After a summer of heat, fire, drought, grave-discovery, elections, limited travel, and COVID swings, we are back to the usual cycle of fall: school, church, back to more normal work schedules, and the fall holidays. A new “church year” has begun.
In line with providing an opportunity for some rest, typically our conference work “slows down some” with fewer meetings. However, we are now back in gear, and it is time to provide a brief update on “things Canadian Conference.”
June National Assembly Highlights
We held our second virtual National Assembly with some 214 delegates and approximately 30 guests. We made key decisions including approval of General Operating Bylaws, a revision to Confession of Faith Article 8 on Baptism and Membership, approval of a new Mission Statement and the Collaborative Unified Strategic Plan (CUSP), review and approval of Financial Statements as well as the Budget. The overall reports indicate that CCMBC is in a healthier financial and relational position. Click here to view National Assembly reports
National Ministry Team Retreat
August 24-27, our NMT met face-to-face for the first time in over a year. The focus was on reconnecting, recommitting to our joint Confession and mission, and working on plans to implement the four priorities of our new CUSP:
- Spiritual Health and Theology,
- Leadership Development,
- Mission, and
- Organizational Health.
A document called Operationalizing the CUSP Phase 1 is making its rounds to provincial and agency boards for feedback and will come to the Executive Board for affirmation and approval in November 2021. Click here to view The CUSP
Executive Board Meeting Highlights
September 9, 2021, the Executive Board launched its work for the coming year, still virtually and now adding members of the NMT as guests. Our key focus points were:
- Collecting the projects and plans from our teams and committees for the 2021-2022 year;
- Doing a Board evaluation;
- Establishing key priorities for the National Director and national office for the year;
- Scheduling meetings for the coming year; and
- Connecting with the Multiply Board through its Chair, Wendi Thiessen.
Key project priorities for us this year will include:
- Operationalizing the CUSP,
- Preparing Strategic Partnership Agreements with all partners in the CUSP,
- Renewing MOU’s with our three Partner organizations: Legacy, MB Seminary, and Multiply,
- Strengthening our relationships with Provinces and Partners,
- Debt reduction and Reserve-building,
- Revising several policies and governance documents,
- Rebuilding our Website and Web-presence.
- Reviewing our salary and benefits for CCMBC staff.
Some other matters we are working on this year include following up on recommendations related to Multiply and preparing resources related to Indigenous Relations. The NFLT recently hired Ken Esau as Interim NFLT Director to provide leadership coverage during Ingrid’s leave. Ken’s start date was October 1, 2021.
The Executive Board also looks forward to meeting in person twice this year: November 4-6 in BC, and April 7-9, 2022 in Winnipeg.
Virtual Mini Equip (November 19-20, 2021)
Due to Ingrid’s leave, the NFLT has decided to postpone the planned event, but offer a mini-version on the theme: Engaging in Healthy Conversations around Difficult Issues in the Church with keynote speaker, Dr. David Fitch.
This event will take place over two days beginning Friday evening with one 90-minute session and Saturday with two 90-minute sessions.
Registration and detailed information can be found at equip.mennonitebrethren.ca
PCO (Pastor’s Credentialing Orientation)
The National Faith & Life Team will be hosting two PCO events this year. October 27-29, 2021, will be an in-person event in St. Catharines, ON. The highlight for this event will be the credentialing of our first seven First Nations pastors and leaders who have completed the First Nations Credentialing Track.
A virtual PCO event will take place monthly over the course of four Thursdays beginning on November 4, 2021, and ending February 3, 2022. This event is made available to participants across the country and may contain a local in-person graduation ceremony hosted by individual provinces.
For more information and registration visit pco.mennonitebrethren.ca
This includes Board members from all Provinces, Partner Organizations, and the Executive Board to monitor progress on decisions by the Conference and offer discernment on key decisions and plans as they are prepared for the next National Assembly
- November 17, 2021 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM CST
- February 17, 2022 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM CST
These are open to our wider Church family as anyone from our churches can attend. The focus is on offering an opportunity to dialogue about key issues, plans, or challenges we face together.
- January 20, 2022 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM CST
- April 21, 2022 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM CST
Check our website for more details and registration information in the months ahead.
National Assembly (June 8-11, 2022)
We want to continue to offer our National Assembly as a virtual experience allowing for more participation from church delegates across the country. We are in the process of determining whether an in-person gathering will be possible.
RON PENNER is the Moderator of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.
CCMBC Executive Board (as of October 2021)
Moderator: Ron Penner
Asst. Moderator: Sharon Simpson
Secretary: Reg Toews
Treasurer: Michael Dick
Quebec: Richard Lougheed
Ontario: Karen West
Manitoba: Ruth Schellenberg
Saskatchewan: Phil Gunther
Alberta: Tim Doerksen
BC: Sharon Simpson
Members at Large
Karen Grace Pankratz
Rob Dyck (MB Seminary)
Ron Willms (Legacy)
Dan Guggenheimer (Legacy)
BCMB: Rob Thiessen
ABMB: Paul Loewen
SKMB: Phil Gunther
MBCM: Cam Priebe
ONMB: Ed Willms
AEFMQ: Richard Lougheed,
MB Seminary: Mark Wessner
Multiply: Lloyd Letkeman
National Director: Elton DaSilva
NFLT Director: Ingrid Reichard (on leave)
Legacy CEO: Jason Krueger
CFO: Bertha Dyck
Executive Assistant: Kara Friesen