In convention

Convention 2022

On February 25 and 26, delegates and guests of our Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches gathered virtually for the 91st Annual ONMB Convention. With the uncertainty around public health restrictions and guidelines around large gatherings, the decision was made to move the annual event to an online experience. We pressed pause once again, knowing that soon we would be able to meet again face to face and share a hug and a handshake with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our theme The Road Ahead… is uncharted, uncertain, and complex, but it is a journey that we can choose to navigate together.  Ed W. (ONMB Executive Director) shared some of his road trip experiences and how he is still captured by the beauty of God’s creation he has witnessed during his many drives.  He read Psalms 121:1. God wants to be our guide and lead us forward.

Ed introduced Tamille R. (Interim Lead Pastor, Evergreen Heights) who led us in a guided spiritual practice. She reflected that as we face many different seasons of turmoil, it’s normal to want things to go back to the way they were, back to normal, the safe and familiar. Yet seasons of upset can show us new ways to grow and live better lives.  As we move through seasons of our life, we have an opportunity to re-evaluate what to keep, what to let go of and what will be useful moving forward.  Let’s start the road ahead by reflecting on what He is calling us to hold on to, and to let go and be open to new things.

Ryan J. (ONMB Ministry Director) shared 3 feature stories to inspire us forward. David H. of Southeast City Church in Ottawa shared about the early days of ministering in his community as a new church. The pandemic shut down much of the programming and they worried about losing touch with the neighbors and friendships they had worked hard to develop.  To answer a need, they began to deliver food bank items within the community.  More and more people began accessing the food bank and, through this work, they were made aware of a need in their community that they had not perceived before. Covid had provided them with a trust-based presence in the community, where they continue to build relationship among the marginalized people they serve.

Ryan Jantzi was welcomed as the new Ministry Director for ONMB. He explained his role which will develop into 50% church extension, 35% faith and life and 15% resource oversight.  He is working to explore and develop opportunities for ‘missional expressions’ and a team is being organized province-wide to share the good news and to multiply disciples. Ryan shared about his desire to connect with churches in the area of church extension and missional expressions. He introduced a new podcast that will be available soon with interviews and stories to inspire the road ahead.

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