What’s being done:
Reports to the 2015 BCMB convention reflected the meeting’s “innovate” theme, milestones and many activities.
- Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary and the C2C Network are launching a context-based MDiv program for church planters this year. (Bruce Guenther, MBBS president)
- More than 300 pastors and spouses registered for the annual pastoral retreat this year, a record. (Rob Thiessen, BCMB conference minister)
- An emergency fundraising appeal for $1,000,000 is underway for B.C.’s Pines Bible Camp near Grand Forks. Many reasons underlie the urgency, but the main elements are recovery and rebuilding costs after the 2012 windstorm, then a significant loss of school visit revenues during the 2014 B.C. teachers’ strike, and interest costs. (Ron van Akker, BCMB associate conference minister)
On the urging of Mark Burch, C2C national associate director, convention delegates prayed together that God would supply and that the financial challenge will be resolved, just as when C2C faced a crunch of similar proportions last year.
- C2C has 23 church plants in the BC network, 17 of them MB. Six planter apprentices are currently in training in B.C., three of them Mennonite Brethren.
- Columbia Bible College and University of the Fraser Valley have added to the list of transferable credits between the two institutions, bringing the new total to 26 courses.
- As part of a “culture of care and community building,” the BCMB conference minister and his associate are each visiting churches two Sundays a month. (Ron van Akker, associate conference minister)
- MBBS is preparing a Ministry Lift training program for Cantonese speakers, with translation into Mandarin, a first. They are also rolling out a transitional leadership training program, to equip pastors and leaders who serve in church settings between pastors. (Randy Wolff, MBBS assistant professor)
- Four different churches meet on the campus of Columbia Bible College every weekend. (Bryan Born, CBC president)
- Registration for summer camping programs this year is strong. Stillwood is running at 10 percent ahead of last year. (Walt Janzen, chair, Camps BC)
What got done:
Along with the theme presentations, teaching and reports at the 2015 BCMB convention, delegates approved a number of items, some of them the culmination of lengthy projects.
Among them, delegates processed the following recommendations:
- Adopted “Common Understandings” as a guiding document for BCMB churches. (Conference Minister Rob Thiessen described the document as a bridge, a continuation between the Confession of Faith and the work of the B.C. conference.)
- Approved a set of revised bylaws for B.C. conference. (Adjustments made to the definition of quorum, length of board tenure, qualifications of a board member.)
- Passed an income budget of $1.625-million for B.C. churches support through their ministry commitment to provincial conference. (The comparable budget for the previous year was $1.6-million.)
- Affirmed David Leung as assistant to the conference minister for Chinese churches.
—Barrie McMaster, B.C. correspondent
See other BCMB convention 2015 coverage
⇒Pastors: point people to Jesus (about the leader equipping day)
⇒Holy vandalism (about host church South Langley)