2019 Annual Celebrate & Educate Dinner

On Saturday, November 2nd about 40 people gathered at the Christian Labour Association building in Cambridge, ON for an evening of celebration and education with Global Scholars Canada.

The venue was amazing. The food was delicious. And the people were warm, friendly, and fantastic.

We started with a welcome and prayer from Justin Cooper, the Board Chair.

An informal buffet dinner was next, with a fun book giveaway for six attendees who correctly answered GSC trivia questions.

As the after-dinner program began, Peter Schuurman (Executive Director) shared with us the highlights from 2019…

Peter went on to share GSC’s new Vision, Mission, and Values, as well as our new Strategic Plan Goals…

Next we heard from GSC Global Scholars around the world – either in person, on video, or through a brief spoken update…

Stephen Ney in Sierra Leone
Christian Studies program at The University of The Gambia. Three Global Scholars are involved in this ministry – Manhee Yoon (full-time faculty from Canada), Layne Turner (full-time faculty from US) and Glen Taylor (sessional faculty, networking, scholarship fundraising from Canada). This new program saw its 1st 15 graduates in 2019.

Wendy Helleman shared about her work with a PhD student in Nigeria, fundraising for the Gambian Scholarship program, and the newly-published textbook she co-authored called “Early Christianity – A Textbook for African Students”.

Andrew Barron spoke of his work in Ethiopia – teaching a sessional course on Jewish Backgrounds of the Gospel.

Rudy and Marlene serving in Nigeria

Peter also gave spoken updates on the rest of the GSC Scholars – Dia Diafwila, Ian Ritchie, Jean Bieri, David Koyzis, and an anonymous professor in China.

Peter went on to share about the new initiative from Global Scholars USA called the Society of Christian Scholars, and how Global Scholars Canada is involved…

Harry Fernhout, the Executive Director from 2014-2017 and now our newest board member, shared with us some thoughts and reflections from his time with GSC – past, present, and future.

Closing out the evening, we were blessed by this prayer:

Our Father in Heaven, we come to you at the close of our Annual Global Scholars Canada evening to celebrate the Global Scholars that are present with us and those busy elsewhere in our world, to support and to educate about the work they do.

We thank you as our Father, for your Son Jesus Christ who is the Lord of the universe and hope of the world, and for the freedom we have to serve you around the world.

Please be with each scholar support their educational endeavors, their lives and their families, giving them the guidance and strength they need.

Thank you for those who support and encourage Global Scholars Canada in diverse ways, with its mission to bring to each public university classroom around the world the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you for the innovative work of our staff, may it be joyous and blessed.

Guide the board in decisions regularly made about the organization and give it wisdom.

It has been our joy this evening to join together in community, over a meal, to celebrate all that encompasses Global Scholars Canada.


– Mary Leigh Morbey, Board Secretary

And the final few moments of the evening:

Adrian Helleman raises his hands towards the attendees to share this blessing on the ministry of Global Scholars both here in Canada and all over the world, and for all present at the dinner.

Yahweh will kneel before you presenting gifts and will guard you with a hedge of protection

Yahweh will illuminate the wholeness of his being toward you bringing order and he will beautify you

Yahweh will lift up his wholeness of being and look upon you and he will set in place all you need to be whole and complete.


– An Aaronic blessing, alternatively translated from Numbers 6. This blessing was used by the priests at the end of the daily service. Aaron would raise his hands toward the people and bless them. This signified the words came not from the priest but from God himself.

Peter with Mary VanderVennen (wife of Bob, the 1st GSC Executive Director from 1995-2005).

GSC Staff from left to right: Harley Dekker (Finance Administrator), Peter Schuurman (Executive Director), Anna Sklar (Program Administrator)

Until Next Year…

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