Vol 11 No. 2 The Gathering

Dear friends,

The biennial Assembly is coming up on 23 – 26 April 2015 at Westview Church in Calgary, AB. I would like, on behalf of us all, to thank Westview for its hospitality, as it kindly and bravely hosts us all.

Ceal Mclean has written a perfect description of Assembly for another publication which will soon come out.

The Gathering 2015

On April 23-26 2015, Canadian Baptists from across Western Canada will gather together in Calgary at Westview Baptist for our biennial Assembly. Together, we will prayerfully discern how God wants us to move forward in His service.

Assembly is always a great time of fellowship and connecting with other churches and their ministries. While making decisions is a key reason for getting together, it is also a lot of fun. Much of our time together is dedicated to worship, fellowship and prayer. It is yet another opportunity for members of churches scattered across Western Canada to meet face to face.

This year, our theme is: “Encountering God at Every Age”. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Amy Hanson, a pastor who writes and speaks across North America about the unique needs and opportunities of a graying population. She is the author of Baby Boomers and Beyond: Tapping the Ministry Talents and Passions of Adults over 50. On a lighter note, Lou Leventhal, Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist in Saskatoon, SK will enthrall everyone with his famous travelling magic show. We are grateful that Laura Nelson, CBWC Board’s VP of Personnel and Program is leading our planning committee.

Plan to attend. Online registration will be available at www.cbwc.ca.


I would like to add two things:

First, I would like to thank those who are organising the event: Laura Nelson, Heather Thomson, Josh Goetz, Nora Walker, Linda Rochow, Jill Caldwell, Bob Webber, and myself. In particular, I want us to remember Laura Nelson, who has leadership responsibility as the VP of Personnel and Programme and chairs this committee, and Greg Anderson, who is our President and will chair our time through the Assembly.

I also want to add that this year marks a new way of engaging topics that are of concern to us all. On Saturday there will be facilitated discussion breakout groups that will comment and feed into the larger plenary discussions. I look forward to the opportunity for us to be able to talk, plan and act together in areas that affect us all.

As an aside, I was at a farewell service for a friend, who was called back to Great Britain to minister there. He had a wonderful quote from James Herriot about the ebbs and flows of life, and how things go right or wrong at any given time.

Mostly in jest, but actually more than greater truth. I have included the three paragraphs that Rev. Mark Greenway-Robbins gave at St. James Anglican Church in Vancouver, on January 11th, 2015.

James Herriot was a British veterinary surgeon who practiced in Yorkshire from 1939 onwards. His memoirs of working as a vet are collectively known as All Creatures Great and Small. These were made into a television adaptation. At the end of his first year of practicing as a vet he wrote:

“There are people down there who thought I was a pretty fair vet, some who regarded me as an amiable idiot, a few who were convinced I was a genius and one or two who would set their dogs on me if I put a foot inside their gates. All this in a year. What would be the position in thirty years? Well, as it turned out, very much the same.” (From the postscript to “If Only They Could Talk”)

That is my experience of being a parish priest. Some think I’m alright, some regard me as foolish and misguided, a few think I’m brilliant and one or two will have nothing to do with me!


In Christ,