People often ask me what I do. My first response to that question is usually couched around the steep learning curve, the travel, the crowded schedule. Enough already. I am busy and all those things. So what. Lay, clergy and staff in any local congregation are all those things and more. There are few tasks more challenging than local ministry. What I want to tell you this December 4th Monday morning is simply this; I am a person who is not so much about the busy stuff in my job…I am a person who is simply in awe of what God is about. This “awe” is an epiphany this last 3 dozen days. I have felt through much of November a sense of God’s activity, presence and power in our work together. I had not, however, paused long enough to reflect on what God was doing. Last Friday I began to chronicle what has been happening in our midst. I arrived at a preliminary list of 19 events in our life together in the Union that were events occurring for the first time, major culture change or initiatives and markers that were something we should all share in.
Here is the list.
Here is our journey.
Here are the fingerprints of the Spirit and the footprints of Jesus.
An awesome God indeed!
Last week in October: Weekly Church Resource Sheet – inaugural issue of “Fresh Sheet”
October 27, Toronto: Sam Chaise and Rose-Marie Goodwin initiate with other Canadian Baptist, the opportunity to share Legacy for Ministry™ across Canada.
October 28: First “Listening to God, Listening to each other Sessions” in Calgary churches. Seven churches express interest; three enter into covenants with the Union.
October 29: Second “Listening Session” in Edmonton. Seven churches sign covenants. John Prociuk leads the process in the context of a worship service.
November 1: Saw the appointment of Lynn and Larry Pearce as our new co-coordinators for refugees with a new mandate to seek out and help those who are displaced.
November 3: The new Summer School Brochure (its first) is released to the public from the William Carey Institute under Cam Yates.
November 6-9: Banff Pastor’s Conference begins with over eight major changes in how we conduct this event.
November 16-18: The Children and Family Missional Network host their first conference for children and family workers.
November 17: Ken Thiessen and I spend 2 ½ hours setting up terms of reference for the new Evangelism Committee (I have an outline for the social justice network for January).
November 18: Regina and South Saskatchewan churches hold their listening sessions.
Note: Of 21 Churches in Saskatchewan 19 participate in the process, 17 sign covenants so far. From 51 churches, 26 have signed covenants for this next year. I am ashamed to admit I thought a 10% response would be great the first year, so far it is over 50%.
November 19: Listening Sessions with the Saskatoon and other Saskatchewan churches. Faye Reynolds and Ryan Sato lead most of the sessions in worship and communion.
November 19: Broadway First in Winnipeg celebrates 100 years of worship, community and service. I bring greetings from the Union. (This church is the oldest in our family in the West.
November: Trinity Opportunity Grants deliver grants and the committee is chaired by John Wilton. Create a whole “ripple effect” of change and new beginnings in Western Canada.
November 28: A first in Canada, joint members of Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (or associates) and Canadian Council of Churches met in Toronto; hosted by Christine MacMillan (head of Salvation Army) and facilitated by Don Posterski from World Vision (B.C.O.Q., Atlantic Baptists and ourselves were in attendance; preceded earlier in the month by a statement on marriage).
November 29: Bob Webber is working with us to establish a communications process for the denomination. He facilitated a day long pre-plan with Brian Stelck, Jack Borchert and me…We’ll report to Planning and Priorities and Board later.
November 30: New position for Missional church Director posted. I am very excited about this new opportunity initiated by CHAP’s. Please see link at http://buwc.ca/.
November 29-30: Clergy Care planning group meets for the first time to examine and implement John Prociuk’s work in this area.
November: To facilitate continuing theological conversation among pastors and others in the BUWC, we have created “Pioneer McDonald’s Worldwide Theology Seminar” hosted by Jonathan R. Wilson. This blog is accessible from the Carey homepage (www.careycentre.com). Jonathan (and perhaps others) will post theological essays on pastoral ministry and the church’s mission with comments and follow-up discussion encouraged.
December 2: John and Juliet Benner are appointed Author and Artist (respectively) in Residence at Carey for a three year term.
December 2: Plans finalized by David Holton and Steve Fisher to implement on-line contributions to the Website in the next few days.
19 markers of some of our life together.
19 initiatives and new beginnings (for Broadway First a new century) in 36 days.
An Awesome God
A wonderful journey
Thanks be to God