Vol 8 No. 9 Celebration of Ministry Dinners

Dear Folks,

I want to briefly mention again our Celebration of Ministry Dinners. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to attend one, you may be a bit puzzled as to what all the fuss is about. For those of you who have attended, no such explanation is needed.  Due to the flooding and natural disasters in Manitoba our Celebration Dinners had to postpone there. However, they were rescheduled and our recent celebration dinner in Neepawa and Winnipeg enabled us to finish the cycle of all the regions and we even found ourselves back on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland of BC for the second time.  There have been 13 Celebration Dinners since we began in March 2010, with 131 churches participating. Including staff, we have had over 1000 people attend.

Why are Celebration Dinners so important? Let me mention several reasons briefly:

  • Our CBWC Assembly happens only every two years and while pastors often get to connect with each other, people from a variety of roles in leadership in the church rarely get this opportunity.
  • Assemblies draw between 250-300 people. Celebration Dinners are on track this year to draw three times that number.
  • Many people cannot afford the time nor do they have the inclination to come to Assembly. Celebration dinners afford them the opportunity to experience life in this family of churches in a clear and efficient way.
  • While it would be good to have CBWC staff members visit individual churches, these dinners have a greater impact on the church leaders as they experience not just the various resources and meet many of the CBWC staff, but they also get to meet leaders of the churches who are   close by.
  • It is stunning and marvellous to see the variety of people within this denomination. At the recent gathering in Winnipeg, I was deeply moved to discover a group of people who were originally supposed to number under 60, grow to 104, and this was in spite of the fact that 12 folk did not show up. What was also really moving about our time at Willowlake Baptist Church (thank you Mark Doerksen and company for your hospitality) was the variety of people in the room; young and old, wealthy and not so much, new and settled people from the Philippines, First Nations, old established church folk and those new to the fellowship, churches with leadership and those without, as well as, an interesting mix of different ethnics and languages. I was really touched to be in the company of such a variety of committed folk celebrating the faithfulness of God.
  • The Celebration Dinners are held on a midweek evening, so as not to compete with other times that are quite busy. The event is also over in approximately 2 hours, starting at 6:30, which allows people time to get from work to the event and home at a reasonable hour. Below you will find attached a schedule from the evening at New Life Community Church in Duncan BC, which gives you a view of a typical program.  Please note: incredibility, each speaker takes no more than 4 minutes …. yes, you doubters, even me!


The primary focus of the celebration dinners is to celebrate the faithfulness of God; which we have regularly agreed is not only about giving thanks but also agreeing that as God has been faithful in the past we can anticipate He will be faithful again.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of those who have hosted the meal, and particularly Heather Thomson and Bob Webber who coordinate us.



In Christ,





New Life Community – Duncan, BC

Welcome – Bob Webber
Director of Ministries


Jeremy Bell
CBWC Executive Minister

Faye Reynolds
Director of Women & Intergenerational Ministries

Gerry Fisher
VP Stewardship and Development

Tom Lavigne
Director of Church Planting


Sherry Bennett
Children & Families Ministry

Rob Filgate
Zao Ministries

Dawn Johannesson
Administrative Assistant – Regional Office

Rob Ogilvie
BC & Yukon Regional Minister


Closing Remarks
Jeremy Bell
CBWC Executive Minister