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2024 Alberta MB Convention

Gathering around hope

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ABMB’s Executive Director Paul Loewen with CCMBC National Director, Cam Stuart.

By Kendall Feenstra

This year, the ABMB Board strategically separated its AGM and Annual Convention. This allowed for the business portions of our annual meeting to be online so that we could utilize our in-person gathering to intentionally pursue our denominational mission to inspire, equip, and resource ABMB leaders and churches for disciple-making ministry and mission!

During the April 3 online AGM, we welcomed three new members to the Executive Board: Deryle Penner, Barclay Tanner, and Scott Voegtlin. Dele Ajele was also accepted to continue serving a third term. We also welcomed Goshen Church (Edmon- ton) into ABMB membership and celebrated together that most churches are reporting growth; three churches are even thinking about adding another service to increase capacity.

During our convention weekend (April 12-13) Dr. Steve Brown, Columbia Bible College President, spoke on Friday afternoon about the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity we all face in our lives and ministries. He urged us to start deepening our awe of Jesus. Then he walked us through several practical steps to being leaders in our current culture: being a non-anxious presence, collaborating, and being students of the next generation. National Faith and Life Director Ken Esau spoke on the work that has begun on a communal understanding of how we can love our trans neighbours, friends and family.

Friday evening we ate and worshipped together. Worship was led by a team from several different churches; it was a beautiful testament to being one voice as the MB Church in Alberta. Then we heard about God’s good work being done through many partner organizations such as MCC, Multiply, Legacy and Camp Evergreen. Another highlight of the evening was officially welcoming Goshen Church (Edmonton) into ABMB membership. The evening was a time of edification and a reminder of how we can partner together in the mission of God in Alberta and beyond.

Saturday morning opened with a posture of worship. Trevor Rysavy (Associate Pastor at Mission Hill Church in Calgary) spoke on Hope Through Pain and Crisis. Then ABMB’s Executive Director Paul Loewen’s State of the Province. He expressed concern for many of the happenings in our culture but then pointed to the hope we hold when we know who is in charge. He encouraged us to continue to dive deeper into the mission God has for his churches.

The rest of the morning was dedicated to difficult but helpful conversations about topics such as MAiD, public and Christian schools and the conflict in Israel. This structured space for small group discussions allowed Jesus’ hope to shine where ministry — and life — can feel very dark. After lunch, the afternoon was spent in different workshops led by various pastors and ministry leaders, covering topics such as Youth Ministry as Leadership Development with Dr. Mark Wessner (President of MB Seminary) and Outreaches that Connect with Tim Sesink (Lead Pastor of River West Christian Church in Edmonton).

CCMBC National Director, Dr. Cam Stuart then gave an encouraging word: while burnout in ministry is a reality, God gave us the beautiful gift of Sabbath. We honour the Sabbath by figuring out what is life-giving for each of us as we pray and play, and by allowing this gift to do its transformative work in orienting us to where we are going, where all things are made new.

The weekend ended with sharing in communion and worship. We were encouraged to go out by the grace of God and continue the good work of making disciples.


Kendall Feenstra is the Children’s Pastor at SunWest Church in Calgary, AB. She just completed her term as Secretary on the ABMB Executive Board.

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