Vol 3 No. 13 Listening to God, Listening to Each Other – Vancouver Island

Saturday afternoon, February 24th at 1 pm saw almost 90 people gather at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria to share what God had called them to live out this year.

Fourteen out of fifteen churches came together. Fourteen churches exchanged covenants, the highest response in any region. I found it very moving to see Paul Pearce lead 14 church leaders in the covenanting part of our time. Below are some comments Paul makes about the time.

 The recent listening sessions were a time of encouragement and challenge as we had the opportunity to hear what God is doing through the ministries of our BUWC churches.  Each region reflected the commitment of our local churches to contextualize their ministries to their communities.  The diversity being expressed between urban/suburban and semi rural was refreshing.  The honesty and transparency of churches struggling and uncertain about the future also reflected the integrity of those who are working through significant times of change and challenge.

 The Vancouver Island Saturday afternoon session presentations varied from the novel and creative Crosswinds ministry, to the stable and intentional care of seniors, to the excitement of new churches (Arbutus, Jubilee), to the growing and significant smaller city churches (New Life, FBC Nanaimo) and the development of New Hope Farm (Mustard Seed).

 The value of these times for those who could attend was to gain a bigger picture of our BUWC work together and network churches for future resourcing.  The commitments mutually made as we recovented around our shared ministries will be helpful and directional as we plan for the future of the BUWC.  God was with us as we took time to share some time and ministry updates together!

What a group. From street churches to small island towns. From farms (Mustard Seed) to completely edgy new technology (Crosswinds in Sidney) from a heart for our sisters and brothers in the First nations community to new building for ministry in Elk Lake and Nanaimo. Too many stories to tell for now.



In Christ

Jeremy Bell


VANCOUVER ISLAND – 14 requests


First Baptist – Naomi Hersom


Intern from Carey/Regent to develop and coordinate programs under the leadership of our church


Help in implementing the objectives we defined


Comox Community – Alida Houghton

Finding a pastor

Networking with other churches

Creative ways of ministry


Crosswinds – Norman Archer

Sow seeds among retired pastors and committed lay people to begin a “Crosswinds” in their community


Gateway – Peter McRaild

By being a resource in promoting unity and prayer among the churches that they may be released to be the “church” within the context of their community


Emmanuel – Rob Fitterer

To provide training and resources in recruiting, equipping and empowering volunteers, especially in ministry with university students


Elk Lake – Les Biggs

Leadership training and resources


Mustard Seed Church – Tom Oshiro


Family Centre Building to minister to children, the innocent victims of poverty

Good volunteers with a Christian background


Calvary Baptist – Steve Lorimer

To advise, coach and mentor a unified Calvary Baptist as we staff and build for kingdom growth and community care


Western Community – Mike Oshiro

Financial: to help us with commitments and staff

Guidance while we rebuild

Dedicated support for our pastor


First Nanaimo – Paul Leslie

Engaging the churches of Vancouver Island in regional activities and gatherings


New Life, Duncan – Greg Sumner

Provide resources and people for specific topics such as:

  • leadership assessment
  • policy templates
  • salary grids more appropriate to the locale (ie Van Island)

Work closely in the securing of our third and fourth pastors


Jubilee Christian – Bob Greene

To assist and enable the development of a network of small churches

Arbutus Christian Fellowship – John Schaper

Help us find space for an excellent youth and family ministry

Help us with creative ideas on how to build such a ministry


Qualicum Community – Allan Walker

For the Baptist Union to be more open to the Holy Spirit and be less bureaucratically hindered (life in the Lord leads to more life)