Vol 12 No. 39 Update Items for Prayer and Celebration

Dear friends,

Most of this letter is dedicated to the Board meetings that occurred last weekend (23-24 September) here at Carey Centre in Vancouver, BC. All the topics are about the Board meetings with one exception and that is the topic of refugees. Rod Olson no longer leads this initiative as he has done so with outstanding service over the last several years succeeding our dear friends and colleagues Larry and Lynn Pearce. Rod will be teaching with Ambrose University, preparing the Baptist cohort that will be attending, and will occasionally consult in a supportive role in the work of refugees. Majd AlAjji, a well-established member of our Baptist community in Calgary, is now fully leading the work. Majd was born in Syria and received his Bachelor in Theology in Lebanon. We have 251 refugees to be settled through Majd’s work and the radical welcome of our churches. 110 have arrived. Much more work needs to be done.

The rest of this report is in point form for your encouragement. Please feel free to write or phone me if you have any questions.

  • In assisting our ongoing Board education, John Pellowes (CEO of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC)) led us through a Board exercise in generative governance. Larry Nelson (former Chair of the Board of CCCC, a member of First Baptist Church Vancouver, and a long time worker in the not-for-profit sector) outlined that Boards are responsible for two things. One is to protect (which he spoke to in April, and is continuing that work for us). The other is to direct. It was excellent piece of work on John Pellowes’ part.
  • We received for the Board the inter-denominational collaborative proposal on clergy and staff retirement benefits. We are very encouraged on the progress in this area. Victor Ku, Louanne Haugan, and Rob Ogilvie were great advocates for us all as they work with the pension and benefits group for us at CBM.
  • We have a preliminary report on church covenants or providing churches with a biblical and contemporary document that outlines church and CBWC engagement in times of wonder and in difficult times. This is great work done by Sam Breakey and Faye Reynolds.
  • We presented the work of clergy and leader care strategy to a very encouraging response. This is the work primarily of Faye Reynolds and Mark Doerksen. This particular initiative seeks to make up some of the ground lost when the gifted work of John Prociuk ended.
  • Victor Ku announced the phase two initiation of our new database (saving us over $20,000).
  • Bob Webber presented a new camping policy for CBWC-owned properties, outlining the fiduciary duty of both the camps and the CBWC.
  • There was a presentation draft on Board State of Policy Compliance; a comprehensive and cohesive document outlining the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of the CBWC Board, and an ongoing method of reporting the status of compliance to those obligations. This work has been done well by one of our sister denominations, the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec (CBOQ) and we borrowed the template from them. Shelby Gregg, with assistance from Laura Nelson and myself, created a draft version for the CBWC Board for their consideration at these meetings. A Policy Committee was struck to edit this document and to bring a final version back to the Board for approval at the next meeting so that we might then begin using it as a consistent reporting tool at each subsequent Board meeting. This committee is comprised of Cal Malena (Board), Jason Johnson (Board), and Shelby Gregg (Staff).
  • It has been a few years since the Board spent time in reviewing its ENDS and Core Values. A committee was struck to look at these and bring forward suggested changes to our next meeting. This committee is comprised of Cal Malena, Greg Sumner, Herb Ziegler, Ravi George, Laura Nelson, and Jeremy Bell.

Notes from the family: A new opportunity for young adults this coming year is Potential Impact: A conference for young adults from Grade 11 to 24 years old to help them discern God’s calling in their lives. This particular initiative has the potential to change hearts and lives and through that to transform churches, communities, and regions. It’s happening in Gull Lake on April 27-30, 2017.

Quote of the week: Paraphrased from an anonymous predecessor: “If settlement is done well we all sleep at night. If it is done poorly we seldom sleep at all.”


In Christ,

Jeremy Bell