Vol 3 No. 22 Alberta Listening Sessions

The letter from Sam Breakey, the Alberta Area Minister, which is recorded below, outlines our visit to Southern Alberta churches this month. It was a very helpful and moving experience to relate to these most unusual and in many cases innovative churches.  I will let Sam’s work stand by itself, with one further comment – that is to say that I left the Southern Alberta churches with 2 symbolic gifts – the first was a bottle of water, representative of the historic challenges of looking for water in that dry land. In that context, I spoke of Christ’s promise in John 4, where he offers the woman at the well not simply a single drink, but one that will “well up in her as a stream for all eternity” (my paraphrase). So I encouraged the Southern Alberta churches about the image of Christ as the living water. The second thing we spoke of was a map of Southern Alberta, which I left them to ponder how open they might be to the challenge of God in how they should plant and nurture new churches in this growing and thriving area. Let me allow Sam to finish this week’s narrative.



In Christ,

Jeremy Bell


Listening Session – Southern Alberta

Sam Breakey


A spring drive through the vast prairie and foothill landscape of southern Alberta reveals green pockets in an otherwise arid view. In my opinion, they portray the six congregations scattered across the region.

As the southern Alberta Listening Session progressed three themes quickly came became obvious. The first is that for the most part churches in the south are experiencing a spirit of anticipation. Youth and family ministries are experiencing fruitful expansion, and community needs are being are being assessed with creative responses being envisioned.

Second, in spite of being separated from by as much as a five hour drive a unity unique to the region is noticeable. More frequently inter-church relationships are limited to monthly meetings among pastoral leaders; in southern Alberta partnership runs deeper; the reason – a shared passion and historic appreciation for the ministry of Mill Creek Camp. Tucked in the picturesque mountainscape southwest of First Baptist Pincher Creek, this joint ministry has brought volunteer construction teams and enthusiastic camp leadership together for forty years.

Third, one congregation’s plea proved to be a stark reminder that ministry in isolation is a spirit killer. Church partnerships are as necessary in the later years of congregational life as much as they are in a time of planting.

The “pockets of green in an arid land” analogy is a good reminder of how God is blessing these churches; their commitment to drawing together these ‘pockets of green’ will be needed to produce an increasingly bountiful harvest.





Nanton – 

Encouraging other churches to partner with us in committing families that could be part of our fellowship for a time, and serve with us

Mill Creek Camp – 

Empower and resource the camping committee to be a mentor and resource for our camp as we envision the future

Pincher Creek, First Baptist – 

Mentorship/support for pastoral search

Lethbridge First Baptist – 

To keep inspiring, prodding, informing us as to how to live out our mission. Appreciate the stories and encouragement of what God is doing in places just like Lethbridge.

Claresholm Faith Community Baptist – 

Navigate the waters of membership in modern and postmodern world

Cranbrook First Baptist – 

Train and inspire our people to look beyond themselves and use our gifts to serve