Gary Nelson, a child of Western Canada, a national and international speaker and leader, author and teacher, the General Secretary of the Canadian Baptists Ministries since 2000, will be moving to Tyndale University College and Seminary to be their President in July of this year.
There are many things to say at this juncture. Some relevant comments:
1. From the European Baptists: Tony Peck, General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation wrote Gary to say: “I want to underline that CBM under your leadership has become one of our closest and easiest-to-work with partners in the life of EBF. CBM’s vision, expertise, flexibility and openness to new ways of mission has been like a breath of fresh air, and has given significant committed support to areas as such as EBF Youth Worker development and mission in Lebanon. I am confident that this will continue with new leadership, but you have encouraged and enabled all this over the past ten years and it is greatly appreciated by many of us.”
2. From Tyndale’s’ Announcement: Board Chair, Steven Holmes said, “We conducted an international search and are delighted that Dr. Nelson has accepted our invitation. We look forward to his leadership as we strive to educate and equip young people for the world. Dr. Nelson understands Tyndale and is committed to lead our faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors toward a shared vision to be one of Canada’s premier universities and seminaries.”
3. CBM press release: Gary has served with CBM for 10 years, during which CBM experienced an unprecedented period of growth and focus in its national and global ministries. “Gary has helped lead the organization through a period of change and equipped CBM’s Leadership Team to handle future challenges and exciting new possibilities.” says Associate General Secretary Blair Clark.
“Of the transition from CBM to Tyndale, Gary says that, “I’ve always been passionate about education and leadership development, particularly among young people and the grassroots. This new role will allow me the opportunity to focus on these areas. The difficult part is that it means I will no longer be directly working with my colleagues at CBM and among Canadian Baptist Churches, but I feel I have to respond to what God is calling me to at this time in my life.”
I have known Gary since the mid-seventies when we were together in McKenzie, B.C. with some other students and Wes De Zeeuw helping to plant the church there. We shared a room in a house trailer with Al McGee and Travis Stewart, who is now at Peninsula Mission Community Church on the Vancouver Island. I would never claim to be the original Trailer Park Boys but I do a passable impression of Bubbles when pushed and the others, well…. Gary has been a colleague and a friend. We have discussed, planned, argued, disagreed, celebrated and laughed loud and long. Gary is a most gifted man, as a speaker, teacher, musician, thinker, writer, leader of diversity and creator of the same. I talked extensively with him at the beginning of the month. I told him that I trusted his process of discernment would always be rooted in the God who has always strengthened him, encouraged him and sometimes just comforted him. I told him that he had brought great vision, passion and change to our family of churches in Canada and had honoured the Lord and us with his presence and that Tyndale was wise to embrace him. I also told him that the West had always needed him as a strong centre point and foil, “steel sharpens steel”(Proverbs 27:17) I recounted that sometimes as we move forward we could bruise one another, but I also told him of the respect and affection of many; including, in my best moments, mine.
I know Gary and the wise and brilliant Karla will always be family; clan and partakers and encouragers in the future for all that God has wrought through him (them). I found myself a little emotional as we talked and re-capped together. I explained the huskiness in my voice was that I was a little tired that day. It wasn’t the tiredness, Gary. We, no, in truth, I, will miss you. Go well, blessed and honoured.
LENT: Each year we offer links and resources so people can prepare for Easter in the season called Lent. Ryan Sato from First Baptist Church, Edmonton, has kindly provided us with some material and resources he uses. Thank you, Ryan.
Here’s a few links that may prove to be meaningful as you embark on the Lenten journey:
http://godspace.wordpress.com/ : Christine Sine’s blog that always pays attention to the Christian Calendar
http://www.msainfo.org/ : Mustard Seed Associates
http://www.textweek.com : The Text This Week – Lectionary, Scripture Study
and Worship Resource
http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/index.html : Praying through Lent 2010
http://www.pray-as-you-go.org : Sign up or listen online to 10-minute podcasts based on the Christian Calendar
http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/lenten-links-resources-for-a-post-evangelical-lent : Michael Spencer (the internet monk) gives a variety of links to Lenten Resources and Information
http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/ : A blog hosted by Thom Shuman