Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
|Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches|
|Associations||International Community of Mennonite Brethren, Mennonite World Conference|
||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (July 2010)|
The Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC) is a community of about 250 diverse Mennonite Brethren (MB) congregations spread across Canada, united by Jesus Christ through their evangelical Anabaptist beliefs and values and by their mission to grow healthy churches, helping them reach their worlds.
CCMBC's mission statement is " Healthy, growing churches reaching their worlds". By this, CCMBC means that each church has a "world", or sphere of impact, within which to share the good news of God’s kingdom. This sphere is primarily local, but it also includes sharing in another culture or country. The conference exists to help each church achieve that potential.
A new mission statement will be presented for ratification at the upcoming biennial national convention, Gathering 2014.
Mennonite history tells the story of a people coming together based on common beliefs about the Bible with the collective desire to be faithful to God. The Mennonite sojourn that started as part of the Reformation in central Europe in the 1500s was known as Anabaptism. Adult baptism, separation of church and state, centrality of Jesus and Scripture in daily life, community discernment, and nonviolence were central tenants of faith that bound them together, but threatened the established order. Because of persecution, Mennonites scattered and in each location new families joined the sojourn.
The Mennonite Brethren church began in 1860 as a new expression of Mennonite faith. This body has grown rapidly around the globe. CCMBC is part of the worldwide community of Mennonite Brethren through its connection with the International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB). Today in Canada there are about 250 Mennonite Brethren churches where people continue to come together to be encouraged and to encourage a radical faith in Jesus.
Every year, the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches hosts an annual general meeting that takes place in conjunction with Gathering (on even years) or study conference (on odd years). Gathering is the biennial national convention where MBs from across Canada gather for worship, fellowship. Study conference, held biennially, is hosted by the Board of Faith and Life and provides opportunities for MBs to interpret scripture and choose a direction together.
CCMBC maintains a complementary relationship with the provincial MB conferences. The Canadian conference and the provincial conferences are separately organized bodies. Local congregations first join their respective provincial conferences, and by virtue of that, become part of the Canadian Conference. Both national and provincial bodies are committed to working together in serving congregations and helping them succeed in growth and mission and are involved in ongoing collaborative dialogue to achieve that. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have separate conferences of MB churches.
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary Canada (MBBS Canada)
As the seminary for the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, MBBS Canada equips and educates future pastors, leaders, missionaries, counsellors and teachers for congregational or marketplace ministry within the Mennonite Brethren constituency. The goal of MBBS Canada is for every student to become a passionate and committed follower of Jesus, biblically astute and theologically aware, culturally discerning and active in mission through lifelong learning and training opportunities. MBBS Canada has campuses in Langley, B.C. and Winnipeg, Man.
Colleges and schools
The following schools and colleges are affiliated with the Canadian Conference of MB Churches:
- Bethany College - Hepburn, Sask.
- Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) – Winnipeg, Man.
- Columbia Bible College (CBC) – Abbotsford, B.C.
- École de théologie évangélique de Montréal (ÉTEM) – Montréal, Que.
- Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI) – Winnipeg, Man.
- Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) – Abbotsford, B.C.
- Eden High School – St. Catharines, Ont.
MB Mission is the global mission agency for the MB Conferences in Canada and the U.S., working with MB churches in discipleship and church planting worldwide.
The following are Mennonite Brethren affiliated camps across Canada:
- Campfire Ministries – Black Creek, B.C.
- Camp Crossroads – Torrance, Ont.
- Camp Evergreen – Sundre, Alta.
- Camp Likely – Likely, B.C.
- Camp Péniel – Wentworth-Nord, Que.
- Gardom Lake Bible Camp – Enderby, B.C.
- Pines Bible Camp – Grand Forks, B.C.
- Redberry Bible Camp – Waldheim, Sask.
- Simonhouse Bible Camp – Cranberry Portage, Man.
- Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre – Lindell Beach, B.C.
- West Bank Bible Camp – Swift Current, Sask.
Faith and practice
CCMBC's vision is to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ through the development of godly character in every member and the mindset of multiplication in every congregation.
Three key departments and ministries support and resource local churches:
- Church planting
- Leadership development
- Financial ministries
Confession of faith
The Mennonite Brethren Church blends aspects of Evangelicalism with its historic Anabaptist understanding of Christianity. Mennonite Brethren recognize the teachings and authority of the Bible, emphasize personal salvation, baptize confessed believers in Jesus Christ, and encourage community, discipleship, diversity, peacemaking, and reaching out.
The detailed Mennonite Brethren Confession of Faith lists 18 articles of confession. These include:
- Revelation of God
- Creation and Humanity
- Sin and Evil
- Nature of the Church
- Mission of the Church
- Christian Baptism
- Lord’s Supper
- Marriage, Singleness, and Family
- Society and State
- Love and Nonresistance
- Sanctity of Human Life
- Work, Rest and the Lord’s Day
- Christianity and Other Faiths
- Christ's Final Triumph
In 2013, the Mennonite Brethren had approximately 250 congregations in Canada. The MB Herald is published monthly. Le Lien and the MB Chinese Herald, magazines published bi-monthly, serve the francophone and Chinese communities.
- A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church, by John A. Toews
- Celebrating 150 years: The Mennonite Brethren Church around the world, ed. by Abe J. Dueck
- Family Matters: Discovering the Mennonite Brethren, by Lynn Jost and Connie Faber
- Mennonite Encyclopedia, Cornelius J. Dyck, Dennis D. Martin, et al., editors
- The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia, by Peter M. Friesen
- Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, National Council of Churches
- The Mennonite Brethren Herald
- Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO)