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Convention 2017 Report to Region 2 Congregations

Convention this year was hosted by the Interlakes Region (in between Lake Manitoba and Winnipeg). Thanks to Arborg, Riverton, Mennville, and Morweena, for hosting us so well. They even fundraised to cover the cost of attending and billeted us by families from the congregations.

On Friday, at Ministerial, the focus was on deacon ministry. It was done in two parts. In part one we heard from Darryl KIassen, pastor at Kleefeld, from his work for his Doctor of Ministry on deacons and the EMC.  Then we gathered in small groups to talk about deacons in our home congregations. In part two, we heard from deacons from the Heartland and La Crete congregation and what they do there.

On Saturday, at Conference Council, we had a full day! We were introduced to Layton Friesen. He is our new conference pastor.  We heard about the ministry of Cornerstone in Swift Current and their decision to close. Their last Sunday will be June 25, 2017. We also heard from Winnipeg Logos Church. They are a Chinese congregation who has been meeting in the Fort Garry building. They want to join the EMC. They were well recommended by Fort Garry and the other Winnipeg EMC congregations. They sent us a video to introduce themselves and sang to us. Some of their folks joined us on Sunday. We announced they were welcomed into the EMC we sang to them in return!

The Statement of Faith review process is almost done. It requires two Conference Councils to make it official. This Conference Council the motion was made and seconded to adopt the revised Statement of Faith (I can get you a copy if you’d like). It will be discussed and voted upon in November at the next Conference Council.

There is a new website for EMC Messenger. Please check it out here:  https://emcmessenger.ca/. You can find past issues there as well.

Some time ago a survey was distributed to the EMC congregations to see both how women serve in different congregations and then say where their congregation is with women and ordination and serving as pastors. 2/3 of the congregations responded. And we had a very good discussion about the results and possible follow ups.  The team that presented will be taking some time to reflect on the discussion and I hope we will be hearing from the team with their suggestions the next time we gather as a conference. If you would like to see those results  of the survey I have them as well.

Gord Penner was the speaker when we gathered to worship. It was on “Inviting Healthy Change.” Gord is a very good speaker/preacher. I wasn’t able to stay for the third time on Sunday morning (the road home beckoned) but the two I was there for were insightful, edifying, and some good correction.

On the EMC website there is a video where you can see a re-cap video of Abundant Springs and there will shortly be a re-cap video of Convention 2017.  I want to encourage all our Region 2 congregations to attend a convention. Videos don’t capture everything. Minutes and reports of meetings don’t capture everything. I have been richly blessed by the encouragement and fellowship when I attend our conference events. It is a grace filled time of fellowship. Ask me about Pelly Fellowship Chapel in Saskatchewan and the outreach they are re-starting under the pastoral couple and another couple (both couples being South Korean). Ask me about meeting a young Old Colony couple who through the work of Abe and Anna in Redcliff have come to know Christ and get involved at Gospel Light Fellowship and then attended the 2017 Convention. Ask me about the hospitality of Arnie and Lorrie, who billeted me. Ask me about Paul and Lois, two Bible translators who have spent 35 years so far translating an incredibly difficult west African tonal language. Ask me and I will gladly share with you these stories and more.  We are a stronger more faithful conference when we take the opportunities to gather. I am a better pastor for attending. I urge you to consider attending.  Thank you to all who do!

God Bless,

Chris Hughes

Region 2 Representative to the Conference