I have been daily reading the Psalms: in particular, Psalm 124 (If God had not been for me / us we would have been overwhelmed; thank you Lord); Psalm 125 (I trust in a God who is completely dependable and faithful); Psalms 126 (God is a God of renewal; renew us again Lord); Finally, the Pilgrim story of Solomon in Psalm 127 (if God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks).
I found these Psalms personally renewing and we shared them with Executive Staff as a devotional. You will see them attached to this newsletter in both the NRSV and The Message translations. Read; listen to what the Sprit is saying and be blessed!
In addition, refugees…
The CBWC, and its predecessor the BUWC, have had the privilege of serving refugees for many years, informally going back to during and after WWII.
Rod Olson is our facilitator for this work. His contact info is:
1.800.820.2479 ext. 304
Here are some churches that may encourage you in their own sponsorship work. Rod is only funded for 1 day a week in this work. For him to meet the need that is coming our way we will need some financial support for his work. Please consider a contribution to that.
CBWC’s response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
First Syrian Application (PSR) was approved August 20, 2014 – Pat Tuttle of Braemar Baptist in Edmonton
Second Syrian Application (PSR) was approved April 17, 2015 – Tyler Graaftaas of GoodTree Christian Fellowship
Third Syrian Application (BVOR) was approved Sept 8, 2015 – Tammy Klassen, Mill Bay
We have 2 more churches waiting to select a BVOR right now: Brownfield and Varsity Bible Chapel.
We have 29 communities that have been in touch with me. They are often church members themselves that are attempting to convince church boards that this is something they want to do.
We have 5 communities outside of the CBWC that are seeking to partner with us to sponsor a refugee.
We have had connection with CBC radio, CTV and Global TV who are all interested to hear what Canadian Baptists are doing about this crisis.
Additionally, we have regular refugee sponsorship taking place at the same time.
I would like to list the churches now because it is an impressive display of our heart as Canadian Baptists. Here they are in no particular order:
Gateway, Awaken, GoodTree, Olds FBC, Edmonton FBC, Altadore, Saskatoon FBC, Southside Community, Westview, Emmanuel Victoria, Living Hope, Riverdale Baptist, Argyle Road, Prince George FBC, ZAO ministries, Faith Community Claresholm, Trinity Sherwood Park, Trinity Vancouver, Kitsilano, Penticton FBC, Vernon FBC, Calvary Community Yellowknife, Mclaurin Grande Prairie, Faith Community Souris, Olivet, Brownfield, God’s House of Many Faces, Emmanuel Saskatoon, Broadway FBC (Winnipeg), Leduc Community,
Rod also writes:
“Given the attention that refugee sponsorship has been receiving lately, and the number of inquiries we are receiving from people asking how to sponsor refugees, the RSTP will be hosting a webinar on Friday, September 11th which will provide an overview of the PSR program. Please see below for more information, and feel free to disseminate this information to people that you think may benefit from an overview of the PSR program.”
Title: An Overview of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program
Date: Friday, September 11
Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm (Eastern Daylight Time, EDT)
Description: Join this webinar to learn about the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. We will provide you with an overview of the program, including who can sponsor refugees, who can be sponsored, and the sponsorship process. This is an opportunity for people considering refugee sponsorship to learn the basics, and ask an RSTP Trainer questions about the private sponsorship of refugees program. Please note that specific case questions cannot be answered during this webinar.
Registration: Please click on this link and fill out the information requested to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4716614981084523522. After registering, you will receive an automatic email with a unique link. On Friday, September 11th please use this unique link to log in.
If you are having trouble registering, please let Rod know as he is hoping they will either open up more spots or add additional webinars.
Thanksgiving for Israel’s Deliverance
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side
—let Israel now say—
2 if it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
when our enemies attacked us,
3 then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us;
4 then the flood would have swept us away,
the torrent would have gone over us;
5 then over us would have gone
the raging waters.
6 Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth.
7 We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
The Security of God’s People
A Song of Ascents.
1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time on and forevermore.
3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
on the land allotted to the righteous,
so that the righteous might not stretch out
their hands to do wrong.
4 Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts.
5 But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways
the Lord will lead away with evildoers.
Peace be upon Israel!
A Harvest of Joy
A Song of Ascents.
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,[a]
we were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
5 May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.
God’s Blessings in the Home
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved.[b]
A Pilgrim Song of David
124 1-5 If God hadn’t been for us
—all together now, Israel, sing out!—
If God hadn’t been for us
when everyone went against us,
We would have been swallowed alive
by their violent anger,
Swept away by the flood of rage,
drowned in the torrent;
We would have lost our lives
in the wild, raging water.
6 Oh, blessed be God!
He didn’t go off and leave us.
He didn’t abandon us defenseless,
helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.
7 We’ve flown free from their fangs,
free of their traps, free as a bird.
Their grip is broken;
we’re free as a bird in flight.
8 God’s strong name is our help,
the same God who made heaven and earth.
A Pilgrim Song
125 1-5 Those who trust in God
are like Zion Mountain:
Nothing can move it, a rock-solid mountain
you can always depend on.
Mountains encircle Jerusalem,
and God encircles his people—
always has and always will.
The fist of the wicked
will never violate
What is due the righteous,
provoking wrongful violence.
Be good to your good people, God,
to those whose hearts are right!
God will round up the backsliders,
corral them with the incorrigibles.
Peace over Israel!
A Pilgrim Song
126 1-3 It seemed like a dream, too good to be true,
when God returned Zion’s exiles.
We laughed, we sang,
we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations—
“God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
we are one happy people.
4-6 And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
A Pilgrim Song of Solomon
127 1-2 If God doesn’t build the house,
the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys
giving rest to those he loves?