Vol 12 No. 29 BYC Regional Assembly

Dear friends,

Each season has an historic and present pattern of building community. Some focus mainly on informal events, some people primarily engage around Leadership Forums or Celebration Dinners, and others (like the BCY Region) have a biennial Assembly.

I attended part of the BCY Regional Assembly, which was held 24 – 25 June 2016. It is held on even years, when we do not hold an in-person CBWC Assembly / Gathering, but when we hold the CBWC webinar / online Assembly.

Each Assembly is hosted by a church and supported by a large number of volunteers, both from the Regional Advisory Team (RAT) and the host church. This year it was held at White Rock Baptist Church, and our great, good thanks to the staff there for all their hard work including Sam Chaise, David Haugan, Marvin Jutila, and Fay Puddicombe. These meetings were moderated by Nora Walker from FBC Victoria, only to be succeeded in that position by the new BCY Regional Moderator, Callum Jones, from FBC Penticton.

May I be very clear and personal when I say on behalf of the BCY Region and all who read this, that the meetings would not be anything like they are without the leadership, logistics, and pastoral care extended to all of us by Dawn Johannesson and Rob Ogilvie. Deeply grateful to both.

The meetings are hard to recapture in terms of their spirit of community, worship of a living God, and capturing the content that was conveyed by several speakers. Suffice to say that the best way to understand and experience what occurred is to chat with any one of a number of delegates from over 40 churches that attended. As is their custom, the BCY Region conduct their pastors conference just before their regional assembly (Alberta / NT and the Heartland have theirs at different times of the year). This year’s retreat for pastor and spouses was conducted by Sharon and Darrell Johnson, and I have heard repeatedly how moved, challenged, mentored and encouraged all who were present experienced. Again, lessons learned best received from those who attended. I am sure you will find someone nearby.

Cam Roxburgh, a national (and for that matter international) church planter and speaker from our own Southside Church in Surrey, spoke on “Why Church? Live Like That.” There are many aspects to what Cam spoke about, but primarily he challenged those on Saturday morning to take responsibility for the calling and priesthood in our own lives and neighbourhoods that God had given us opportunity to serve (my paraphrase). There was a panel discussion that picked up on these themes, and I was able to share an update about our family of churches. I was very encouraged to share the news of the Baptist World Alliance that was about to arrive in Vancouver and the exciting preparations for well over 320 youth and leaders coming to SERVE on Vancouver Island. While there are many other things I wanted to share, I particularly encouraged people to avail themselves of Sam Breakey and his team of folk that help the healthy church assessment process and underlined the important work of Sherry Bennett in Children and Family ministries, that while we encourage each other in the nature of intergenerational ministry, it is particularly important that we realize the necessity of exposing children to the faith, particularly teaching them how to pray at an early age.

We left people with two questions: The first is the simple and formative question; “Lord, make yourself known to me” and the second is “Lord if it be your will, use me to make yourself known to others”…making sure that the others in my life are very specific.

There were panel discussions and workshops:

Treasurer: Victor Ku & Dave Holten Q&A around “Why Church”

Panel Discussion: Panel Host: Rob Ogilvie Panel: Cam Roxburgh and others

CHAT (Centre for Healthy Aging and Transitions): Fay Puddicombe Paul Pearce

There was an excellent barbeque at the A Rocha Canada Brooksdale site in nearby South Surrey. Many of the A Rocha Canada people are part of Southpoint Church.

Notes from the Family:  Residential and day camps are up & running and thriving; please pray for safety.

Quote of the week:  Summer is often a preparation for future planning, sometimes in the midst of crisis. Here is a small part of a poem that became well known after being quoted by King George VI in a Christmas Broadcast before the start of WWII. The author of the poem is Minnie Louise Haskins.

God Knows

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

You can read the full poem here.


In Christ,

Jeremy Bell