Vol 2 No. 10 Some Updates

There are several areas I would like to tell you about. Past, present and upcoming events.

Every year in early March the denomination asks new pastors to attend an orientation. I thought you might be interested in who came this year and where they were from. I also thought you might be interested in the outline and agenda of what we talked about. I would like to thank Linda Kilburn, David Holten and Jesse Criss for their help and hospitality in making the event go well. *** I’m sure some of you will have comments on the Agenda, I do too but as I inherited it I will be looking at it for 2007.

On another note entirely, Captain Trevor Green of the Seaforth Highlanders of Vancouver is a good friend of mine. I had to notify his wife (and 14 month old daughter) of a whiplash incident in February and that Trevor was the injured soldier hurt in Afghanistan by an axe wielding assailant while negotiating with village elders. Please pray for Trevor’s recovery (he is in Germany now and his family are with him).

Please also pray for reconstruction, peace keeping, peacemaking, humanitarianism and safety for Afghanis and for Armed Forces personnel everywhere in the world.

In so far as staff have not been systematically assessed and reviewed for some time we are embarking on that now. We began with job description reviews (last December), job reviews (last month) and are examining the whole structure, ministry role and resource function of the entire office. Please pray for that process. I would like to thank John Prociuk, Bill Mains, David Holten and Faye Reynolds for their work in this area.

For some of you following the rather strained discussions around the last federal election and my comments on one issue voting, I have some news. I have met with the individual who circulated the inaccurate information on my views. I am persuaded that he believes he meant no harm to me or the Union and with the skilled help of FBC Calgary pastor Jake Kroeker, had a good meeting with prayer together. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you Jake so very much for your guidance.

Please go to the Carey Centre’s website for information on the Stanley Grenz Lectures. The web address is www.careycentre.com . The first lecture is on Sunday night at First Baptist and I am the respondent. The second lecture is on the University of British Columbia campus the following day.

The main thrust of today’s newsletter is to give you an insight into the New Pastor’s Orientation. The other items are updates and the Trevor Green piece will be updated later. I end this letter with the promised Lenten quote. This one is from Ryan Sato, our Union Youth Director who sent me an excellent piece from Frederich Buechner: Thank you Ryan.


 In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use.  For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days.  After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus.  During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another it means to be themselves.  

 If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn’t, which side would get your money and why?

 When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore?

 If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less?

 Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo?  Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?

 Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for?

 If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?

 To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become.  It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.

 –Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark, pp 74-75.




In Christ

Jeremy Bell

Lent 2006