Call to Prayer and Fasting as a search begins

We invite you to add one item to your prayers: a new president for Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary.

After serving Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada as the founding president for five years, Dr. Bruce Guenther has chosen to return to teaching. Bruce’s love for teaching has always been evident and students consistently express appreciation for his work and caring relationships.Bruce’s strategic and tireless work has been critical for the establishment of a Mennonite Brethren seminary in Canada. Some highlights for MBBS during this period include: obtaining a provincial charter authorizing MBBS to grant degrees, building a faculty and staff team between Langley and Winnipeg, serving as the leader and spokesperson for BC theological schools in negotiating a quality assurance process with the government of the province of BC, and providing significant leadership in redesigning the ACTS consortium in Langley. “Without Bruce’s sacrificial and strong leadership, it is doubtful we would be where we are today, a good seminary poised for expanded service to our churches,” said Board chair Ron Penner.

Bruce will transition to a sabbatical leave on June 30. After the sabbatical Bruce will return to the MBBS faculty team to teach in his areas of specialty, which are Christian history and culture.

As the search for a new president begins, the MBBS Board and the CCMBC Executive Board invite MB churches across Canada to prayer and fasting. Not advertising or shoulder tapping but rather, prayer and fasting. “Pray that God would receive glory through this defining moment in our history, that God would make a way forward that multiplies Christ-centered churches to see Canada transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ,” invites Willy Reimer, CCMBC executive director. “And pray, too, for those who will lead the search process and for those whom God is prompting to respond to this new opportunity and mandate.”

At its recent meetings, the MBBS Board of Directors embraced Vision 2020 which aims at redefining seminary to serve the church better. The search team will be consulting with CCMBC constituencies and partners. As you pray and fast, please listen to the Holy Spirit’s response with discernment, so that this becomes a moment in time where we know with clarity God’s leading.

More details will follow, but for now, the invitation is to prayer.

Willy Reimer                                                     Ron Penner
Executive Director                                           Chair of the Board of Directors
CCMBC                                                            MBBS

Seminary student gets big picture

WINNIPEG

“The more I study, the more I want to be the best follower of Christ that I can be,” says seminary student Kathy McCamis. “Jesus came to bring Good News; my life should look like good news to people around me.”

A graduate student at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada on the Canadian Mennonite University campus, McCamis says learning about God’s mission in the world strengthens her desire to demonstrate God’s love and compassion for people.

McCamis served part-time as the pastor of Fort Garry Mennonite Brethren (FGMB) Church’s junior high ministries for four years. She left this position in 2013 to pursue seminary studies while continuing her part-time job as an occupational therapist in Winnipeg.

“I discovered through being in pastoral ministry that I wanted to learn more about the big picture of ministry,” she says. “What is the church to be theologically? Why do we do what we do? How does what we do connect with our faith?”

Part of the family

Through her involvement in youth ministries, McCamis developed an interest in helping new believers to feel part of a church family.

“It can be a hard transition for people who didn’t grow up in a church culture,” she says. “They want to follow Jesus but have a difficult time to find their way into the church. How can we bridge their youth group experience to being part of the community?”

She finds answers and resources to these and other questions through classroom study and interaction with instructors and students.

“I love envisioning new ways of being a church,” she says. “How can we change the packaging without changing the theological core and without altering what we as MBs believe?”

A relative newcomer to the MB church, McCamis enjoys learning about the history of Anabaptism and the global fellowship of MB churches. “It gives me a deeper appreciation for the church family I have joined,” she says.

As a recipient of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC) leadership training matching grant, McCamis has 50 percent of her tuition costs covered by CCMBC and FGMB who each provide 25 percent of the total.

Answering the call

As McCamis writes her thesis on the call to ministry, she is especially interested in examining how MB churches mentor and encourage women and men to discern God’s call to pastoral ministry, and how pastors are called and affirmed by churches.

Learning about God’s mission in this world, she says, lends itself to thinking deeply about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the call to be disciples.

“Churches need to follow Jesus faithfully,” she says. “The call to discipleship is about having compassion for the marginalized, awareness of social issues and a love for people. It is important to love and serve others.”

For more information about the leadership training matching grant (LTMG) and other ways CCMBC helps equip leaders, click here.

—Gladys Terichow, CCMBC writer