Vol 12 No. 26 Banff Pastors and Spouses Conference 2016

The theme for this year’s Banff Pastors & Spouses Conference is “Christ and Culture”.  The 2 verses that are guiding us in this theme are:

“For God so loved the world.”  JOHN 3:16

“God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good.”  GENESIS 1:31

They set the table, as it were, that God so loved both his creation and the people he created.  That’s our starting point.  We have drawn from across the country to welcome some amazing mentors, speakers, “resourcers”… all gifted folk in the Christian community.  The “menu” of offerings is truly outstanding.

Our theme speakers are Dr. Anna Robbins and Don Hutchinson.  Anna and Don are known across the country for their understanding of Christ’s Body the church, and his children (saints) and their response and responsibility to the culture we are called to minister to.

Dr. Anna Robbins serves as Associate Professor of Theology, Culture and Ethics, and as Academic Dean of Acadia Divinity College.  She is also Director of Doctoral Studies, with academic oversight for the Doctor of Ministry program.  Anna came to faith in Christ at a young age at in Saint John, NB.  After completing a BA at Carleton University in Ottawa, she returned to work for the Red Cross in International Development Education.  She lives in Wolfville with her husband Peter, and their son, David.  Anna has spoken across the country about the role and engagement of Christ’s Church in culture and she will continue that theme amongst us.

Don Hutchinson is a husband, father and grandfather who graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law a long time ago.  He is a strategic thinker and planner.  In addition to seven appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada he has made multiple appearances before committees of Parliament and the Ontario Legislative Assembly.  Don is uniquely positioned to speak about Canadian Christians in the legal challenges of our times.

Iain Provan will lead our Bible Study and Andrea Tisher (for me a real gift in the area of worship) will lead these worship sessions.  Iain Provan has been the Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College since 1997.  Andrea Tisher is a pastor, preacher, vocalist, pianist, arranger and composer whose study of theology has led to a passion for thoughtful worship.  She currently serves on the pastoral team at First Baptist Church, Vancouver as Director of Music and Worship.  I will bring you more on Banff next week.

Finally, a very happy Canada Day to you.  It will be 60 years next year that my mother took me and my sister on a boat from England and emigrated to Canada (my father already having arrived several months earlier).  I’m very glad for my parents’ decision to come to this wonderful land.  I feel truly blessed for the faith and cultural history that is part of my family going back generations in England.  Also, I am deeply thankful for Canada.  I invite anyone to share stories… stories of new immigrants, or from those in our congregations suffering persecution from the 1920’s to the recent influx of refugees over this last year.  God bless Canada in a spirit of thanksgiving, joy, and gratefulness.

Notes from the Family: Well over 40 churches and 180 people came to the BCY regional meetings this last weekend.

Quote of the week: Gordon T Smith in his book “Consider Your Calling: Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation, writes, “The mission of God is not to free us from work, but to redeem us for good work.” (Page 24)


In Christ,

Jeremy Bell