Vol 2 No. 25 Alberta Assembly

The theme of these meetings in May 4-6 of this year were entitled “Disturbing the Peace; Voices, Echoes and Reverberations”. We gleaned meaning from these themes by looking at Matthew 10:32-39, 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10, Matthew 11:11-14 and John 20:19-end of the chapter.

Music was led by from choirs and bands from the following churches Webster Community Church and Calvary Baptist church (Fort St. John). The last church was McLauren Baptist with Bill Hall welcoming us as the host pastor, Tom Lavigne organizing many of the events, Brian Burkhart and Darren Andes bus tour of Webster, Woking, Wembley and camp Wapiti. Darren Andres who is half time Wapiti and half time McLauren hosted our evening at the camp and Ryan Sato spoke brilliantly on repentance, rest, and reverberations (of God’s presence) in our own lives. Wapiti incidentally has greatly improved its facilities and last year had over 300 campers.

The Alberta Area moderator Jan Passuke invited us to experience a “tsunami” of God’s presence amongst us as to wash over the whole Alberta Area  from the “Peace” area. Sam Breakey challenged us to see the opportunities found in the church at Thessalonica to be similar in its material success and influence as Alberta (and the West) is now. Sam also reminded us not to see ourselves as “leftovers” on the margins of society but rather as a people posed with great opportunity at the centre of society. The DVD presentations from Youth (SERVE) Camping, Church Planting, and others were superb. Bill Hall referred to Rose-Marie Goodwin’s presentation of Legacy for Ministry as the best he had ever heard on the subject. It always is. There were updates and challenges from many others. Hpward Lawrence from Highlands (and camping) spoke of the need for “parish” or neighbourhood church. Highlands is committed to that which is exciting in its implications for new churches being reviewed and planted.

Isabelle Johnson is the new President of Alberta Women in Focus and spoke at a Women’s breakfast on Saturday and Richard Sanders form Shiloh in Edmonton shared with those at the Men’s breakfast.

We owe a great deal to Shari the secretary at McLaurin. We are especially touched by the hospitality of the Peace River Cluster of Churches. Brian Lum found some willing participants in the videotaping of personal biographies and God’s stories in our midst. I want to thank Judy Hoefling from the Alberta Area office who sheparded and sorted us all. I would also like to thank the many presenters like Jason Johnson and Jeff Dyer who later challenged us spiritually and clearly; Jason who suggested that to catch the word of God’s Spirit we must first “hoist our sails” so that our sails will catch God’s “wind for us”. Bill Mains led a conflict resolution sermon on Saturday afternoon.

After three days at Wapiti of wonderful hospitality (from Elk roast to homemade pies) from the folks at Wembley we had feasted on the text, great music, encouraging words and a great and good sense of God’s presence.

God is wonderful.

Our family of churches is diverse.

My sense from my own life and the calling of the Baptist Union in these days is simply this, Genesis 26:22 “The Lord has made room for us and we shall flourish in the Lord”. Room in the culture and an openness to faith like never before. Room to flourish as we grow and mature; absolutely.



In Christ,

Jeremy Bell