We have not taken time since the Banff Pastor’s conference last November to speak more fully about our time.
Over 240 folk attended this year, very slightly up from 2007. Our theme speaker was Mark Buchanan; writer, pastor, and speaker, senior pastor at New Life in Duncan, British Columbia (which incidentally celebrated its 25th Anniversary this past fall). Mark has written on Sabbath and shared personally, from the pastorate and practically on God ordained, granted, indeed God blessed rest. I will speak to how you might hear Mark’s comments later.
We wanted to thematically build on Sabbath in the way we framed the two other events. Dr. Ken Nedd returned to teach on nutrition as an extension of his care of us in teaching on stress last year. We benefited from building on a topic that we so often only give as a “one off”. Our physical health is not to be separated from our spiritual health and character. Ken keeps our feet to the fire on this. We also invited people to engage on a reflective prayer walk that my wife, Kerry Macfarlane Bell led. Several of us read Scripture, prayed and walked for an afternoon around a local lake. Tim and Sally Atkinson offered us rest in a Hospitality Room and Don Oddie offered to pray for those who asked for it. Sam Chaise once again led us in worship in ways that can only be experienced.
Our final experiences were Barbara Mutch’s paper on Preaching. Barbara’s scholarship, experience and work as a preaching professor are a gift. Her respect for the Word and the sacred trust of preaching is an inspiration.
The last participant at Banff was Gordon Smith; writer, speaker, preacher and former Academic Dean of Regent College who led us in our young tradition of Banff Bible Studies. Gordon led us through Scriptures and themes around the Lord’s Supper. We were also led in communion each day, an incredibly good and fulsome time to begin a day.
There were many who participated in Banff. Lisa Gould led the organizational team along with David Holton, Shelby Gregg and myself. Thank you to Rob Ogilvie, George Loewen, Claudia Wakeman, Colleen Schneider and the many others who helped with setting up, registration and the smooth operation during our time together.
Over the next month or two, the videos of all these talks will be available. They are broken down into small group discussion lengths, resulting in 5 discs and several segments. Please inquire after February 1, 2009 from the Resource Library via the website.