february 2013 update

February 2011 g 025

Green Shoots

out of dry ground

Growing a New Future for the Church in Canada

Green-shootsCover-front-only1-204x300is a new book of essays about the future of the church and its mission in Canada in the 21st century and John Bowen is the editor.Here are three things that John thinks make it distinctively Canadian:

“First, I thought it was important that the book should represent the length and breadth of the country. So you will find that the authors and the stories come from Vancouver and St John’s, and many points in between, such as Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Fredericton, and Toronto. The North is represented by Mark McDonald, Canada’s National Indigenous Bishop.

Secondly, different chapters discuss issues that are uniquely Canadian, or at least ones that take on a distinctive shape in Canada: our cities and our vast rural areas; what we can learn from new Canadian church planters (one Nigerian, one Philippino); what aboriginal Christians have to teach us about mission; where Canada’s young people are in relation to faith and church; and even what mission and ecology might mean for Canada.

It also seemed important that the book represent different denominations in Canada. As a result, the authors are (in alphabetical order) Anglican, Baptist, independent, Lutheran and United; some of the stories in the book also represent the Christian Reformed and Mennonite traditions. The scope would have been wider, but a dozen potential authors had to turn down my invitation for one reason or another.” (Read more here)
Two excellent conferences

Two excellent conferences in the space of eight days! Vital Church Planting took place at Toronto’s St. Paul’s, Bloor Street, January 31-February 2nd. The conference was built around the theme “Dying to Live: Disciple Making and New Christian Communities”, which shaped both the keynote presentations by Graham Cray, as well as the eighteen workshops offered during this three day conference.  Over two hundred people participated in the conference for a day or more, most people taking in all three. Participants came from a range of mainline denominations, with a good mix of lay and ordained. On Thursday and Friday the workshops were targeted as three stream; a track for Church executives who want to see new missional activity and churches planted in their diocese: another for Congregational & Parish Leaders For parish/church leaders who aim to see a new missional direction for their parish; and a third track for Pioneer Leaders being those who aim to lead a launch team for a church plant or new missional project. A completely new set of nine workshops were offered on the Saturday new people joined the existing participants for a busy day of learning and sharing. For more detailed reports click here and here.

February 5th – 7th 2013 Christian leaders from a wide range of traditions gathered in Edmonton for the Vital Church Conference. The conference is an opportunity to meet and worship together and to learn from pioneers in ministry how God is at work leading and building up His Church. This year the conference was all about “Being Disciples”. Vital Churches are communities of disciples: people following Christ together. Building up and making disciples is an essential part of revitalizing ministries and establishing new communities.
The Vital Church Conference engaged Christian leaders as they explored new ways, relevant to today’s culture, to live out Jesus’ command to go and make disciples. Main presentations were given by, Graham Cray, Terry LeBlanc, and James Penner, all three of whom led workshops through which all the participants circulated. As in Toronto, there was representation from mainline denominations plus some brave evangelicals. For a fuller report click here.

Both conference were co-sponsored by Fresh Expressions Canada, the Wycliffe College Institute of Evangelism, with the respective Anglican dioceses.

Video Contest Announced!

You are invited to produce a 3 minute, Canadian video that shows:

  • a Fresh Expression of Church in your community, or
  • a Church Plant Initiative, or
  • an Innovative Ministry Initiative

For ideas, check out the videos posted on Fresh Expressions Canada’s Vimeo channel.

What to do:

Shoot your video and edit it with voice over, music, transitions and so on. Shoot it with a smart phone, digital camera or video camera.  You may wish to get a group together to create the video.

Upload your edited video to Youtube or Vimeo.

If you have any questions, and to send us your YouTube or Vimeo link (long with your contact information), please use the form found here.

Deadline for sending in your video link:  May 31, 2013

The winning video as well as all ‘honourable mentions’ will be posted on the Fresh Expressions Canada website.

Yes, there is a prize!  The winner will receive a Sony Cyber-shot digital Camera

The contest winner will be announced on June 15, 2013. The winning video, as well as honourable mentions, will be posted on Fresh Expression Canada’s Vimeo Channel.




momentum logo

Momentum is the banner for Church Planting Canada’s 2013 Church Planting Congress for a number of reasons. “When we had our first congress many years ago, most of us involved in church planting were looking for others to help us along the way. We started! Working together and developing methods and spiritual empowerment led us to build great infrastructure for more plants. We were at the build stage! Finally in these past few years, the knowledge and practice of church planting has found life, health and multiplication. We have momentum. Our congress will capture these three elements so momentum will become sustainable.”

NOV 19 – 21, 2013 : OAKVILLE
DENOMINATIONAL GROUP RATE $169 (20+ people – up until May 31st)
If you are an Anglican and interested in going please email nick.brotherwood@freshexpressions.ca If you are not Anglican and interested in going, contact someone in your own denomination.

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