It has been over four months since we had the excellent experience of the Manitoba Listening Sessions on March 15th this past spring. We were all generously hosted by First Baptist Church Portage la Prairie. On a side note, I discovered they had a hand carved likeness of Queen Victoria on a chair on the platform. She was the sovereign when the church was founded and it appeared it had been carved especially for an anticipated visit. John Prociuk led us with the worship thoughtfully facilitated by Ryan Sato and Faye Reynolds. Ken Thiessen, the Heartland Regional Minister, along with Judith Arends, gathered us together and made us all feel welcome along with the First Baptist Church folk. John had the notion that we would meet in Portage and have the Winnipeg and vicinity churches meet in the morning and the West Manitoba and North Manitoba churches met in the afternoon.
Let me comment on the Winnipeg churches first. Seven churches responded with two more sending reports. I was struck by two things; first of all, it was clear to me, profoundly clear, that God has given the Winnipeg churches a cross section of gifts, expressed needs, experience and stories of God’s faithfulness that invite renewal, transition and growth over the next while. I pray, and ask you to pray, that the Winnipeg and area churches will encourage and act together to see God’s presence in their midst over this next year.
Here are the comments and covenants form March 15th from the Winnipeg and area churches.
Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba – 7 participating churches, 2 reports
Trinity Baptist Church, Winnipeg – will make financial contribution to the CBWC; prayer; pulpit exchanges; supporting CBM missionaries and the Sharing Way
Willowlake Baptist Church, Winnipeg – will explore new governance models to allow God to transform us to be a missional church
Cornerstone Baptist Church, Winnipeg – will continue to support and pray for and actively participate in Pelican Lake Baptist Camp, Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship, as well as continue to partner and support our sister churches in joint missions
Roseau River Baptist – will honour and be faithful to God for what He has done and will give thanks to the CBWC for supporting us in all our endeavours
Pilgrim Baptist, Winnipeg – will persevere in a passionate prayer ministry, and being a church committed to witnessing and outreach; will also reacquaint ourselves with sister churches in supporting the Canadian Baptists
Filipino Evangelical, Winnipeg – will hire a Youth Pastor; train Bible study leaders, and reach out to the Philippines in missions
Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship, Winnipeg – will continue to share stories of transformation
Emerson Baptist (report) – will pray for and help Bethlehem Aboriginal Fellowship; send money along with other CBWC churches for missionaries. We still budget and send money for Pelican Lake Baptist Camp. As we receive information we can identify and pray for other churches in our denomination and pray for all of our leaders.
Faith Evangelical Mission, Winnipeg (report) – With Pastor Joseph Kibwaa absent, Mark Doerksen, Lead Pastor of Willowlake Baptist shared of their support for this new ministry for displaced peoples from African countries.