January 2016

 Week of Prayer – January 24-30, 2016

“Well I want to greet you, first of all, with a Happy New Year, as we enter 2016! As a Canadian Conference of Churches, we have held an initiative the last few years to hold a week of prayer in the first month of the year to sort of set our hearts in the right direction, to participate together as churches, to come before the Lord to ask him to in intervene in our lives and in our culture and in our country, for the sake of the gospel and to see people come to Christ.”

For a PDF with the full transcript of the video, click here.

To learn more about the Week of Prayer, click here.

July 2015 Video Update

Willy Reimer Video Update – July 2015 from CCMBC on Vimeo.

“This summer, I invite you to reflect on the following questions: What is your theology of success and how does that apply to your life as a Christ follower? How does it apply to your professional life? How does it apply to your ministry life?” says CCMBC executive director Willy Reimer.

The book Willy Reimer refers to in this video is entitled Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups by Ruth Haley Barton.

CCMBC calls churches to sponsor Syrian refugees

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Dear Canadian MB churches,

After 5 years of war, more than 6 million Syrians are displaced – nearly 4 million are currently registered as refugees with the UN. Neighbouring Iraq, already an unstable country, is also experiencing fresh waves of displaced citizens due to the violent acts of Islamic State (ISIL).

Canada has agreed to welcome 10,000 refugees from Syria by the end of 2016 and 3,000 refugees from Iraq in 2015 – some 60 percent of whom are expected to come through private sponsors, like church groups.

We are calling Mennonite Brethren churches to respond. I was one of 16 denominational leaders who signed a Statement of Intent on Syrian Refugees calling our congregations to assist in resettling these refugees.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (of which CCMBC is an affiliate member) has created a Middle East Refugees Resettlement Initiative.

Whether your church has been supporting refugees for a long time or is considering helping a refugee for the first time, another tool is Finding Our Way, a guide to action drawn from extensive community-based research by Rich Janzen’s Kitchener-Waterloo firm. This booklet can help your church understand the needs and discern your best contribution.

CCMBC’s resource partner for resettlement is Mennonite Central Committee, an organization with decades of experience as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder with the Canadian government. MCC national migration and resettlement program coordinator Brian Dyck participated in meetings with the Honourable Chris Alexander, minister of citizenship and immigration, to advocate for refugees.

The Syria refugee crisis gives us the opportunity to show God’s love to displaced people without a home. It is important that Canadian Mennonite Brethren churches consider what we can do to meet this humanitarian need in the name of Christ.

Yours in Christ,

Willy Reimer,

CCMBC Executive Director

Discover more:

 

June 2015 Video Update

This month, CCMBC executive director Willy Reimer talks about what it will take to move from being an institution to a Spirit-led movement across Canada.

“I think this is the time in history when we are being called to re-examine the things we hold dear,” says Reimer. “It’s time for the gospel to become not just a good idea, not just something we receive personal salvation through, but rather something that transforms us radically.”

For a full transcript of this video, click here.

 

Is your church taking full advantage of technology?

Today’s Mennonite Brethren churches are asking all kinds of questions about technology. What’s the purpose behind using video in our ministry? What needs are we trying to meet – locally and globally? What resources are we using to post or livestream our video content?

The Canadian conference wants to help churches reach Canada with the good news of Jesus Christ in new and innovative ways. That’s why we’ve launched an online iTV network called Global Mission Media to help your church answer some of those questions.

The above video, featuring CCMBC executive director Willy Reimer, outlines a strategy for using technology in the church.

For more information about GMMiTV, please contact gmmitv@mbchurches.ca

Celebrate Easter!

“He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying” (Matthew 28:6)

The Canadian Conference of MB Churches wishes you all a happy Easter! “I was baptized on Easter 1980,” says executive director Willy Reimer, “and that event cemented Easter for me in such a personal and powerful way.  I invite you all to celebrate – wildly – God’s great gift of his Son Jesus Christ!”

For an Easter devotional, click here.
For a list of worship resources, click here.

April 2015 Video Update – Happy Easter

“I absolutely love Easter. Easter is such a significant time of the year, for obvious reasons, as Christ followers. It’s a highlight of our church year, our church calendar.

But even more so than that, personally, I find it so incredibly significant. I’m overwhelmed by the sacrifice of Christ on Friday. Every year it just strikes me so personally. Jesus reached down into the muck and mire of my life and saved me from my sin; he saved me from the things that I was struggling with – that I was marked by – and gave me a new identity as his child. Easter 1980 was when I was baptized. That event cemented Easter for me in such a personal and powerful way.

And Easter Sunday, of course, is Resurrection Sunday. It’s the day we celebrate the reality of the risen Lord; it’s the day we celebrate defeat over death, which has personal applications for every Christ follower. We then have the power – because of the defeat over death – to live out the joy of what Christ did for us on the cross.

So, this Easter season, on behalf of our team from coast to coast, I just want to wish you all the best this Easter. I invite you to celebrate wildly God’s great gift of Jesus Christ his Son. Happy Easter.”

-Willy Reimer

March 2015 Video Update – sacrificial generosity

We know that the heart of God is to give. God is a generous God. It begins with God sending his Son. For he loved us so much that he gave. We know that Jesus is generous – he gave his own life. So, the very heart of the gospel is generosity. In fact, it’s sacrificial generosity. And that’s what God calls us to as his followers.

And it begins with our finances because that’s the most personal part of what we deal with. Our finances represent everything important to us in Canada – independence, control, security. It’s the very place where the gospel needs to penetrate our hearts.

The Bible invites us to be sacrificial, generous givers. The Bible invites us to be people who live and give with the heart of God. We know it’s incredibly important for local faith communities to develop generous hearts. We know it’s important for us as individual Christ-followers to develop generous hearts. It demonstrates our dependence on God, our faith in him to care for us. It also demonstrates that we are also invested in a part of bigger mission to see Canada transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ.

So I invite you to give. Give to your local church. Give beyond your local church. Give to missions around the world. Give to the mission to reach Canada.

In 2 Corinthians 9:7, it says “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” That means we bring our giving opportunities before the Lord. That means we give of the first-fruits, the first things, the beginning of the month, to the Lord.

That means we give joyfully, not under compulsion, not under stress or duress. But because God has touched our hearts. And out of that place, then, we give to him. Not because we want to manage giving. Not because we want to feel good about ourselves. But because we love God and we want to show that love through reflecting his heart, which is a generous heart. So, have great joy in giving! – Willy Reimer

CCMBC Statement re: TWU

CCMBC invites churches to pray for Trinity Western University

February 10, 2015

Dear Mennonite Brethren Churches of Canada,

The executive board of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC) invites all MB churches to pray for Trinity Western University (TWU), Langley, B.C., as the school leads the charge on religious freedom in our country.

TWU is currently facing a battle with the B.C. government to obtain accreditation for its law degree program. In April 2014, the Law Society of B.C. voted to permit the school’s graduates to practice law in the province, but revoked their decision in late October.

At issue is the university’s community covenant, which states, in part, that “community members voluntarily abstain from sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” Those opposed to TWU’s school of law are questioning students’ ability to practise law fairly and without discrimination.

To date, there has not been one case of discrimination by TWU graduates due to their training in a Christian school. In fact, the university’s community covenant affirms that “a distinctly Christian way of living finds its fullest expression in Christian love, which was exemplified fully by Jesus Christ, and is characterized by humility, self-sacrifice, mercy and justice, and mutual submission for the good of others.”

CCMBC recognizes that this legal challenge has the potential to impact churches and religious organizations across Canada. If TWU loses its case, this will set a precedent where personal rights overrule freedom of religion.

In an encouraging development, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia ruled, on Jan. 28, that the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society does not have the authority to refuse to recognize law degrees conferred by TWU’s proposed school of law. In his ruling, Justice Campbell said there’s “nothing illegal or even rogue” about asking students to comply with a code of conduct based on religious convictions.

CCMBC encourages churches to pray, in particular, for TWU president Bob Kuhn and the university’s legal counsel, who stand in the middle of the controversy. “As a private Christian university, Trinity Western has demonstrated its place in Canada’s academic community, delivering some of Canada’s highest ranked professional programs,” says Kuhn. “We believe in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their beliefs and values.”

The university encountered a similar battle in 2001, when it faced opposition from the B.C. College of Teachers following TWU’s request to open a school of education. The Supreme Court of Canada eventually ruled in favour of TWU.

TWU’s current legal battle signals the fact that religious freedom is under siege for all religions in Canada. Please consider how you might support TWU at this time, including speaking to your Member of Parliament to voice your concern.

As Christians, we recognize that, in this world, we will have trouble. We also take heart, knowing Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). In this spirit of hope and peace, we want our voices to be heard. We believe it is possible to hold strong Christian convictions while continuing to function as valuable, contributing members of Canadian society.

Click here to download a PDF of this letter.

Willy Reimer
Executive Director

Canadian Conference of
Mennonite Brethren Churches