Hard to believe that in a few days we will be putting away all the Christmas “stuff” and welcoming in 2015!
In November of 1964, when I was baptized, I thought Jesus would be here before I would ever get married and have children. And yet here I am, 50 years since my baptism, married for almost 42 years to the most incredible lady (Sylvia), blessed with two amazing children (James & Julie); and we now have two lovable and awesome grandchildren (Claire & Quinn). And I am still longingly waiting with great hope and anticipation for Jesus to come.
What a glorious day that will be! What a privilege God has given us as a church family to prepare a people to meet Jesus. As I am writing this update, I am praising God for the blessing He has given me to serve Him. Every day I thank God for the privilege to work with the most amazing people in the British Columbia Conference.
Together, we are part of a movement that God has called into existence. And the One who has called us will equip us to grow His Kingdom in British Columbia and the Yukon as we share a Christ-centered message of HOPE and WHOLENESS!
Below are updates on some of the events that are happening around the Conference:
I trust you are taking time to read the electronic copy of REACH Update that Charles and his team email out each week. I was thrilled to read in the latest issue all the exciting Christmas events that are happening in churches and schools around the Conference. This is a great time of year to REACH OUT to your community; it is nice to do something for others and expect nothing in return. I believe this is the Jesus method.
Board of Directors
The latest Board of Directors teleconference was held Thursday, December 4, at 4pm. In the next couple of weeks, Elder Torres will post, in the REACH Update, the actions taken by the Board of Directors. Your continued prayers for the Board of Directors is greatly appreciated.
Ministerial Convention in Austin
The week prior to the General Conference Session in San Antonio, the North American Division is conducting a convention for pastors that many of our pastors in BC are planning to attend. This will be a wonderful opportunity for our pastors to learn from other pastors the exciting things they are doing with their church families to grow God’s Kingdom. It will also be a time of professional development for our pastors.
SDACC Education Summit
Sometime over the next few months, you will be informed regarding the recommendations that came out of the Education Summit that was held last month in Toronto, Ontario.
The main purpose of the Summit was to revisit the vision for Adventist Education and determine what should be happening in our schools that would encourage, and even want, our church members to enroll their children in our schools.
BC Conference was well represented at the summit and those that attended from BC played a key role. Praise God for our schools and for the amazing teachers He has blessed us with. Our teachers covet your prayers.
They fully understand that the salvation of the children under their care is their number one priority. Pray that God will bless each one of them with wisdom and discernment.
REACH BC & the Yukon
As many of you are aware, Elder Brake is now the Assistant to the President for REACH. I just received his REACH report for the Board. REACH is beginning to take hold in the BC Conference.
Elder Brake is more than willing to come to your church or school to introduce the BC Conference REACH strategy.
Below is a taste of what Ern has accomplished over the past several weeks:
*Introduced REACH to Victoria Church Board and to the White Rock Church.
*Introduced REACH to Westminster Church Board. They accepted our request to become a REACH pilot church. The Chinese Spiritual Depot church plant will also be a REACH pilot project.
*Introduced REACH to the Abbotsford Church Board of Elders with a request that they become a REACH pilot church. They are taking it to their Board.
*Worked with Paul Brantley and Daniel Stojanovic to present REACH at the SDACC meetings in Oshawa. A Canada-wide REACH team was established with REACH representatives from each Canadian Conference committing to holding a monthly REACH teleconference.
*Worked with Pastor Cameron Johnston to hold a REACH Training Convention in Prince George for northern churches. Representatives from most of the northern churches participated - an excellent example of Alignment.
*Working with our Health Ministries Team to plan a North American CHIP Summit in the Fall of 2015, and an NAD Health Summit in the Fall of 2016. This will contribute to training under the “C” core value - Community Outreach & Evangelism.
*Pastors Mentorship training at CUC. Included pastors Ken Naidoo, Tom Glatts, Robert Rud, Kumar Dixit, and Levi Estores.
*Worked with Pastor Jim Weir to hold evangelistic meetings in the Kelowna Church. Included participation from area Churches - another example of Alignment.
*Elders from Vancouver’s five Filipino churches have met for the second time in the interest of alignment.
*Working with the BC Conference Directors to develop a Conference plan with priorities for 2015 to be presented at the January 25, 2015 Board of Directors Meeting.
Appeal for Your Financial Assistance
We need your help! This year we have not reached our financial goal for evangelism. Your financial gift to help us grow God’s Kingdom through REACH would be greatly appreciated.
As you may be aware, one of the core values of REACH is Community Outreach and Evangelism. Thank you in advance for your financial support for REACH evangelism. Your financial gift WILL make a DIFFERENCE!
Christmas Vacation & Meetings out of Conference
I will be away from the office from December 18 to January 7. During that time I will be taking some R&R time with my family as well as attending several meetings in Arizona. Should you need to connect with me you will be able to reach me on my cell at 604-308- 6131 or my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One last thought
How will you live your life in 2015? How I am choosing to live my life is best expressed in a song written by Gloria Gaither –
I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven;
I’ll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child and I am not afraid.
So greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive my brother;
The law of love I gladly will obey.
I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion;
I’ve been so loved that I’ll risk loving, too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I’ll dare to see another’s point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I’ll be there to care and follow through.
Your Kingdom come around and through in me,
Your power and glory, let them shine through me.
Your Hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor,
And may Your living Kingdom come in me,
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor,
And may You feed a hungry world through me.
So fellow workers for Jesus, how will you live your life in 2015? I invite you to join me in praying that the message of this song will be the story of your life! To God be the glory!
Blessings upon blessings to you and your family during this Christmas season!
Wayne Culmore, President, Seventh-day Adventist Church (British Columbia Conference)
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