Vol 8 No. 31 Conversations with Members of the Executive Staff VI

Dear Folks,

Shelby Gregg suggested, (informed me actually), that since she was not actually an Executive Staff
member, it was inappropriate that she be part of the series. I began to tell her it wasn’t an issue
and stopped mid-breath (I take long breaths) and said: “Listen, I’ll write the introduction, if it flies
(read, is agreeable to you) we’ll publish, OK?”. “OK” she said. If you are reading this….well, I guess the
introduction was okay.

Shelby, (as Dean Acheson once penned in the title of one of his books, Present at the Creation),
is involved in the visioning, setting-up, administration, recording and inevitably re-calibrating of all the
inter-Executive Staff initiatives. Shelby is the main liaison, resource and catalyser for my office and work,
and the work of Jan Paasuke and the CBWC Board. She comments, creates, mentors and corresponds to
a whole array of folk, topics, ministries and is probably as well connected, even more so than many, in
our family of churches. Many of you have met Shelby over the phone but I thought you would like to
hear more of her life and work in her own words.


In Christ,




1. Many folk have different personal, vocational, and faith journeys…could you share with us those

Personally I have always been someone who seeks knowledge and experience. I enjoy doing the same
things over (like re-reading favourite books and visiting favourite places), but also enjoy new things (like

reading new books and visiting new places). I am someone who will do things “just because I can” or
because it is on offer, which can lead to amazing experiences, but which can also mean that I spend lots
of time cleaning up my mistakes! My goal in life is just to keep going, to keep trying, to keep learning,
and when it is all done to fall over in a blissfully exhausted state!

Vocationally I have just taken chances and landed in places, jumped at opportunities and made them
work – there has been no deliberate plan. I am so grateful that my parents have never pressured me
to do or be otherwise. I always knew I wanted to attend university and to study something that was
in an area I was weak and needed improving, rather than studying something I was already competent
in. So, I went to SFU and studied Criminology. Since graduating, I haven’t used that degree; but the
lessons learned in university have been invaluable. I have been a server since I was 18 (and continue to
work part time at Rogers Arena catering), and have held a variety of jobs in Vancouver, Calgary, Dublin
(Ireland) and London (England) in hospitality and administration.

Although I have a good memory for things, I often don’t remember how or when I met people. Once I
know them, they just exist as friends. No beginning, no end – they are just in my life and we share things
together. I have many specific memories of people – but it rarely relates to my first meeting of them.
And my faith journey is like that. I know that I made a commitment at one point to God when I was
young (in fact, I made it repeatedly just in case I hadn’t done it correctly the previous times), but I don’t
remember the details of that – I just recall God being in my life for years. No beginning, no end.

2. How long have you been in this position? Please let us know about where you are living and maybe
one eccentric detail of life?

After a brief stint as the interim Heartland Administrator in 2005, I began my role in the Vancouver
office as an Administrative Associate in December 2005. I currently live in Vancouver, BC. I love train and
ferry journeys, am fascinated with Tudor history, the Renaissance, and all things Irish, knit more shawls
and scarves than I wear, have a passion for landscape and architectural photography, learnt some Irish
Gaelic before moving to Dublin (and then found out that almost no one in Dublin can speak it anyway!
), and plan to travel to every continent on the globe within the next 5 years. One of those is bound to be
eccentric to you.

3. What is the basic makeup and description of what you do?

My role is to primarily provide administrative support to the Executive Minister. However, over time this
role has grown to include providing administrative support to the Executive Staff, the CBWC Board (as
the recording secretary) and many of the committees of the CBWC, to helping plan many of the events
that take place in the denomination, to assisting our communications team, and a plethora of other
things that come across my desk. The constant about my role is that it is always changing and adjusting
to the needs of the office and the denomination.

4. Who are the people that you primarily serve and how do you connect with them?

As mentioned, I work for the Executive Minister in the Vancouver office. In addition, I support the
Executive Staff (via weekly phone conferences, consistent email, and in person meetings), the CBWC
Board (via email, phone and in person meetings), and the churches and pastors (in person at CBWC
events, via phone and email).

5. What have been the challenging parts of this last twelve months?

In my role it has been easy to continue to take on new assignments and projects, to the point that I am
overextended and not able to adequately manage the volume of work. The challenge over this last year
has been to modify my job to be manageable, yet still supportive to those I serve. I believe we have
been successful in working towards that balance.

I had a cornea transplant in late January of 2012. This is both a challenge (it meant pain, taking time off
to sit still and heal, continuing to heal for a full year) and a celebration, as it has been successful so far
and my body hasn’t rejected it.

6. What have been some of the times of celebration over these last twelve months?

Between September 2011 and September 2012, 3 of my 4 brothers will have had gotten married, my
4th brother will have had his first child, my mum will have gotten married and the rest of the family will
have wiped out their savings account been blessed to celebrate with all of them.

I am continually grateful that I enjoy my work. I enjoy the people I work with; the pastors and leaders
that I work for, and I can still find things to laugh at along the way. It is a privilege to serve in this way.

7. What are some of the things you have felt were accomplishments this year and what are some of
the ongoing challenges that you will face as you go into the fall?

This past year has seen a number of staff changes and transitions in the CBWC and with our partners
whom I work with. It has been hard to say good-bye to people, but it has also been great to welcome
new staff. I believe that we continually improve our orientation process for staff, and that is a sense of
accomplishment for me. Allowing people time to transition well and bring their gifts and skills to their
roles, while moving forward as a team is both challenging and a cause for celebration.

As well, I had the pleasure of working with Bill Mains over the last number of years to continue the work
previously done by Phil Collins in the early 1990’s in the area of policy. Bill and I reviewed 40 years of
policies and procedures in the denomination and created three binders that encapsulated all that we
found, as well as creating a framework for revising and reviewing existing policies and creating new
policies in the future. This project was exciting for me, as it helped me understand the history of the
CBWC through its Board and Assembly minutes, decisions and discussions, as well as plan and provide
for the present and the future of the denomination. We finished this project last fall, and are almost
finished the first year “trial run” of that reviewing process and hope to begin collecting feedback from
staff and making changes in the coming months.

8. Apart from Executive Staff, who are some of the people that you work most closely with month
over month?

The Vancouver office works with the Calgary office and the three Regional Administrators on many
projects. Our work overlaps and I am grateful for the team! I also work with the Board (especially the
Table Officers) in between meetings, with Dana Cupples in her credentialing role, and sit on a number of
the CBWC committees that include both staff and church pastors and leaders.

9. What kind of Sabbath and renewal and break are you going to experience over the summer…. for
how long?

I have a week of holidays this summer; I am heading to Ontario to visit a good friend, and attend my
brother’s wedding.

I am also looking forward to taking 5 weeks of holidays this fall and will be heading to the UK for all of
it. Traveling is the best way for me to slow down, to renew myself, and to fill myself up with new ideas,
new experiences, and new friends, even if it is in a familiar place. I enjoy taking photos and with each
holiday I try to take more creative photos and improve my technical skills. Scotland in autumn is an
inspiring way to fulfill this goal!

10. How might we pray for you?

As I begin to look to the future and the changes I want to make personally and professionally in the next
year, prayer to stay in the present and enjoy things right now, balanced with planning well for those
changes and staying open to where I am being led.

11. Is there some kind of blessing or encouragement that you would like to share with us?

Every season I seem to find a verse that truly resonates with me and where I am at; it becomes a focus
of what I need to hear and what God is telling me. At this time, Jeremiah 29:11-14a continues to be an
encouragement to me, and I trust an encouragement for us all.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a
future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will
seek me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.