It Is Still

Bow River, Alberta

It is still

where the waters

run deep

where fathoms lie

between surface and

depths.

 

You could drown

without

a trace.

 

But the river is alive

in the deep places

wide awake.

 

It is like watching

a grizzly or

snow leopard or

Leviathan:

you don’t dare

move

lest he notices

and flees or turns

and swallows you whole.

 

Only the shallows

are noisy

with constant

motion

drowning all

listening,

speaking all

day

yet saying nothing.

 

m. buchanan

begin Oct 1/15, finished Feb 1/16

Date: March 17, 2016
Event: Columbia Bible College - Pastor's Conference
Venue: Columbia Bible College
Location: 2940 Clearbrook Road
Abbotsford, BC
Public: Public

Spring Renewal is our annual event bringing together Christians from our fellowship and community for a time of refreshing through worship, learning, and fellowship.

This year’s event features special guests Mark Buchanan (Calgary, AB) and Phil Vanderveen (Abbotsford, BC) as our keynote speaker and worship leader respecitively. Class sessions will be led by local presenters, known within our city and/or fellowship.

 

Date: March 4, 2016—March 6, 2016
Event: Glen Elm Church of Christ - Spring Renewal
Venue: Glen Elm Church of Christ
Location: 1825 Rothwell Street
Regina, Sask
Public: Public

Rev. Darrell Johnson, Dr. Gordon T. Smith ‘Preaching the Book of Ephesians’

Ephesians presents the gospel in all its height and breadth and depth, drawing out the implications of Christ’s cross for our daily lives, worship, work, marriage, parenting, and more. The 2016 Ambrose Pastors Conference features two seasoned biblical expositors, Darrell Johnson and Gordon T. Smith, opening up the letter’s riches. Other presenters include Terry Fach, JoAnn Badley, and Mark Buchanan.

For a conference schedule click here.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 at 8:30 AM – Thursday, 18 February 2016 at 12:00 PM

Date: February 17, 2016—February 18, 2016
Event: Ambrose Pastor's Conference
Venue: Ambrose Seminary
Location: 150 Ambrose Circle SW
Calgary, AB
Public: Public
Date: February 5, 2016—February 7, 2016
Event: Encounter Retreat - Pastors and Spouses
Venue: Pocaterra Inn
Location: Canmore, AB
Public: Private
Date: February 4, 2016
Event: Victoria Evangelical Pastors Fellowship
Venue: Church of the Nazarene
Location: 4277 Quadra St
Victoria, BC
Public: Public

‘For Whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.’ ~ Hebrews 4:10-11

Join us in rest, prayer, and worship at the annual Kingdom Prayer Conference and explore how to: live out Sabbath, understand the rest of God, and make prayer a lifestyle.

Speakers: Mark Buchanan, Yinka Marcus, and Ben Johnson
Cost:  $20 per person

Date: January 23, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Event: First Assembly Kingdom Prayer Conference
Venue: First Assembly, Calgary
Location: 6031 Elbow Drive SW
Calgary, AB
Public: Public

In Praise of Small Beginnings

Capernaum

I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my son in Bethlehem. It was both wonderful and disruptive. And it was the least festive Christmas I’ve ever had, at least measured by my childhood memories of baubles and carols and angels and all the family gathered to feast. My son and I ate Christmas dinner alone in a cold cafeteria. We had lamb meatballs in tomato broth, and no dessert. We exchanged not a single gift, other than the best ones: words of blessing and thanksgiving.

Bethlehem is, of course, no longer a little town lying still in deep and dreamless sleep. It is a sprawling and dangerous Palestinian city, surrounded by prison-like concrete walls, teeming with military police, simmering with discontent. We got caught in a small riot on Christmas Day – an angry mob, finally dispersed by canisters of tear gas, hurling rocks in sling shots, burning garbage and tires, strewing debris across roadways, chanting angry slogans.

It was not a scene of peace on earth, good will toward men.
This was my first visit to Israel and Palestine. Many people told me, when they heard of my plans, that the trip would transform me: that walking where Jesus walked, reading stories in the places where the actual events happened, touching the water from which Peter pulled nets and across which Jesus strode – all this and more would breathe fresh life into my faith.

Yes and no.

No in the sense that the “places Jesus walked” are mostly buried beneath layers of subsequent development and pious tradition. The actual sites are largely lost to us. But yes in the sense that the landscape remains virtually unchanged since the first century, or even a thousand years earlier, from the time of David. To stand on the shore of the Sea of Galilee is to see the world much as Jesus and his disciples saw it. To sit in the heights of En Gedi and look out across the canyon walls toward the shining expanse of the Dead Sea is to behold what David, running from mad Saul with his gang of malcontents, beheld.

That’s why Capernaum had such an impact on me. Except for a church and a monastery, and a parking lot to accommodate fleets of monstrous tour buses, Capernaum remains the town where Jesus lived during the days of his ministry in Galilee. Here lie the ruins of the synagogue where Jesus preached, the crumbling walls of the houses in which he ate and spoke and healed, and in one of which he would have slept.

The town’s ordinariness overwhelmed me. Its mundane quality riveted me. Capernaum was a hick town. It played no pivotal historical role. It was never an economic driver, a strategic military location, a cultural innovator, a political flashpoint. It was a little fishing village where a small population, among them Peter, eked out an existence.

And it’s where Jesus lived. Not in Athens, or Alexandria, or Jerusalem. Not in some thriving epicenter, some crossroads of power and wealth and culture. No, he set up shop in a hick town on the margins of everything.

That invigorates my faith. That it was this place (plus a few other hick towns like Bethlehem and Nazareth) that the God of heaven and earth chose to send his one and only son to live among us – this thrills me. It is God’s strange and wondrous habit to choose unlikely people and insignificant places to do the most spectacular and transformative things.

Today, Christianity claims 2.4 billion followers – a third of the world’s population – spread throughout the entire globe. The faith Christ established has launched some of the world’s greatest institutions – universities, hospitals, science, abolition, universal suffrage, civil rights – and inspired some of culture’s greatest artifacts, from cathedrals to symphonies to masterpieces of art.

And it all began in a place which, except for one remarkable inhabitant, no one would otherwise remember.

God doesn’t need the props and trappings and infrastructure of worldly accomplishment to remake the earth. It turns out, any old hick town will do. From nowhere, he can change everything.

That does breathe fresh life into my faith.