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Workers’ Meeting: Together in Ministry and Mission

After two years of meeting online, Ontario Conference workers joyfully reunited for an in-person workers’ meeting in Hamilton from September 18-20. Pastors, Bible workers, teachers, directors, support staff and their families came from near and far (as far as Sioux lookout!) for a few days of worship, fellowship, learning and fun.

Robert Greaves (pastor, Ottawa, Hope Central) expressed a consensus – “This workers’ meeting was awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“Great series of meetings,” agreed Andrew King (pastor, Downsview).

Sunday’s banquet was a chance to reunite with colleagues and friends in a festive setting. Among the evening’s standouts were videos representing different cultures. For instance, attendees learned that the Ashanti (Ghanaian tribe) name for Saturday is “I am who I am” day, indicating their belief in the God of the Sabbath before colonization. Other highlights were introducing new workers, celebrating weddings, babies and retirements, and beautiful musical renditions by a Korean pastors’ singing group and Harold Novac (pastor, Cambridge and Toronto Hungarian) on the mandolin.

Read more...

Top: Administration greeting newest hired pastor, Anthony Kern. Above: Guest speakers Paula Olivier, Toakase Vunileva, and Washington Johnson II educated and challenged workers.

Above: Newly hired teachers in prayer. Below: Our workers' children enjoyed three days of age-appropriate activities and presentations.

Inspirational Quotes from Workers' Meeting 2022

“I learned to grow through trauma and pain, and it’s a continual journey. If you’re going through [something], talk to Jesus. But also to your therapist.”
-Washington Johnson, on how he navigated losing his brother and sister in a few months

“Connection with your youth and young adults will go a lot further than your lectures.”
-Paula Olivier, on intergenerational ministry

“When you understand who you are, it helps you to understand what God is doing.”
-Damson Oppong, leading out in a reflective exercise

“Just because you’re in the church doesn’t mean you’re saved. And there’s a difference between religion and relationship.”
-Paula Olivier, on how the prodigal son’s brother was lost in his own home

“When God calls you to something you don’t want to do, it’s to prepare you for something else. Sometimes you have to go to the desert to get your blessing.”
-Washington Johnson, sharing how an unwanted stint as deputy chaplain in Djibouti prepared him for bigger platforms in ministry

“When you are having struggles and troubles, it is simply so your struggles would keep you near the cross.”
-Toakase Vunileva, during her testimony of God helping her navigate her husband’s stage 5 kidney failure diagnosis

Ontario Conference in Post-COVID Recovery

During Ontario Conference’s first in-person workers’ meeting in three years, held September 18-20, employees got a picture of a conference in recovery.

In his executive secretary’s report, Jakov Bibulovic revisited the four categories all churches fall under, first identified by the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church: 1) multiplying, 2) growing, 3) plateauing and 4) declining.

He revealed that only 23% of Ontario Conference churches are growing, with 56% declining and 21% plateauing. That is, almost every second church in Ontario Conference is declining.

However, there are signs of God’s work continuing in Ontario despite the pandemic and other challenges. In 2022, for instance, our is 35,617, representing 437 new members (372 baptized, the rest by profession of faith or transfer).

There’s also a renewed focus on evangelism among our churches. By God’s grace, Ontario Conference increased its evangelism budget to $921,500—up from $566,200 in 2020, and 84% of our congregations across Ontario requested an evangelism subsidy, with impactful campaigns and several baptisms resulting.

Treasurer Virene Meikle also had promising news. She shared that:

  1. Tithe income had increased by 11% from the previous year;
  2. Categories that had taken a hit since 2019, such as Sabbath School/mission and local church offerings, increased across the board; and
  3. Enrolment at all our schools is up to 740, near pre-COVID numbers of 800.

Later, Halsey Peat, assistant to the president, announced Ontario Conference’s 2023 ministry strategy and direction – “connecting like Jesus in ministry and mission through discipleship.”

It seems that taking a hard look at where we stand, as we have done recently, is a step in the right direction. As President Mansfield Edwards expressed in a presentation on evangelism: “For revival and strategic planning to take place, we have to first define our reality.”

He noted that every future initiative must fall under ministry (building up each other) or mission (reaching others for Christ). And that God doesn’t ask for reapers but for labourers.

“Jesus counts every single person who comes to Him and heaven rejoices. May God help us see the multitudes,” he concluded.

Christelle Agboka, Communications director

Thoughts on Truth and Reconciliation from Ontario Conference President

On August 29, Stephanie Scott, executive director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and the Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister, Marc Miller, released a joint statement as the Survivors’ Flag was raised on Parliament Hill. A challenging sentence in the statement captured my attention. Referencing the significance of planting the Survivors’ Flag, it said, “It is a call to remember and a call to action.”

If this is to be so, then we have come to the time when we must rise from the chairs of symbolism and gather around the table of intentionality with our Indigenous brothers and sisters; we must affirm the truth and purposefully work toward reconciliation.

The church has a God-given responsibility to be at this table.

“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18, NASB).

Last weekend, our administration was in Sioux Lookout worshiping and meeting with Indigenous leaders in Northwestern Ontario to discuss how we could frame a more positive partnership. This session was a follow-up to my sermon, “Making the World a Better Place.”

The plans include an agreement for quarterly meetings to include the engagement of our twin-engine Cessna airplane, Wings for Humanity, in serving the respective communities on humanitarian missions. It was impactful that one in attendance endured the pains of the residential school experience and shared it around the table.

We invite all our workers and church leaders to do more than wear the orange shirt once per year, but rather make this a call to remember and a call to meaningful action.

Pastor Mansfield Edwards, Ontario Conference president

FREE Canva Training and Resources

Thank you to those who made it to our Canva training last month. It went very well, as our speaker, Darwin Erazo (graphic design and production coordinator, Panama Union Mission), shared graphic design best practices and tips and tricks for Canva. This time, there was an extended period for participants to practice their Canva skills and pick Darwin’s brain during the Q and A.

If you would like to review the training or watch it for the first time at your convenience, here is an edited version of the session.

And here is a link to the PPT, logos and other resources, including those from the previous Canva training event.

Finally, for those who’d also like to see the training from the Fall 2021 Refresh, click here.

Feel free to share with anyone that you think would benefit from this in-depth training!

CONFERENCE EVENTS/NEWS



Click here or on the image above to register for the combined  Northern Ontario Youth and Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) retreat.



Click on the image above to join the Zoom meeting this Sabbath, Oct. 1 at 8:00 am.

BEGINNING THIS SUNDAY...



Click the image above to download the reading for the week of October 2-8, 2022.



Cliquez sur l'image ci-dessus pour télécharger la lecture de la semaine du 2 au 8 octobre 2022.

This year's Week of Prayer is November 5-12, 2022.

I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit – 3 John 2.

Please check these sites to access the Week of Prayer readings:
Adults: https://issuu.com/adventistmedianetwork/docs/aw-2022-wop_web
Children: https://issuu.com/adventistmedianetwork/docs/aw-2022-wop_web/s/16592733

May God bless you as you use and share these resources.

Maria McClean, director
Health and Prayer Ministries
Ontario Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
mmcclean@AdventistOntario.org

Ontario Conference values you as a member of our praying community.
If you have a prayer request, please let us know!

Click here to submit your request.
Click here for a COVID-19 prayer.



Click on the image above for a video providing a step-by-step guide to using AdventistGiving.
Click here for The Steward's Way e-book.

Did you miss Camp Meeting or Ordination?
Click here for links to Camp Meeting recordings!

 

CHURCH EVENTS

The Richmond Hill church will be hosting this six-part online series on the Jewish Festivals of Leviticus 23, their significance and meaning for then and now, in relation to Jesus, and the Gospel in them. The series is both educational, inspirational, and participatory.

Presenters: JoAnne and Richard Davidson, and their daughter A. Rahel Wells (Andrews University professors)
Dates: September 30, October 1, 2, 7, 8, 9
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm (including Q&A)
To join: www.rhsda.ca, and click on the poster to join the ZOOM room.

The Richmond Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church
will be celebrating its
60th Anniversary
on
November 12, 2022
Former members and pastors are invited.
Sabbath School at 9:30 a.m., Worship Service at 11 a.m.
Afternoon program 2:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.rhsda.ca



 

OTHER/MISCELLANEOUS

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

Part-time French Teacher for Adventist Christian Elementary School
Substitute Teachers for Crawford Adventist Academy (secondary school)
Substitute Teachers (ongoing hiring) for Brampton, London, Mount Hope, Oshawa, Ottawa, Pickering, Toronto, and Windsor

Visit this link for details on the above job postings with Ontario Conference Education.

SDC-CVL:  The Seventh-day Co-ed Christian Volleyball League
will be re-starting in the fall of 2022.  If your church would like to have a team in the league, or if you will be a returning team, please contact Curtis Ambrose at curtdiggie1@hotmail.com, by Friday, September 16.



ADRA Canada is hiring! Below, please find positions currently open for applications. Potential applicants are encouraged to visit www.adra.ca/careers for more details and to apply. These positions will remain open until filled. We thank all candidates for applying, but ADRA Canada will only contact those selected for an interview.

Accountant
Accounting Assistant

Staff Assistant & Prospect Researcher

Faith-Based Relations Coordinator

Operations Coordinator

 

Kingsway College, an SDA boarding high school in Oshawa, Ontario is seeking applicants for the following three positions:

  • Science/biology teacher (click here for more)
  • President’s secretary (full-time);
  • Accompanist needed for the Kingsway College Choir.

Applicants should be a member in good standing of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and able to work legally in Canada and have a current vulnerable sector police check.  Three personal references are required.  Please email your resume to Lee Richards– leerichards@kingsway.college.   Please visit the Kingsway College website for job descriptions for these three positions:  www.kingsway.college/careers.

BURMAN UNIVERSITY JOB OPPORTUNITY

Burman University invites applications for the following positions:

  • Senior Development Officer - Office of Advancement
  • Full-Time Tenure-track Faculty in Psychology
Please visit our website for details.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada (SDACC) is pleased to announce that, in partnership with Canadian conferences, it is making it even more affordable for new students to attend Burman.

Seventy new scholarships—valued at $2,000 each—are being offered to first-time entrants (both new and transfer students) for the 2022/23 school year. This is offered in addition to the three-way matching scholarships—involving Burman, the local church, and the local conference—and the summer employment/volunteer service scholarship (valued at $1,000), which are already in place.

Prospective candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria and apply through their local conference office:

  1. First-time entrant to Burman (new or transfer)
  2. Adventist membership or regular attendee
  3. Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  4. Accepted into a Burman degree
  5. Registered for a full course load

Over the years, students, families, teachers, and the community have been witnesses to the fact that Burman University is a place where many dreams start. The SDACC and Canadian conferences invite you to take one step closer to achieving your dreams. Please contact your local conference office for more information on these scholarships:

— Paul Llewellyn, VP for administration, and Betty Bayer, director of education, SDACC

The International Pathfinder Camporee will take place in Gillette, Wyoming in 2024. IPC happens every five years. Over 50,000 Pathfinders attend from over 100 countries for the largest five-day Adventist Youth Event in the world. Each day is filled with fun activities, honors, events, and ministry opportunities. During the 2024 Camporee, each night will be filled with inspiring music, prayer, messages, and a special continuing story from the life of Moses.

Make sure to mark your calendars for Camporee AUGUST 5-11, 2024.

Click here for more info.

Would you like your church ad or article to be considered for inclusion in the next edition of the news? We love to help in sharing your story, and we accept submissions for the OCN up to the Tuesday of each publication week.

Email us at ocn@adventistontario.org.

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Distributed by Ontario Conference Communications
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Additional
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

 

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