It’s hard to know where to begin.
Let’s start with four new Baptist Chaplains that have graduated from the Canadian Forces Chaplain School in Borden, ON. I would ask that you would pray for them and their families as they begin this ministry.
The first is Sebastian Morrissette, who is from the French Baptist Union (FBU). It is wonderful to have a francophone. Sebastian is the first of three francophones (plus several others who are bilingual) joining the Baptist Cadre.
The second is René J.B/ Brochu, who is part of the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec (CBOQ) and had already been in pastoral work before he joined the military. His wife’s name is Christine and they have three children.
The third is Bruce Jackson, whose wife is Melody. They have four children: Mikayla, Sophia, Asher, and Felicity. Bruce is from the CBOQ as well.
The fourth is Ka Sam. He has been posted to Esquimalt and is the third chaplain from the CBOQ. His wife’s name is Alice, and they have a daughter Julianne.
That’s one exciting event for the week. The second is that the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) met on Thursday 3 Nov for President’s Day. The EFC comprises the leaders of about 100 different evangelical organizations throughout the country. I joined in the EFC’s meeting on Friday in Toronto, ON with about 30 folk present who are “denominational leaders” (whatever denominational leaders means in an evangelical and congregational context). Of the people there 5 of the 8 Baptist Groups in Canada were present; Fellowship Baptists (Steve Jones), Baptist General Conference (Kevin Schular), CBOQ (Tim McCoy), FBU (David Rowley), and myself from the CBWC. It was an animated, encouraging time as we prayerfully seek God’s vision for our work individually and together. I am very grateful for the leadership of Bruce Clemenger (who spoke at our conference just a few years ago), and Rick Hiemstra who does studies in research (this year was on missions). I am also grateful for David Wells, who leads the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, as he facilitated our gathering.
That leads me to this coming week in Banff and seeking your prayers for the Banff Pastors and Spouses Conference. We have a particularly hopeful, practical, and comprehensive approach to our speakers this week. We seek to really thoughtfully engage the whole church in the whole culture. Please pray with us as we seek to meet that challenge.
Firstly, Cheryl Bear, a First Nations Elder and musician who sang at the CBM gathering, is going to tell us some songs and stories of a renewed journey with our brothers and sisters. Please pray for wisdom as we share with one another.
Anna Robbins will speak about Christ & Culture and challenge those of us who see ourselves and the church as invisible…we may feel we are invisible but the Holy Spirit does not. Anna has particular perspective on this because she has taught in England and knows Europe well, and from her experience at Acadia Divinity College she knows this country well.
Sam Breakey who is familiar to most of us is engaging the health of the church as he walks us through opportunities for covenanting wisely and preventatively around our own church health.
Matt Wilkinson from the CBOQ will speak to us about the key concerns of losing those under 35 in the engagement of the church.
Don Hutchison, former legal council for EFC, (note the remarkable timing of the BC Court of Appeals decision on Trinity Western University) will speak to us about the Christian Faith and religious freedom, both in Canada and around the world.
It’s a complete feast only fully framed by Andrea Tisher leading worship with an emphasis on prayer.
Please pray for Heather Thomson and Jill Schuler as they help organize this.