Vol 12 No. 13 Thanksgiving and Challenges

Dear friends,

We have very recently had time to reflect in prayer and thanksgiving for many situations in our church family.  There are some things coming to the fore in the next few weeks that require particular attention so we come back to some of the prayers that we began not too many weeks ago.

First, a correction from a previous letter.  Major Richard Larsen actually pastored in Ormiston not Moose Jaw although he grew up at Moose Jaw Baptist Church.

Secondly, some observations from Easter… Two weeks before Easter I was in Washington, DC, to hear an Afro-American Episcopal priest bless me with the obvious take-away from the resurrection of Lazarus… She said, “Having risen from the dead I’m sure Lazarus got up every morning wondering what he would do with the rest of his life.  Exactly.”  At the Vancouver Kitsilano Christian Community Church Easter sunrise service (yes, in the pouring rain under a canopy) David Jenkins took the phrase from an old song… a phrase of which builds in me as I reflect on it: “Dance, dance, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the dance said he.”  The lesson from Lazarus and the ongoing joy of Easter meet to challenge me in how I can live out the resurrection story.  More observations another time.  For now, some prayers…

  • Pray that churches are self-aware enough and led by the Spirit to realise their need for the encouraging Church Health Assessment led by Sam Breakey and team.
  • Please pray for many churches in transition particularly First Baptist Victoria and Broadmoor in Richmond.
  • Please pray for the Keats summer camp season as they seek a new director to transition from the most unusual giftedness of Dan Galpin.  Pray also for the Interim Camp Director Taylor Dickau.
  • Please pray for the Mustard Seed in Victoria as they seek a new Executive Director.
  • Rod Olson and Majd Ajji are doing remarkable work in the area of refugee settlement.  Processing those refugees who are pending settlement has become quite a challenge.  Pray that Rod and Majd are encouraged with the speed of claimants coming to Canada.
  • Please pray that the CBWC Foundation clarify their needs for a new president and settle on a process to select someone.
  • Please pray for the transitions in the Calgary office as we move to a new location in June.
  • Please pray for the work of Tim Kerber, our VP of Planning on the CBWC Board, Bob Webber, and Tim Warkentin as they travel the West seeking feedback and input from folk for the direction of the denomination in this period of transition.

In conclusion, I am very concerned for many of our leaders, whether they be Sunday school teachers or pastors, parents or youth leaders, in the aftermath of Easter.  Just as Jesus after his baptism experienced a wilderness time, I have known for myself and many others that post-Easter can be a spiritually challenging and even dark time…  That is not true for all… but for those for whom it is a real experience we are reminded of two important things.  First, our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Second, and maybe more powerfully and persistently, we are reminded of the importance of spiritual disciplines and patterns, the need for the fellowship of others, and the blessings and refreshment of the Holy Spirit.


In Christ,

Jeremy Bell