As you recall from last week, this letter continues on the themes of Listening to God, Listening to Each Other with the churches in central and northern Saskatchewan. I want to add my profound thanks (which echoes Ken’s) to Westhill Park and Fairmont Churches who provided such kind hospitality to us in these sessions. I also want to draw attention to three very different churches. The first is to welcome Carlyle, who are the newest addition to our churches in the Heartland. Second is to celebrate with Fairmont the abundance of new babies that have graced their church this year and brought an influx of a younger crowd to complement the whole church. And finally, please take a look at Emmanuel Saskatoon’s incredible program that is lead by Betty-Lynn Nylen. It has an incredible ministry to many non-church folk in the community who are in a great deal of need. It is a program that is going to be available to the churches of the Union and will be on our media site and a Fresh Sheet in the weeks ahead.
Saturday morning dawned bright and early and we headed to Saskatoon. Our friends at Fairmont Baptist Church were all prepared for our arrival and showered us with the same gracious hospitality we had experienced the night previous in Regina. Once again the turnout was most encouraging with 7 out of 8 invited churches sending representatives. One group travelled almost 4 hours one way to participate in this listening session! Once again, God’s story was powerfully told as churches responded to the four questions: What has God called you to? What resources has He given you? What resources do you lack? How might we partner together over the next year to see God’s called lived out in your ministry and community? Again what came through loud and clear was the desire on the part of our churches to engage their communities in a missional way to see the kingdom of God expand. The transparency and vulnerability that was demonstrated in the telling of God’s story was inspirational and engaging. The momentum that we felt on Friday night in Regina spilled over into the Saskatoon session on Saturday. The interaction between churches over coffee and the sense of worship that was experienced as Faye Reynolds led us in song and John Prociuk led us in communion was moving. As several of us debriefed the weekend’s events over supper I was once again reminded of how privileged I am to be a part of God is doing in our Saskatchewan area churches and in the Baptist Union as a whole! And I have a great sense of anticipation as I look forward to doing this again in March with our Manitoba area churches!
Asquith – provide resources that would help us be a light to our community … resources needed to help our church with all ages within our congregation and community
Saskatoon, Emmanuel – the care ministry expansion project asked for $30,000 from the Trinity Fund to launch their ministry to spread care ministry principles and programs to other churches. They received a reduced amount of $20,000. We would ask that the Union consider establishing a more formal partnership with Emmanuel in this area and found the other $10,000 in 2007.
Saskatoon, Fairmont – find/locate a person to work with us in the area of associate/youth pastor
Hyas –leadership and guidance from the Baptist Union. We would like to have an unhurried, unrushed visit twice a year from the Baptist Union, so that church leaders could talk with the Union reps one on one, or as a group, to deal with issues that we may not be able to discuss among ourselves
Nipawin– to continue to improve the level of communication between BUWC and church leadership and congregation
Prince Albert – to open dialogue with regard to logistics and advice surrounding the whole process of development and to covenant to pray with us as we sojourn
Saskatoon, First Baptist– enabling communication and networking between i. us and the Baptist Union, ii. us and surrounding churches, iii. other downtown First Churches (ie Regina, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary)