Good News Journey – In British Columbia

There are several dynamic, growing churches in British Columbia. Like many other churches, St. John’s Presbyterian Church in White Rock suffered a steady decline in attendance. God heard the congregation’s prayers for renewal and growth, but answered in some unexpected ways. Another church in the Presbytery of Westminster, St. Andrew’s and St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, North Vancouver, also decided to make some changes … Read More

Intentional Community

As I write this, the March issue of the Record has been available for only a couple of weeks. In that time I have had more feedback about my article, Minding the Minister, than I have received for all the things I have ever written for public consumption combined. I hit on something significant: many ministers in our denomination are burning out. This is a problem worthy of our attention. What is needed is focus and strategy. After consultation with our national board over the past year … Read More

Best Practices

Over the past six years, as the congregational development consultant for my synod, I have been in literally hundreds of churches. Many – maybe even most – of these congregations are in gradual decline and are searching for solutions to reverse direction and increase vitality and growth. Sadly, almost all are going about it in exactly the wrong way. While there is no simple answer to how to turn churches around, there are some markers that point us in the right direction; there are practices that can lead … Read More

Maturing Your Faith

Is it possible that faith and doubt can exist together? It seems we have faith and then challenges arise and we are filled with doubts. A few years ago on an adventure holiday, I tried zip-lining. I am not very comfortable with heights. I love to fly in airplanes, but to look over the ledge of a high building is another story. God told childless Abram that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the night sky. Years passed yet there was no child. At age 99, God visited Abram and told him he would be … Read More

Richard Topping is New Principal of VST

Vancouver School of Theology is pleased to announce that it has appointed The Reverend Dr. Richard Topping as its new Principal. Through a rigorous process that resulted in applications from across North America, Richard Topping was chosen as the leading candidate for the position through unanimous choice of the VST Board of Governors. Dr. Topping will take up his position as VST Principal on July 1, and will be inducted … Read More

Clean Hearts, Loyal Spirits

Renewal, like commitment, is not something that happens once and is done with. Sometimes we forget that. We think that having had the experience once, we are good. We think that we have checked it off the list. One more thing accomplished. One more experience off the bucket list. But renewal isn’t like that. Renewal is like the commitment one makes on their wedding day. A commitment that must be reaffirmed the next day, the day after … Read More

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