Vol 10 No. 33 Banff Pastors Conference

Dear Friends,

The Banff Pastors Conference has a deep and long tradition of stimulating personal renewal, encouraging the building of community and drawing in speakers that we would not normally be able to hear and interact with.  This year is not only a time where that is no exception but indeed the next three years, in and of themselves, are exceptional.  

I want to introduce you to five people.

David Wells is a remarkable national and international leader, who with profound conviction and personal warmth has been a natural sharer of the gospel, whether it has been as Canadian chaplain coordinator of the Olympics or chair of the Evangelical Fellowship Board of Canada.  There is no one who can speak with greater clarity, nor more forthrightly about the challenges of renewing the church in Canada, nor about sharing their faith in these fascinating and challenging times.  I am delighted that David is willing to come speak with us.  David is becoming a friend and I commend him to you.

Rev. Dave Wells was appointed as the general superintendent of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) in May 2008.  Dave currently serves on the executives of the Pentecostal World Fellowship, the World Assemblies of God Fellowship and the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America.

He served as senior associate pastor at Broadway Church in Vancouver, BC, from 1994-1999 after having pastored in Hamilton, ON; Calgary, AB and Red Deer, AB.

Dave has served as Canadian chaplain for the Olympic Games from 2004 to 2012, the Pan Am Games in 2011 and the Commonwealth Games in 1990, 1994 and 2002.  He was chair of the Vancouver-Whistler Olympic organization’s multi-faith committee which organized chaplaincy at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  He also coordinated the Christian chaplaincy at the Vancouver 2010 Games.  He currently serves on the executive board of More Than Gold 2015, coordinating the Christian community for service at the Pan Am Games in Greater Toronto.

Dave and his wife Susan, live in Burlington, ON.  They have three children – Shannon (Eric), Jonathan (Melissa) and Jordan (Justine) – and three grandchildren, one of whom is in heaven.

Harry Gardner is an old friend whom I met in the early days of being in this position when he was Executive Minister of Atlantic Baptists.  Harry has an ability to be fully present and genuinely pastoral to those he meets.  He comes from a theological tradition that many of you will be familiar with.  If you are tired, as I am, that so many demand of us that we jettison some valuable foundation stones of our faith in order, somehow, to make room for new and often undependable foundation stones, then Harry will reassure you that the new builds on the old.  Harry took an early interest in spiritual formation exercises and direction.  He has done a considerable amount of work on Dallas Willard and we will benefit from that.

Dr. Harry G. Gardner, a native of the south shore of Nova Scotia, began his work in 1986 with the Home Mission Board of the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches and in 1989, became the Director of Home Missions and Church Planting.  He served for eleven years as the Convention’s Executive Minister prior to coming to Acadia.  In this role he was member of the Boards of Acadia Divinity College and Crandall University (formerly Atlantic Baptist University).  He has had a keen interest in addressing issues of racism, promoting integral mission as well as international relief and development.

Recently, he was the President of the North American Baptist Fellowship and in 2010, he was elected as a Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance.  He has served as President of Acadia Divinity College and Dean of Theology for Acadia University since January of 2008 and teaches in the area of pastoral ministry, leadership, and spiritual disciplines.

He and his wife, Gail reside in Kentville, NS.  Their family includes two married children and four grandchildren.  Personal interests include fun times with the grandchildren, travel, and music.

Loralyn Lind almost needs no introduction from the biography that follows.  She is a great teacher and will bring a clear and enthusiastic way to begin each day in the study of scripture.  Thank you so much Loralyn, for being willing to lead this study.

Loralyn Lind currently serves a pastor with Dauphin First Baptist Church.  She has been a Baptist in Sudbury, Elliot Lake, St. Catharines, Wasaga Beach, Melfort, Caronport, Calgary, Penticton, Burnaby, New Westminster, London, Winnipeg, Inuvik, Creighton, Saskatoon, Prince George and presently Dauphin.  She has been a Baptist daughter, sister, student, farm help, wife, tree planting cook, chocolatier, corsetiere, caterer, Salvation Army Public Relations Office Worker, mother, office clerk, database designer, camp cook, bank teller, Children’s Pastor, seminary student, Family Ministry Pastor, Church Life Ministries Pastor.  She believes the Kingdom of God is spreading… like yeast in bread.

Jason and Katie Leussink are a worship-leading duo from Peace River, highly recommended by Louanne Haugan and Dennis Stone.  Need I say more… need we know more…?

Outside of their worship ministry they perform with their band under the name Katie and Jason and are now in the midst of their Love Your Neighbour Tour, which sees the duo pairing up with various non-profit groups across Alberta and donating 100% of the ticket proceeds from each concert to a charity in that town.  The couple felt that God planted the seed for the Love Your Neighbour Tour in their hearts many months ago.  And it is their joy to financially aid the groups that are the hands and feet of Christ to those in need within our province.  Katie and Jason are looking forward to worshipping the Lord together with you in November!

And finally on the recommendation of several: Leland Klassen, who is not only billed as Canada’s premier clean comedian but comes highly recommended from a whole lot of folks.  Let me be blunt about two things.  The first is there are an awful lot of funny folk (read: comedic, not odd) in the CBWC and it is astounding to me that there is not more laughter at public events.  While it’s not Leland’s responsibility to produce the laughter, a lot of folk really felt it was time just to relax… so we are!  The second is this: Augustine said you should not buy sandals from a Christian sandal maker unless they make good sandals… we would not be asking Leland simply because he is a Christian.  We are asking him because he is funny.  Thanks be to God.

Leland Klassen brings to the stage one of the freshest comedy voices in the industry today.  Leland’s act has been described as a hilarious journey to a forgotten age, an age of innocence and good values.  From utilizing his physicality and high energy where Leland wields his gangly limbs like weapons of mass comedic destruction, to his reckless abandon, great comedic presence and indescribable likeability, Leland has combined a smooth storyteller’s delivery with a rapid-fire “set-up punch” result.  Add to that his unparalleled comedic edge, and you’ve got a one-of-a kind show that is unique, entertaining and most of all really, really funny.

By the way, our theme is Journey Outward, Journey Inward which happens to be the sequence of our speakers, but as our subtitle “Spiritual Disciplines in Our World” indicates: the latter feeds the former…

Be sure to register to take advantage of the early-bird savings, which ends on August 30th. Details are in the brochure attached below.

One last footnote.  The picture on the front of our brochure is stunning.  Past experience suggests only a 50/50 chance of such a scene greeting you.

Many thanks, God be you.


In Christ,