Horizon Weekly | 1 July 2020
By Don McNaughton
COCHRANE, AB—Each year in March, students from Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary & College visit CNBC churches across Canada. The weekend visit gives students an opportunity to experience ministry in a church setting by preaching and/or contributing to some other ministry need of the church.
Sammy Bernard spoke at First Baptist Church in Cochrane, ON, where Sam Agustin is pastor.
Seminary Day 2020 was one of the last calendar events in our school year that was done in person before the COVID-19 outbreak. Fourteen churches hosted thirteen speakers—including Dr Rob Blackaby and one alum, Sammy Bernard.
We only succeeded in holding the first of two planned chapels to hear reports from students who had participated. From that point on, the school suspended all onsite chapel services along with onsite classroom activities.
Andy Menjivar is with pastors Jeff Jones and Andrew Davis at Grace Church, Cochrane AB.
It was fortunate timing that we could end our normal personal interactions with a positive and “spiritually-sharpening” event. When seminary and college students are commissioned to speak on Seminary Day there are always some unknowns encountered and always some ways in which the students’ trust in God is tested.
Over the years, students have invariably come back with new awareness and appreciation for how God undertook to provide leadership and ability beyond their means. This year was no different. We were in the rejoicing stage of sharing those very things when the COVID shutdown began. It set the mood for being focused on the reality that God gives grace and patience for challenging times. He is worthy of our trust.
I want to thank each and every church and pastor who requested a student to visit. You have helped us say to our students, “Exercise your gifts and deepen your faith.” And we hope that our students’ visits are encouraging to you as you share your fellowship, guidance and care.
From Jacob Neal and James Onaré – spoke at Big Rock Baptist Church, Okotoks, AB
“The main way that I saw God working during the trip was through building lasting connections between the seminary and Big Rock Baptist church. They really wanted the materials we brought. They seemed to be overjoyed to have a school teaching ministry so close to them. God seemed to be working in each of their actions mostly through giving hearts. There were many humble hands and smiling faces that would make anyone feel right at home and loved. It seems obvious that God would want our school advertised and this was the desire of both Pastor Brett and the congregation. Knowledge of our school is in good hands with them and we should in turn recommend Big Rock to any brothers and sisters living in Okotoks.”
Tim Lenko is with interim pastor John Dueck at Watrous (SK) Baptist, Church.
From Timothy Lenko – spoke at Watrous Baptist Church, Watrous, SK
Alicia Hein spoke at The Point Church in Burnaby, BC, where Victor Thomas is pastor.
“Pastor John seemed tremendously encouraged to have one of us there and giving him a Sunday to sit back and be blessed. He and the entire church were very warm and glad to hear about the seminary and have a guest preacher. I was thrilled to preach again—I have not had many chances this year. Having another opportunity to flex those preaching muscles was a treat.
The church seemed passionate about outreach. I will be praying God gives them strength and opportunities within their gifts.”
From Alicia Hein – spoke at The Point Church, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC
“I was really encouraged to see the work God is doing on the SFU campus. In an environment that is increasingly progressive and liberal, The Point is going strong, attracting new attendees, and gaining favour with the university. The worship Sunday morning was another indication that God is working powerfully in students. It was a great experience to be part of this!”
Banner Photo: Colton Erismann is with pastor Brian Lum at Edmonton (AB) Chinese Baptist Church.