According to the Collaborative Unified Strategic Plan (CUSP), we as a Conference exist “to cultivate a community and culture of healthy disciple-making churches and ministries, faithfully joining Jesus in his mission.” The National Faith and Life Team (NFLT) exists to articulate and safeguard Mennonite Brethren theological convictions, produce theological and pastoral resources, and provide discernment and guidance on current issues. The National Faith and Life Team stewards the Confession of Faith on behalf of the Conference.
We have been active in providing a monthly prayer resource entitled “Moments in Prayer” with the theme “Holy Spirit—Fill Us!” This resource is sent out via email to subscribers on the first day of each month and published in that month’s MB Herald Digest. If you are not receiving these emails, please sign up here. We believe that the future health and mission of our MB family is heavily dependent on prayer and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Please join us in prayer!
We oversaw the Pastors Credentialing Orientation (June 6-8, 2023) in Winnipeg with 26 regular participants and 4 “alumni” in attendance. The next PCO is scheduled for May 28-30, 2024 in Abbotsford, BC (and area). Please see our PCO website here for updates as they become available.
We have been very busy planning for our Equip 2023 conference (October 26-28, 2023) at Northview Community Church (Abbotsford, BC) on “Fire & Ashes: Why Church? Why MB?” Our prayer is that this event will bring our MB family together from across the country and build unity as we gather for worship, prayer, shared learning, relationship-building, and renewal around our purpose and mission.
In terms of policy items, we have approved the following:
The Collaborative National Church Affiliation and Review Policy. This provides guidance for provincial MB leadership and each local MB church about what are the mutual expectations and obligations related to affiliation. Each provincial MB conference will adapt this policy for its own context.
The CCMBC MB Confession of Faith Amendment Procedure Policy. We have been asked about how Confession of Faith amendments could happen and acceptable reasons for such amendments. That two-part question is what led to our creation of this procedure policy.
We have been busy updating our 1999 Confession of Faith resources and are working diligently on the following:
A key project that is nearing completion is a revised “MB Credentialing Questionnaire (2023)” which includes increased interaction with our MB Confession of Faith as well as increased interaction with our Code of Personal and Ministry Ethics. We are hoping for implementation of this revised questionnaire in the very near future for all new candidates.
Another key project is defining what a “healthy disciple-making church…faithfully joining Jesus in his mission” actually looks like. We have created a draft document entitled “Defining a Healthy Church Resource” hoping that it can spur discussion within and among churches in our family about what it looks like to be a healthy church, what activities could increase the level of health, and finally how the growth of (or the loss of) church health could be measured.
We have received requests for resources related to Christians and Gender Identity. We are still in process about whether to create a specific CCMBC resource on these questions or whether we should adopt carefully thought-out and biblically faithful resources that align with our Confession of Faith.
We have the same reflections in response to requests for resources that respond to Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) legislation. For those churches looking for up-to-date resources, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), of which we are a member, has been actively engaged with these questions.
See Dr. David Guretzki, “Social Awareness. Living Truth.” Available here.
On a more personal level, I have been able to contribute articles for the new MB Herald Digest “Q&R Corner” that responds to questions that are being asked by individuals within our MB family. The following is a sampling of topics covered so far:
I am very privileged to work with the fifteen men and women leaders from across Canada who make up the National Faith and Life Team (NFLT). They are a blessing and encouragement to me as I watch them serve faithfully, sacrificially, and prayerfully both where they are as well as on the NFLT. Please continue to pray for and encourage these individuals in their ministries. Most of all, pray that our MB family of churches would embrace our calling to be healthy disciple-making churches, faithfully joining Jesus in his mission!
If you have suggestions, encouragements, or thoughts, feel free to email them to us at email@example.com
National Faith and Life Director