Two great and wonderful events happened over this last week. The first was Missions Fest; the second was the Alberta Region Pastor’s Retreat.
Missions Fest is a Western Canadian and British Columbia Lower Mainland mission conference that has been held annually for many years. There were over 260 mission organizations that participated this year. These included para-church organizations, church service organizations and educational institutions. This year, Carey Centre and the CBWC joined together to host an exhibitor booth. We brought into the booth material from both our organizations as well as information about the CBWC Foundation and the Mosaic magazine published by CBM, as one of our partners in ministry.
The idea for our involvement at Missions Fest came from Nadia Vanderkuip, who works primarily at Carey Centre in communications, but also with CBWC in Short Term Missions. David Holten, who is now working with us in church resourcing supported Nadia in this effort. It was an excellent experience to encourage members of our own family of churches who support and attend this conference, to align ourselves with many very faithful communities of service, and to celebrate God’s faithfulness in many places throughout the world. Some of those who worked at our booth from both Carey and the denomination were: Bob Webber, Rob Ogilvie, Axel Schoeber, David Holten, Danice Carlson, Nadia VanderKuip, Albert Miao, Grace Tse, Faye Reynolds, Myrna Sears and myself. I also want to extend my thanks to Nadia and Jeff VanderKuip, who dismantled the display at the end of the conference on Sunday.
The Alberta Region Pastor’s Retreat is an annual event and is held at Gull Lake Centre. While there is a sense of collegial hospitality and hosting, Steve Roadhouse was the welcoming face at the Gull Lake Centre and Jason Johnson from Brownfield Baptist Church was the gathering’s host/MC. Over 45 pastors attended. Others were scheduled to come but had to withdraw at the last moment for various reasons. Dennis Stone and Sharon Onciul are in many ways the caregivers and profoundly effective resource people to the region. Thanks to them both. Thanks also to Dennis for the way he opened up the retreat Monday night. This followed an earlier in the day discussion period that was lead by Steve Roadhouse. The committee that planned the event did a very able job of arranging for several speakers from within the CBWC family of churches. They included: Dennis Stone, Tom Lavigne, Jeremy Bell, Wayne Larson, Awlwyn Balnave, Linda Ferguson, Brian Burkhart, Andy Moffatt, Al McPhedran and Art Hildebrand.