Three Questions is a semi-regular series introducing individuals across the NAB by asking them about their story, their ministry, and what they are learning. This week, we hear from Carol Potratz, the chair of the Alberta Baptist Association Global Operations Team, former NAB missionary, and retired seminary professor.
What’s Your Story?
I was born and raised in the Midwest United States, growing up on a farm in Iowa about an hour from the Mississippi River, before immigrating to Canada in 1989. As motels and restaurants in my rural area were scarce, my parents would host missionaries, traveling evangelists, foreign students, salesmen, and hobos. Through these visitors and my parents’ hearts for Jesus and the world, particularly the children, from a young age I was challenged to think about and pray for others.
From these beginnings arose my life objective and love for hospitality, prayer, and serving others, a love that continues to this day. I’ve had a variety of vocations, from high school teacher to college and seminary professor; from youth pastor to missionary; from short-order cook to associate dean of students. There is a lot I am passionate about: Jesus – especially knowing him and helping others to know him – strong BLACK coffee over vibrant conversation, young people, live theatre with friends, nature, my nieces and nephews, art, cooking, movies, AND teaching!!
I have spent my life in educational, church, and cross-cultural ministry, having served as a denominational leader, an academic, on pastoral staff, and as a two-term missionary to Japan. . . . .
Within the NAB Constitution, there are three purposes given for hosting a Triennial Conference every three years:
- to motivate the members to fulfill the Conference Mission, Values and Purposes
- to cultivate a sense of unity among members and the member churches
- to conduct a business session for the purpose of elections and any other necessary business
This last purpose, the business session, is likely very few people’s favorite part of Triennial, but it is nonetheless an important component of assembling together. During the business session, delegates will be able to vote on the necessary matters. There are a number of delegates who are automatically registered as such (e.g., NAB missionaries, regional ministers, Governing Board members, etc.), but the majority of delegates come directly from NAB churches, either pastors or lay people.
While the registration for Triennial is well under way – don’t forget, the early bird price of $345 is good through the end of January, after which the cost to register increases to $420 per person – the process to become a church delegate will take place through your church once we get closer to July 11–14, 2024.
In the meantime, there are still a number of free gifts available to the first 50 registrants! You won’t want to miss out! Register today!
Wiesenthal Baptist Church is the quintessential rural church; the two closest population centers are Leduc to the north (pop: 30,000) and Millet to the southeast (pop: 2,000), both at least a ten-minute drive from the church. Prior to coming to Wiesenthal five years ago, Pastor Stephen Epp had mainly lived in the city. He soon realized he would need to learn new ways of connecting with people, of becoming a part of the community. He began practicing “the simple homesteading things,” like chickens, gardening, and even beekeeping.
These simple acts of homesteading are exactly the kinds of missional activities practiced by NAB pastors and leaders across North America. It is not the gardening or beekeeping in themselves that are missional, but rather it is living incarnationally, connecting with people where they are. This reflects God’s instructions to the Babylonian exiles in Jeremiah 29:5–7 to plant gardens and “work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I have sent you” (NLT). When you give to the Ministry Resource Fund, you are helping, in part, to support the training and Gospel work that encourages and provides resources for this kind of missional ministry.
Follow the link below to read the rest of the story about Pastor Stephen and his bees, give to the NAB’s 2023 Christmas Offering, and find resources for your church or home group.
As you consider donating to the NAB in tax year 2023, here are a few factors to keep in mind to make sure we are able to give you a tax receipt for calendar year 2023:
- If you are sending a check, please make sure the check and the envelope postmark are both dated no later than December 31, 2023.
- Online credit card transactions must be charged no later than December 31, 2023.
- Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) forms must be received at the NAB’s Roseville, California, office no later than December 18, 2023.
- In order to donate stock prior to the end of the year, notification must be received at the NAB’s Roseville, California, office no later than December 11, 2023.
Please note the NAB International Office is closed beginning at 4:00 p.m. (PST) on Thursday, December 21, 2023, and reopens at 7:00 a.m. (PST) on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.