Vol 11 No. 22 Reflections on Community

Dear Friends,
As you read this letter, I will be in Ottawa, representing CBM as I contribute to the Canadian Forces Chaplains Education Retreat, in particular with our Baptist Cadre. Please continue to pray for our Chaplains.

We have mentioned the last two Celebration Dinners that have happened on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland in the last week of May. I would like us to dig a little deeper into some of the stories that are occurring in the churches that are part of our community in the next couple weeks. In some cases, I will name them. In some cases, for a variety of reasons, I will allow them to be un-cited. There are remarkable stories of collaboration, renewal and encouragement to be found in our midst.

On Vancouver Island we have found co-operation and collaboration that has created camping ministry, support for an ongoing and vibrant Mustard Seed work, prayers and encouragement of many for Hope Farm up island.

New Life in Duncan’s ministry of reconciliation with First Nations Community, along with their many ministries, is an encouragement. Their concern for single parent families and their children is shown when, in the weekend before school begins in September, a most difficult time financially for many, they are providing the school supplies for children.

There is a vibrant use of Alpha in many places, in part because of so many deep expectations that if people are given the opportunity they will make a personal commitment Christ.

The prayers of many on the island were extended to the care and healing of Rob Daley (First Baptist Nanaimo), when he took so desperately ill last year. We have seen his renewal and ongoing recovery.

Many of our churches have gone through staff and pastoral transitions in leadership over the last couple years; Comox, Port Alberni, First Baptist Victoria, Gateway, and Emmanuel to name a few. These are always challenging times, but also exciting times for new beginnings.

Several churches have strong campus ministries; Arbutus and Emmanuel in particular; you will remember Emmanuel’s ministry of dinner to University students. Many, including my own daughter, have been drawn to John Schaper’s preaching at Arbutus.

Donna Forester has been engaged for a long time with sex trade workers. She is prayerful and courageous, and covets our prayers. It is a privilege to pray for Donna.

I would be remiss not to mention The Forge and its commitment to renewal, evangelism, First Nations communities and the culture, including two people involved in that church who will be familiar to many of you: Mike Oshiro and Shannon Youell.

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I mention these things as encouragement, some of which you may wish to pursue by contacting the BCY Regional Assistant Dawn Johannesson, the BCY Regional Minister Rob Ogilvie (when he returns from a well deserved sabbatical) or my Associates Jill Schuler or Shelby Gregg.

Vancouver Island is also about to participate in the leadership forums / associations that we have been seeking to establish in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and the Lower Mainland. We hope to be efficient by presenting the Lower Mainland event and engaging with the same topic on Vancouver Island the next night. And vise versa. Just to remind all in Vancouver that in this last year we have dealt with evangelism, preaching, youth, and faith and mental health. We will speak of other leadership forums and their amazing resource opportunities and sharing that they represent at a later date.

Stories in individual churches are like unconnected dots. Stories of churches are, by themselves, worthy of thanksgiving and praise to God, but they are also for the edification and encouragement of each of us to ask once again for the Lord to make Himself known to me.

Exciting days. Encouraging days. Everyday “thanks be to God!” days.


In Christ,