Dear CBOQ family,
As part of my role as Communications Associate at CBOQ over the last seven years, I’ve had the opportunity to share your stories—stories from Kenora to Montreal, Mistissini to Chatham. I’ve been so encouraged by your passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus, extending his care to those most in need and being the Church in a world that needs the Holy Spirit… which is why it is bittersweet to leave this role to pursue a different opportunity.
One of the questions I’ve often asked at the end of an interview is this, “If there is a message that you’d like to give your CBOQ family, what would it be?” My answer is this—here’s what I’ve learned about us, family:
We love God
We are absolutely in love with God. We adore our beloved resurrected Christ, unequivocally, and the Spirit is our beating heart. Everything we do comes from our passionate pursuit of God’s mission on this planet, and we want every last person to know how amazing, awesome, lovely and beautiful our God is.
We love food
Food is central to every church gathering outside of the actual worship service (and even that has Communion at least once a month). Sharing food together is just part of us being a community. It’s a way we express welcome and hospitality. Even now, many of our churches have been delivering food to isolated seniors, running food banks, baking pies for ex-cons and figuring out creative ways to continue serving in and beyond the pandemic.
We’re from all over
Our ancestors came from everywhere. We are Indigenous, Latin American, African, Caribbean, Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander and European… and we all worship a Middle Eastern Saviour. Some of our predecessors arrived here a long, long time ago; others came more recently. There is no one Baptist way, no single cultural expression, no typical Baptist, and we’re getting more diverse every day.
We (really) don’t like being told what to do
On the one hand, we love our convictions and our freedom to form them. On the other hand, we do tend to get riled up when other people’s convictions aren’t the same as ours. Whether it’s the colour of the paint… or something more substantial… making space for different perspectives isn’t always easy for us, even when we are all rooted in the very same Bible.
Sometimes, even the nicest sheep bite
Your CBOQ staff care about you. They pray for you faithfully and regularly. They spend their time developing tools to help you and plan events hoping that you’ll come and be filled up, equipped and ready to serve your communities. They take your calls when you have joys, sorrows and frustrations to share, and they hope for your best. They hurt when you hurt, and rejoice when you rejoice. Yet, sometimes they get hurt, too. Sometimes concerns raised are heavy. Sometimes a letter penned in frustration is deeply hurtful, and hasty comments can sting. When you think of them, pray for them. If you appreciate some way they’ve helped you, let them know. If you’re upset, try to speak your words in love, remembering that this team is genuinely invested in you and in the Kingdom of God.
We are a family
We’re a boisterous, joyful, friendly bunch that loves God, each other and our communities. Our churches are familial outposts in different places, busily doing the work of the Kingdom everywhere we are established. We will have trials and setbacks, but we will overcome them, welcoming the world into the wonder, redemption and grace of Jesus, forever.
I will always be grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had to serve you, CBOQ family. So while I may be leaving this role, I will always be a part of this family.
With love for you, and the ways that you serve God together,