Bishops Notes – October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008

Dear Colleagues,

This past Thursday and Friday I was at a conference in Toronto hosted by The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) for Presidents of Denominations and Ministry organizations. In addition to an excellent report by Bruce Clemenger (President of the EFC), we had presentations on “A Look at Church and Faith Trends in Canada” research (very sobering to see data on what many of us know intuitively) and “The State of Religious Freedom in Canada” (very informative as background was given to key case before the courts and encouraging as some rumours were de-bunked).

We also had the opportunity to participate in a small group discussion on one of five key issues:

  • Next Generation
  • The Environment
  • Poverty and Homelessness
  • Intercultural Church
  • Missional Church

I was impressed by the priority that the EFC is giving to these topics and you can see information about these and other interesting topics on the EFC website @ www.evangelicalfellowship.ca – particularly in the “Initiatives section”.

I chose to be part of the Missional Church discussion and was pleased to see that the good work being done by Dan Sheffield and Jared Siebert on this topic positions the FMCiC to participate meaningfully in the missional conversations that are taking place in other parts of the Body of Christ.

As denominational leaders, we were asked to encourage our pastors to contribute to two significant national surveys with pastors and church leaders. Completed surveys received before November 20, are eligible to enter a draw for a laptop computer.

The Missional Church Survey will assist in determining how Canadian churches perceive and practice strategic missional values such as integral faith and incarnational community.

The Church Missions Survey explores how Canadian churches are engaged in global missions. You may click the links above or go to www.evangelicalfellowship.ca to complete the surveys. I hope that many of you will contribute to this project and share what you have been learning/doing as you have been growing in your understanding of what it means to be missional.

There are several announcements this week. Garry Castle has been formally appointed to Next Church, Kingston (where has already been serving prior to becoming a Ministerial Candidate) and David Barbour has been appointed as Lead Pastor at Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon. Mainstreet Community Church, Kelowna has gone into transition

The Board of Administration is meeting this coming Friday and Saturday. Please remember these leaders in your prayers.

Have a great week serving Jesus.

Blessings,
Bishop Keith