Making Connections September 2018

Welcome September. Welcome autumn. Welcome rhythms. Welcome change. (Is it really September without change?)

You’re hopefully aware of our denomination’s new ministry priorities: Cultivating Leadership, Investing in Relationship and Engaging in Mission. These foci were born out of the 77 Days of Prayer last fall where we sought God’s leadership for our denomination.

In the spirit of continuing to share stories from our community, we’ll choose one priority to focus on in each newsletter. First up is Cultivating Leadership. Read on to meet Peter Anderson, our new Director of Next Generation Ministries.

Also in this edition is the BC-Yukon regional newsletter, some back to school thoughts from Jodi Spargur, and an update from our database administrator Kim Li on the enormous improvements to our information systems over the summer. 

BC-Yukon Regional Newsletter

A Note from Larry | Photos from the AGM & Retreat | An update from YVR Chapel | Church Anniversaries | Settlement Report

Q&A with Peter Anderson, our new Director of Next Generation Ministries

We’re happy to introduce Peter Anderson, CBWC’s new Director of Next Generation Ministries. This role was born out of the 77 Days of Prayer last fall, where we sought God’s direction for our denomination’s ministry focus. This position was created to ensure we have concentrated focus on Cultivating Leadership throughout the generations.

Making Connections interviewed Peter to learn about his vision and heart for Next Generation ministry. This article is an edited and partially paraphrased version of our conversations.

First things first, what will Next Generation Ministries encompass?

My heart is for the next generation to be Christian leaders in whatever they do. That their relationship with Christ impacts everything, whether in pastoral roles at the job, with their families, etc.

I’ve been asked to help develop a gap year program focused on leadership development. There’s a huge desire for our graduates to have a space to consider where they fit in God’s kingdom. Where do they fit in their families, in their community and workplaces? A gap year can be a wonderful opportunity to explore these questions.

Working through questions like this is integral in leadership and spiritual development. So that’s one thing we’ll be working very hard on. It’s an explicit part of the Cultivating Leadership ministry focus.

Additionally, I’ll be part of planning SERVE and Potential Impact, and resourcing youth pastors and leaders. On a broader scale, I’ll work with our churches on youth & young adult ministries to help them think about how to love our youth, serve them, care for them, build them up. Camps are the other focus; I’ll be helping with the leadership development and discipleship components of what they do with their staff over the summer. I also want to support camp-church relations, to make sure we have strong connections between churches and camps.

That’s a large job role. How are the first few weeks going?

The first two weeks have been really encouraging. I’ve had a lot of conversations about youth and young adult ministries and the new gap year program—people are so excited about it. It really feels like something God is already doing and I get to be part of it.

Before this I was the Youth and Young Adult Pastor at West Point Grey Baptist for nearly a decade. Last year I felt called to move on, but didn’t know what I was being called to. It’s the strangest thing to be finishing in a church where things were great, and not knowing what I was saying yes to. I was hesitant about this role at first—it’s much different from what I’d imagined. But as I prayed, I felt God encourage me to pursue it. It felt like God was saying, “I’m sure for you,” even as I was unsure at first. I’m incredibly grateful to God for that. It’s amazing to have been praying for God to do this work in the CBWC all these years, never having imagined I’d be so much a part of it.

Tell us about your heart for Next Generation Ministries.

My deep hope really is to see young men and women be so transformed by Christ that it pours into every aspect of their life. That they would so embrace the gospel in all of its fullness, that it impacts their worldview, their job, how they see themselves in their churches.

I love the idea of this word ‘Lord.’ We say Jesus is Lord. Well, Lord means master and ruler. If we’re going to call Jesus ‘Lord’, that applies to every aspect of our lives.

I know from working with youth all these years, that so many young people are asking, ‘How do I not compartmentalize? How does what I’m hearing at church or reading in the Bible matter for hanging out with my friends on a Friday night? For the work I’m doing in the classroom, for decisions I’m making around university or the things I buy… all these things… how does it matter?’

So many of our young adults are journeying with us through high school, then they get to 19-20 years old and then they’re gone. They’re just gone. So how do we journey with them and create safe spaces to ask their questions? To deal with theology in a way that relates to the culture they live in? Which hopefully contributes to every single person saying, ‘Jesus is Lord … of everything. I’m not just waiting for heaven, there’s things to do here and now.’

If that’s the foundation for all of this, then it’s not just about creating a program here or there, it doesn’t just focus on one thing while missing something else.

Tell us more about the gap year.

The gap year idea is specifically vague right now. A huge part of my role right now is collecting research, interviews, surveys and input from our churches. So many people have been praying for something like this and want to be part of it. That’s great because it really needs to be shared CBWC program.

How can we pray for you?

For wisdom in particular, to know, in a brand new role, what things are ‘now’ things and what should wait for a little bit. As well as adjustment to this type of role. I’ve served in a more traditional pastoral role for all these years, so this is an adjustment for me. So, prayer for guidance in the role. I’m learning a lot as I go.

Thanks Peter, and welcome to the team! 

Thoughts on School

A blog post by Jodi Spargur from the CBWC Justice and Mercy Network

Back to school. How is it going in your house or community? Even for those of us who have been out of school for decades there is some sense that things get back to a regular routine as school resumes. With the presence of Facebook in many of our lives we have seen lots of photos of friends and family headed back to school in their new school clothes, with this year’s new grade depicted in one of many creative ways.

Most of those pictures depict smiles. This is one of my favourites:


But for some people it raises deep anxieties. It took me a long time to understand why some of my Cree and Nuu-chah-nulth friends would not “make” their kids go to school if they, like most kids, resisted going to school. It took listening to some of them tell stories about being sent to residential school and difficulties of those experiences to understand that school was not, in the words of Pam Palmater, “for Indigenous peoples a pathway to self-improvement and increased opportunity but an area of trauma from which we will need to heal before it can become anything else.”

This September I want to invite you and your congregations to consider two things.

  1. Learn about Orange Shirt Day ( It falls on September 30th (a Sunday). Consider wearing an orange shirt to church that day and to talking about what the day means.
  2. Pray for kids in Canada whose school experiences are still a source of trauma rather than a path to increased opportunity. Pray in particular for the schools on reserve that are underfunded, understaffed and under-resourced (Shannon’s Dream). Pray for students who still are being removed from the support of family and culture who have to board in other cities because there are no schools for them where they live.

– Jodi Spargur, Healing at the Wounding Place and CBWC’s Justice and Mercy Network

CBWC Database Update

In 2015 we began a multi-year project to update our data management system. It’s made a world of difference to our information accuracy. Kim Li, the CBWC database administrator, recalls where we came from and reports how we’re doing now.

The CBWC Database: Where we came from

Our new database “Sunergo Systems for Ministry” includes an Information Management Tool and Event Management Tool, both systems were launched in 2016. The two tools are web-based, more accessible and user friendly. Most importantly, the new database is a denominational tool customized for the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada by NCOL Ministries. NCOL is a non-for-profit society registered in B.C., and is dedicated to enabling the ministry of denominations and churches through the effective use of web-based technologies.

Prior to this, we were using a program called Raiser’s Edge. It was a powerful tool that was donated to the BUWC by a church many years ago. However, it was designed more for fundraising than database management, and was expensive for a non-for-profit like us to use. Additionally, users found the software difficult to use, so they found it hard to get involved.

Kim Li has been the CBWC database administrator since 2012. She recalls often being swamped with maintenance and management of the old Raiser’s Edge database, and had to spend plenty of time planning the transfer and development of the new database. It was a difficult time when she had to deal with a large amount of backlog work.

By the end of 2015, with approval and support of the CBWC Board and the CBWC Executive Staff, Victor Ku, Director of Finance and Administration decided to switch into the current database. It was a milestone as our information management and event management tools are making us more effective and efficient. The database team is growing; besides Kim, active team members include the three Regional administrators, Dawn Johannesson (BCY), Sue Hunter (Mountain Standard), Cindy Emmons (Heartland) and Jerry Wang, the Operations Manager.

Church Logon Launch: New Feature of the Database

On April 27, 2018, the Church Logon program was launched to all our churches by Louanne Haugan and the Communication & Development team. It was a big day, when the new database became interactive. Now by clicking here (or navigating to > About > Church Staff/Volunteer Login), church staff and volunteers can update church information and submit Annual Church Stats (Church Clerk’s Report) and Church Treasurer’s Report online.

We believe that the program will impact our denomination and church families positively and profoundly.

  • Churches have responded to this new system positively. For the first year of running Church Logon, 70% churches have submitted a “Complete” or “In Progress” report as of August 2018
  • Numerous current and previous employee details have been updated by churches, which saves lots of correspondence and manpower
  • So far we’ve received more than 600 updates from churches, including 285 staff updates, 85 church updates and more than 230 person updates

Resource our Churches Better

If church users still have questions or troubles, your Regional administrators will be more than happy to help/train you as requested. The CBWC have been building up a wonderful database team, and the CBWC Calgary Office initiates a face to face staff training/fellowship annually beginning in 2017. We’re equipping ourselves to provide resources for our churches and clergy to maximize their health and effective ministry.

Scripture says, “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:2-121 (NIV)

Prayerfully and hopefully, the CBWC, our Regional offices and churches will build up a marvelous team based on the interactive database. Dawn Johannesson said: “Yes, we are an army of ants!” Well said.  May we always be like marching ants carrying a MISSION, falling again and again but never giving up until we reach the goal for the sake of His Kingdom.

— Kim Li

If your church hasn’t checked out the new system, refer to this Quick Start Guide. You can also contact your regional administrator for your login information and any additional guidance.

Events Coming Up

Copyright ©  2018 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