The New Year presents a valuable opportunity to evaluate ourselves individually and corporately. As a family of churches we can look back at 2010 with a variety of emotions. Oasis 2010 became an historic event when delegates voted overwhelmingly to incorporate the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches. Please ensure that your church passes the necessary motion as you chose to partner together with hundreds of other churches in Atlantic Canada. You can view the list of churches and associations which have already committed to be a part of the newly incorporated body here: https://baptist-atlantic.ca/departments/executiveminister/incorporation. We are happy to inform you that we recently received official word that the letters patent was approved by the federal government on December 11th.
Oasis 2010 also witnessed the Final Report of the Racism Working Group as they completed their ten year mandate to end racism and build a new level of understanding and cooperation within a racially diverse CABC. We are now in the process of forming an Ethnic Ministries committee to carry on the work of the Racism Working Group.
An honest self examination always reveals areas where we need to change course to allow for more positive growth. Early in 2011 a Senior Staff Proposal will be made public to meet the 180 day rule for introduction at Oasis 2011 in Wolfville, N.S. In late February and March there will be a series of public meetings throughout Atlantic Canada to discuss the Proposal.
On the Executive Minister’s Office webpage, Dr. Reid shows us the way forward. “The mandate of the church is extremely clear. Jesus prayed, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). The primary place of ministry for Christian believers is not in the church but in the world. We have been sent “on mission” into the world to be salt and light, to be an incarnational presence of Jesus in this dark world. There are so many exciting ways in which we as Christians can be the people of God and engage in acts of kindness and service in our communities if we begin to change our focus from “internal” to “external.”
In order to develop and maintain a ‘missional focus’ throughout our family of churches, Council is calling people to pray for:
- spiritual renewal;
- unity under the newly incorporated Convention;
- and, wisdom as we pursue a Senior Staff Review.
We are challenged by God’s direction to King Solomon almost 3000 years ago: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
This initiative is only one step in turning our focus outward, but it is a critical step. Entitled ‘the Group of Seven’ it is open to anyone who can commit to pray daily for the three priorities list above. Just email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our future is determined by our dependence on Jesus. With Paul we affirm that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) May God bless you as you seek to do His will in the coming year.