Written by Shannon McAdam
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
As the summer heats up I've realized that we are now just 40 days away from Mission Centre Conference! Wow! How time flies. To think that this time last year the three of us were beginning to discern and understand a calling to this work of being a volunteer Mission Centre President team.
This year's Mission Centre Conference, like the conferences in the past two years, will look different as we continue to think carefully about how to use everyone's time, talents, and treasure in the best way possible. If you haven't heard, we decided to leverage our team of three to do something previously not done, which is to have your Mission Centre President be in multiple places at the same time! Gwyn will spend the weekend in Regina, Shannon in Calgary, and Kat in Vancouver. We encourage you to plan on joining us in one of these locations as we still have so many of you to meet and get to know better.
Our main purpose for this gathering is to conduct the business of our Mission Centre, but it is also the way we are able to reconnect with those we don't see all the time. The world of online events has changed this, and I suspect many of you have seen a variety of faces from across the mission centre more often in the last two years than you may have before. I know I have, and what a joy that has been. But what a delight it will be to see many of you in person! I'm very excited.
In preparation for conference I was reviewing the documents from the creation of our mission centre in 2004. Did you realize we are fast approaching our 20th anniversary of being a mission centre? I didn't! What a journey these last 18 years have been of stretching our hearts across four provinces to create a new grouping of faithful disciples, supporting one another in following Christ's call. I remember those first few conferences being almost like starting at a new school, so many new faces, and a few vaguely familiar ones. Now those new faces are familiar faces, and so beloved. I can't imagine this discipleship journey without all of you.
While our conference is September 9th-11th, we will have opportunities in the week leading up for you to engage early. We will have two options for virtual pre-legislative sessions on September 4th in the afternoon and 7th in the evening for you to learn about our business agenda and ask questions in a more relaxed setting. There will also be a "coffee and conversation" virtual gathering on the evening of Thursday September 8th with Debra to explore questions around our theme of Growing Together.
So, I hope you are able to join us online in the week leading up to conference, and then many of you in-person (or online) the 9th-11th. Even if you are not a delegate this year, you are invited to listen to the meetings, join in the worships, and celebrate with us how we are continually Growing Together.
Written by Kat Goheen
Canada West Mission Centre Co-President
I was so blessed to spend the weekend at Hills of Peace for the Spiritual Retreat three weeks ago. The lake, the hills, the food, the poplar trees all whispered peace to me. Two of us were there for the first time, and the campground seemed happy for our group presence after almost three years of no camps there.
We gathered from three provinces and shared deeply about our response to God’s movement in our lives, guided by the stories of Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Jesus in the New Testament. Everyone was full of insights from their lives and from the texts. I am amazed by how much growth we saw in those biblical figures within a few short paragraphs, and how we were able to identify those rhythms and movements of Spirit in our own lives. I saw myself in each of our biblical friends and was able to touch into some places within that can still use love and healing. It was brave of us to go through grief and resurrection together and I am so happy that we practiced leaning on the heart of God in community.
May our service be blessed with spaciousness. May our contemplation lead us to action. May we always willingly receive the gift of new life!
From our guiding poem by Joyce Rupp:
It is enough for me to know
the heart of God is with me,
Full of mercy and compassion,
tending to the wounds I bear.
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537