I’d like to entitle this letter “Dana Cupples is Going Nowhere” which is mostly accurate. You will understand from the interview that follows between Dana and Ceal McLean, of the incredible gifted and fruitful work she has accomplished amongst us for over 20 years. I am deeply thankful and grateful that while Dana is not continuing at Carey Hall, she will be working a little over a day a week for us at CBWC, coordinating a variety of activities we do in the denomination such as Mini Semester, Ordination Examining Council and some aspects of credentialing.
Setting aside the professional aspects, Dana has lived out the calling and continues to live out a calling of service to others, desire for justice and a commitment to not only her faith, but to the communities that she belongs to. I am deeply grateful that she continues in her work to be part of this family of churches in the years ahead.
At the end of September, Dana Cupples will be leaving her job as Executive Assistant to President Brian Stelck of Carey Institute. She is known to so many of us within the CBWC because she has worked at Carey for 11 years and has served with ministries of the CBWC for the past 20 years. Dana will become the part-time Administrative Assistant at Olivet Baptist Church in New Westminster, where she can be closer to home with husband Craig and 3-year-old son Aaron, and will also be doing some special projects for the CBWC. We are very grateful for her time with us and send her off with God’s blessing. We asked Dana to share some of her thoughts with us before she goes.
How did you begin your career with us?
I moved to Calgary from my hometown of Cranbrook, BC in May of 1991 with no job and enough money to live there for 2 months. I saw an ad in the Altadore Baptist Church bulletin for a receptionist with the Baptist Union of Western Canada. I applied and after THREE interviews, got the job.
What positions have you held in your 20-year career with various branches of the CBWC and most recently at Carey?
As mentioned previously, I started as the Receptionist, where I used my first ever fax machine. From there I moved around and eventually came to be the Executive Assistant to the Executive Minister (Gerry Fisher at the time) and the Office Manager. After that I moved over to work with Tim Colborne and the ASCENT Leadership Program that was taken over by Carey. I moved to Vancouver in 2002 to work at the Carey Campus and was asked to stay on after the ASCENT Program folded. I began at Carey as the Associate Registrar and then moved on to be the Executive Assistant to the President.
You have been at Carey for the past 11 years – how have you seen it grow and change in that time?
We had one internet connection that had to be time shared between everyone. If you wanted on, you had to shout out your office door to make sure you didn’t kick anyone off, mid email, once you dialed in.
I watched as they dug the first hole in the ground and continued to watch the building go up.
I’ve seen us go from a simple Certificate in Ministry program to a Master of Divinity degree that is the most cutting edge program in the country.
You have frequently worked at Assemblies and Banff Pastors Conferences, so you have gotten to know many pastors and leaders during that time. Are there any specific encounters, events or favourite moments that really stand out for you?
YES! Tony Campolo kissed my forehead at the Banff Pastors Conference in 1999.
You have dedicated a huge amount of your career to working at Carey, ASCENT etc – what draws you to this type of work?
I strongly believe in the value of theological education. Our churches and their members are much better served by those who have taken the time to study theology and can speak from a place of knowledge. Theological education is critical to the future of our church. I have always felt as though this was my place of Kingdom service and I am blessed to have been a part of that.
What have you enjoyed most about your work?
There are too many things to answer. First of all, my colleagues make every day enjoyable. Secondly, I strongly believe in the work of Carey and seeing God’s will fulfilled there is a true joy and lastly, I enjoy a challenge. I have had a vast and varied “education” while working at Carey. I would not have the skills that I have today if not for the tasks that I was assigned. It’s been exciting and challenging, but enjoyable.
What will you miss most?
People! By far, I will miss the people that have chosen to work at Carey. They are my second family. And the soup. And hearing Brian Stelck crack a Coca Cola at 9:30 a.m.
Tell us a little about your son Aaron, husband Craig and how this move will allow you more family time.
Family first, right? I currently work at Carey (UBC) three days/week and commute 2.5 hours a day. My new commute will be 5 minutes. Perhaps 8 if there is “traffic”. Aaron is 3 years old and both he and Craig need me to be the best I can be when I get home from work. This will allow me to be that. I’m content and at peace.