From October 1-4, The Mission Canada held its annual National Summit, a gathering of more than 80 church leaders from across Canada for four days of worship, prayer, connecting with friends and inspiring teaching. Jericho Road Church in Port Alberni, B.C., hosted the event in their building on beautiful Vancouver Island, modeling servant leadership for the other churches in attendance.
“We gathered as a group who intentionally desired to build relationship, be mutually supportive and be rooted in relationship with Jesus and empowered by his Spirit,” says the Rev. John Cox, Rector of Jericho Road Church. “That made it much more interesting and worthwhile than meeting for meetings and religious ritual.”
Relationships grew and flourished at the Summit, as leaders intentionally planned a low-key event with only one morning and one evening session. The schedule allowed significant time for long lunches and face-to-face interaction, says the Rev. Peter Klenner of All Saints Whiterock.
“We had time for coffee in the morning before we started, as well as times of ministry where it wasn’t just information transfer but relational,” he says. “We were just a bunch of people getting together to share their stories.”
Storytelling took center stage in the conversational sessions centered around “The Word”—written, spoken, creating, healing, remembering—and most fully expressed in the person of Jesus, the Word made flesh. Speakers included members of The Mission Canada’s National Leadership Team such as Bishop Silas Ng of Richmond Emmanuel Church and the Rev. Peter Klenner of All Saints Whiterock; Bishop Philip Jones from All Saints Dallas; Archbishop Yong Ping Chung and his wife Julia from Malaysia and more.
“Archbishop Yong and his wife Julia continue to show their commitment to the Mission’s work in Canada—having attended each of The Mission Canada’s Summits, many conferences, and visiting local parishes while visiting in Canada,” says the Rev. Dave De Jong, Associate Pastor at Jericho Road Church and Administrative Support for The Mission Canada. “Their sacrifice and commitment not only to us, but to the broader mission in North America, Malaysia and elsewhere is both humbling and inspiring.”
Many listeners were touched when Apostolic Vicar Philip Jones spoke with humor, humility and passion on “The Word: My Story.” Attendees commented on his openness and vulnerability, as well as that of the other leaders and the Summit as a whole. Others were amazed by the stories of how God is moving within The Mission and thankful to be part of His work.
In addition to the general sessions, attendees could choose from four workshops on four aspects of The Word led by members of the National Leadership Team. Attendees also enjoyed a time of Soaking Prayer that encouraged and strengthened many, including the Rev. Joshua Siu of Richmond Emmanuel Church.
“I have felt a call to church planting for a long time but my wife had been hesitant until the Summit,” Joshua says. “The Lord spoke to her, asking her to be open to the possibility, and she said OK to God! Who knows how God will lead us in the future? It’s exciting to imagine the possibilities as He leads and guides our steps.”
According to Peter Klenner, that kind of spiritual experience characterized the Summit. “Many people I have spoken to mentioned that they had an interaction with Jesus in addition to learning something new. People left actually refreshed,” he says.
Apostolic Vicar Philip Jones especially enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with his Canadian brothers and sisters. “I met clergy from Vancouver to Toronto to New Brunswick and lots of places in between,” he says. “I had some special time just with the clergy as well as the whole group. The National Leadership Team for The Anglican Mission Canada is strong and very encouraged.”
John Cox concludes that this year’s Summit knitted them closer as a group while reinforcing a kingdom mentality.
“Our Canadian group is small but united and committed to growing under the leadership of Bishop Silas who is also refreshing in his willingness to model a servant heart and empowers people of diverse gifting to flourish without losing identity,” he says. “The Summit facilitated opportunities for ministry and worship and sought to include all people, laity and clergy, to be equipped and released in the shared commission of extending the kingdom.”
Learn more at http://www.theamcanada.ca/