Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
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|Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches|
|Associations||International Community of Mennonite Brethren, Mennonite World Conference|
|Headquarters||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
The Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC) is a community of about 250 diverse Mennonite Brethren (MB) congregations spread across Canada, united through their evangelical Anabaptist beliefs and values and by their mission to grow healthy churches, helping them reach their worlds.
Mennonite history tells the story of a people coming together on the basis of 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 tenets 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 Russia in 1860 as a new expression of Mennonite faith. The Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC) "trace[s] [its] history to several villages in the Molotschna colony in Ukraine."
The Canadian conference incorporated and adopted its current name in 1946. It had previously been a constituent unit of the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches of North America. CCMBC is part of the worldwide community of Mennonite Brethren through its connection with the International Community of Mennonite Brethren.
The mid- to late twentieth century saw significant growth in the conference by means of evangelism. The conference grew from 87 congregations and 14,185 members in 1960 to 125 congregations and 17,025 members by 1970. In the 1980s, it had as many as 190 congregations and 27,277 members. 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.
The CCMBC "is a national body which regulates the membership of area churches, which ... are known as provincial conferences." 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.
MB Seminary (Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary) is the national seminary for the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. MB Seminary exists to educate and equip men and women to help lead the church in reaching Canada and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Christ. MB Seminary is a Canadian ministry with an international reach, and a Mennonite Brethren ministry with multi-denominational relationships.
MB Seminary partners with multiple institutions in Canada to provide training that is accessible and collaborative. These partnerships include:
- ACTS Seminaries (Langley, BC)
- Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg, MB)
- Tyndale Seminary (Toronto, ON)
- Horizon College and Seminary (Saskatoon, SK)
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 US, working with MB churches in discipleship and church planting worldwide.
The following are Mennonite Brethren affiliated camps across Canada:
- Campfire Ministries – Black Creek, BC
- Camp Crossroads – Torrance, Ontario
- Camp Evergreen – Sundre, Alberta
- Camp Likely – Likely, BC
- Camp Péniel – Wentworth-Nord, Quebec
- Gardom Lake Bible Camp – Enderby, BC
- Pines Bible Camp – Grand Forks, BC
- Redberry Bible Camp – Waldheim, Saskatchewan
- Simonhouse Bible Camp – Cranberry Portage, Manitoba
- Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre – Lindell Beach, BC
- West Bank Bible Camp – Swift Current, Saskatchewan
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 Mennonite Brethren Herald is published monthly. Le Lien and the Chinese Herald,  serve the francophone and Chinese communities.
- Kraybill 2010, p. 132.
- Dueck 2012, p. 89.
- "Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches". Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- Hamm 1987, p. 147.
- J. B. Toews 1993, pp. 257–258.
- J. B. Toews 1993, p. 258.
- "MB History". Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- Dueck 2012, p. 90.
- "The MB Confession of Faith Detailed Edition". Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- Dueck 2012, p. 95.
- Jost & Faber 2002, p. 70.
- Dueck, J. Alicia (2012). Negotiating Sexual Identities: Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Perspectives on Being Mennonite. Masters of Peace. 6. Münster, Germany: LIT Verlag. ISBN 978-3-643-90237-5.
- Dyck, Cornelius J.; Martin, Dennis D., eds. (1990). The Mennonite encyclopedia: a comprehensive reference work on the Anabaptist-Mennonite movement. 5.
- Friesen, Peter M. (1980). The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia. Translated by Toews, J. B.; Friesen, Abraham; Klassen, Peter J.; Loewen, Harry (2nd ed.). Fresno, California: General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. OCLC 3996275. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
- Hamm, Peter M. (1987). Continuity and Change among Canadian Mennonite Brethren. Religion and Identity: Social-Scientific Studies in Religion. 3. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfred Laurier University Press. ISBN 978-0-88920-794-3.
- Jost, Lynn; Faber, Connie (2002). Family Matters: Discovering the Mennonite Brethren. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Kindred Publications. ISBN 978-0-921788-74-4.
- Kraybill, Donald B. (2010). Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-9911-9.
- Toews, J. B. (1993). A Pilgrimage of Faith: The Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia and North America, 1860–1990. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Kindred Press. ISBN 978-0-921788-17-1.
- Toews, John A. (1975). A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church: Pilgrims and Pioneers. Fresno, California: General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.
- Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches. National Council of Churches.
- Dueck, Abe J., ed. (2010). Celebrating 150 Years: The Mennonite Brethren Church around the World. Kitchener, Ontario: Pandora Press.
- Official website
- The Mennonite Brethren Herald
- Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO)