The churches of the Canadian Baptists Western Canada meet in Assembly every two years. Like other denominations we have experimented in frequency, timing and content. To meet annually costs an ever increasing of money and time, to meet in various locations meant that we had to reinvent local logistics every time we met. To meet in destinations which were akin to a tourism or recreational place took away from some of the efficiencies that were important when using money wisely (places like Banff). It became important to meet every other year. That in between Assemblies, the Board would act as the decision-making agent for the churches that had met at Assembly. It was important to place the assembly in an area where we had strong local support and logistics, where we could replicate the event with as little logistical challenges as possible. It was also important that we keep costs down. Under our President Jan Paasuke’s leadership, we moved Assembly from Banff to Calgary and thereby placing it within a one-day drive (all be it a very long one, assuming that Vancouver is 11 hours and Winnipeg is 13). Having Assembly in Calgary places it in reach of 85% of our constituency who can then afford themselves the use of a car rather than expensive travel like air flights. Under the leadership of Glenn Rabuka and the rest of the planning committee we have sought to reflect the whole gospel of Christ by looking at the three main narratives of scripture and Christian history that is the work of the community narrative, the story of evangelism, and a passion for mercy and justice.
This is the strongest Assembly I have seen in years, I am very excited about our two speakers: Anna Robins and Jamie McInstosh, whose work and character I deeply respect. The workshops, which are listed below, include some of the most remarkable people in their field, not only in our own family of churches but in Western Canada. The youth program followed by a concert with Steve Bell later on, with a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the partnership between the CBWC, CBM and the Canadian FoodGrains Bank and things that I am extremely proud of. What follows is the essence of the information that you will need to participate. There are drop in opportunities if you are not able to come for the full event. Please note that we are pushing this event closer to the weekend so as to encourage those who are working to make it easier for them to come.
Could you take particular note of:
• Anna Robins and Jamie McIntosh’s biographies
• The list of workshops
• The general schedule
Now, one more important note for me personally and for many of you who have experienced the friendship, care or ministry of Roy and Elizabeth Bell at Strathcona Baptist, Edmonton, First Baptist, Calgary, First Baptist, Vancouver and also Carey Centre…Roy and Elizabeth celebrate their 60 anniversary of marriage on May 9 of St. James Road Baptist Church and Elizabeth was a podiatrist (incidentally Elizabeth’s father…my grandfather, Percy Eyers, was the first professor of Ethics and Greek at London Bible College, later known as the London School of Theology). Roy and Elizabeth have settled in Duncan, BC, where their daughters Gillian and Rosemary, along with most of their families reside. They are in appropriate health for their age and would be both appalled (they are not keen on the attention) and pleased (they’d be thankful for your prayers) that you knew. Their other children are Joanne (Yukon) and Jennifer (Quebec).
I sign off today as being grateful to God for them as their son.