Vol 4 No. 41 Thanksgiving

I come in preparation for this thanksgiving weekend and give great thanks, glory and honour to God for His many and varied gifts to each of us. We receive these gifts as individuals in ways that from the Holy Spirit are unique to us. We receive these gifts when, like individuals, we wait on God in expectation that He will be faithful. We experience these gifts from God as churches when we consciously engage in our collective worship and culture in the act of giving thanks.

This letter marks well with gratefulness the goodness of God. I am thankful for things that can be numbered; like the encouraging growth that we have mentioned before that has come from Urban Camping under Rod Olson, where we may well by the end of the year, having doubled the participants from 2007 to over 850. I am thankful when David Holten tells me that over 20 churches have grasped the vision of the Canadian Baptist of Western Canada collection of churches by increasing their contributions over last year. I am also thankful for the good work of the BCY Region executive, Laura Nelson and Ian Grant, as they have aided and encouraged a healthy transition of Rob Ogilvie into his new place of Regional Minister of the BCY Region.

With these good gifts and so many more, there comes the task of stewardship and giving to others. The events around world food security that are being organized and made available to us from the Sharing Way and Sam Chaise of the William Carey Institute along with CBWC’s support and encouragement.  This particular topic can be found at http://www.williamcarey.ca/images/stories/pdf/hungerforchange.pdf. It deals with the obvious issue that in uncertain economic times that those who are hungry go hungrier still. It is most important, however, that we recognize the lack of secure safe and inexpensive source of food for the poor amongst us. Those hungry folk are found in the most unlikely of places and often are our neighbours in rural and in urban settings. Jodi Spargur, from Kitsilano Community Church, in Vancouver, represents that church in a group that addresses the urban hungry on the West side of Vancouver. She described that churches’ commitment to this issue rather appropriately in her thanksgiving letter.

As much as God is good and faithful, we must be responsible and generous. Please receive and celebrate the following prayers from Gathering for Worship that I came across this week.

So, we respond together to a living, gracious, loving and just God who is faithful to us. May we be faithful and generous in response.



In Christ,

Jeremy Bell



Creator God

maker of all that is:

in creation we see

the glorious outworking

of your imagination.

Every creature,

through your life-giving Spirit,

is spoken into existence

and loved into eternity.


For the gift of life

we praise and thank you.


Generous God

giver of all good things;

in your Son we see

the wonder and the cost of love.

In his living and dying

we feel your compassion

and see your purpose.

In his glorious resurrection

we know death

not only as ending

but as beginnings.


For the promise of life eternal

we praise and thank you.


Life-giving God,

by your Spirit you brought creation out of chaos

and gave life to the world.

Now you sustain all things

and still you give life to the lifeless.

You have found us and changed us,

awoken us and inspired us.

You have given us new life in Jesus Christ:

you have wooed us in love

and created love within us.

God our creator, redeemer and sustainer,

we give you thanks and praise.