Vol 2 No. 21 Alberta Assembly

I write often about various meetings and gatherings that I attend and the readers of this newsletter often get perspective on what happened and not the perspective on the many people around the table. I wanted to take you “inside” two of the meetings I recently attended.

The first gathering I would like to introduce you to are the senior staff. The group is made up of Executive Staff (Jeremy Bell, John Prociuk, Jack Borchert, Brian Stelck, Paul Pearce, Sam Breakey, Ken Theissen, David Holten), Area Administrators (Dawn Johannesson, Judy Hoefling, Judith Arends), BUDF Personnel (Rose-Marie Goodwin, Stu Dinsmore), Senior Carey folk like Dana Cupples, Cam Yates, David Carlson and Administrators / Organizers in the Calgary office (Linda Kilburn, and Kathy Spate) as well as  Ryan Sato, Dennis Shierman and Faye Reynolds. This group meets to build community and do planning together so that such a wide ranging ministry like Baptist Union is (along with the Board and Area executives) “on the same page” when it comes to the Union, planning and communicating clearly with our very diverse constituency.

Dawn Johannesson is the long serving (14 years) administrator (some would say long suffering) of the BC Area. She is deeply appreciated and much loved. Here are some of her impressions of the Senior Staff at an experiential level.


Considering the time we had together in Calgary was brief, I believe it is/was a significant part of the business and ministries we do together as BUWC staff and colleagues.  It was good to see that the model of the ministries that are happening in our constituency and that there is a recognition of the support system for and from each of us during the changes that have occurred in the last year.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing of the things that are happening around the Areas and the BUWC/BUDF office and that the communication to each other and our churches/ministries will remain a priority.

There is a great vision for ministry which springs from the hearts of those who have experienced what God is doing among them.  And, that’s exciting to hear.  Jeremy, Executive Staff and others  – thank you for your leadership – I value it.  I am grateful that we can encourage one another, endorse what we do together and bring healing to those of us who minister.


The group meets several times a year, members 23 in total. They are a gifted, warm, Godly and wise group. We are just getting to know one another and developing patterns of mutual support and work.

The second is a commentary by Ken Theissen our new Heartland Area Minister. Ken has logged an incredible number of miles getting acquainted and encouraging the work in the Heartland. Along with Steve MacCuaig, the former Heartland Moderator, I have a great deal to be encouraged by the increased number of churches and general delegates in attendance. Thanks so much to you both for such encouraging leadership and welcome on behalf of the rest of the Union to Debra-Jean Moore, the new Heartland Area moderator.


Heartland Area Assembly

April 7-8, 2006

Argyle Road Baptist Church (Regina) served as the host church for the 2006 Heartland Area Assembly as 85 delegates and 22 visitors representing 31 of 43 Heartland Area churches gathered together.   Led in worship through music by Keith Brankston, Associate Pastor at Argyle Road and his music team, the stage was set for a special experience of worship, celebration and fellowship.

The Assembly began with the induction of Rev. Ken Thiessen as the new Heartland Area Minister.  Led by Steve MacCuaig, Heartland Area Moderator, and Rev. Jeremy Bell, BUWC Executive Minister, it was an opportunity to covenant together as Area Minister and Heartland Area churches to the ministry God has called us to.  Then Ken Thiessen, challenged us to reflect on the question, “What if…? Embracing God’s Mission in our World.”  Friday afternoon, using God’s call to Jeremiah (1:4-6), he reminded us of God’s unique call on each of our lives to join Him in His mission.  Saturday afternoon, focusing on God’s call to Abram (Genesis 12) he reminded us that God’s promise to Abram was not only a blessing bestowed upon Abram, but that Abram would also be the conduit of God’s blessing to the surrounding nations.  God’s design for Abram is his design for the church – recipients of a blessing, but also conduits of God’s blessing to the communities we have been called to share Christ’s love and life with.

Friday evening was a special highlight as we gathered at a local hotel for a banquet and time of fellowship and celebration.  Jeremy Bell cast the vision for us as a denomination as we seek to embrace God’s mission in our world.  He was inspiring and challenging as many had the first opportunity to interact with Jeremy since his appointment as our new Executive Minister.

There was a good spirit present at this assembly.  We sensed God’s presence, heard His challenge and call, and were inspired and encouraged to more fully embrace His call in our lives individually and corporately.




In Christ,

Jeremy Bell