currently involved in food security ministries. 

If your church offers hospitality and welcome by providing food to those who are going hungry, please complete and submit a grant application to the Justice and Mercy Network by November 30thCLICK HERE for link to application.

We hope to disburse funds to successful grant applicants before the end of this year. 

Thank you for making a difference!  

 Partner Spotlight: CBM

Making a Difference with Hopeful Gifts for Change

This year, we celebrate 20 years of Hopeful Gifts for Change!

For 150 years, Canadian Baptists have been answering the call to share the Gospel through word and deed around the world. We are thankful for how you have joined in God’s mission especially through CBM’s Hopeful Gifts for Change catalogue. Your generosity over the past two decades has helped alleviate poverty, bring about justice, give hope to children, respond in crisis, build up local leaders, and expand the reach of the Gospel message.

At CBM, we work together with our global partners to live out the Great Commission by demonstrating the Great Commandment. Because of your gifts, South Sudanese refugees have the resources to start over after the civil war. Marginalized women in Rwanda can start their own businesses. Youth in the Philippines are able to get a college education. These are just a few of the many ways your gifts make a difference.

We also know that needs shift in our unpredictable world. Your gifts toward What’s Most Needed allow us to respond in ways that make the largest impact. Whether it’s helping in times of crises, investing in sustainable programs, or empowering individuals, we are committed to supporting our local partners as they minister to those around them.

You and your church community can use the catalogue at Christmas (or at any time of the year) to purchase gifts that make a meaningful impact for people across the world. Kids can select gifts of education for their teachers, churches can support leaders around the world in honour of their own pastors, and families can give one another presents that matter—all through the Hopeful Gifts for Change catalogue. There are so many ways to give a gift that will last a lifetime!

Visit to find out more.

Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter

November 2023

Prayer for Remembrance

Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of conflict,
and ask that God may give us peace:
for the service men and women
who have died in the violence of war,
each one remembered by and known to God;
may God give peace.
God give peace.

For those who love them in death as in life,
offering the distress of our grief
and the sadness of our loss;
may God give peace.
God give peace.

For all members of the armed forces
who are in danger this day,
remembering family, friends
and all who pray for their safe return;
may God give peace.
God give peace.

For civilian women, children and men
whose lives are disfigured by war or terror,
calling to mind in penitence
the anger and hatreds of humanity;
may God give peace.
God give peace.

For peacemakers and peacekeepers,
who seek to keep this world secure and free;
may God give peace.
God give peace.

For all who bear the burden and privilege of leadership,
political, military and religious;
asking for gifts of wisdom and resolve
in the search for reconciliation and peace;
may God give peace.
God give peace.

O God of truth and justice,
we hold before you those whose memory we cherish,
and those whose names we will never know.
Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world,
and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.

As we honour the past,
may we put our faith in your future;
for you are the source of life and hope,
now and for ever.

(All join together in the Lord’s Prayer)

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

— from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), “All Saints to Advent.” Copyright 2000 © The Archbishops’ Council. Posted on the Church of England website.

Giving Tuesday—Disaster Relief Fund

In the event of an emergency or a natural disaster, we want to be able to jump into action to respond quickly and effectively during a crisis. The CBWC’s Disaster Relief Fund, financed by generous donors, is one way for us to meet the initial practical realities that come with natural disasters such as the recent wildfires in Kelowna and Yellowknife, as well as ongoing spiritual and mental health support in the days that follow. We assess each crisis to establish where donors’ dollars will make the greatest impact.

With natural disasters on the rise, the CBWC wants to be ready to respond generously and effectively. On Tuesday, November 28th, we will be participating in GivingTuesday to raise funds for our depleted Disaster Relief Fund. Visit and click on GivingTuesday to give!

Christian Plays with Pizzazz

Written by Jenna Hanger

NextGen Ministries newsletter is out! Mentioned in this edition is a terrific, free resource that will benefit churches this holiday season!

For the past decade, Joanna Richards from Elk Lake Baptist Church has developed a unique skill which has grown into an incredible resource for churches—writing original Christmas and Easter plays.

She just launched her website,, with six Christmas plays available for download. She also has plans to add Easter plays in the near future. The plays are biblically based, funny, and tailored to the skill level and needs of church congregations—running for about the length of a sermon, with characters able to be played by a mix of ages. 

Joanna’s journey into writing plays came from a heart to serve and a willingness to say “yes.” Since she started attending Elk Lake Baptist in 2000, she took part in the seasonal productions, which at that time were written by former pastor Les Funk (who has since passed). Les was an artist in his own right and brought his creativity to the original plays that he wrote. 

After years of being mentored and taking part, Les told Joanna he wanted to pass the mantle to her. At first, she was unsure she had the skill-set to take over—but with some background in writing skits, and a love of writing in general that showed through her academic work, Joanna agreed and wrote her first play in 2012.

Since then, she has written a Christmas and Easter play nearly every year. Often times, visitors would approach her and ask if they could use her plays in their own church. Many shared that finding a play which conveyed the holiday stories in a real, raw, yet authentically humorous way was challenging—with many online options coming across as cheesy rather than impacting. 

“It’s difficult to find fresh content. When you look around online, a lot of it is––you know––kind of canned. It’s such a potent story––there is such beauty in it, and a lot of what you can find is not capturing the audience,” Joanna said. 

Hence, her slogan: Christian Plays with Pizzazz! Your Source for Cheese-Free Christian Plays was born. 

With the Christmas season rapidly approaching, check out Joanna’s plays HERE, and see if there is a right fit for your congregation this season! All plays are free, but donations are accepted and will support Joanna and her playwriting efforts.

HeartSmart HR—Advice on Compensation Packages

By Louanne Haugan, Director of Communications & Development

Talking about salaries and compensation can feel awkward, especially in churches and Christian organizations. After all, we are doing the Lord’s work and ministry, and no one is in it for the money, right? However, neglecting to establish a good employment policy that lays out how employees are paid, and unintentionally underestimating your church’s compensation package can be a significant mistake. Attracting and retaining the most suited and gifted pastors and ministry workers should be a top priority, taking your church’s financial budget into account.

A proper compensation package will reflect Jesus

A well-designed compensation package, rooted in Christ-like attitudes, fosters positive relationships, and creates an environment that helps retain the men and women called to minister in your church. How you care for your staff will impact the church’s effectiveness and reputation, as well as help you fulfill your mission.

The best compensation packages do the following:

  • Demonstrate care for the employee, ensuring fair treatment and promoting employee morale
  • Ensure compliance with employment legislation
  • Help maintain competitive pay levels
  • Protect the organization’s reputation against claims of unfair treatment
  • Allow Christian organizations to model exemplary treatment of staff to their members and other stakeholders
  • Bring in the best possible people to serve your ministry
  • Sustain your pastors’ lives so that they don’t need to go somewhere else. For instance, the CBWC offers a Sabbatical Leave Plan to ensure pieces are in place to promote the mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing of its pastors as part of ongoing pastoral care.

Annually, the CBWC provides a Salary Grid to assist our churches in determining fair compensation for their pastor(s) given qualifications such as education, work experience, responsibility, church size, and cost of living based on the location of the church. The grid does not include the cost of benefits such as pension and group insurance (including health & dental coverage), which should also be considered when determining payroll expenses for eligible employees.

The CBWC also provides churches with an annual recommendation for cost-of-living adjustments to salaries in keeping with Canada’s rate of inflation, found in our 2024 COLA Letter.

Changes in charitable legislation in 2023

As we draw near to the end of the year, we want to remind churches in British Columbia and Saskatchewan of important changes and updates made to charitable legislation in your provinces. Links to these changes are found below:

British Columbia

A number of changes to the B.C. Societies Act came into effect in May of this year. Designed to increase clarity and address concerns with the legislation since it was first introduced, the provincial government has put together a table that sets out the majority of changes.


A new Not-for-Profit Corporations Act governing charities and other not-for-profit corporations in Saskatchewan came into force in March of this year. Intended to modernize the law dealing with charities, some important changes in the new Act deal with director qualifications, audits and reporting requirements, and electronic communications.

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Making Connections is the monthly newsletter of the CBWC.