Vol 9 No. 12 Are You Ready for Easter?

Dear Folks,

This letter has two parts. The first part poses this question: are you ready for Easter? Many
of my experiences of church worship are a recounting of the suffering of Christ. Many of us believe
that since we’ve had him suffering all year round, there is no need to reflect on his passion and
death at Easter. This is compounded by the fact that in our consumer driven and instant gratification
communities, we often avoid the “difficult bits”. My point is simply this: there is still time to fully
prepare, anticipate and celebrate all that the Easter story has to offer. We can’t get to Easter without
going through the experience of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and the darkness of the Easter weekend,
before resurrection Sunday. I look forward to hearing of such experiences and events in the lives of all
of us.

Unless you’ve been on a silent retreat or in a medically-induced coma, you couldn’t help but
notice that the Roman Catholics have a new Pope. He is a radically different pope in terms of his
personal affinity with austerity and identification with the poor; as radical a shift as I would suggest
as Vatican II. The following is a letter released by CBM, approved and signed onto by the Executive

Canadian Baptists Welcome the Election of Pope Francis

Canadian Baptists share the enthusiasm that our Catholic sisters and brothers have over the election of
Pope Francis, and extend our prayers to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as he begins this new role. We are well
aware of the challenges of Christian leadership, and pray for God’s peace and leading as Pope Francis
begins to chart a new course.

We are especially encouraged by the humility and simplicity that Bergoglio has exemplified throughout
his life. We see in this a poignant reminder not to lord our ministry position over others but to remain
in solidarity with those who live on the margins. It is also significant that Pope Francis is the first Latin
American and first Jesuit to lead the Catholic Church. This illuminates both the worldwide presence of
Jesus’ disciples and Catholicism’s particular strength in the Global South.

The Roman Catholic Church has great opportunity and challenge in front of it, and we pray that Pope
Francis will be filled with the Holy Spirit and will continue to exemplify the teachings and presence of
Jesus. We look forward to working together on issues of common concern, as we seek to share God’s
love and invite people into God’s Kingdom.

Pope Francis, may God be with you.

Rev. Sam Chaise
General Secretary, Canadian Baptist Ministries

Dr. Peter Reid
Executive Minister, Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches

Rev. David Rowley
Secrétaire Général, Union d’Églises baptistes francophones du Canada

Rev. Tim McCoy
Executive Minister, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec

Rev. Jeremy Bell
Executive Minister, Canadian Baptists of Western Canada


Peace be with you in this latter part of lent.


In Christ,