Manitoba’s 2022 Assembly was our first in-person Assembly since 2020. It was good to be able to gather together, as well as provide an online zoom experience for those that were unable to attend in person. Friday afternoon began with opportunities for people to experience five different workshops:
- Constitution Review – This workshop was facilitated by the team that reviewed and updated the constitution in preparation for this Assembly amendment.
- Provincial Faith and Life Conversations – This workshop worked to inform you of recent developments and thinking that the NFLT/PFLT has been engaging. Including, but not limited to, topics of LGBTQ+ care, vaccination and government restrictions, code of ethics for churches and pastors.
- Becoming Wholehearted in Service to God through Contemplative Practices – Andrea Toews & Terry Dueck presented a look at Spiritual Direction.
- Beyond the Sunday Gathering – A panel of youth, family, children & community pastors & leaders discussed what it has been like to navigate the changes & challenges of the last two years and what it looks like moving forward,
- Moderator Workshop – This workshop made space for discussion and dialogue led by a few of our church moderators who shared best practices, resources, tips, and ways that God is at work in their midst.
Friday evening’s worship service focused on our theme of Deep Faith – Extravagant Grace. Worship was led by the host church North Kildonan MB Church, and Pastor Victor Neufeld invited us to reflect on our past couple of years. He explored the deep faith and extravagant grace of our Lord and led the hearer to the sombre and uncomfortable consideration that we’ve too often lacked that faith and grace. Pastor Vic invited us to move toward Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Saturday’s AGM was a full morning of reports. We reviewed our 2021 financial year, highlighting our gratefulness to our churches for their support and our ability to keep the budget spending down to finish the 2021 season well. The constitution review team presented the updated version of the constitution which prompted good questions and discussions on this matter. Questions and dialogue included conversation about what was understood as a new way of valuing the constitution and exploring the role that it should play in our discernment process as a community.
The afternoon included some of the leadership from Living Word Temple leading participants in a blanket exercise. The Blanket Exercise is an interactive and experiential teaching tool that explores the historical and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the land we now know as Canada. By engaging participants on both emotional and intellectual levels, the exercise educates while creating empathy and understanding. We were encouraged to become more aware of how God is inviting us to reconciliation.
The final work of the day was to vote on the 2022 budget. There was a call for the board and staff to work towards hosting a Pastor’s Retreat and to find creative ways to bring our pastors and spouses together for a time of rest, connection, and support. With this added action item, the budget was approved.
Thank you to North Kildonan MB Church for hosting us with a gracious and welcoming spirit. It was a pleasure to work with you in putting on this event. Thank you to the presenters, board members and the many people who gave reports and helped guide our decisions. And thank you to all for participating. May God grant us wisdom and courage to move forward with continued faith and grace to follow Jesus faithfully.
You can find the 2022 Assembly reports and partner updates here: https://mbcm.ca/assembly2022