Vol 7 No. 16 Holy Week and Ministry Partnerships

Dear Folks,

I would like to begin this Holy Week newsletter by sharing two poems; one, which in anticipation of Good Friday, should be entitled “Hold On”; the second, a poem that I originally received from Jonathan Wilson and have shared with you before, which should be entitled “Let Go.” One poem for Good Friday, one for Easter Sunday.   Both are found in The Lion Christian Poetry Collection compiled by Mary Batchelor, 1995.

God be with you.

Easter Saturday

A curiously empty day,

As if the world’s life

Had gone underground.

The April sun

Warming dry grass

Makes pale spring promises

But nothing comes to pass.



Relaxes into despair

As we remember our helplessness,

Remember him hanging there.

We have purchased the spices

But they must wait for tomorrow.

We shall keep today

For emptiness and sorrow.


Elizabeth Rooney

20th Century



“Seven Stanzas at Easter” 


Make no mistake:  if He rose at all

it was as His body;

if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the 

molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

the Church will fall.


It was not as the flowers,

each soft Spring recurrent;

it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and 

fuddled eyes of the eleven apostles;

it was as his Flesh: ours.


The same hinged thumbs and toes,

the same valved heart

that – pierced – died, withered, paused, and then

regathered out of his Father’s might

new strength to enclose.


Let us not mock God with metaphor,

analogy, sidestepping transcendence;

making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the

faded credulity of earlier ages;

let us walk through the door.


The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,

not a stone in a story,

but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow

grinding of time will eclipse for each of us

the wide light of day.


And if we will have an angel at the tomb,

make it a real angel, 

weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, 

opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen

spun on a definite loom.


Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,

for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,

lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are

embarrassed by the miracle,

and crushed by remonstrance.

John Updike

20th Century 


As you know, the BUWC, as it was then known, made a decision about a decade ago to have Assembly every two years instead of the annual event it had been for decades.

There were many reasons for that decision, especially financial ones.  Be that as it may, meeting only every two years was a major setback to building community, identity, and connecting ministries to one another.  We have reflected long and hard on how we can continue to meet and connect ministries while still being wise with the money we spend.  Help, we believe, is on the way.

This year before assembly officially begins, several ministry groups will be gathering together to meet as they usually do.  They pray, plan, discuss, and put into action the kind of plans that God is laying on their hearts.  In a new and different emphasis however, these groups (and there are about half a dozen of them with about fifty participants) will meet this year as one large group to share our individual ministry group news with one another.  We will pray with one another, encourage each ministry group and begin to imagine together what God is calling us to as a larger whole.  This year, in an Assembly year, we will meet from noon, Wednesday till noon, Thursday, about a day.  In non-Assembly years, we will meet for two nights and the greater part of two and a half days.  There will be a more emphasis on worship, teaching and seeking the Spirit’s guidance in the larger ministry of Western Canada.  If you begin to add up the ministry partnerships as listed in last week’s newsletter, there are between two and three hundred people involved in ministry groups together.

We have much to be thankful to God for.  In His graciousness and goodness to us, He has reason to expect much from us.  Bob Webber and Faye Reynolds will be leading much of this time spent together. I would ask that you pray for them as they do so.  I’m very encouraged at how this will unfold and I look forward to telling you about what has happened later on in May.

The Lord be with you.


In Christ,