Ontario Conference News


It’s Hard to Forgive

“I just can’t,” She said. “I can’t bring myself to forgive him.  Even if I could, I won’t because he’s caused me too much pain.”

It’s not easy to forgive. It’s really hard. Forgiveness is the last thing on your mind when someone has hurt you so much that it almost feels as if your heart has been torn from your body.  The feeling that quickly occupies our being is to find some way to hurt the one who has inflicted such pain on us, not forgiveness.  One way we get back at our offender, to punish him or her, is to withhold forgiveness.  It’s a way of reminding our offender of the offence—even if he or she repented and begged for forgiveness. As long as we do not forgive, the person is in our debt, held captive. He or she does not deserve to be forgiven because of what was done to us.

Someone once said, “When we don’t forgive, we allow the offender to live rent-free in our minds.”  When we think we are punishing the offender or keeping him or her in our debt, the main captive is ourselves.  Our unwillingness to forgive becomes our jailer. Each time we see the offender, the hurt immediately resurges and what may have started as a good day suddenly turns downcast and bleak. We are trapped, unable to move forward with our lives. It negatively affects so many areas of our life—our mental processes, emotional well-being, health, family relationships, to mention just a few.

When Jesus commanded us to forgive (Matthew 6:14-15), it was far from arbitrary. He was addressing a matter of life or death. Our willingness to forgive is twinned with receiving God’s forgiveness.  When we sin against God, the pain we inflict is far greater than any pain another person can inflict on us, yet He is willing to forgive and treat us as if we had not done anything wrong.  The person who experiences the joy and freedom of having received God’s forgiveness, and being allowed to go free without punishment, knows what it means to be forgiven. Therefore, she cannot withhold forgiveness from a sister, a husband, or a stranger who has hurt her. An unwillingness to do so places us in a situation where God cannot forgive us.  Yes, a matter of life or death.

The command to forgive is also Jesus’ desire for us to live healthy lives. He wants us to be free from anger, resentment and hate, which imprison us and wreak havoc in our lives and relationships.  When we forgive, we can live productive lives, able to worship God with all our heart and being, with nothing holding us back.  We are free to build new and strong relationships without the baggage of an unforgiven heart.

Yes, it is hard to forgive and it can be a slow process but it won’t happen unless we try.

Halsey Peat

Ontario Conference Honours Humanitarians at Prayer Breakfast

On Monday morning, May 8, Ontario Conference administrators, directors and staff honoured over 25 members of the public, emergency workers, healthcare professionals and humanitarian organisations for their selfless service to the community. They were honoured at a prayer breakfast held in the lobby of the conference in Oshawa.

Pastor Mansfield Edwards, Ontario Conference president, welcomed the honourees and guests and spoke of the reason for the prayer breakfast. He painted a very realistic picture of the desperate situation faced by many, their frustrations, vulnerabilities and sense of hopelessness before directing everyone to consider God’s solution in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

“Our prayers will make a difference in society,” he said, speaking of the real value of gathering together to pray for others. “I can say this because I have experienced the result of intercessory prayer in my own life.”

Edwards continued, citing studies showing the significant impact of prayer on healing when used along with conventional medical care in hospitals.

“Increasingly, medical schools and hospitals are recognising this and including it in their teaching and healthcare,” he said, making the point that intercessory prayers tap into the source of power—God Himself. Concluding, he said, “I encourage you to include prayer in your life.” 

Following a delicious breakfast, Edwards led out in presenting awards for three categories: Community Leaders, Emergency Services and Special Mentions.  Following the completion of each category, a conference worker offered a prayer for recipients.  This was especially pertinent for those serving in emergency services such as the police who often face life-threatening situations.

First honoured was Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa, who was represented by Rhonda Kirkland. In a letter, Carrie expressed his gratitude for the intercessory prayers of the Ontario Conference. He was followed by Bishop Ransford Jones, chairman of Canadian Black Clergies and Allies, and pastor of Destiny Gospel Centre.  For each award, Pastor Edwards highlighted some of the work the recipient had contributed to society.

Awards were also presented to Patricia and Moses Mawa, Silver Trust Media; Ann and Noel Thompson, Eduardo Flores, New Life Church Productivity HUB; Melissa Morrison, Habitat for Humanity Northumberland; Douglas Pereira, ADRA Canada; Dr Nadia Ismiil, and Colleen Wilkinson of Lakeridge Health; Inspector Stefanie Finateri, Staff Sargeant Dan Ladouceur, and Sargeant Adam Sigmann of Durham Regional Police; Retired Superintendent Ricky Veerappan, Ontario Provisional Police; Former Chief Armand LaBarge, York Region Police; and Chaplain Wendell Gibbs, Toronto Police and pastor of First Baptist Church, Toronto.

However, it was the final category that had everyone standing and applauding. Pastor Edwards told the account of the last snowstorm of the winter that left a family of ten stranded at night on the road in the Simcoe area. When they knocked on the door of Denny and Sandy Vervaet’s home, they were not only welcomed but were given food and space was made for them to spend the night.

“They were total strangers,” said Edwards, “but this couple and their three little girls took them into their home.  Who does this in our society?  If only more of us would have this spirit of hospitality and care towards others.”

As Denny and Sandy led their children to the front, the audience stood and applauded in admiration of the humanity exemplified by this family.  The applause was repeated when James Rooney, director for the Conference camp provided vouchers for the entire family to enjoy a week at Camp Frenda in Muskoka.

The final award recipients also received enthusiastic applause.  They were presented to Dr Lloyd Douglas and Pilot Denfield Borland for their selfless work among the Indigenous people of Sioux Lookout in Northern Ontario.

Norwill and Hollace Simmonds provided vocal music and Halsey Peat concluded with prayer.

Ontario Camp Meeting to Highlight Spirituality and Community Engagement

In just under a month from today, on Sabbath, June 3, 2023, Ontario’s camp meeting will highlight the twin themes of spirituality and engaging the community.

“These two great themes reflect the foundational characteristic of every disciple of Jesus,” says, Pastor Mansfield Edwards, Ontario Conference president. “When we think of spirituality, we are not thinking of a religious person who is simply trying to keep to the rules, but one who has experienced the saving power of Jesus Christ and is converted to Him, and who lives a life that is led by the Holy Spirit.

“Engagement with the community is how we are to live with and among people when we are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.  If we are not engaging in the life of the community as individuals and as congregations how can we claim to be disciples of Jesus, especially in reference to the urgency of the times?”

All four speakers for the camp meeting will address a different aspect of the twin emphasis. Some who remember hearing Pastor Sweeny when he was last in Ontario in 2007, have already stated their intention to be present, not simply to watch the stream on YouTube. They want to be present, amongst thousands of worshippers, engaging in live, active worship of God and to hear the messages He will deliver through the preachers.

After a ten-year absence, Pastor Cyril Millett’s presence at an Ontario camp meeting will be a joyful reunion for many who know and love him, and missed him after he left for Bermuda in 2012.  Millett will be the preacher for the ordination service at 6:15 p.m.

Largest Number of Pastors to be Ordained

With ten pastors scheduled for ordination during the evening service on June 3, Camp Meeting 2023 will feature the largest number of pastors ordained at the same time. “It’s the largest cohort in the past thirty years,” said Pastor Oppong, Ministerial secretary.  “We were pleased to ordain four pastors in 2021 and two additional ones last year but because of pandemic placed restrictions on public gatherings, these took place at local churches.  We are grateful to the Almighty that once again, many thousands are able to join us as we set aside ten pastors to serve in the gospel ministry.”

Children’s Programme to be Offered Only in the Morning

The children’s programme will only be offered during the morning at Sabbath School and the worship service.  There will not be any children’s programme in the late afternoon or evening.
Parents are asked to take careful note of this because they are accustomed to dropping off their children in the evening while they attend the services in the other halls.  Those registering their children during the morning will be reminded of the schedule.

For more camp meeting information and worship times, visit

New Animation Film Challenges Industry Norms: The Great Controversy Premieres May 19 on Hope Channel International

The film promises to be intriguing for all who see it and is designed to resonate with audiences in a postmodern context. 

United States | Hope Channel
May 1, 2023

Hope Channel International, a Christian global media network, is premiering on its digital platform a new animation film that is expected to challenge the norms of the animation industry.

The Great Controversy will be released exclusively on the network's 3AM: Morning is Coming YouTube channel on May 19, 2023.

The film's unique approach explores the timeless struggle between good and evil through the story of Naomi, a young girl whose life choices have an impact on her relationships with her brother and boyfriend. Viewers are taken on a journey through the history of the world and shown how the ongoing conflict between good and evil impacts every decision.


OCN May 4, 2023 Corrections
The article ‘Setting Priorities’ included the incorrect spelling of the name William Miller. Also, in ‘Ontario Camp Meeting to Highlight Spirituality and Community Engagement’, the name identifying Pastor Cyril Millett’s picture should be written as Cyril Millett III.
The editor regrets causing any offence. 




Camp Oasis Is Hiring! Formerly Camp Wanarunarouwnd, the full-day Christian Summer Camp is back for 2023! We are seeking to hire young people, between the ages of 16 and 25, to work as staff for this year's summer camp! If you're interested, please send your resume and cover letter to All applications are due by May 21, 12 pm.

Click the links here to read full job descriptions: Camp Director, Camp Counsellor, or Camp Supervisor.



Office of Education - Current Job Opportunities
The following positions are currently available
with the Ontario Conference Office of Education:

Principal/Grades 6-8 Teacher for Adventist Christian Elementary School (London, Ontario)
High School Substitute Teachers for Crawford Adventist Academy (North York, Ontario - Secondary School)
Substitute Teachers (ongoing hiring) for Brampton, London, Mount Hope, Oshawa, Ottawa, Pickering, Toronto, and Windsor

Visit this link and select Ontario Conference for details on the above job postings with Ontario Conference Office of Education.

Job Opportunities at Kingsway College

Kingsway College, a growing Adventist boarding high school in Ontario, Canada is searching for dynamic teachers in Computer Science and Math instruction, one for History, Social Science and Social Studies, and two teachers for English as a Second Language. Each must have a passion for helping high school students learn.

Applications will be received until the positions are filled. The candidate must be currently able to work in Canada legally. Qualified candidates, please direct your resume to Lee Richards, President of Kingsway College at Please provide three references with their contact information.

For further details please go to:

PASTORS, CHAPLAINS - Visit for the
2023 Ministerial Summit Registration

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada (SDACC) is hiring!
Click the links below to review the full job postings:

IT Associate Director for Security

Communication Associate Director



Job Opportunity, Lacombe AB
ABC Christian Store Bookmobile Driver

The Alberta Conference is accepting applications for ABC Christian Store Bookmobile Driver. This position reports directly to the ABC Christian Store Manager. For more information and to send a resume, please get in touch with Applications will be accepted until a suitable applicant is found. Only those who are shortlisted will be contacted for an interview.

Would you like your church ad or article to be considered for the next edition of Ontario Conference News (OCN)?

We want to help in sharing your story, and we accept submissions for OCN up to the Tuesday at
5 pm of each publication week. Email


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Ontario Conference
Department Websites and
Social Media Links

Adventurers: Website | YouTube
Camp Frenda: Website
Children's Ministries: Facebook
Connect Ministries 
(Family, Singles, Women's, Men's): Website
Health Ministries: Facebook
Master Guides: Website | YouTube
Prayer Ministries: Facebook
Prison Ministries: Website
Total Member Involvement (TMI): Facebook
Lay Evangelism Association (OCLEA):
Facebook | YouTube | Instagram
Youth Ministry: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram
Pathfinders: Website | YouTube
Walking and Working With Jesus (WWWJ): Website


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