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Cam Stuart unanimously affirmed as National Director

A summary of CCMBC’s 2024 National Assembly (AGM)

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During CCMBC’s National Assembly on June 13, 2024, delegates unanimously voted to affirm the Executive Board’s decision to appoint Cam Stuart as CCMBC’s National Director.

Tim Doerksen (CCMBC Interim Moderator) led the meeting. Michael Dick (CCMBC Treasurer and National Director Search Team member) opened a time of commissioning for Stuart, praying through Colossians 1:3-13. Reg Toews (Executive Director of BCMB) and Michelle Knowles (ONMB Board Chair) prayed for blessing and wisdom and protection over Stuart as he begins his role as National Director.

Stuart responded by describing the discernment process that ultimately led him to take the role, and how grateful he is to have served as an MB pastor for over 30 years and now to serve as CCMBC’s National Director. He loves the MB family of churches and leaders, and he believes in the Confession of Faith, he said. But what drew him most to the role is the vision of disciple-making: “This is a very compelling, challenging and necessary vision…. We have work to do.”

The reality is, said Stuart, a growing number of churches are realizing their discipleship strategies are not as effective as they once thought, made evident through the striking decline of the evangelical church in Canada.

He shared his growing anticipation of what God might do through CCMBC’s collaborative model, and how it is deeply grounded in John 17:20-23, where Jesus prays for his disciples to be unified as God the Father and Son were unified. It’s a beautiful expression of biblically centred collaboration, said Stuart.

By seeking this kind of unity, God will be glorified. “Truly the world will notice these kinds of relationships because they are so counter-cultural,” he said.

Stuart encouraged delegates and attendees to take the posture of servanthood described in Philippians 2:1-10: to serve like Jesus by humbly listening to each other and to the Spirit of God who leads.

Following Stuart’s address, Ken Esau (National Faith and Life Director) gave an update from the National Faith and Life Team (NFLT). He encouraged attendees and churches to sign up to pray through the Contending in Prayer guide every month. He also said the NFLT is currently in the process of updating Articles 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9 in the Confession of Faith. These updates will be posted on mennonitebrethren.ca for four months (currently Article 6 is posted). The NFLT welcomes feedback on these changes.

The resource “Loving Well our Trans Neighbours, Friends and Family” has been approved, and the team is also considering providing updated resources on topics such as medical assistance in dying (MAiD) and divorce. The NFLT is currently exploring how to navigate the diversity within the MB family on questions about women in leadership. Esau stated how encouraged he was that 71 individuals were credentialed at the Pastors Credentialing Orientation (PCO) on May 28-30 in Abbotsford, BC.

Michael Dick (CCMBC Treasurer) presented the finance and audit reports, which were approved. He stated that there has been a concerted effort to remove vacant land from CCMBC ownership. CCMBC has an outstanding debt of $674,000 to Legacy, and plans are to have this debt paid by the end of 2025.

Jim Bell (CFO, CCMBC Legacy) described the statement of financials to be consistent from year to year. Bell indicated that the first quarter of 2024 is on track — the 2024 operating budget calls for a deficit of $125,000, which will be the last year of deficit budgets. Bell said that expenditures are in line with budget expectations and he is grateful for the work of provincial conferences in this endeavour. Delegates approved the audit presented.

Jason Kruger (CEO, CCMBC Legacy) gave some highlights of the changes in the CCMBC pension plan; delegates approved these changes. Fidelity is now the fund manager and CanadaLife is the record keeper of the plan. Kruger outlined some of the other positive improvements that these changes bring, including increased payment options and lower fees.

Delegates accepted all nominated board members and representatives. To learn more about each member, visit na.mennonitebrethren.ca.

Changes to Multiply’s bylaws were unanimously approved.

Tim Doerksen closed the meeting by thanking all delegates from the various churches across Canada for their work in supporting CCMBC and associated organizations. Ken Esau prayed for peace around the world and that each member present would be a witness in their community. Delegates joined in the Lord’s Prayer.

There will be a National Council meeting in November 2024 and a town hall meeting in early 2025, said Doerksen.

Watch a recording of the 2024 National Assembly here.

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