Vol 12 No. 35 Prayer and Other Things

Dear friends,

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago the comments around Brian Stelck’s passing are unfolding through the memories of friends and family.  A celebration of his life with his family and church community occurred in Edmonton last Friday at 12noon.  A second celebration for many who know Caryn and knew Brian will occur at Olivet Baptist Church in New Westminster, BC, this Wednesday at 10am.

There are many things to celebrate and also ask of God as we enter this new Fall season.  First and foremost in my own mind is the ongoing spiritual and relational experiences of those who have led and were campers at our residential and non-residential camps this summer.  We have shared widely and extensively about the powerful, formative experience that early exposure to faith brings.  It is very important that leaders they feel that their calling to camp ministry bore fruit in their own lives as well as other people (the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23).  It is also important that the seed that has fallen into the lives of campers is able to take root in a church community (Matthew 13).

Secondly, the CBWC Board will be meeting under the leadership and chair of Laura Nelson.  We will be sharing the news of our summer experiences of camping, renewal, and growth.  We have been learning from Larry Nelson who has extensive experience in governance in both faith-based and non-faith not-for-profits.  He has been teaching us regarding boards and their duty to protect the ministry, reputation, assets, and life of a not-for-profit.  Larry is an accountant, and Chair of the Board of the Fellowship Baptists, as well as previously the Chair of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities.  From the very beginning he has reminded us of the 2 main functions of a Board: to protect and direct.  Larry has worked on the “protect” aspect of our work together.  John Pellowes, President of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, will be guiding us through the degree to which Boards direct their own work and the work of staff, and different implications for our work with one another as churches.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet individuals of national stature who have helped many groups like ourselves continue to mature and grow.  There are many other aspects of the Board’s work.  I will share them in the following weeks.

Thirdly, as we enter the Fall season in our church communities many people consider church transitions at this time.  Some people are moving; Some coming back to the faith; Some seeking renewal; Some are simply are not in a right place with their present fellowship and are seeking change.  Let’s pray for one another that we make wise decisions in these areas and are sensitive to the needs of others as these changes take place.

Finally, a brief story and a plea that we would remember 2 passages from Matthew… the first revolves around both evangelism and discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20); the second is a clear calling for justice and mercy (Matthew 25:31-46).  Here’s a brief story to illustrate the integration of our faith.  It is about the poor… In particular, poor families as they prepare for the school year and feel somewhat stretched.  I grew up in a home where the end of the summer at the beginning of September brought stressful and humiliating experiences with little money to spare in our household.  This simple story begins as a story about the poor.  New Life Church in Duncan, BC, has an incredibly powerful statement to the community when they provide backpacks to children going back to school and a variety of things for their parents.  I heard from several sources, one of whom said demand was up by one third this year.  One person told me that the church gave out over 220 packs this year.  How exciting that was for the children who received them.  Also how moving for people like myself for whom those things were not available as children.  A second person told me that they had given out 220 Gospels of John without mentioning that they were in the packs.  My 2 friends were just showing a different emphasis… part of the full family of God meeting the needs of the poor.  They offer dignity, respite from poverty and granting hospitality from a church that cared about all these things.  May we as individuals and churches this year do so too.


In Christ,

Jeremy Bell

Notes from the Family: Check out the Lower Mainland Leadership Forum in BC towards the end of the month.  Geoff and Melissa Kullman present their experience of ministry to Millennials and some encouraging practices to help us engage this generation.

Quote of the week: Jon Meacham quoting Kramnick Moore in the book The Godless Constitution, “As an interesting comment on the present American Presidential election and the big brawl over religion in public life, make an interesting comment on that secular icon Thomas Jefferson when they say “In remembering that Jefferson did in fact found human rights on a Creator’s intentions, we should pick fights carefully and not ever imagine that references to God will or should disappear from public rhetoric.”  I am hoping, my friends, that the Supreme Court of Canada reads Jon Meacham.