Quebec looks toward Horizon

Delegates meet for annual provincial MB convention April 12

This year’s annual Quebec Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (AEFMQ) convention brought together some 33 delegates representing various churches, agencies, and ministries on April 12 at Église de Sainte-Thérèse in Montreal.

Oscar Cardozo of Église Chrétienne de Saint-Laurent opened the event by welcoming delegates and thanking representatives of Église de Sainte-Thérès_quebece for their hospitality. This was followed by an opening prayer in four languages – French, English, Khmer, and Spanish – and a meditation by Gérard Basque on John 7:37-52.

Gilles Dextraze presented the vision of Horizon Quebec – a joint initiative of the AEFMQ and the Canadian conference – saying that the AEFMQ should forge ahead with the project, which would identify and support current and long-term needs of local churches, agencies, and ministries.

Treasurer Roger Deschênes reported on the conference’s financial state. Some delegates expressed concern over the weak financial contributions made by churches towards École de Théologie Évangélique de Montréal (ETEM) this year.

Gilles Dextraze then gave a promotional speech for Gathering 2008, encouraging churches to participate in two ways: by sending official delegates to the event and by inviting all church members to participate in various French-language activities at Gathering.

Dextraze also proposed a change to the provincial conference’s constitution and by-laws so that each church could be incorporated over the next five years. This incorporation project would allow every AEFMQ church to become “autonomous” and register individually with the province. Currently, the AEFMQ is considered an ecclesial association and congregations aren’t seen as separate churches in the government’s eyes. In fact, they aren’t lawful entities, since they have no individual charters.

Members of Église Sainte-Rose presented two policy documents that their church had created concerning physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, as well as the church’s intervention protocols. These documents are expected to be put into use by every AEFMQ church sometime in 2008.

Presentations from partner agencies were also made:

  • David Miller reported that Camp Péniel wants to form a new committee to work closely with director Richard Gervais to oversee camp activities.
  • Annie Brosseau presented the first-ever report from MCC Quebec as an official partner of the AEFMQ, rather than just an affiliate agency.

Finally, delegates voted and ratified the following nominations for the provincial conference’s executive committee: Charles Martin, president; Ginette Rolland, secretary; Roger Deschênes, treasurer; Robert Dagenais; Alain Després; and Gilles Dextraze.

—Gilles Dextraze

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