News from The Gathering 2013

2013-Assembly-MauricesThe Gathering, the CBWC’s biennial Assembly is now over. Held in Calgary May 30-June 1, The Gathering brought together almost 200 delegates from CBWC churches across Western Canada to worship God together and make decisions affecting the CBWC’s future.

Delegates representing CBWC churches elected a new board of directors.  The CBWC’s new board is:

  • President: Greg Anderson, senior pastor of Riverdale Baptist in Whitehorse, Yukon
  • Vice-President Planning:  Tim Kerber, senior pastor of Leduc Community Baptist, Leduc, AB
  • Vice-President Personnel & Program:  Laura Nelson, senior pastor of Olivet Baptist, New Westminster, BC
  • Vice-President Finance: Michael Hayes, pastor from Fort St. John, BC

Regional Representatives

  • Patrick Schoenberger, senior pastor Heights Baptist, Medicine Hat, AB
  • Jason Johnson, senior pastor High River Baptist, AB
  • Linda Rochow, member, Altadore Baptist, AB
  • Nora Walker, moderator, First Baptist, Victoria, BC
  • Cal Malena, senior pastor First Baptist Prince George, BC
  • David Connop, member First Baptist Vancouver, BC
  • Joshau Goetz, senior pastor Asquith Baptist, Asquith, SK
  • Michael Cantlon, member First Baptist, Brandon, MB
  • Kayley Schoeber, church member from Regina, SK

Other key decisions included welcoming two new churches into the CBWC family:  Première église evangélique d’expression française de Calgary (PEEEFC) and Greenhills Christian Fellowship (GCF) Winnipeg.  The delegates also welcomed new pastors and six candidates who passed Ordination Examining Council in 2013 and 12 more who passed OEC in 2012 as well as 5 people who were accepted on the basis of prior ordination.  They accepted revisions to the bylaws, particularly requiring the annual selection of an auditor and annual audited financial statements.  The delegates discussed several motions including one that the CBWC engage in a meaningful discussion about caring pastorally for people who are same-sex attracted and that the CBWC develop resources for churches on this issue.

Delegates also had the opportunity to be challenged by keynote speakers Rev. Jamie McIntosh of International Justice Mission Canada and Dr. Anna Robbins of Acadia Divinity College who spoke on the need for Christians to get involved in justice issues and in engaging the culture around us.  Executive Minister Jeremy Bell spoke on the State of the Denomination.  All 3 of these talks will be available on the CBWC website soon. Twelve workshops on topics ranging from Alpha to homelessness to spiritual formation engaged delegates with thought provoking ideas.  On Saturday night to end The Gathering on a high note, a concert by Christian singer-songwriter Steve Bell raised money for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

We thank God for the delegates who participated at The Gathering as they joined together to share their wisdom and influence the CBWC’s future.  We are grateful for the joyful times of worship led by Conor Searl and his team of musicians and for the God-focussed fellowship we shared between our members of our church families.  Thanks also for Bob and Faye Webber who served as MCs and who played a major role in organizing our youth symposium on food justice and the Steve Bell concert.  Thanks especially to the Assembly organizing committee headed by former CBWC VP of Personnel & Programme Glenn Rabuka, past President Jan Paasuke, administrative associate Shelby Gregg, event planner Heather Thomson and other CBWC administrative staff who worked so diligently to organize a wonderful Gathering.