by Rev. Carl Walters, Pastor, Eden BC and Goshen BC
I have been going to Assembly for many years, and I always love being there!
When I served on the Blizzard retreat leadership team, each year on Thursday night, Matt Wilkinson would share with staff and volunteers how that night felt like Christmas Eve to him. Christmas Eve is when all the preparations are complete, and only excitement and anticipation lie ahead.
In a similar way, for me Assembly feels like Thanksgiving, because it is where I see my CBOQ family. The reality of being busy people that are spread far across Ontario and Quebec, is that we often do not get to see one another face to face. Assembly is a wonderful opportunity for me to reconnect with a whole bunch of this family in one place and to catch up with groups of them over coffee or a meal. After all, it’s a Baptist proverb that “fellowship means food.” It is really a foretaste of the heavenly banquet!
Assembly is also where I meet new people. I jokingly refer to it as the “Baptist schmooze” because it’s a great opportunity to grow my network and make new friends. The organizations in the hallways are interesting and I always find helpful resources for me and my church family. The speakers have insights to share, and I have sometimes met new people because I wound up sitting next to them in a session.
Assembly is also where we discuss important things and vote on them. Being at Assembly allows me to speak directly to others when I have sought clarification about issues. Sometimes reading things back home – and hearing rumors from a distance – has led to misunderstanding. Being at Assembly has allowed me to have face-to-face chats with people and realize that most of us are on the same page!
To get the most out of Assembly this year, I highly recommend that you come with excitement to connect, enthusiasm to learn, and an “appetite” to share together.
See you there!