“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” With these words from Psalm 133, host pastor Carlos Saavedra of Les Ambassadeurs Chrétiens (Hispanique) opened the annual convention of the Quebec conference of MB churches (AEFMQ) Apr. 11–12, 2014, at Église chrétienne de Saint-Laurent, Montreal. “Live this verse in talking, singing, dancing,” he said.
For the first time, AEFMQ’s annual convention included a Friday night session of worship and prayer.
On Saturday, Canadian conference (CCMBC) executive director Willy Reimer and RCDL director Ron Toews presented a workshop. Reimer challenged delegates to set an alarm for 10:02 each day to pray for “Lord of the harvest…to send out workers into His harvest field” (Luke 10:2). Toews presented on Leaders 2 Learners. “The essence of leadership isn’t how to do things, it’s loving God deeply and reflecting His holiness.”
AEFMQ executive director Gilles Dextraze held a workshop to help churches learn how to walk through the process of incorporation with help from the CQOC. Dextraze recommends incorporation for churches who meet the criteria because it gives them legal status, their own charity number and responsibility for their own governance and administrative affairs.
- Bruno Synnott was approved as AEFMQ moderator. The number of churches has increased from 10 in 2012 to 15 in 2014; however, the AEFMQ board lacks personnel. Member-at-large Reginald Fauteux is the representative to the Canadian executive board.
- C2C Network Quebec has two apprentice church planters (Simon Nadeau at L’Echad and Westerne Joseph at Assemblée de la Grace), two churches in development (Communauté chrétienne L’Essentiel and Église Missionnaire de Montreal) and partners with churches from other denominations (Initiative 22, L’Église du Plateau, L’Église Connexion, Axe 21 in Sherbrooke and Magog). The C2C budget for 2014 is $336,000.
- Conference minister Stéphane Rhéaume, who resigned effective Dec. 31, 2014, said Horizon Quebec funding concludes in 2014. Horizon Quebec built relationships among local pastors, and between Quebec congregations and MB churches across Canada.
- “To make a disciple, you need more than a message, you need people who share their lives,” said Synnott, who also serves as youth coordinator. Camp Peniel and ETEM are important partners for developing young disciples, he said.
- Thanks to the hard work of ETEM and IBVIE, there is “unprecedented cooperation” as two schools from two denominations function as one, says Jean-Raymond Théorêt who returns to ETEM as board chair. President Kristen Corrigan announced the September 2014 launch of a Quebec City delivery site to earn a fully transferable 30-credit hour certificate of pastoral studies.
- Camp Péniel has seen “an explosion of life,” said board chair Serge Lachance, presenting on behalf of co-directors Jason Levesque and Esther Lachance. Programming is increasing year-round and a summer internship saw 14–18-year-olds discipled over eight weeks.
- Maison de Sophia, an independent women’s shelter supported in part by MCC and AEFMQ churches, and the only facility of its kind in a 300-km radius (outside of Montreal), currently houses four women. With support from subsidized housing of the city of Saint-Jérôme, Maison de Sophia hopes to expand its capacity to house and support women to gain skills for independent living, says director Sylvie Plante.
Delegates passed the 2014 budget of $109,550, a reduced number after the 2013 shortfall of $38,084.
Saturday’s proceedings were held at École de théologie évangélique de Montreal (ETEM-IBVIE) because Saint-Laurent’s building was unavailable due to six different services it hosts each weekend.
The Canadian conference board of faith and life, having just completed meetings in Montreal, was present at the convention. Ginette Bastien interpreted into English on Friday night, and Xina Oukil provided simultaneous translation on Saturday.
Karla Braun is the associate editor for the MB Herald