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Conferences & Special Events


MAY 7–10, 2013

Hans Boersma, Alan Torrance, and guests
Hosted by Ross Hastings

Why this theme, you ask? Given that the early church stayed centred on Christ by making the Table central to its worship, life, and mission? Given that restoring Communion to the centre of the church may be the cure for the rampant consumerism of the contemporary church? Given that our historical forbears considered it as the greatest expression of the union of God’s people with Christ? And given that the Table, rather than being an obstacle to mission, is the very heart of the gospel and the expression of the church’s hospitality? 

This conference aims to encourage pastors, irrespective of their views on the meaning of the bread and cup, to consider the centrality of the Eucharist and to explore ways to pursue its practice pervasively in conjunction with the preaching of the word. We will hear from world-class professors who have studied and written on this theme, as well as practitioners who actively seek to "restore the centre."

Morning sessions will provide challenging and inspirational teaching from theologians
Dr. Hans Boersma and Dr. Alan Torrance. Late morning sessions will offer insights for praxis from gifted pastors and communicators Brian BuhlerJoyce Rees, and Andrea Tisher. After lunch each day, we will engage in dialogue with pastors from a variety of different church traditions to hear how they are "restoring the centre" in their particular contexts. The formal conference day will end with a time for all participants to "confess and profess" our mutual love and commitment to Jesus Christ in worship, after which we will be sent out to enjoy the wonders of Vancouver through a variety of extracurricular activities. Join host Ross Hastings and this exceptional group of speakers, and prepare to be challenged and restored. 

Conference Host


Ross Hastings

Associate Professor, Pastoral Theology at Regent College

BSc (Hons) (Witwatersrand, South Africa), PhD (Queen’s, Kingston), MCS (Regent College), PhD (St. Andrew’s, Scotland)

Ross Hastings teaches in the areas of the theology and spirituality of mission, pastoral theology, and ethics. He has served as a pastor in Kingston, Ontario; Burnaby, British Columbia; and Montreal, Quebec. For eleven years, he was the senior pastor of Peace Portal Alliance Church in White Rock, BC. He has earned two PhDs, one in organo-metallic chemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, and the other in theology at University of St Andrews in his native Scotland. His theological dissertation is a comparative study of the trinitarian theology of Jonathan Edwards and Karl Barth and is in the publication process. Dr. Hastings lost his first wife Sharon to cancer in 2008; he has two adult children. He was recently married to Tammy Carrillo and together they now have five children. He enjoys sport—especially rugby, cricket, soccer, and squash—as well as music of varied genres.

Theological Exposition

Drawing from biblical texts and the historical tradition of the church, these two scholars will address important questions of meaning and our experience of the Table.


Hans Boersma

J.I. Packer Professor of Theology at Regent College

BEd (Christelijke Academic "Felua," Netherlands), BA (Lethbridge), MDiv (Theological College of the Canadian Reformed Churches, Hamilton), MTh, ThD (Utrecht)

Before coming to Regent in 2005, Hans Boersma taught for six years at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC (1999–2005). He also served as a pastor for a number of years (1994–1998). He is the author of several books, including Violence, Hospitality and the Cross: Reappropriating the Atonement Tradition (Baker Academic, 2004) and Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology: A Return to Mystery (Oxford, 2009). In February 2011, he published his latest book, Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry (Eerdmans). He is currently working on a project on embodiment and virtue in St. Gregory of Nyssa. Among Hans Boersma's main theological interests are Catholic thought, the church fathers, and spiritual interpretation of Scripture. Hans Boersma and his wife Linda live in Langley, BC, where they attend the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church.

Wed May 8, 9 am: “Eucharist and Time: Why Participation Means Sacrifice”

When the second-century Bishop Polycarp got ready to offer himself up in martyrdom, he prepared himself in the Upper Room. Patterning his own death on that of Christ, he participated in the sufferings of his Saviour. In our Sunday worship, we join Polycarp by entering into the sufferings of Christ. In this lecture, Dr. Boersma will present a plea that we see the Lord’s Supper as sacrificial. The reason is this: in the celebration of the Eucharist, heaven opens up so that time gets taken up into eternity, and therefore, the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ is made present when in worship we offer ourselves up to God in Christ and through the Spirit.

Fri May 10, 9 am: “Eucharist and Space: Why Participation Means Real Presence”

What does Christ mean when he says, “This is my body”? Taking 1 Corinthians 10:16–17 as a starting point, Dr. Boersma will argue that the earthly bread that we break participates in the body of Christ—the heavenly bread. Building on Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and some of the early Reformers, he will make a plea for “trans-elementation”: much like iron gets transformed by participating in the fire, so the consecrated element gets transformed through its sacramental union with the heavenly body of Christ. The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist comes about as space itself gets reconfigured when on earth we join the reality of heaven.


Alan Torrance

Chair of Systematic Theology at University of St Andrews

MA, BD, Dr Theo. (University of Erlangen-Nurnberg)

Alan Torrance was appointed to the chair of systematic theology at the University of St Andrews in 1999. His academic career spans three continents including universities in Germany, New Zealand, the United States, and his native Scotland. His publications include a monograph—Persons in Communion—several edited and co-edited volumes, and numerous articles in the fields of Christian doctrine and philosophical theology. Most recently, he has published works on the relationship between theological anthropology and developments in the neurosciences, as well as on the interface between Christian dogmatics, ethics, and politics. He has given several series of endowed lectures in the UK and the USA, as well as lecturing widely in Asia and Australasia. A keen musician, he has played violin professionally with the Scottish Baroque Ensemble and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and now enjoys playing chamber music with his four sons. In January of 2009, he lost his wife to cancer after twenty-five years of marriage. He is ordained in the Church of Scotland. When time allows, he enjoys kayaking, fishing, and mountain-biking with his family.

Tues May 7, 9 am: “The Lord's Supper and the Worship of the Church”

This lecture explores worship as participation in the sole priesthood of Christ. We shall consider the theological significance of the words of institution. We shall also discuss how the Eucharist serves to present us with the Good News of Christ’s continuing worship and how he unites us with himself and his ministry through the Eucharist.

Thu May 9, 9 am: “The Sacraments and Proclamation”

This lecture explores the relationship between the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments. This will involve considering first the relationship between Baptism and the Lord's Supper and second, a discussion of how both are absolutely integral to the life of the body of Christ and, indeed, the ministry of the Word.


Moving into church practice, these gifted pastors and communicators will offer insights to help you and your congregations experience and embody the message of the Table.


Andrea Tisher

Director of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church

BA (Seattle Pacific), MCS (Regent College)

A vocalist, pianist, arranger, and composer whose study of theology has led to a passion for thoughtful worship, Andrea Tisher is the Director of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church in the heart of Vancouver. She completed her Master of Christian Studies degree at Regent College in 2009. From 2005 to 2011, she had the privilege of being the Coordinator of Music and Worship at Regent, enjoying the richness of planning and facilitating worship events in such a unique environment. In addition to facilitating worship, Mrs. Tisher has taught private music students and enjoyed singing in various choirs at the local and national level. She grew up in Calgary, AB and now lives in Richmond, BC with her husband Gordon and daughter Emily.

Mon May 7, 11 am: "The Art of the Table: Expressions of the Eucharist”

Mrs. Tisher will help us explore the praxis of celebrating the Lord’s Supper in worshipping communities. How do we make manifest the theology of the Table? How do we communicate verbally and non-verbally what is going on in the meal? What words do we use? What visual or aural elements are helpful? And how do we do this in a particular church community that has a particular history, tradition, and practice?

Thu May 9, 11 am: "Collaborating at the Table: Integrating Word and Worship”
(with Brian Buhler)

A preacher and a worship leader talk about how to collaborate.


Joyce Rees

Associate Pastor of The Bridge Church

BTh (Summit Pacific Bible College)

Reverend Joyce Rees has served vocationally in ministry for more than twenty years. She has eagerly followed God into challenging adventures that have included the initial community formation and direction of Jacob’s Well ( She has pastored in three very different churches, the most recent one being a congregation she planted in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Rev. Rees feels particularly called by God to equip the church and has therefore given much of her energy to teaching. Over the past fifteen years, she has been invited by many parts of the church in Canada and abroad to share biblical insights on topics as varied as Sabbath, suffering, and evangelism. She has a great passion for the Scriptures and brings a vital challenge to the church regarding how authentic faith in Jesus is to be lived today. She is currently experimenting with living in suburbia along with her husband Calum and her sons Finley and Connor.

Wed May 8, 11 am: “Imbued with the Presence of Christ”

Jesus is present and active in our world, and has been since he inaugurated his kingdom on earth. Christ’s people are conduits of his life in the world, but how does sharing the Lord’s Supper particularly prepare the pastor for his/her priestly role in society? Rev. Rees will seek to discern the vibrant presence of the Holy Spirit imbuing the pastor with the beauty of the presence of Christ through the Lord’s Supper.


Brian Buhler

Senior Pastor, Pacific Community Church 

BRE (Ambrose University)

Pastor Brian Buhler is a native Albertan who grew up in Calgary and in the First Alliance Church. In that one church he was baptized, discipled, called to ministry, married, and ordained. He completed his schooling in Regina, SK at Canadian Bible College (now Ambrose University in Calgary) and returned to Calgary upon graduation to serve for seven years as Youth Pastor at First Alliance. Pastor Buhler and his wife Myrna moved west in 1986 to serve at Sevenoaks Alliance and North Shore Alliance churches. January 2008 marked a new chapter for the Buhlers, as they joined the congregation at Pacific Community Church in Surrey, BC, where Pastor Buhler currently serves as Senior Pastor. He has three married children and one grandchild. In his free time he enjoys painting, racquet sports, and good conversation over a cup of coffee (preferably JJ Bean Inferno).

Thu May 9, 11 am: "Collaborating at the Table: Integrating Word and Worship”
(with Andrea Tisher)

A preacher and a worship leader talk about how to collaborate.

Table Talk: “Signs and Wonders: Recovering the Table for Evangelical Worship”

Growing up in a revivalist tradition provided Brian Buhler many gifts for the formation of his soul; the Eucharist, however, was not one of them. After pastoring for twenty-five years, Pastor Buhler experienced a shift. He could no longer be content with the “burning hearts” resulting from the Word without the “opened eyes” resulting from the Table.

Table Talk

Following lunch each day, these pastors from different church traditions will dialogue with you and one another about why and how they are "restoring the centre" in their particular contexts.


Lawrence Farley

Pastor of St. Herman’s Orthodox Church

BA, MDiv (Wycliffe)

The Very Reverend Lawrence R. Farley, formerly an Anglican priest, graduated from Wycliffe College in Toronto in 1979. He then served Anglican parishes in central Canada. He converted to Orthodoxy in 1985 and spent two years at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. After ordination, he traveled to Surrey, BC, to begin a new mission under the OCA, St. Herman of Alaska Church. St. Herman’s has grown from its original twelve members and now owns a building in Langley, BC, where they worship each Sunday. The community has planted a number of “daughter churches,” including parishes in Victoria, Comox, and Vancouver. Along with being pastor of St. Herman’s, Fr. Lawrence served for fourteen years as the Dean of BC. Fr. Lawrence lives in Surrey with his wife Donna. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

Table Talk: “The Eucharist in the Orthodox Church”

Understanding the significance of the Eucharist for Orthodox ecclesiology, soteriology, and daily life.


Tim Horman

Lead Pastor of Church at the Hollywood

BA (James Cook), DipMin (Hills Leadership College), MCS (Regent College)

Tim Horman has been living in Vancouver for ten years, and is lead pastor of the newly planted Church at the Hollywood on the Westside of Vancouver. Prior to that, he was leading a church plant at UBC for seven years (UTown Church), while completing an MCS at Regent College, with a dual focus on philosophical hermeneutics and missional church studies. He also has degrees in English literature and pastoral leadership, and has been involved in church planting and/or church leadership of various kinds since the age of seventeen. Tim is married to Melissa. They have three children: Lucy, Ella, and Oscar.

Table Talk: “Charismatic Communion”

How one charismatic pastor’s journey led him to recognize the centrality of the Table and the conviction to celebrate communion every Sunday.

Worship Leader


Vania Levans

Music and Worship Coordinator at Regent College

BA (Ambrose University), MDiv (Regent College)

After receiving a Bachelor of Church Music at Canadian Bible College (now Ambrose University in Calgary), Vania Levans graduated from Regent College in 2006 with a Master of Divinity. She then served for five years as an Associate Pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Vania was introduced to music at an early age and trained in both classical and jazz music. She has been involved in worship ministry both overseas and in North America. She composes and has released several of her own albums. Vania joined the staff of Regent College in March 2011.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

8:00 am Coffee/Registration
9:00 am Welcome and Morning Worship
  Theological Exposition 
Alan Torrance: "The Lord's Supper and the Worship of the Church"
10:30 am Break
11:00 am Praxis 
Andrea Tisher: "The Art of the Table: Expressions of the Eucharist "
12:15 pm Catered Lunch
1:45 pm Table Talk
Brian Buhler: "Signs and Wonders: Recovering the Table for Evangelical Worship"
3:00 pm  Worship Response
Vania Levans: “Confess and Profess”
3:45 pm Afternoon Break

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

8:30 am Coffee/Registration
9:00 am Welcome and Morning Worship
         Theological Exposition
Hans Boersma: "Eucharist and Time: Why Participation Means Sacrifice"
10:30 am Break
11:00 am Praxis 
Joyce Rees: "Imbued with the Presence of Christ "
12:15 pm Catered Lunch
1:45 pm Table Talk 
Fr. Lawrence Farley: "The Eucharist in the Orthodox Church"
3:00 pm
Worship Response
Vania Levans: “Confess and Profess”
3:45 pm Afternoon Break
7:00 pm Soaking Prayer Service

Thursday, May 9, 2013

8:30 am Coffee/Registration
9:00 am Welcome and Morning Worship
  Theological Exposition 
Alan Torrance: "The Sacraments and Proclamation"
10:30 am Break
11:00 am Praxis
Andrea Tisher and Brian Buhler: "Collaborating at the Table: Integrating Word and Worship"
12:15 pm Catered Lunch
1:45 pm Table Talk 
Tim Horman: "Charismatic Communion"
3:00 pm Worship Response
Vania Levans: “Confess and Profess”
3:45 pm Afternoon Break

Friday, May 10, 2013

8:30 am Coffee/Registration
9:00 am Welcome and Morning Worship
  Theological Exposition 
Hans Boersma: "Eucharist and Space: Why Participation Means Real Presence"
10:30 am Break
11:00 am Closing Reflection and Communion Service
Ross Hastings and Vania Levans
12:30 pm Catered Lunch
2:00 pm Depart for home

Register online or download the Pastors Conference Registration Form .
Not a pastor? Consider gifting registration to your pastor.

Registration is now closed. Walk-in attendance available on conference days.

Early Bird Rates

Until March 15

Individual $340
Senior (60 years and above) $270
Alumnus/Alumna $270
Full-time Student $250
Spouse $270

Full Price Rates

After March 15

Individual $380
Senior (60 years and above) $310
Alumnus/Alumna $310
Full-time Student $290
Spouse $310
One-day (walk-in) $100
One-session (walk-in) $30

All rates are per person, in Canadian dollars, and include all applicable taxes. (HST #107881039)

Requests for cancellations or refunds (minus a $25 processing fee per registration) must be received before Thursday May 2, 2013. 


Regent College has very limited parking for Saturdays and evenings only. Parking is available a short walk from Regent at the University of British Columbia (costs from $4.25-12 per day). For updated information and further details on parking at UBC and UBC shuttle schedule visit the UBC Parking website.

For directions to Regent College, maps, and modes of transportation, visit Getting Here.

Public transportation

Public transportation is available from many parts of Vancouver. For bus routes and scheduling, phone 604.953.3333 or visit the Translink website.

Self-arranged Accommodations

As there are hundreds of hotels, bed and breakfasts and other types of accommodation in the Vancouver area this is by no means an exhaustive list. But these particular options are close to Regent College, and some offer discounts to Regent students.

UBC Conferences and Accommodation

(5-minute walk from Regent College to Walter Gage Residence).

Over 3,000 rooms are available from May through August. These include fully equipped suites, single or shared apartments, and dormitory or hostel-style rooms. Or choose to stay in The West Coast Suites, their deluxe year-round accommodation. Prices range from $33/night (Paficic Spirit Hostel) to $199/night at peak season (West Coast Suites).

Phone: 604.822.1000
E-mail: [email protected]


(7-minute walk from Regent)

TRIUMF House is a 34-room boutique Vancouver Guest House located 3 blocks south of Regent that houses visiting scientists, professors, students and visitors to UBC. Accommodation types include 1-bedroom suite with private patio and kitchenette, single room with kitchenette, Deluxe Queen Room and Standard Queen Room or Twin room. Prices range from $110-175/night. Rooms come equipped with high speed Internet access, flat screen cable TV, local phone access and toiletries. All guests have access to lounge with fireplace and piano, dining room, fully-equipped commercial kitchen for guest use, 24-hour fitness room, computer room, laundry facilities, underground parking and outdoor patio. Prices range from $110/night to $175/night.

Phone: 604.222.1062 or 604.222.7633
Email: [email protected]

St. Andrew's Hall

(15-minute walk from Regent)

This is a residence for full-time students on the campus of UBC. During the summer months (May 1 to August 26 only; they process summer applications and requests from mid-February onwards) their empty rooms and apartments are open as a temporary housing option. Prices start at $55/night.

Phone: 604.822.9720
E-mail: [email protected]

Carey Centre

(15-minute walk from Regent)

Carey Centre is a ministry of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. They provide fully furnished guestrooms starting from $71/night. All units come with a private bathroom. Housekeeping service provides linens, towels, and toiletries. Amenities include free local calls and high-speed internet access, as well as a flat screen tv in some units. Check-in is 3 pm, seven days a week. Parking is $5 per day. Guests are welcome to enjoy meals in their cafeteria for an additional fee.

Phone: 604.224.4308
E-mail: [email protected]

St. John's College

(20-minute walk from Regent)

St. John's College, a UBC residence for graduate students, offers quiet and comfortable guest rooms to academic visitors to UBC. Rooms are furnished with a twin, double, or queen bed, private washroom, and basic furnishings. Some rooms are equipped with a telephone, television, coffee maker, bar fridge, and data port. Dining with College residents in their spacious Dining Hall is an integral part of the life of the College, and participation in the meal plan is mandatory for all guests. Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday. Prices start at $71/night.

Phone: 604.822.6522
E-mail: [email protected]

Point Grey Guest House

(5-minute drive from Regent)

Established in 1990, the Point Grey Guest House is a 1920s character home with cozy, well furnished accommodation including a desk, free internet both wired and wireless, or the use of a guest computer station. An organic, healthy, and hearty breakfast is included. The Guest House is fully licensed and inspected by the City of Vancouver, and a member of the BC Innkeeper's Guild and Tourism BC.

Phone: 604.222.4104
E-mail: [email protected]

Beautiful Bed & Breakfast

(20-minute drive from Regent)

This B&B has a view of Vancouver's North Shore mountain peaks, Vancouver Island, and Mount Baker; a lovely backyard with a miniature Japanese pond garden and waterfall; and a friendly helpful host who will assist you with your travel plans while in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Tell them you're coming for a Regent course!

Phone: 604.327.1102
Email: [email protected]

Conference Details

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