Horizon Weekly | 24 June 2021
By Gerry Taillon
National Ministry Leader of the CNBC
June 21 was National Indigenous Peoples' Day which always causes me to reflect and remember my beginnings as a pastor more than 40 years ago. My first church was a First Nations church that ministered to two reserves in northwestern Saskatchewan. I had the privilege to work with people from Cree and Saulteaux First Nations bands. I was a complete novice and to this day I feel bad for those I was called to shepherd. I made innumerable mistakes and evidenced my lack of experience on so many occasions.
But I learned so much from these people that I was supposed to be leading and teaching. They taught me so many values that are often neglected in our contemporary society. They knew how to be patient and wait. Often when I would visit a family and there would be uncomfortable silences before we would begin to talk. At first, I would fill the conversational vacuum with a flutter of inconsequential verbiage and then noticed they were completely comfortable with the silence. I learned to be quiet, enjoy the silence, and just be there with them.
Official Canadian Native flag created by Mulidzas–J. Curtis Wilson (1980–2019) CLICK HERE to find out more about the flag.
I learned to slow down and enjoy the journey instead of always being in a hurry and missing out on so much. Living in the present was a reality for Indigenous people and an example for me about how to not wish your life away by always focusing on the future. Enjoying those critical relational moments was so important to them and such a breath of fresh air for me.
I have so many great memories of the five years I spent as a pastor of an Indigenous congregation. I learned to value children and resist the temptation to dismiss them as unimportant and inconsequential. I loved being with them because they became my friends and although there could have been a lasting cultural barrier between us, they accepted me and welcomed me into their hearts. They treated me as one of their own and I felt so privileged to share in their rich cultural experiences.
Recently I was horrified to hear of the unmarked graves of Indigenous children in residential schools. I grieve with them and pray that God will bring justice to such a wrong. I believe with all my heart that a relationship with Jesus is the answer to every human challenge and the only way to have complete healing. My hope for the Indigenous people I came to I love, is for us to cooperate with our Lord to seek to right the wrongs and see Him restore a people to all that He intends for them.
National Ministry Leader
The CNBC National Leadership Board would like to introduce you to the search team for our next National Ministry Leader. This team has met twice and has begun the process of finding the next person of God to fill this position. Please be in prayer for this team as we seek God’s will for who to approach about applying for this position. The members of the search are:
JD Fasolino – Ontario
Folusho Hezekiah – Manitoba
Shane Spannagel – Alberta
Bo Neal – Alberta
Erin Evans – Prince Edward Island
David Pothier – Quebec
Patsy Woodard – British Columbia
Victor Somers – New Brunswick
Johanne Zolc – Saskatchewan
Please keep an eye out for future communication and prayer requests regarding our progress and how you can pray for this team and the person God desires to fill this strategic position in our convention.
|Paul Johnson / Facebook /
Since it’s my birthday I’ll declare it T&P day (thanks and praise). Here’s the prayer I sent out to bunches of ROOTS-ers [ROOTS is the church where Paul attends and mentors young leaders] and friends this morning. You can put your own name in and join me in T&P: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,” your Word says, our Abba, so [your name] and I do that to start this day.
Thanks for eternal life, totally your gift, undeserved by us. Thanks for adopting us so we’re now your children. And for your Spirit, who lives within us somehow – there’s lots we don’t understand! – and warms our heart to you. Thanks for friends on this tough journey, who love us and put up with us. Thanks for forgiveness, your continual cleansing of our lives within. Thanks for your Word, “alive and powerful... sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, ... It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Thanks for pastors and missionaries and teachers who obeyed your call and brought the good news of Jesus to us. Thanks for nature around us, reminding us, “your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.” For the scent of pansies, the beauty of horses, the rings of Saturn. Thanks for the hope you give, one day we’ll be with you, and THIS WILL BE TRUE: “no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” It will be sooo great. Oh this, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” Jesus, of course, who showed the ultimate love, sacrificial love, laying down his life so we could be reborn. We are sooo grateful!! Receive our thanks, Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul Johnson was the Team Leader for Church Strengthening at the CNBC until he retired a year ago. He now acts as the Regional Ministry Leader for Northern Alberta on a volunteer basis as well as leading and mentoring at ROOTS church. Thank you for all you do Paul, and happy birthday!
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.