Vol 9 No. 30 Community

Dear Folks,

I find it rather amusing to be writing on community when it seems that no one is around but I want to pick up exactly that theme from a newsletter a couple of issues ago when we referred to several of the ways we are experiencing, creating, and exploring community in our family of churches in the West. There are many ways in which we do that and I want to outline them in some bullet points below:

  • SERVE is our annual youth gathering of worship, community, and service amongst our youth from across Western Canada has just finished in Winnipeg. There will be more news of that as the weeks unfold but it was an extremely encouraging and positive experience for so many of our teens and churches. I was at the Filipino Evangelical Church in Winnipeg for their anniversary service the Sunday after Serve and I heard the excitement around what had just happened. They showed a YouTube clip, which I hope to circulate as soon as possible. Danice Carlson will be leaving us as our youth coordinator but more about that later, but it is enough to say that many deeply appreciate her and we will all miss her.
  • We have also been involved as a community in responding to the floods in High River, Calgary, and surrounding areas. Louanne Haugan, from our Calgary office, has been coordinating our response to the floods. I’ve asked her to write something to update us, here it is:

So far, we have just over $36,000 in our Disaster Relief Fund.  Yesterday alone, we received just over $6,000 from three churches: Kleefeld, MB, Whitehorse, YT and a sister church in Smith Falls, ON. We receive online donations from folks all over Canada, the furthest of which has been Sackville, NB.  Another couple offered to purchase a new hot water tank and furnace for one of our pastors whose house was flooded.  Hugh Fraser continues to coordinate the High River Compassion Project.  The first order of 15 mattresses was placed last week.  The folks in High River are still in need of skilled tradespeople such as carpet layers, electricians, plumbers, finish carpenters etc., to help rebuild basements and homes.  This will be ongoing for the next several months.  Interested workers can contact the Calgary or Edmonton office for more information and to be put in touch with High River Baptist Church.  God is good, and His people have been very generous!

  • Making Connections is a series of articles written by Ceal McLean and published each month that touches on 4 or 5 topics of news and interest from our churches and ministries. That is a major disciplined task of research and writing. It is a great contribution to helping with community and I am deeply grateful to Ceal for all her hard work. Making Connections comes out the first Monday of the month and yes, it is every month, that’s over 50 articles a year!
  • Beginning last September in Winnipeg we have fostered what we refer to as our ‘Leadership Forum’ that are know becoming known as our ‘associations’ by some.  While ministerials have been a good beginning, these gatherings include folk in leadership from every aspect of church life. We have celebrated these gatherings in Winnipeg, begun one in Calgary with over 30 people in 10 churches, there is some initial interest in Edmonton. The first gathering in Vancouver included almost 70 people from 22 churches. I believe this is a primary building block for community amongst our local churches and has the most possibility to encourage the resourcing of each other.
  • Camps are in full flight even as we read this together. Here are the names of our camps and their links. For those that have active sites you can check in on them but frankly, most camps are too busy to be updating websites.
  • Last but not least, we had someone that is new to the denomination take a look at our website. They were greatly impressed, not just by the site and the setup but the content of our lives together. Because our website is always being updated, it is important to check on it regularly, even if you feel you are familiar with the content. Check out our website at www.cbwc.ca.



In Christ,