Mountain Standard Regional Newsletter January 2023

Your New Regional Minister: Tim Kerber

Tim starts as the Mountain Standard Regional Minister on January 1, 2023. Many across our Mountain Standard Region do not need an introduction of him, but I will mention a few things for which I think of as somewhat unique to him. My quick notes on Tim are as follows:

  • He has won numerous awards over the years at the annual Mountain Standard Gull Lake Minister’s Retreat for excellent play on the floor hockey court. (This guy is athletic.)
  • He and his wife, Rachelle, have participated in cross-country races that involve going through mud pits.
  • He has been at his church for 29 years, starting first as a youth pastor while in seminary.
  • He has been a valued participant on the CBWC Board and on the Board of Gull Lake Centre.
  • He is not lazy and has not always taken the easy route. He has raised pigeons, developed an acreage, built a home, and led a multiple-staff, team ministry.
  • He is an avid Edmonton Oiler fan and has watchds them practice in Leduc before the team loads onto the plane.
  • He does not fit the image of recent Regional Ministers in that he is not 6’0” and has a good head of hair.
  • He is approachable and able to think outside of the box when needed. Our churches and pastors will benefit from what Tim has to offer going forward.

My January will be spent with Tim as needed, helping him understand the ‘ropes’ and learning how the Mountain Standard Regional Minister has functioned up to this date, as well as orienting him to the role of CBWC Settlement Coordinator. There is a bit to learn, but this guy is a quick study from what I can tell.

Join me in wishing Tim a positive experience in this new role for the years ahead. Do be in touch and treat him well!

Your co-worker, 

Dennis Stone

My Farewell/Thanksgiving Statement Given at Banff Ministers Conference 2022

—Dennis Stone

“It is an understatement to say it has been a privilege to serve our CBWC churches as a Regional Minister.  Many of the stories I have witnessed, whether involving great joy or great sorrow, will never be spoken due to time frame of this given moment.  For me the greatest joy has been to see God work in the hearts among those with whom we mingle.  Out of that has come deep friendships with so many of you present here, but also many not among this company.  There have been pastors, chaplains, and church leaders in the CBWC and beyond with various titles and responsibilities.

I am deeply thankful to the whole of our CBWC staff who have been my confidants and prayer warriors, undertaking various tasks to make my role manageable, and broadcasting an appearance of competency that is far beyond the scope of any one person.  All of us are unique and have our idiosyncrasies, which are packaged with both strengths and weaknesses.  No one pastor is completely like another, and no CBWC staff person is the clone of another either, but together we have faced challenges and have wrestled with what will best help the Church of Jesus going forward.

As I have mentioned before I was not a Baptist until they paid me to be one.  I was not a Canadian Baptist until one of our churches placed a measure of trust in me that at the time may have been seen as fool-hearty.

Now I am officially one of the old guys.  I remember the Canadian Baptist Federation, Dr Phil Collins, Dr Sam Mikolaski, CBOMB, and assemblies that met every year and travelled from province to province in Western Canada.  I remember many of our Banff Pastors Conferences that I have attended since 1986.  One year with only three days notice due to Howard Hendricks needing hospital care, our own Dr Paul Stevens gave us, in my opinion, one of our best gatherings ever.  Most of you were not there.  I do pray that your future gatherings will be as rewarding and as impactful as my years at these events have been.

So, the time has come for me to lay aside the title I have been privileged to carry and let someone younger, and with other gifts than I possess, fill this role and take it forward into this new time with its new challenges.

Thank you all for the grace extended to me over these past 157 months.  God bless you all, and God bless the CBWC!”

Observations From My 39 Years in Ministry

—Dennis Stone

If I include my years as a Regional Minister, I have been a pastor for 39 years.  That includes 20 years as a senior pastor and 13 years as Regional Minister.

Here are some observations about ministry I deem important that I have gleaned over these years:

  1. I’d choose character over skill every time.
  2. Few people really practice ‘love your enemy’.  (We prefer to demonize those we do not get along with.)
  3. Live your life not caring who gets the credit for achievements. 
  4. The amount of effort we put into our ministry does not necessarily translate into comparable outcomes.
  5. Talking to people about Jesus is easy; evangelism is hard.
  6. The key ministry of the church is likely to its children.
  7. Negative experiences are fodder and helpful opportunities for upcoming challenges.
  8. Doing right is more important than being right.
  9. Food brings people together.  (Remember the gift of the table.)
  10. We talk about community and caring, but there is a world and a church full of lonely people.
  11. We all have our limits relating to time, energy, and skill sets.
  12. Volunteers rise up from momentum, vision, and passion.
  13. Bitterness destroys families, churches, and the harbouring individual.
  14. Important communication cannot be done in just one way, but requires using multiple formats.
  15. Churches currently tend to hold on to their own rather than preparing to send them away (into mission).
  16. Pastors are sometimes limited by their family dynamics.
  17. Geography has become a major hurdle to expanding mission/ministry.
  18. Many of our pastors make pastor-centered churches, and it hinders the development of leaders.
  19. Formal church vision setting can get in the way of God.  
  20. Building expectations can lead to disappointments.

Photos From Our Region

Edmonton Ministerial Meeting

Calgary Ministerial Meeting

Pastor Jeff Gullacher speaking at Trinity Baptist, Sherwood Park

Pastor Kevin Dick Installation Service at Sonrise Community Baptist

Banff Pastors Conference

Pastor La Wom Gumling (Edmonton Kachin Baptist Church), Rev Dennis Stone (Regional Minister) and Rev Kent Dixon (Braemar Baptist Church)

Worship time together at Banff Pastors Conference

Dennis shares is Farewell and Thanks at Banff Pastors Conference

CBWC gave Dennis the gift of a fishing hat for his retirement

New Pastors at Laurier Heights Baptist Church

Pastor Carol Henders

Pastor Jim Hall

This regional newsletter is published quarterly within the CBWC’s monthly newsletter, Making Connections. Have a story idea? Email our senior writer, Jenna Hanger: