Come Together, Right Now

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National Canadian Baptist gathering at the Carey Institute, Vancouver, BC

Come Together, Right Now

How wonderful, how beautiful,
when brothers and sisters get along!
It’s like costly anointing oil
flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon
flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing,
ordains eternal life.

Psalm 133, The Message

Have you ever been to a family reunion where you met a bunch of relatives you’ve never seen before? Did you find out where you got your sense of humour? See a familiar expression? Or maybe just that nose that you’ve never especially loved. But there it is, replicated on the faces of those around you.

That’s what it was like this week when representatives of Canadian Baptists from across our country got together in Vancouver for our first national meeting in many years. Canadian Baptists from western Canada, French Quebec, the Atlantic provinces and Ontario and English Quebec were all there to represent their regions. Despite our broad geography, we all saw our common DNA reflected back to us. Certainly, we have some differences that come with space and place, but when we dug deeper, we discovered that the roots of our family tree run deep indeed.

Like all families, we feel a genetic obligation to love each other. But what’s even better?

We actually like each other.

And it’s no wonder! This week we had the chance to hear what God is doing through our churches across Canada. We heard about the challenges we all face, but we also found out about the hope that drives us forward. More than that, we found out that our common chromosomes mean that we have many built-in opportunities to share our resources and work together to better support all our Canadian Baptist churches right across our country. We can share our stories to give our churches new ideas and energy to reach their communities. We can use our influence to make our country better. We can collaborate to be better stewards of our resources. There’s so much we can do when we work together.

Sam Chaise, Executive Director of Canadian Baptist Ministries has a unique perspective on our Canadian Baptist family. As our partner in common, Sam knows us very well. Here’s what he had to say about our Canadian Baptist family:

I have a strong conviction that our place in the church landscape – our approach to the Christian faith – is vitally required for the Canadian church and for Canada. We are rooted in Scripture but with a thoughtful hermeneutic. We believe in evangelism but with respect for the other’s freedom. We are advocates for justice, but for biblical justice, not secular rights-based justice. We believe in all of the gifts of the Spirit being given full expression by both women and men. This is a unique combination of things, my friends. Let us not take it for granted.

So yes, we’re a little different from each other. But underneath those differences flows the same blood to the same heart, full of love for our God and our fellow Canadian Baptists. So get ready, family. Great things are coming.

 

 

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