Christ Has Risen Indeed!

To pastors and churches of the BCBA,

CHRIST HAS RISEN!  HE HAS RISEN INDEED!

Perhaps now more than at any other time in history since the death and resurrection of Christ, we are able to understand some of the emotions of the early disciples.  The world as they knew it was changed forever and nothing they could do would bring it back.  The intense sorrow of loss and disillusionment as they saw their Lord crucified (“Father into your hands I commit my spirit”. When he had said this, he breathed his last – Luke 23:46).  And then the confusion but elation as they saw him alive and walking among them (Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us – Luke 24:32).  And then the overwhelming joy and praise as Christ blessed them and (was taken up into heaven – Luke 24:51).

NOW WHAT!!!

Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:45-49. They “worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple praising God. Luke 24:52-53

It’s all different and it’s all new!  They were going into unfamiliar and uncharted territory.  It would be dangerous.  It would be confusing.  It would be wonderful.  It would be led by the Holy Spirit. It would result in praise and glory to the risen Christ.  It would see millions of people come to understand what the good news of the gospel was all about.  It meant that the attachment to the synagogue, the building, the structure, the old ways were gone.  It meant that the old wine skins could not hold the new wine.  It meant martyrdom and persecution.  It meant freedom and healing.  And in it all Christ will be glorified and lifted up.

The world as we have known it has changed and there is nothing we can do to bring it back.  We are in unfamiliar and uncharted territory.  Allan Roxburgh quotes a poem written by Antonio Machado (1875-1939).  The English translation of the Spanish work says this: “Traveler, there is no path.  You create the path as you walk”.

Wanderer. your footsteps are the road and nothing more;
Wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.
Waking makes the road, and turning to look behind
you see the path that you will never tread again.
Wanderer, there is no road, only foam trails on the sea.
(Campos de Castilla, 1912)

This is our new world; confusing and exciting just like when the early disciples experienced the death and resurrection of Christ.  Our road is new, but we walk in the power of the Spirit and leadership of the risen Christ.  May the death of Christ’s followers point to the hope we have in Christ.  And may the life we live point to the grace and forgiveness we have because Jesus rose from the dead.

Because he lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because he lives, all fear is gone,
Because I know He holds the future, 
And life is worth the living, 
Just because He lives!

POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19, Pastor’s Conference & Association Meetings 2020

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BC Baptist Association pastors are invited to join us this April 26-29 at Cedar Springs Retreat Center, in Sumas, Washington, for Pastor’s Conference and the Annual Association Meetings.  For those pastor’s unable to attend Pastor’s Conference, and those church members and delegates who wish to attend the Virtual Association Meeting on April 27, from 7:30-8:30 pm, there will be additional locations.  Please see the BROCHURE
and REGISTRATION pages for more information.  We hope to see you there!

Encouragement, Fellowship, Resourcing and Caring: SAVE THE DATE

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WHAT: BCA Pastor’s Conference & AGM
We will have a Special speaker on Tuesday
Encouragement, Fellowship, Resourcing and Caring
WHEN: Sunday, April 26 (6pm) – Wednesday, April 29 (after brunch)
The AGM will be held on Monday night
WHERE: Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center, Sumas, Washington
SAVE THE DATE AND WATCH FOR REGISTRATION COMING SOON!

Devotional – The Journey of Lent

Below is “The Journey of Lent” devotional by Kerry Bender, VP of International Missions, and the first of a Lenten Series of devotionals that was featured in the NAB Daily Devotionals.  You can sign up to receive these devotionals directly: NAB Daily Devotions. The music that accompanies this series can be found here: Lenten Devotional Playlist on Spotify.

The Journey of Lent

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.27.06 AM  Kerry Bender

My introduction to Lent was on a bus in rural North Dakota on the way to school, probably around junior high and probably not the best place to learn the deep truths of the Church and the significance of the liturgical calendar.

As a Baptist teenager, my internal response to my young non-Baptist friend who was denying himself chocolate for forty days was to think, “Wow, just another work of the flesh! Thankfully, I know salvation is by grace alone.” I was a pretentious, but well-read, Baptist for my age. My second thought was worse, “I can totally out-sacrifice my non-Baptist friend. I mean, I’m Baptist; we are better at all things religious – especially suffering.”

As Baptists, these seem to be the two unfortunate extremes of our experience with Lent. We either deny the value of the Church calendar and view these practices with self-righteous skepticism, or we try to “out-Lent” our more liturgical brothers and sisters by demonstrating that we can suffer way more than they could ever imagine. But the journey of Lent is not about working our way to righteousness, and it certainly is more than simple self-sacrifice. Lent is a journey of preparation that begins with a divine blessing and finds fulfillment in the joy of the resurrected life.

The forty days of Lent are reminiscent of the forty days of fasting and temptation that Jesus endured at the start of His ministry (Matthew 4:1–11). Immediately preceding the temptation, however, are these words: “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased.’” It is this divine blessing that begins the journey of fasting for Jesus, and likewise this divine blessing begins the journey of Lent for the Christian pilgrim. It is not a means to become righteous or loved by God; rather it flows from and is made possible by this divine proclamation.

With the realization of God’s love firmly in mind, the pilgrim on the journey of Lent uses this time as an opportunity to focus their mind, body, and spirit on the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the common practice of fasting or self-denial is not the focus of Lent, but rather it is a useful tool to help focus the pilgrim on Jesus’s sacrifice and bringing them to more fully appreciate and participate in the new life provided through His resurrection. The journey of Lent, therefore, is bookended with these two divine blessings: the realizations that we are children of our Heavenly Father and the power of the resurrection enabling us to enter fully into the resurrected life of the Kingdom.

Three decades after my introduction to Lent, I continue to learn more about Lent and the importance of the Church calendar. Most recently this was in a chance encounter with a friend who recommended a fantastic book, Theology of the Ordinary. This book led to a conversation with the author, Julie Canlis. This conversation led to another book by her husband, Matt Canlis; that book, Backyard Pilgrim, is itself a journey through the forty days of Lent. The beauty of this short, practical book is that it serves as a guide not only through biblical texts, which it does beautifully, but through your own neighborhood, recognizing God’s presence and mission there and inviting you to more fully participate in it. Whether or not you use this guide, I would encourage you to journey through Lent this year beginning with the recognition of the divine blessing that you are loved by your heavenly Father and journeying toward a deeper appreciation and participation in the resurrected life.

Green Bay Bible Camp

Situated in the heart of the Okanagan Valley in West Kelowna, Green Bay Bible Camp has spent 65 years creating meaningful and memorable experiences for campers of all ages. Here, at Green Bay, we seek to serve and specialize in fun. We believe that summer camp has the ability to provide life-changing moments for parents and their children. With wonderful meals prepared for you, a picturesque waterfront, as well as fun and innovative programming you won’t experience anywhere else, Green Bay stands out as an ideal place for you and your family to spend your summer. We provide space for families to experience rest, renewal and growth and have a team of leaders who model the sacrificial service and extravagant love of Christ. We are committed to being rooted in Scripture, immersed in prayer and devoted to cultivating community. We seek to serve others and are committed to developing the next generation of Kingdom Leaders. Whether it’s on the field, at the waterfront or around the campfire, we believe that families come alive here at Green Bay, so we invite you to come join us we embark on another unforgettable summer!

–Kaitlyn Kirkwood, Green Bay Leadership and Discipleship Manager

Kids and Teen overnight camps run June 25-July 17, with day camps running throughout the summer and Family Camps run from July 19-August 28.  Full camp listings can be found on the Green Bay website: www.greenbay.bc.ca

Find out more about job opportunities at Green Bay here: Green Bay Job List

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Bethany Baptist Church

Microsoft Word - BLT Outreach Events.docxMicrosoft Word - BLT Outreach Events.docxOther ways that Bethany Baptist Church in Richmond is using the grant funds:

  1. 100 kids’ Bibles purchased for non-churched kids.
  2. Hanging flower baskets at neighbour’s houses for those going through a hard time.
  3. A banquet for our Day Dare workers.
  4. Three different community block parties.
  5. Clothes for the homeless.
  6. Pizza for a staff appreciation and pizza for men in low income housing.
  7. Taking a family out for supper whose father was just diagnosed with cancer.
  8. Participation in Hamilton Community Carnival.
  9. Subsidizing 3⁄4 of the cost for 23 single moms and 48 kids to go to camp.
  10. Designing phase one of a Coffee house/Art gallery for after service fellowship and midweek community outreach.
  11. Hiring a student to run 4 summer backyard VBS’s.
  12. 11 families taking Chinese Alpha.
  13. Purchase of “Becoming a Welcoming Church” for every family at Bethany.

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Grant Funds for NAB Youth

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To the pastors and churches of the BCBA,
There is funding from the BCBA, up to an amount of $100 per person, for any church sending youth to The Gathering.  Sunshine Ridge Baptist has 18 registered this year and it looks like it’s going to be another awesome experience for youth from all over Canada and the USA to join together to do mission work in the community, and to worship and study together.
See details and registration information below.

Every three years, high school students from across the NAB come together in Orange County for an experience unlike any other. For five jam-packed days, students hear from gifted speakers, sing praises to God, dive into the Word, engage in service projects, and interact with others from across Canada and the US.

This is The Gathering, a youth conference and missions experience that provides students with a variety of thoughtful experiences to dive deeper in faith, community, and service as an opportunity to become ambassadors for Jesus in Orange County and inspire them to serve God and others when they return home. The Gathering is the only venue that assembles students from across the NAB in one place for a time of worship, service, transformation, and fun.

FIND OUT MORE

Complete registration packet and details

The BC Association has been blessed with Legacy Funds that are being made available to BCBA member churches so they can reach their communities with the love and hope that we have in Christ.  It is exciting to hear all of the ways our churches have been blessing and loving their communities with these extra funds and we want to celebrate together what God is doing.  As we compile updates from our churches, we will be sharing stories and photos on our website “News” section.

Faith Baptist Church – Seeking Senior Pastor

First Baptist Church in Vernon is seeking a Senior Pastor.  Please find the job description, church profile and resume submission guidelines here: Faith Baptist-Senior Job Posting

For further inquiries, please contact Gord Glinsbockel (Search Committee Chairman) at faithbap@shaw.ca