On June 9th to 11th CCMBC hosted an online National Assembly for guests and delegates of our MB churches and organizations from across Canada. On the Thursday evening, delegates attended three breakout sessions covering topics related to CCMBC finances, Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPAs), and the priorities of the National Faith and Life Team (NFLT). These sessions were well attended.
On Friday evening we held an online celebration service with worship, communion, and a message from CCMBC National Director, Elton DaSilva calling the church’s attention to the importance of this year’s theme, “Grace and Truth.”
“The theme was chosen due to the social-political climate that the church exists in today, where any conversation is deemed to be antagonistic and provoking,” DaSilva said. “To that effect the church needs to learn how to present God’s truth in a manner that also reflects God’s love.”
The challenge was for us to see Grace and Truth as deeply connected ideas that Jesus is fully and equally committed to. Jesus is 100% grace and 100% truth, and as believers we must lean on both sides. “By appearing linked to each other these two words combine to indicate a directional approach to our faith.” DaSilva shared. “It is an inseparable tandem meaning both a ‘merciful truth’ and a ‘faithful mercy.’”
Finally, he broke down the four ways we can operate in relation to grace and truth. Without either of them, we are left only with karma [rigid cause and effect]. With grace but no truth we end up in universalism. With truth but no grace, we face harsh legalism and fundamentalism. Only when we have both grace and truth can we display discipleship in the way of Jesus.
Our Annual General Meeting began on Saturday morning where we heard reports from several of our representatives and partner organizations including Legacy, MB Seminary, and our National Faith and Life team.
We also had reports from several of our international partners such as International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB), Mennonite World Conference (MWC), and Multiply. We are grateful to be in partnership with these organizations that go beyond the boundaries of Canada and connect us all over the world, with the wider Mennonite Brethren family.
“We are part of an amazing movement of MB Churches around the globe and are privileged to have great partner agencies for a denomination of our size.” Said Executive Board Moderator, Ron Penner.
You can find our Assembly handbook, with all reports, online and available to download here.
Bruce Enns was introduced as the new General Director of Multiply. Bruce will be working from his home in Saskatchewan, but will be making regular visits to the Abbotsford, BC office and to the US.
Although we had more than enough National Assembly delegates registered ahead of time to meet our quorum requirements, at the actual meeting we ended up just a few delegates short of quorum and were thus unable to officially approve our SPAs, MOUs, and nominated members. However, we did have enough delegates present to approve an amended agenda and our financial and budget motions.
Approval was given for the financial statements from both Legacy and CCMBC, the 2022 CCMBC budget and the 2023 CCMBC Pro Forma budget, and to have KPMG as auditor for Legacy, CCMBC, CCMBC Pension Plan, and CCMBC Investments.
While the National Assembly could not elect new members to our various CCMBC teams, a separate meeting of the Executive Board approved them on a temporary basis until they can be formally approved by the 2023 National Assembly. This follows a provision in our CCMBC bylaws.
The following received approval: Executive Board (Ron Penner, Reg Toews, Bonita Eby, Cam Stuart, Rob Dyck, and Sam Reimer); NFLT (Kristal Toews); Legacy Board (Cory Regier); Nominating Committee (David Wiebe); Multiply (Maryanne Berge); MB Historical Commission (Chris Koop, Karla Braun); MB Seminary (Matt Ewert); MCC Representative (Dave Ens, Rich Janzen).
An exciting part of the day was the reveal and walkthrough of CCMBC’s brand new website. This new website brings our many organization and partner websites into one central hub. The website is expected to be completed and live by the end of this summer.
The Executive Board is already at work reflecting on how to make future National Assemblies more accessible to everyone in our MB family, and to ensure that the meetings are not in schedule conflict with other national or provincial events.
Although we were unable to complete some agenda items, we greatly value the opportunity to come together as a nation-wide family to discuss our goals, ideas, and processes. National Assembly is an important time for us to hear what our churches, organizations, and members are working through and where we can improve our support to the greater MB family.
Thank you to all who took the time to join us and we look forward to seeing you all next year.