Horizon Weekly | 17 June 2021
By Alicia Hein
This year’s graduation ceremony at Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary & College looked different from past years in many ways. Due to the postponing of last year’s ceremony, it had already been slated to be the first joint ceremony in the school’s history, celebrating both the 2020 graduates and the 2021 graduands. Then, when further COVID-19 restrictions were added during the week of graduation, the school’s administration had three days to reorganize their plans even more. The joint ceremony was split back into two: one for college graduates from both years, and another for the seminary. Faculty were divided between the two ceremonies in order to keep attendee numbers for each at 15. Each graduate attending in person was allotted one guest, while everyone else participated via Zoom or YouTube livestream.
Despite these additional challenges, however, both ceremonies ran beautifully and celebrated with 23 certificate and degree recipients on Saturday, May 8. Pastor Gerry Taillon, the National Ministry Leader of the Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC), offered a heartfelt graduation address. He encouraged those present, both in person and online, to remember that God is always God, and we are always His. This truth remains steadfast in all circumstances, no matter the struggles we may face. He used the examples of earthworms, which take waste and turn it into the most fruitful soil in the world, and of the pedal-assist function on electronic bicycles, which turns the rider’s futile efforts into good and productive labour. No matter what has happened in the past, God is always doing something new. He never wastes anything, and He will use even the hardest experiences for the good of His people and for His own glory.
After this address, the college ceremony recognized the degrees of four 2020 graduates, and conferred four certificates and degrees to the class of 2021. For 2020, Lee Janzen and Caleb Smith received the Bachelor of Christian Studies, while Alexander Brown and Tracy Onley received the Bachelor of Christian Ministry. For 2021, Ruth Anderson and Sarah Butt received the Samuel Program Certificate in person, Jacob Neal graduated with the Bachelor of Christian Studies, and Clifford Drakes earned the Bachelor of Christian Ministry.
The seminary graduates were more in number, though only six were able to attend in person. Nine degrees were earned by 2020 graduates, and six by the class of 2021. For 2020, Conrad Au, Lisa Congo, and Christopher Girvan (with distinction) received the Master of Christian Studies, while Timothy Lenko earned the Master of Biblical Studies. The Master of Divinity graduates were Siseung Ahn, John Baker (with distinction and with thesis), Alicia Hein (with distinction and with thesis), and Andy Menjivar (with distinction). For 2021, five students graduated with the Master of Christian Studies: Jeremy Hall, Clint Langelaar, Jaemoon Lee, Alexandre Nascimento (with distinction), and David Ong. Jordan Bergen earned the Master of Divinity.
While this year’s ceremonies unfolded differently than anyone would have hoped, those who were present still felt the care and love of a community that has endured more together in the past fifteen months than at any time in the history of the school. Never has the motto of “training leaders for tough places” rung more true. The application of this motto to these two graduating classes by Academic Dean Dr. Steve Booth was poignant and thought-provoking: “To have completed your course of study under such conditions is more than commendable; it is extraordinary. And graduating with face masks on, in a sanctuary holding a fraction of its capacity, will be a perpetual reminder of what you have endured and accomplished by God’s grace.” We wish our graduates God’s strength, presence, and blessing as they continue to serve Him in the ministries to which they are called.
This year's Annual Gathering, Reboot 2021, was held live across Canada on May 14th, with breakouts being held on May 15th. Across each region and time zone, people gathered online from their homes and watch parties where restrictions allowed. We came together and enjoyed seeing familiar faces and feeling like we were "in the room" with one another, if not in person, at least in our hearts and minds.
We heard fabulous messages that encouraged us to reboot in various aspects of ministry and our lives in the next season God has for us both individually and as a church.
Here are a few of the things people are saying about Reboot 2021:
"Very well-organized digital experience."
"To me, this was really the best thing I heard for this year so far. 'We need to Reboot our hearts rather than our strategies.' 'If we seek strategies we will miss God.' "Revivals are not born out of strategies' 'Don't waste the season' 'If we get the God of strategies we will get the strategies.' Pastor David Pothier."
"The breakout session was a rich experience."
If you did not have the opportunity to join us live, please join us now for the main celebration session or to take part in the great breakout sessions that were offered.
There are even breakouts in Korean, Spanish and French!
CLICK HERE for all the recordings of Reboot 2021.
|Jason McGibbon / Facebook / 06.10.21
Encourage One Another
I was recently challenged by my friend Brett Porter to consider encouragement. Is there anything that gives more bang for the buck, more return on investment, or punches above its weight than a simple word of encouragement? It is such a simple thing, that requires little time or energy but can have such a profound impact. Think about the last time someone encouraged you, how it made you feel and the impact that it had on the rest of your day. If we are honest, we all have a need to be noticed and appreciated.
Although it is a simple thing, it does require noticing things and then intentionality to execute. There are so many reasons we might allow a thought to pass and not actually take the time to encourage someone. We are busy and the thought passes. We wonder how they will respond, “will they think it's weird?” But let's not allow the moments to pass.
Take some time to intentionally write down when someone encourages you.
Take the time to intentionally send or speak an encouraging word to someone else: a friend, a spouse, a colleague etc.
Jason McGibbon is the lead pastor at The Hamilton Fellowships, and is a musician and an artist. He also is the Regional Ministry Leader for Ontario with the CNBC.
Doctors Barbara and David Wyman (COCHRANE, AB) celebrated their 80th birthdays this past month. We want to celebrate with them and thank them for their service and involvement in both the Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC) and the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary & College (CSBS&C) They have shown faithful servant leadership over the many years we have been blessed to have them as part of our "families" and are a Godly example to us all. Happy Birthday Barbara and David!
Do you have a story you would like to share? Please contact Lynda Blazina and let her know. We would love to share your stories with our CNBC family of churches.
CNBC Weekly Horizon
CNBC Mission: We are churches in covenant giving ourselves away to advance the Kingdom.
CNBC Vision: We see a day when every man, woman, boy and girl has multiple opportunities to see, hear and respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ.