Vol 11 No. 37 News and More News

Dear friends,

It has probably occurred to many of you already that those in particular need of prayer at this time of year are those who have been in camping ministry over the summer. There is the obvious need to recover, but there is also the huge yawning gap of the non-camping season. It is not only incredibly busy, but has with it the anxiety of raising funds, planning for the following year, and finding God’s ongoing renewal and strength. It is vital we do not forget folk. Please pray for those that we have carried during the summer.

It is early days yet, but I trust that you are planning events for this Advent and Christmas season. Likely this is done in collaboration with others or in unique Spirit-called service to those in the community around you. In particular, it is often with an eye to how you will welcome folk that are interested in the faith this Christmas season. It is a time for real opportunity and invitation for people to meet Jesus for the very first time.

In addition, I want to give you some highlights that have been part of the last few months, just so we remind each other, with thankfulness, as we go into the CBWC Board meetings next week. Welcome to this Fall season of ministry together. Let’s begin with several items of thanksgiving.

Assembly in Calgary was a strong event with 315 people in attendance at various stages of our time together and 100 churches represented. Some very healthy discussion occurred on a variety of topics.

The Executive Staff engaged in a team strategic exercise in early September with Tim Warkentin. This time established goals and outcomes for the next 10 months. Tim will continue to mentor us through this process.

Four camps had very strong attendance this year and are experiencing new growth. We are still collecting these numbers and stories from our other camps, and will present those to you as we get more information from them.

Keats, BC: 11 weeks, 1567 campers

Gull Lake, AB: 9 weeks, 1011 campers

Katepwa, SK: 6 weeks, 308 campers

Quest, SK: 11 weeks, 407 campers

Shelby Gregg was asked to research church summer day camps and Daily Vacation Bible School stats for this last summer. This research was done in conjunction with the Regional Administrators. It represents both this year’s summer camps and a comparison with last years (where available). Up to the time of this newsletter, 91 churches have responded. We don’t often report on these things, but will now do so yearly. If you haven’t had a chance to send us your numbers, please be in contact with Shelby to do so.

The growing refugee crisis worldwide has deepened. We have had a part-time Refugee Coordinator for many decades. In the last decade we have been blessed with the services of Lynn and Larry Pearce, Kinbrace House under Loren Balisky and as a denomination co-sponsored work in this area. This area is not new to us in spite of it being suddenly apparent to some parts of the media. Rod Olson, our Refugee Coordinator, is working with 31 churches (3 outside the denomination) and is providing leadership to a Calgary forum on this topic and material for regional CBWC Leadership Forums.

You will see a video interview, soon to be posted on our website, between Dennis Stone and our new Coordinator of Church Renewal, Sam Breakey. We have long had a ministry in this area. It is not new. However, we are formalizing this service for churches so that they might more readily access it. Every church should be engaged in this process on a regular basis. If you choose not to use Sam Breakey, please indicate to us what process you are engaged in, so that we can be encouraged by your story, learn from your experience, and give you feedback on how you might improve your model (if that turns out to be appropriate). We are very excited to offer this relational service to the CBWC family of churches and already have strong interest from churches in participating this fall.

This year SERVE drew over 360 students and leaders. Many thanks to Brent Weick and High River Baptist Church for their leadership and hospitality.

Mark Tubbs has become the librarian at Pacific Life Bible College, so will only be serving us for 1 day a week. Shelby Gregg will share her invaluable gifts with Keats Camps as Administrator 4 days a week but will thankfully continue with us 1 day a week.

I had a profoundly refreshing break; spiritually, mentally, and physically over the summer. My wife Kerry and I became grandparents of a baby boy Bartholomew. He is our daughter Jessica’s and husband Stephen’s first child and indeed our first grandchild. Dennis and Anita Stone became grandparents to Amica around the same time as well.

Please contact me if you have any questions about this report or anything else regarding the upcoming meetings. I will respond to any queries and make a few comments on what I believe to be part of our spiritual challenges and choices in the months ahead.

The Peace and

Grace of our Lord

Be with You