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A Snapshot of the Bjorgans

Jeff Bjorgan

Spiritual Formation Pastor

Jeff has been a pastor since 1996. He has worked in children’s ministry, transitional ministries, and associate ministries. The Bjorgans have been at Emmanuel Church for over 8 years. Jeff has been the Pastor of Spiritual Formation, overseeing discipleship and departments, while Nikki has been in various roles, including her present job as the bookkeeper.

Jeff and Nikki have been married for 17 years. They have four children: Ryan, Tanner, Connor and Paige. Ryan loves to skateboard, Tanner is into music and technology, Connor is into sports and Paige loves to sing, write, and create art.

Jeff was raised in Invermere, BC, and Nikki was raised in Salmon Arm.

Jeff has his Master’s Degree of Christianity and Culture from Regent College.

Jeff’s ministry passions include Christian spirituality, character development, the art of friendship, how technology influences our lives, and Old Testament studies. He loves to read, has an assortment of musical tastes, enjoys all things hockey, and enjoys writing.

Currently Jeff sits on the board of Rally4life, a non profit society that aims to create healthy and sustainable communities around the world. He also sits as the President of the Okanagan Camp Society, which helps provide funds for PAOC initiatives throughout the Okanagan.


Voting on Our New Lead Pastor

Jason Roffey


Last Sunday was an exciting day at Emmanuel Church as the Leadership Team declared Jeff Bjorgan as candidate for Lead Pastor. The process was extensive, laborious, insightful, bathed in prayer, and fruitful as both the Leadership and Search Team were unanimous in this decision. You can read more about the process on our transistion page.

So, what does this mean for us now?

Next Sunday, December 14, our Pastor Jeff will present his ministry. What that means is he will preach a message outlining the vision God has equipped him with for Emmanuel, and give us all a glimpse into his heart in the role as Lead Pastor at Emmanuel. Then at 1pm there will be a Special Business Meeting, chaired by Pastor Paul Cassidy, on behalf of our District Office.

The PAOC Constitution and Emmanuel bylaws outline how this meeting takes place. Part of that requirement was giving the congregation two weeks written and verbal notice of this meeting. Another requirement is that 25% of the official membership of Emmanuel be in attendance. As such we will require you to sign in at that meeting and if you are an official member, you will be given a ballot to vote with. Pastor Paul will call for the appointment of tellers to count the ballots and ushers to collect the ballots. Official members will then vote by secret ballot a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in response to the question of ‘Jeff Bjorgan for Lead Pastor’. We will have coffee and muffins and donuts while the tellers tabulate the votes. The tellers will communicate the result to Pastor Paul immediately and the results will be announced. Our constitution requires a 2/3 (66.67%) yes vote for our candidate to be reaffirmed as Lead Pastor.

For those of you that cannot possibly make it due to illness, vacation plans, or other valid reasons, our Constitution and bylaws provide two options:

  1. A proxy vote – whereby you designate in writing someone to vote on your behalf. Someone must bring a signed note from the official member specifically naming that member as authorized to vote on their behalf.
  2. A vote in advance – whereby you contact Margo at the church office, sign in, and vote at the office, sealing your vote in an envelope to be opened on December 14 by the tellers.

While these options exist, they are only to be used in exceptional circumstance.

This is indeed a significant moment in the life of Emmanuel Church, and so I encourage you all to attend; members, non-members, kids, and adults need to be present for this moment.

And above all else, please be in prayer for our candidate (Pastor Jeff), his wife (Nikki), and his family (Ryan, Tanner, Connor, and Paige) and for us as a congregation as we take this step.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.



Jeff Bjorgan

Spiritual Formation Pastor

The weather and the calendar tells us that we have entered the season of Advent. As many of you know, Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus at Christmas. I love that description: expectant waiting and preparation.

We wait. Waiting requires patience. Waiting is always a discipline of time. We all know that time does not speed up, but it also doesn’t stop—it has its pace. Everything we do takes place in time, including waiting. Waiting, by definition is to postpone or delay, which, by nature, is hard for any of us to do. Time is passing by! We are growing older! Why are we waiting? Why can’t we just be at the finish line?

We wait expectantly. Waiting also, by definition, means to be available or in readiness. When I think of Advent-waiting, I think of being in a line at Disneyland. On a busy day, it’s not the most active place to find yourself in: you’re shuffling along, often in the blazing heat, counting the minutes as they go by, noticing the surroundings haven’t changed a bit. But you’re also anticipating a great ride—a fantastic 3 minute right of pure adrenaline—even if it is simply the “It’s a Small World After All” ride (which somehow always feels longer than 3 minutes). Anticipation excites! You’re expecting a happy result. Expectant waiting tells us that the journey is an important part of a glorious finale.

We prepare. Christmas is coming! Gifts are being purchased, dinner plans are being arranged, houses are being cleaned. Yes, there is delay, but in the midst of postponement we certainly can’t be lazy—there are things to do so that we’ll be ready for the big event when it comes. Advent allows us to recalibrate our calendars, adjusting our schedules and headspace in order to make room for Jesus. He’s coming; we’re anticipating a guest; let’s make our hearts ready.

A reminder that our Christmas banquet is coming up on December 13. Catered by Twisted Tomato, tickets are $10 for those 12 and up; $5 for those 11 and under.


Celebrating the Season

Jeff Bjorgan

Spiritual Formation Pastor

Next week is the beginning of Advent, the time of the church calendar where we begin to anticipate the coming of the Christ-child, Jesus Christ at Christmas time. Around the office, we are gearing up for all sorts of activities to celebrate the season:

We like to decorate the church foyer for Christmas. There are a whole bunch of Christmas trees that are stored upstairs that need to come downstairs. If you could lend a hand either after church or on Monday, that would awesome.

At the info desk or in the foyer there are three events that you can purchase tickets for. This is the last week to purchase tickets for the women’s brunch taking place on Saturday, November 29. Also Elvis tickets are still available for the fundraising concert taking place on December 5. And tickets for our Christmas banquet taking place on December 13 go on sale today.

We’re also trying something new at Emmanuel. We want to encourage people to have their neighbours over for a turkey dinner at some point of time during the holiday season. We know the holidays can be a busy time, but it’s also a great excuse to be hospitable and invite people into your home. This is what we’ll do:  If you commit to having a meal for your neighbourhood, we’ll provide the turkey. All you need to do is sign up at the info desk, and we’ll make sure to get a turkey your way!

Lastly, we move to a single service on December 21. On that day we’ll also be having our baptismal service –should be a fantastic Sunday. On December 24, we’ll be having our two Christmas Eve services, one at 5 pm and the other at 6:30 pm.


Politics and Peters

Jeff Bjorgan

Spiritual Formation Pastor

On Saturday we, along with many municipalities across the country, had the opportunity to vote for the leadership of our community. Politics often falls into that awkward “do not talk about in public” category that sex, religion, and money reside in. People go all funny when it’s brought up—they get passionate or defensive, highly opinionated or dismissive—and the topic can sour a good natured conversation rather quickly. Christian apologist C. S. Lewis had a strong distaste for politics, as seen in such memorable quotes as this one:

A sick society must think much about politics, as a sick man must think much about his digestion; to ignore the subject may be fatal cowardice for one as for the other. But if either comes to regard it as the natural food of the mind—if either forgets that we think of such things only in order to be able to think of something else—then what was undertaken for the sake of health has become itself a new and deadly disease.

You can almost imagine Lewis holding his nose while he was writing! But his take on politics only suggests that Christians should be cautious about how much it occupies their values and purposes. To be involved in politics is not the unforgivable sin! In fact, the idea of Christians engaging the political process as a desire to be good citizens and serve their community is admirable. That’s why I would like to commend Jerome Chung and Stephen Johnston who have put their neck on the line in the recent campaign. It takes guts to run for office! Thanks for providing excellent examples of how to engage our local community.

I want to welcome Ralph and Carrie Peters as our guest speakers this Sunday. The Peters have a long history with Emmanuel, serving on our staff and being missions partners with us for many years. Make sure you take a moment to greet them this morning. Also, we’re going to be passing around copies of the directory this morning. Please find your name in it and make sure all of your information is correct before we publish it.