A Word from Steve Jones: "Regional Conference Report: How many churches are in our Fellowship movement?"
This spring, I was blessed to be able to travel the nation to attend our five Regional Conferences. I enjoy seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and hearing what God is doing among our local churches.
I’ve asked our five Regional Directors to give a brief report on the highlights of their Regional conferences. I believe you’ll be encouraged as you read on.
Approximately 300 people gathered at City Centre Baptist Church in Mississauga for the FEB Central Regional conference to be recharged to serve faithfully in their congregations and ministries. The worship and prayer times were meaningful as Max Oates from our host church led us in music, and Lindsay Taylor (Strategic Renewal Canada) led us in prayer times. Pastor Glenn Taylor and his wife Mary (Markdale Baptist Church) were this year’s recipients of the Eagle Award, celebrating a lifetime of significant ministry and achievement in our Region.
Our speaker, Scotty Smith, did an excellent job in addressing the themes of “Creation”, “The Fall, “Redemption” and “Restoration”. People responded and hearts were encouraged! Our five workshops were well received and included: How to share the Gospel with Muslims, Navigating Change and Revitalizing an Established Church, Principles Promoting a Healthy Church, Bracing for Impact: The Basics of Crisis Management, and Creative Outreach.
One of our highlights was recognizing four churches, three of which were former church plants: Lightway Baptist Church (Hamilton), Forward City Church (Chatham), Church of the City (Guelph) and Seekers Christian Fellowship (Mississauga).
We praised God and celebrated ministry advancements which included:
2. Fellowship Pacific Regional Conference – Maple Ridge, BC (April 27-28, 2017)
Regional Director David Horita reports:
Impact 2017 (Fellowship Pacific’s annual convention) took place at Maple Ridge Baptist Church. The theme of “Dispensable Leaders” with a focus on mentoring relationships was carried throughout. We were both challenged and encouraged by our guest speakers, Mike Howerton, Lead Pastor of Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, Washington who spoke on “Being the Mentor You Wish you Had” and Regi Campbell, founder of Radical Mentoring who spoke on “Building Next Generation Leaders”.
One of the highlights of Impact 2017 was the honouring of long time pastors and servants, Randy and Sandra Evans and Dan and Judy Chapman. We also celebrated the ministry of Doug Fordham as he goes into semi-retirement following 22 years of serving our churches in the area of stewardship. Another highlight was the Friday morning communion service featuring a dramatic/musical presentation of the Dispensable Work of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11). Impact 2017 came to close following the celebration banquet where Pastor Ben Hall (Shuswap Community Church) gave a passionate message entitled, “A New Kind of Charismatic” from Romans 1:16.
3. Fellowship Prairies Regional Conference – Edmonton, AB (May 4-5, 2017) Regional Director, Mark Breitkreuz shares the following:
We had an amazing year to highlight at our Equip Conference, where we spent some time going through Regional business. God has been good to us as we reflected and celebrated the past year. We also had some time of training, with a focus on stewardship within our congregations as well as a session on “inclusion” in the local church; looking at how to minister to those with various challenges within our churches and communities.
A time of sharing stories about God at work within our churches over the past year was also tremendously encouraging. It’s always a boost to see what God is up to and see His greatness as we share throughout the Region.
We concluded our time with communion and went away “full”.
We are looking forward to what the Lord will do between now and our time together next year!
4. Fellowship Atlantic Regional Conference – Charlottetown, PEI (May 12-13, 2017) Interim Regional Director, Frank Kohler reports:
We have 20 churches and of those, three are church plants – PaxNorth for ten years and two others in the last 20 months. All are doing well I believe.
Our conference was held in Charlottetown, PEI, this year and 11 of our churches were represented – a problem I hope to address before next year’s convention. In fairness, this low attendance ratio was due to allowable/valid excuses for at least four of our churches.
The event was very successful for all who attended. The Regional and National presentations were excellent. The “guest speakers” were challenging and informative; dove-tailing well on the subject of local church leadership.
The venue of PEI was excellent, the host church provided well for our needs and it was overall a very beneficial experience together.
5. AÉBÉQ (Quebec) Regional Conference (June 8-9, 2017) Regional Director Louis Bourque reports the following:
The harvest will come! A dandelion needs several months to come to maturity, while between 20 and 50 years are required for an oak to reach maturity. Similarly, a vision that seeks to reach out to our 82 churches needs time, teaching and communication. Three years ago, we started a new vision and this year, at our Regional conference, we had the opportunity to harvest some fruit. From the beginning of this annual event, we knew that something was happening. For the first time, our conference was held in a hotel and as we gathered, more young people attended than in previous years. We had the opportunity to hear about the progress in our four major areas: revitalizing, equipping, planting and developing. On Thursday night, which was the high point of the event, I, as Regional director, presented six common values we must adopt if we want to function as a movement of churches and survive in the upcoming decades. Everyone returned home encouraged even if there are plenty of challenges before us, in order to reach our “belle province”.
HOW MANY LOCAL CHURCHES IN OUR FELLOWSHIP?
Each year, after our Regional Conferences, we check in to discover how many churches make up our Fellowship. This year’s numbers are as follows:
Have a blessed week,