CBOQ Assembly 2021 – Learning Sessions

You can view all permission-granted learning sessions below. Visit main Assembly page here.

Ministry with Individuals and Families Affected by Disability

As a parent of twins with disabilities, and an expert in the field of disability studies, Andrea Foster offers a unique perspective on the Church and disability. Topics explored include:

  • Why accessibility, inclusion and belonging matter and how to promote them
  • How to support parents and caregivers
  • Interaction with people with differences and disabilities
  • Key practical strategies for overcoming difficult situations
  • Post-COVID planning for those who cannot simply “come back”
Speaker Bio:

Andrea Foster is a Christian mom, speaker, writer, disability advocate and wife to Kirk. They have four grown kids. Their two youngest are 17-year-old twin girls who both have profound disabilities. Andrea holds her Masters of Science in Education (Disability Studies), Bachelor of Theology and ECE. She is passionate about equipping church leaders, encouraging families and challenging all Jesus-followers to see the world through the lens of disability.

Revisioning Evangelism in Today’s Age

Evangelism, at any point in history, is difficult because there is so much at stake. Yet, many people will not actively engage in evangelism for fear of “failure”. Many people have the tendency to think “I met someone therefore I must now share the Gospel.” In some circumstances this is true, so people take the jump instead of trusting the process and take on the unwarranted pressure and weight. In this session we will look at a process by which we can fully engage at every step along the way in someone’s journey. Looking at the great commission and Matthew 11:28-30 will not only affect the way you approach evangelism, but it will give you confidence in the process.

Speaker Bio

Shawn Naylor is a Youth Culture Specialist that works for Youth for Christ. His life story is an incredible testament to God’s grace. Alongside his local area ministry in schools, Shawn speaks all over being a voice to and for young people. His degrees sociology, fine arts, and drama have given him a unique approach involving humor, passion and insight on relevant issues. Whether writing or speaking or making videos for YouTube or TikTok, his goal is helping young people discover who they are and maximize their gifts. He is married to Mireille Pruneau and they have three children, Ezra, Emmanuel, and Ézékiel.

Acting in Faith: Mission in the Age of COVID-19

This interactive session will look at the impact of COVID-19 on churches around the world. CBM Executive Director Jennifer Lau will host a conversation with field staff from Bolivia, Lebanon, India and Rwanda. They will share with us the challenges of Christian witness and pastoral care during and coming out of the pandemic. Time will also be given to issues of hunger and nutrition (globally and locally) that have become more acute because of COVID-19.

Speaker Bio

Jennifer Lau began her tenure as Executive Director in November 2020. She has served with CBM since 2002, primarily focusing on providing the marketing strategy and direction for all CBM’s endeavours in Canada. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Associate Executive Director and was responsible for overseeing the organization’s operations. Jennifer created CBM’s magazine, Mosaic and served as its Managing Editor. In her time at CBM, Jennifer has traveled across Canada and to many countries around the world, seeking to connect Canadian Baptists to the people CBM serves globally. Her passion is to help people situate their own faith journeys within the global community and encourage them to faithfully follow Jesus into the world. Jennifer is married to Chun and they have two children.

Being Baptist 101: An Introduction to their Distinctives

What makes a Baptist a Baptist? When did the denomination begin? What do they actually believe? This session deals with such questions by providing a helpful introduction to the history and distinctives of the Baptist movement—a movement that is one of the largest Protestant denominations on the planet today.

Speaker Bio

Gordon L. Heath, PhD, FRHistS, is Professor of Christian History and Centenary Chair of World Christianity at McMaster Divinity College. He has written or edited over a dozen books. His most recent work is a co-authored work with Dallas Friesen and Taylor Murray, entitled Baptists in Canada: Their History and Polity (Wipf and Stock, 2020). Gordon is also the Director of the Canadian Baptist Archives, an ordained minister with CBOQ and member of Jerseyville Baptist Church.

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The Hybrid Future of Church and Faith Formation

For decades, the Church and faith formation have relied on in-person, fixed-time gatherings, events, and programming offered in physical spaces. The pandemic disrupted this “default” model and pushed us to experiment. Hybrid models of church and faith formation integrate in-person gatherings at church or in family groups or small group meetings with online content comprising a rich menu of faith forming experiences. Hybrid models hold together two important values: the importance of in-person relationships and faith forming experiences, and the importance of being responsive to the complexity of people’s lives and their religious-spiritual needs. Hybrid models expand faith formation opportunities for everyone, allowing leaders to become much more strategic about when, where, how and for what we gather people, because we can now integrate online with in-person faith forming. This session will present a variety of models for developing a hybrid future for your church.

Speaker Bio

John Roberto has spent a lifetime working in Christian faith formation—teaching, writing, researching and consulting. He founded LifelongFaith Associates in 2006 to continue his work in imagining and designing the future of faith formation in churches. His latest publications include Faith Formation with a New Generation, Families at the Center of Faith Formation, Seasons of Adult Faith Formation, Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century and Generations Together.

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What Church did Paul Attend?

The nature of the church is an important issue for contemporary Christianity, but it was also an issue for the early Church, including the important church planter and missionary, Paul of Tarsus. Paul wrote numerous letters to various churches and church leaders about who they are and what they should be doing. This lecture and open discussion is designed for any Christians—those in their own churches, pastors and other church leaders—who want to examine, through Paul’s letters, the nature of the Pauline church, so that we all can learn about the nature, organization, concerns, triumphs and struggles of local gatherings of early Christians.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Stanley Porter is President, Dean and Professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College, the seminary of CBOQ. He loves to write and teach about the New Testament and especially Paul the apostle, about whom he has written books and commentaries, including currently completing one on the Pastoral Epistles.

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Congregational Flourishing Throughout and Beyond the Pandemic

What are some of the key dimensions to a flourishing congregation in Canada, and to what areas might congregations give particular attention coming out of the pandemic? Drawing on the book, Signs of Life: Catholic, Mainline, and Conservative Protestant Congregations in Canadabased on interviews, focus groups and survey data with over 250 Canadian congregations and 9100 congregants—this session will include a broad overview of how we might think of “flourishing” in Canadian congregations. Specific attention will be given to topics of innovation, leadership and evangelism.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Joel Thiessen is a Professor of Sociology and Director of the Flourishing Congregations Institute at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta. He has authored and co-authored several books regarding Christianity, religious “nones”, millennials and congregations in Canada. For more information, go to www.joelthiessen.ca.

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Coaching Basics: Interacting Like Jesus Does

Coaching is the process of helping people move from where they are to where God wants them to be. Together, we will explore the basics of coaching and learn to interact like Jesus does, empowering others to step into whatever the Spirit calls them. This workshop is for you if:

  • You want to become a better listener and ask incisive questions
  • You want another tool to help staff, key lay leaders and employees develop to their full potential
  • You want another tool for pastoral counselling situations that enables people to find greater clarity about how to get unstuck, identify areas of growth and move forward with solutions they identify and implement
Speaker Bio

Traci-Lynn Burt’s passion is helping others discover who God has called them to be while pursuing the purposes for which they were created. Traci-Lynn is Christ’s Beloved, wife to Russ and mother to Nick, Matthew, Leah and Katie. She is the Director of Leader Development with the Central Canadian District of the C&MA, the founder of Cornerstone Consulting Canada, a Sr. Certified Coach with Leadership Coaching Canada, a Birkman Certified Professional and a Grip-Birkman Trainer. Traci-Lynn has served in the local church in both volunteer and professional roles for over 30 years.

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Pension and Benefits

Covering the Canadian Baptist Benefits and Pension plans, the speakers will review how the plans work, requirements and options, plus how our plans compare to marketplace benchmarks.
This session is intended for pastors, retirees and treasurers.

Speaker Bios


Rob Jackett
 has responsibility for Finance and Administration at Canadian Baptist Ministries, including oversight of the Canadian Baptist Benefits and Pension plans. He brings a wealth of business, marketing and financial experience within the Baptist family and from previous corporate executive roles.

Loyda Ortiz is the Manager of Pension and Benefits at CBM, CBBenefits. Loyda is a valued resource who is our Baptist family liaison with our benefits provider and pension plan. She is an expert who has managed benefit and pension plans with various companies and has been a speaker at Canadian benefit conferences.

Developing Intercultural Leadership: “All things to all people…”

Today, being inclusive in our diversity is more than just skin colour and language. And yet, migration and immigration—both in the past and present—have meant a collision of ethnic cultures in our local neighbourhoods and churches. How do we develop the essential skills to equip our leaders and ourselves to move beyond the welcome to embrace truly transformative multicultural communities of faith?

Speaker Bio

Rev. Dr. Timothy Li-Hui Tang is a second-generation Chinese Canadian, whose parents came as international students. He is the Director of the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries Centre and the Pastor-at-Large at East Toronto Chinese Baptist Church.

Welcoming the Other

This session explores where you can process some of the recent events that broke our hearts, by addressing relationships that are broken from issues such as social isolation, mental illness/depression, exclusion and victimization to racism. Begin or continue your journey in developing biblical responses in your reading of Scripture, your theology, ministry and your personal transformation.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Cynthia (Cindy) Long Westfall is an Assistant Professor of New Testament at McMaster Divinity College. She specializes in the analysis of biblical texts, the Book of Hebrews, gender and ministry and biblical social justice.

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Hope for the Walking Wounded

Life is good… until it’s not. Dark clouds come in all shapes and sizes and leave us asking where do we turn? Brett Ullman in The Walking Wounded begins to address how to walk back towards healing and away from our emotions, feelings and thoughts that are keeping us paralyzed in life.

No shame, fear, or hiding is required as we are safe to journey towards healing together. There is hope for the walking wounded.

Speaker Bio

Brett Ullman travels North America speaking to teens, young adults, leaders, and parents on topics including parenting, mental health, men, sexuality, pornography, dating and media. Brett was a teacher with the Toronto District School Board for 10 years before moving into speaking full-time back in 2005.

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Supporting Single Parent Families

Due to divorce or bereavement, parents and children from single-parent families are under great duress. Often, children may not know how to express their anxiety, loneliness, anger or uncertainty. If negative emotions are not processed properly, they may develop into a time bomb that affects their adulthood. This session will give an overview of children’s grieving cycle and their symptoms. With such an understanding, it further suggests tips on supporting children from single-parent families so that they can cope with their life circumstances, pain or stress in healthy and positive ways. A practical single parent family ministry model will also be discussed.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Teresa Tong, the Founder and Consulting Children’s Pastor of BLESSING4CM Consulting Ministry, graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary (USA) with a Doctor of Ministry degree in Family and Youth Ministry and a MDiv degree from Tyndale Seminary, majoring in Pastoral and Children’s Ministry.  Dr. Tong served as a Children’s Pastor in Richmond Hill Christian Community Church. With over 40 years of ministry experience, she is now focusing on mentoring children’s pastors and training ministry leaders locally and overseas, as well as delivering parenting seminars and leading joint family worship for all age groups in many churches. She delivers courses at Tyndale and serves on the Board of TCCPA (Toronto Chinese Christian Parenting Association). She is a popular speaker for conferences, systematic teachers training series, leadership retreats and radio interviews as well as publishing journals and hosting city-wide special programs for children. She has led many short-term mission teams to different parts of the world (Cambodia, Myanmar, Africa, Macedonia, Romania, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, China).

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Better Together: Leading So All Generations Can Flourish

What role can a pastor play in helping people of all generations experience the church as a place of belonging, growth and contribution? This session explores what it means to be a pastor for all ages and why this should matter to us. Attendees will be invited to consider practical ways of partnering with others to build intergenerational communities of faith where children, youth and adults can grow together in Christ.

Speaker Bio

Cory Seibel pastors at Central Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta. He earned his M.Th. degree through Spurgeon’s College, London, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria. Cory frequently speaks on intergenerational ministry and has authored several papers and articles on this topic. He edited The Generative Church and the forthcoming volume, Engage All Generations, and contributed chapters to InterGenerate: Transforming Churches through Intergenerational Ministry.

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Church Finance & HR FAQs

This session will review the Finance and Human Resources questions that are commonly asked by member churches. The presenters will provide guidance, best practices and considerations in fiscal management and setting workplace standards.
This session is intended for treasurers and church board members.

Speaker Bios

Adam Cree has responsibility for leading the Finance and Administration team at CBOQ, including IT and building management. He brings Accounting leadership experience from previous roles with Salvation Army and is the church Treasurer at Bethany Baptist Church in Toronto. Adam is also highly engaged with youth ministry at Bethany Baptist.

Koon Wah Leung is the Senior Director of Operations at CBOQ where she has responsibility for Finance, HR, Communications and Member Care. She brings a wealth of brand management and program innovation experience from leading companies such as Procter & Gamble and Shoppers Drug Mart. She serves as the Chair of Elders at Spring Garden Church, Toronto, and loves to volunteer for the nursery and toddler rooms.

Exploring Multivocational Ministry Realities

There are many CBOQ pastors that also work outside their congregation.  Tentmaking, bivocational and multivocational ministry provides both unique challenges and opportunities for churches, leaders and family members.  CBOQ multivocational pastor and church planter Brian Yu will lead a panel and group discussions on some of the dynamics and recent research on multivocational ministry.

Speaker Bio

portrait of Brian Yu

Brian Yu has been serving in pastoral ministry for over 12 years. He currently co-leads a CBOQ church plant in Toronto. Brian is also the New Canadian Church Planters Coordinator with the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries (TIM) Centre at Tyndale University and is the Executive Director of Flow Ministries, which is a care and compassion initiative to a low-income subsidized housing neighbourhood in Markham.

Preparing for Summer Day Camp

This panel discussion with some of our veteran children’s ministry pastors will explore practical tips, options and ideas for preparing for and leading a meaningful summer day camp experience in the midst of an ongoing pandemic reality. Tanya will facilitate the discussion with pastors that found creative ways to carry out a ministry experience during the summer of 2020.

Speaker Bio

Tanya Yuen serves as the Children and Family Ministries Associate for the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec. She oversees various training and resourcing initiatives for CBOQ churches seeking to draw out the giftedness of children and families in their midst.

Tanya is an ordained pastor with CBOQ and brings to her role a blend of hands-on experience in children, youth and family ministry, having spent 16 years as a pastor in downtown Toronto, along with leadership development and administrative experience. Moreover, she is motivated by the opportunity and privilege to journey alongside others, helping them to discover their God-given gifts and abilities and equipping them to serve in the area of Children and Family Ministry.

She holds a Bachelor of Religious Education and a Master of Theological Studies from Tyndale University College & Seminary.  She is also a graduate of the Arrow Leadership Program. Tanya serves as a mentor for students in the online BWA Horizons Children’s Course.

Tanya is married to Alfred and they have three daughters.

Anti-Racism & Reconciliation Awareness

Pastors and ministry leaders are invited to journey through key concepts about racism and reconciliation from Indigenous and Black Canadian perspectives. What do Church leaders need to know about the ways that institutions uphold racism even today? How can leaders and congregations respond? What does the Bible say about racism and reconciliation? From myth busting to offering a series of “Did you Know” quizzes about Black and Indigenous cultures, leaders will leave this workshop with practical tools, greater awareness and a conversation guide about racism and reconciliation from a biblical perspective.

Speaker Bios

Joel Gordon is a filmmaker, actor, pastor and the Director of Partnership and Ministry Innovation at the EFC. He is married with four children and lives north of Toronto.  Since his early teens, Joel has been acting in television and film. After studying acting at York University and completing his BFA, Joel started to produce and direct television documentaries. In 2013, he produced a magazine and TV series called Love Is Moving that features youth groups living out God’s love in their communities. Joel is passionate about guiding his own children into a deeper relationship with God and about sharing stories from youth and young adults across Canada through EFC’s magazine, Love Is Moving.

Andrew Thunder is an Indigenous ministry leader, a business professional and an advocate for reconciliation. He currently serves as the Director of Corporate Responsibility at The North West Company where he leads sustainability initiatives related to a corporate implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, diversity and inclusion policies and Indigenous community investments. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Horizon College and Seminary. He previously served as a youth pastor in Ontario, an executive pastor in Manitoba and assisted in directing Indigenous missions for the Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba PAOC District.