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110thAnnual Report Established 1904


Contents Conference Chair Letter Leadership Board

3 3

Staff Reports Jeff Anderson, Superintendent/President Julia Sandstrom, Director of Ministry Support Glenn Peterson, Director of Church Planting Gerald Froese, Director of Congregational Vitality

4 5 6 7

Church Reports Balfour ECC, BC Malmo Mission Covenant Church, AB College Park Covenant Church, Saskatoon, SK Faith Covenant Church, Winnipeg, MB Lighthouse Community Church, Sarnia, ON

8 9 10 11 12

CBC Legacy Bursary Recipients Candidates for Ordination Pastoral Transitions

13 13 13

Church Plants Lake Ridge Community Church, Chestermere, AB Holy Community Covenant Church, Winnipeg, MB Avenue Community Church, Toronto, ON

14 15 16

Affiliated Ministries Women Ministries Kootenay Covenant Bible Camp Covenant Heights Bible Camp Covenant Bay Bible Camp Trellis Foundation

17 18 18 19 20

Discipleship Events Jr. High JAM Adventures in Leadership ALIVE

21 21 22

Proposed Constitutional Changes

23

Global Initiatives Kernels of Hope CovKids Congo Ecuador Haiti Israel/Palestine

24 24 25 26 26


Dear ECCC Delegates and friends, It is my privilege, on behalf of the Leadership Board, to welcome everyone to the 110th Canada Conference AGM. This year we will be present in two different locations as prescribed by our Constitution. Nevertheless, whether you are gathering in Erickson or Winnipeg, you will be blessed by Jesus in the worship, fellowship and business that is before us in our time together. “How do I know that?”, because He told us so himself in Matthew 18:20. A verse we all know well, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them”. The verse doesn’t say anything about having to be physically in the same place, other than on “Earth” as described in the previous verse. We may be separated by time and space but there are no constraints on the presence of Christ. Therefore, though we may be in two different locations, arrive not only in the capacity of delegate, but come seeking Jesus in order that He may speak into your life as He breathes life into our beloved conference. I look forward, in conjunction with my fellow board members, to hearing more from Him in our time together this May. Peace and grace, Rich Drinovz ECCC Leadership Board Chair

ECCC Leadership Board Rich Drinovz

Chair

Emmanuel ECC, Surrey, BC

Ray Wall*

Vice-Chair

Rosebud Church, Rosebud, AB

Colin McClure

Treasurer

Nelson ECC, Nelson, BC

Norinne Sullivan

Secretary

Melfort ECC, Melfort, SK

Sally Carlson Larson

Liaison ECC Executive Board

Linea Lanoie

Member at Large

Gateway ECC, Prince Albert, SK

Sam Williams*

Member at Large

Avenue Community, Toronto, ON

*ECCC pastor


Staff Reports Jeff Anderson, President/Superintendent And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11 These are powerful words by the Apostle Paul to a local community of faith. We look back on the past year not only as individuals but also as a community of faith that is made up of local communities of faith. We gather for an AGM and seek ways to review the state of our ministry and our faithfulness in pursuing the Kingdom priorities and purposes of Christ. Paul gives us some great standards: love abounding, real knowledge, and discernment. He speaks of the “fruit of righteousness� which according to Isaiah 32:17 includes a holistic peace that leads to calm and confidence. As we gather in two locations (Erickson, BC and Winnipeg, MB) for the 110th time as a community of churches may we be shaped by love, knowledge, discernment, peace, calm and confidence! I want to return to four issues noted in my last report as a way of bringing continuity of ministry:

Our longstanding partnership with the Ebenezer Clinic in Haiti has been challenging. We have ceased funding for operations. We have continued to work relationally to find a way to renew our partnership and have just done our first trial funding for a diabetic project. By moving slowly we hope to rebuild well and desire to see groups return later in 2014. The CBC transitional board has been working hard to ensure a good legacy through the development of a new foundation. As of June 1 Trellis Foundation will be an official foundation created for the purpose of supporting discipleship ministries within the ECCC. We are grateful for the $1.8 million opening balance and for the first estate funds deposited to the foundation by a longtime supporter of the ECCC and Covenant Bible College. The Covenant Kids Congo (CKC) partnership with the wider ECC family and World Vision Canada. We are building on the initial emphasis created through CKC and are working with the ECC, Paul Carlson Partnership and World Hope (a Canadian based charity) to help develop infrastructure within the region of Congo where CKC is at work. Our long stated desire to see church planting take root is at hand. Our three church plants continue to develop and wrestle with the normal issues associated with growth. We do not feel we have arrived but rather that we now have a platform and three unique expressions of church that allow us to follow future doors opened by the Spirit of God. Our base of pastoral and lay leadership shapes the underpinning for much of what happens at a human level. The ECCC Leadership Board has moved toward a more engaged role in the life and ministry of the ECCC. We are determined to have more dialogue with local leadership when we hold meetings in the area of our churches. We have also wrestled with a sustainable way to encourage local leadership and to allow congregations to resource one another based on the lessons the Lord has been teaching them. As staff and board we are convinced that there is much more we can be doing in this area. Finally, we are seeking to discover the good balance between being an organization that is able to respond well and quickly to God-given opportunities and an organization that has structure and process in place to help discern well the sustainability of those opportunities. This gathering is an important place of dialogue and discernment; come prepared to participate with love, discernment, calm and confidence!


Julia Sandstrom, Director of Ministry Support Discipleship has always been a strong value in the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada (ECCC). We see this in our history and in our present reality. These pages are full of discipleship. People are coming together to plant churches because Jesus has called them to do so. People are seeking out what it means to be a healthy and missional church because faithfully following Jesus calls us to do so. Our global initiatives are outcomes of the discipleship in our local churches. People who come into relationship with Jesus and are discipled by Him care for and give to those in need. Our particular discipleship events like AGM, Jr. High Jam, Adventures in Leadership, and ALIVE are all gaining momentum. As I write this I just completed the Lenten Reader project. It was a joy to read the entire devotional from cover to cover as I formatted and edited. It is impossible to miss the depth of discipleship in each submission. The ECCC is made up of people who follow Jesus and desire to be like Him. From young adults to seasoned pastors the Lenten Reader is evidence that this community is a faith growing community. Our denominational president, Gary Walter, is fond of saying that the Evangelical Covenant Church is “In it together.” While I agree with the statement, I think it misses something important. I believe we are not just in it together, but that we are BETTER together. I am a better disciple of Jesus because someone in British Columbia wrote for the Lenten Reader. I am a better church member because in church planting everyone has to step up to the plate. I hope that you are better informed, better encouraged, better equipped because of this Annual Report, or from attending the AGM, or from attending an ECCC church. Our ministry priority to Make and Deepen Disciples is at the heart of everything we do as Christians and as a conference. Church plants are known to be one of the most effective tools of evangelism. Healthy, missional churches grow healthy, missional disciples. Disciples are the ones who do child sponsorships, or send funds for Kernels of Hope, or go on a mission trip to Ecuador, or a study tour to Israel/Palestine. The work we do together between the local church and the conference is an overflow of our personal and corporate discipleship. And the pages of this annual report show that we are following the One who calls us to be His disciples. My friend, Charlie Abou-Saada is from Bethlehem. Many of you would have met him on our Hope for the Holy Land tour in early February. When he is asked why he stays in Bethlehem when he could leave and avoid oppression, his answer is simple, “I am Christian.” His call is to stay and be faithful in the place where Jesus has put him. Our call is the same: to be faithful disciples of Jesus. Why do we plant churches, focus on church vitality, send money overseas or travel there ourselves? Why do we plan events and write devotionals? We do it because we are disciples of Jesus. Wherever you are and whatever call Jesus has placed on your life, you are His disciple and we are BETTER as a Church for having you in our midst. When we gather in Erickson and Winnipeg we will hear more about these stories, and we look forward to conversations that reveal what God is doing among each of you.


Glenn Peterson, Director of Church Planting Speaking to his followers before the ascension, Jesus says, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) In 2010, the Leadership Board of the ECCC discerned a bold, “God-Sized” vision to start 20 new churches across Canada by 2020. Since 2010, we have been faithfully and obediently trying. Looking at the last twelve months, I see the continued development of resources and strategy that will effect our ability to fully partner with the Holy Spirit to live into this vision. In the last year we’ve seen our existing plants (Avenue Community Church (Toronto), Holy Community Covenant Church (Winnipeg), Lake Ridge Community Church (Chestermere) and their leaders continue to take root, develop, and pursue a trajectory towards health and life. I am so thankful for the faith and risk modeled by leaders like John and Tammy Cho, Gavin and Liz Jensen, Evan and Christin Dewald, their families, and the communities they serve. Moments of celebration, joy, and encouragement are often simultaneously met by loneliness, challenge, and the need for courage as these leaders live out God’s call on their lives. As a community, we must look for ways to pray and support these friends on the journey. In the last twelve months, significant missional questions about the “what and why” of God’s call to start new works are being supported by equally significant questions of “how and where”. Curiosity and exploration are giving way to purposeful action in planting churches in both familiar and unfamiliar fields. In January, after months of development, Tim and Di Keener were recommended by the ECC Church Planting Assessment Centre for serving French Speaking Quebec and Montreal. There is much work and discernment to do, but this is a very significant and exciting development. As Director of Church Planting, my sense of urgency and passion for the work and mission of the gospel in Canada continues to grow. More than anything, I want this to be shared. I am thankful for partnership: of ECCC staff and Leadership, ECC staff, the generosity and commitment of Lighthouse and now Hope Community where I serve as lead pastor to release me part time to this broader work, growing openness among established churches, and the consistent support and encouragement of my family (Bekah, Ella, Soren, and Jonas) as we seek to live out God’s call on our lives. As we look at the year to come, I believe we must: Pray. Give. Go. We must ask God to lead, provide, expand, work, open, direct… Pray. We must give of our resources of time, talent, and treasure… Give. We must go to where Jesus invites and commands… in His power, in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth… in Canada. Go.


Gerald Froese, Director of Congregational Vitality As we look at our life, where we are today is the result of choices that we made along the way. Some choices we are quite proud of, some maybe not so much, but those choices have landed us where we are, in marriage or not, careers or jobs, relationship with God and with the church. Each of these realities that we experience is the result of our choices. It seems to me that what self- help seminars and books basically do is take a snapshot of a person or organization that has done well in specific areas and holds them up as an example and say ‘this is what you need to do to achieve success in this area’; this is what this ‘successful’ person or organization did, and if you do that you will be successful as well. It is common in consulting, or leadership management to ‘take a snapshot of where an organization is at’. Those snapshots tell us whether any organization is ahead or behind in a race as compared to similar organizations, but they tell us little about how the organisation got there, nor do they tell us about what is likely to happen next. Congregational vitality is more like a movie than a snapshot –we explore the movie of a local church trying to help the congregation discover not only where they are, although that’s the first step, but also where they’ve come from. It is in this discovery of the past and assessment of the present, that a congregation can choose to chart a new course. The vitality pathway is an intentional journey to become a Healthy Missional Church. It has the elements of Veritas, relational covenant, Epic, Pulse, One, and Co-op; but its not about just getting these workshops done so you can check off your progress. This pathway is about creating a culture in your church –where all of the healthy missional markers are strongly evident. Several more churches in our conference started this journey this year and a couple have ‘started again’. This a pathway, not a highway, as our brochure indicates. I hope you may be intrigued about beginning this journey as a congregation. There are lots of paths to becoming a healthy missional church but one path that won’t get us there is the path of least resistance. I’m grateful to be serving a denomination and a conference that is committed to and strongly investing in the dream that all our churches become healthy missional covenant churches. May their tribe increase!


Church Reports

Balfour ECC | British Columbia

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6

Balfour ECC Balfour, BC

Malmo Mission Covenant Church Malmo, AB

College Park Covenant Church Saskatoon, SK

Faith Covenant Church Winnipeg, MB

Lighthouse Community Covenant Church Sarnia, ON

The Apostle spoke these words over the Philippian Church, and I continue to pray them over our church. I too pray with joy for you, and thank God every time I remember you, being confident that God will continue His good work in us until the day of Christ Jesus. As I look back over the last year: I am encouraged. In the past year we’ve worked to become more missional. We’ve had seven baptisms this year and four of those are adults who have come to faith. People in our community are coming to faith and that is encouraging. For me, these baptisms are the fruit of faithful ministry by our congregational family. We’ve continued welcoming out community with community picnics, a community garden, harvest carnivals, dessert theatres at Christmas and our second “Service in the Park”. As a result, we continue to see youth, young families and people from each generation coming to worship with us. This last year, we have been working on developing leaders. We’ve had a leadership cohort and held two leadership workshops – Navigating Leadership in the Spring and EPIC in the Fall. In addition we sent two of our leaders to the Navigate Conference in Minneapolis. It has been encouraging to see our leaders grow and pour into others. We have also continued our Journey To Vitality with a 2 month sermon series and small group study centered around the 10 missional markers of a healthy church. We also crafted and adopted our relational covenant which we have been working into the culture of our church. Reflecting on the last year, I am encouraged. As I look forward to Next Year: I desire to see us continue growing healthier and more missional. By healthier we mean encouraging our church family to draw closer to God by gathering Sunday mornings and worshiping together. I also want our church to grow in our love for others by gathering in small groups throughout the week. I believe that small groups are one of the most fruitful ways we can grow closer to Jesus and closer to each other. Lastly, I want to help our church become more missional. We want our church involved in transforming lives. We want to help the people of our church to continue discovering their gifts and use them to cultivate God’s kingdom in the Kootenays. Lastly, we want to support our ministry of loving God, loving others and transforming lives, by continuing to develop godly leaders in our church as well as continue walking our Journey to Vitality. ~Jason Ashley


Malmo Mission Covenant Church | Alberta Looking back on this year, the big picture of the community at Malmo Mission Covenant Church is one of listening, walking, and working together in faithfulness. It has been a relatively quiet year here, but it has been a faithful and graceful year. We have been on a long journey in discerning our next steps with our facility, which is showing signs of age and of meeting old needs. The question is whether we should renovate or build new. It has been a graceful process so far, with our people having the patience to listen to the wide variety of opinions, taking the time to do necessary research, and not rushing to a decision. We are taking slow, deliberate, prayerful steps. There has been a clear sense of doing this together rather than pushing individual agendas. Similarly, we are listening for God’s leading as we explore ways to move towards even more of an intergenerational discipleship—of old and young learning to love and follow Jesus together. We have taken small steps in this direction with an all-ages small group and a team of youth and adults that went and served and heard from God for ten days in Ecuador in February 2014. We have been rediscovering our roots in missions this year, sending out a number of our young people across the world in various intercultural and missions capacities. We’ve also been blessed to be able to support church planting in Canada and the ongoing ministry at Covenant Bay Bible Camp. We are grateful to God for His goodness in watching over our community, as many of them travel quite a distance to join us for worship each week. Winter consistently presents problems and serious dangers on the roads, but we have not yet had a serious incident on the roads to Malmo. Looking back we can see God’s hand in our year together, as we continue on our journey towards Christ and His cross. ~Delora Doell,


College Park Covenant Church | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan The wind of God's Spirit has been blowing these days in Saskatoon and at College Park Covenant! We are praising Him for his action in and through us. Last June we celebrated 50 years of ministry as a church. We had a great weekend with many friends visiting from all over. Thanks to those of you who joined us in giving thanks and acknowledging what God has done. We have been focusing on health and vision in the last year. Throughout the fall we walked through the 10 Healthy Missional Markers of a church - discussing and listening to what God might be saying to us. In November, consultant Ken Theissen, joined us for a weekend event: Reflections: Understanding Ourselves as a Church. Very helpful self-awareness emerged as we talked through our story and our tendencies as a unique church culture. To follow up we built a timeline of our joint experiences as a church, did some processing together of those events, and brought some of the painful or difficult pieces to the cross in a January event called, Our Story. Greg Brewer built an alter to help us remember God's hand in our life together (picture at right). These formal and informal processes put us in a great position to enter a Strategic Discernment weekend in February again with consultant Ken Thiessen. We began the significant work of articulating some key things about our identity, values and mission in God's kingdom. We were blown away by God’s direct intervention as we saw unmistakable unity of heart in mind throughout the weekend. We will now continue our process of gathering feedback and having good discussion around honing these values and priorities which will shape our future direction so deeply. We are now calling this process: It’s a new day...Why not us? We continue to minister to the many friends who participate in our biweekly food bank distribution, biweekly coffee club, and monthly clothing depot. We are excited by relationships being built and life transformation taking place. This year we welcomed new pastor, Kirsten Waldschmidt and family, said goodbye to staff, Colin and Kelly Bruins, welcomed Weston Pohlman born to Stacy and Josh, said goodbye to pillars of the faith: Marie Johnson, Mabel Johnson, Norton Myrah and Edna Benson. ~Kirsten Waldschmidt


Faith Covenant Church | Winnipeg, Manitoba If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete; be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2 I am writing this report to you right in the middle of a world event that brings people together from all corners of our planet: The Olympic Game. This is a sporting event, yes, but at its core it is a human event. People journey to one place, sharing in one experience. It is unprecedented because there is no other event that brings human beings together quite like it. It seems as if the world has a better chance to get along, being in full accord and of one mind, even if it is only for 16 days. God’s church is an unprecedented entity because it is one of the few, if not the only, gathering of people that seeks to bring everyone together. There is nothing in the world like it. People from different backgrounds; racial, economic, social, ethnic, cultural, generational, idealogical (the list goes on!) can all meet together as the Church. There is, in my opinion, only one way that the church has been able to survive like this. The face of our souls must always be turned in the direction of the Triune God. We keep Christ central and focal in all that we do. Our little differences cannot compete with the unity that comes with being God’s own. Slowly, we begin to have the same mind, the mind of Christ. To the world we (this funny group we call Church) should look like an arrow pointed towards God. Nothing more. Nothing less. At FCC, we experienced this in a significant way this past year as we gathered to celebrate 20 years of togetherness. It only took a moment to scan the room at this anniversary to see how hodge-podge we really are! But our trajectory has been to remain faithful to the God who brought us together. As we gathered, we found out first hand that there truly is encouragement in Christ; there is consolation in love, compassion and sympathy, and hope in bearing with one another. What struck me on that Sunday morning was how God was able to take centre stage in our little celebration. We did not glory in our own accomplishments. We did not marvel at the building our church meets in. We were not star-struck by the many awesome people that had been brought into our midst. It was as if each individual there was an arrow pointing to God. Our togetherness came that day in the worship and adoration of the Triune God. Tongues confessed Jesus Christ as Lord of this church. We bent low before God our Maker. God was glorified and the face of our souls were warmed by the radiance of the presence of God among us. This is togetherness; it is not finding ways to figure out our differences, it is finding ways to remind ourselves of our unity. It is rooting ourselves in God; Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church in in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. AMEN Ephesians 3:20-21 ~Cody Anderson


Lighthouse Community Covenant Church | Sarnia, Ontario This past year at Lighthouse Community Church has been a year of transition with significant pastoral changes. Lighthouse admits that while change is not easy, it is in these times that growth takes place. As we look back over this year of transition, God’s faithfulness is evident as people have grown through worship on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, through retreats, and by gathering together in homes. This summer our youth group students, through Covenant Merge Ministries, traveled to Detroit, Michigan to work alongside City Covenant Church in the Brightmoor neighbourhood. As Sarnia is less than 100 kilometers away from Community Covenant Church, it was a great opportunity for our students to get a glimpse of what one church is doing in an area of great need. In addition our children’s ministry continues to flourish through weekly worship and fun gatherings such as Kids Camp, Summerpolooza, and Korny Korners. In mid-2013 Lighthouse completed a 3 year ‘over and above’ giving campaign titled: ’Unbound’. This campaign was a visible and tangible expression the generosity of our church. As Lighthouse sought to eliminate debt and make improvements to our church building. Lighthouse also brought greater depth in ministry by partnering with a local counsellor, establishing a deeper professional presence in our church and neighbourhood. This speaks not only of a great gift to our community, but also of Lighthouse’s commitment to provide for those in need. In 2014 we will look to new opportunities through a partnership with Twin Bridges Clinic. In the 14th chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus shares with His disciples, “Very truly I tell you, all who have faith in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things.” In this year of transition, a year of growth, Lighthouse has continued to do the greater things. All along responding to God’s faithfulness as we love God, live in community and serve the world.


CBC Legacy Bursary Recipients Following is a list of students who received funds from the Covenant Bible College Scholarship Endowment for the 2013-2014 academic year. Andrew Doell

Malmo, AB

Hillsong International Leadership College

April Hamm

Norquay, SK

Providence University College

Danyeal Coy

Calgary, AB

Hillsong International Leadership College

Erin Gietz

Winnipeg, MB

Canadian Mennonite University

Greg Myles

Breton, AB

YWAM Denver Boarders

Jenna Rigby

Nelson, BC

Redeemer University College

John Erik Gustafson

Nelson, BC

Providence University College

Karl Johnson

Valley ECC

Providence University College

Micah Friesen

Malmo, AB

Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute

Morgan Miller

Rosebud, AB

Capernwray Harbour Bible Center

Tessa Van Noort

Surrey, BC

Trinity Western University

2013 Candidates for Ordination Pastoral candidates for Ordination to Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Covenant Church: Eric Hedberg

Associate Pastor

Emmanuel ECC, Surrey, BC

Samuel Williams

Associate Pastor

Avenue Community Church, Toronto, ON

ECCC Pastor Transitions |

May 2013 - March 2014

Arden Gustafson from Nelson ECC to Norquay ECC, Senior Pastor Corinne Stoter from Hope Community Covenant Church Glenn Peterson from Lighthouse Community Church to Hope Community Covenant Church, Pastor Ileana Garcia-Soto from Green Timbers ECC James Wheeler from Kensington Road Church Joel Braun from Kensington Road Church, Associate Pastor to Kensington Road Church, Pastor Josh Rude from Lighthouse Community Church Natasha Westerhoud to Norquay ECC, Associate Pastor Preston Pouteaux to Lake Ridge Community Covenant, Associate Pastor


Church Plant Reports Lake Ridge Community Church | Chestermere, Alberta I’ve learned that coffee and stories between two people is the canvas upon which God begins to tell His story. For the past several months I have had the privilege of hearing stories from dozens of people who call Lake Ridge Community Church in Chestermere, Alberta, their home. Through stories of brokenness, I hear of God’s healing. In stories of new found faith I sense the Spirit’s comforting joy. Each new story (and there are a lot!) reveal God’s work in our midst. But more than that, we get to see God’s heart for our neighbours - and God is transforming us. This fall I was invited by Lake Ridge Community Church to be their second pastor. It’s been so much fun. Observing how these followers of Jesus are learning to love their neighbourhood, and respond to a postChristendom culture by demonstrating the Gospel; well, it has been among the most refreshing experiences of my life. Lake Ridge holds up four very central values: Community, Worship, Story, and Generosity. Hospitality, for example, is lived out as we eat and share life together. Lake Ridge partners with local businesses and the town of Chestermere to sponsor block parties all summer, and right now the church is building a program to welcome the next 4,000 households that are expected to move into Chestermere in the coming years. It’s a program called “Mighty Neighbourly” and we’re really excited about it! I had breakfast with a new friend who has started to call Lake Ridge home. He told me that he has begun to feel so welcomed. When he is away he listens to the sermons online, and when he attends worship he says the experience is like a high that’s he’s not experienced before. He will stay up late talking about Evan’s message with his family and friends and is living out his faith in Jesus through some amazing acts of generosity and love. When I hear his story and stories like it, I am so grateful to be a part of church planting. Church planting is a challenge. Each day we tend to the structures and foundations needed to build a new church family from the ground up. But by focusing so many of our efforts on loving our neighbours and attending to them as Jesus did, we place our trust in God’s ability to build and shape our church community. The stories and changed lives are a testimony to God’s faithfulness. ~Preston Pouteaux


Holy Community Covenant Church | Winnipeg, Manitoba Cheeseburgers. Not just one or two cheeseburgers, but a big, greasy mountain of cheeseburgers – and served on a fancy, silver platter nonetheless! Each Sunday as Holy Community Covenant Church gathers together for our evening worship, we begin with a time set aside to reconnect, to talk, to laugh, to have a swig o’ coffee and swap stories from the week gone by. This weekly time of fellowship has become an important part of our communal life rhythm; it is an opportunity to extend hospitality and to deepen relationships with one another. On one particular Sunday in November, a member of our hospitality crew (sort of like greeters or ushers) had provided food to go along with the usual coffee and tea. That’s often the case – we try to take hospitality seriously. But, this was the first time that the foyer table had ever been dressed in a mound of slippery, paper-clad cheeseburgers. It was a sight to behold, and it served as a quirky but profound reminder of our calling as members of a local church community. That pile of cheeseburgers represented a real thoughtfulness - mindfulness of others. It represented a willingness to be generous (the McValue menu isn’t free). It represented the intentional effort of one member of our community (and one who has, self-admittedly, struggled to know how he might participate in corporate life) to go out of his way in order to bless the larger group by bringing something to the table. A change in imagery, but continuing the thought: the Apostle Paul provides the Church with the metaphor of a body, and each member of the body contributes to the wellbeing of the whole by functioning as it is designed to. As a fledgling church of young disciples, we’re growing in this: being people who participate in life together for the good of one another, who are mindful of one another, who generously offer ourselves and our unique gifts up for the sake of blessing one another. We’re growing in the ways we take responsibility for one another, and for our neighbours, because we believe that is the calling of a Holy Community.


Avenue Community Church | Toronto, Ontario God is good! We are blessed that God has invited us to join Him in His work with those in our community, our city, and all around the word. Our partnership with the Evangelical Covenant Church has been wonderful and we are thankful for all the love, support,and encouragement we continue to receive. With 65 core members, Avenue Community Church officially launched on January 1st, 2013 at the Holiday Inn Markham right outside the city borders of Toronto. The original plan was to plant in the north end of Toronto but some things beyond our control led us into Markham. Adapting to the challenge, we went with the flow and welcomed 117 people on that first Sunday. By the end of the year we were averaging just under a hundred people, with over 75 people involved in small groups and had baptized 13 people. God is good! In June we received some bad news, as another company bought out the hotel we were meeting at and we were given a month to find a new home. Prospects were slim, prices were three times the amount and this was certainly a testing of our faith and call as a church plant. After much searching and negotiating God led us to a new home at the Radisson Hotel Scarborough, back into Toronto and very close to where we initially wanted to plant. God is good! We also welcomed several new pastors to our team and are excited about the team that is being put together. We welcomed to Avenue and the ECC, Michael Kang (Small Groups), Ira Carty (Evangelism), and Jeanny Hwang (Children). God continues to send us pastors who are already serving bi-vocationally or willing to do so. God is good! It was year of a lot of firsts and so many things to celebrate; full of engagements, weddings, pregnancies and babies. We were able to find joy in our sufferings as God was rooting us in who He is calling us to be as Avenue Community Church. God is good! We are ever grateful and praise God for the ECC, especially our ECCC bothers and sisters. We could not be here without your love and support. You are as much part of planting Avenue as any of us and we hope you realize how important you are to all this. We cannot express how thankful we are for your prayers and for walking with us. God is good! ~John Cho


Affiliated Ministries Women Ministries This past year was a Triennial Year which is a pivotal to Women Ministries (WM) throughout the Covenant. For the past three years our Conference WM set aside funds to assist women to attend. Then, to our surprise and delight, we were offered up to $2,000.00 from the discipleship fund to offer more scholarships. And so it happened that six of the thirteen women who attended Triennial received significant scholarships to help them go. We hope to be able to offer scholarships again for Triennial XV, when WM celebrates 100 years of ministry To say that joining over eight hundred women in worship is uplifting feels like an understatement. Hearing Meagan Gillan’s spontaneous “you are so beautiful” as she looked over the crowd and greeted us spoke into our hearts. Each speaker gave us pieces of her heart and vulnerability, Jesus used those words to draw us close and mend parts of us that needed careful attention. We laughed and cried with Bianca Juarez, Judy Peterson, Kanyere Eaton, and our own Meagan Gillan. We took every opportunity to connect, learn, laugh, be inspired, and challenged. We danced with joy into the night, and bathed in the gentle beauty of San Diego in August. We came home with an unforgettable mix of memories that will ripple long afterward in our lives, giving us courage and strengthening our faith. The promise was that we would be more deeply rooted in Christ, (Eph. 3:17) and so we are and grateful for it! In our conference we are far spread from one another. I wonder if we could plan to connect more during the in-between time of Triennials. Can we create a gathering of women uniquely us, learning, laughing, making memories that help us grow in Christ, deepen our faith? What are your thoughts? Let us know at the AGM! ~Trudy McIntosh, WM Chair


Kootenay Covenant Bible Camp | British Columbia Greetings to all our friends and family of the ECCC. We run a one week Junior camp ages 7 to 12 on beautiful Kootenay Lake, B.C., during the month of July each year. This is our second year of running only a Junior Camp and we enjoy a partnership with another camp organization called Pines Camp to provide camping for our Intermediate and Teens groups. We continue to go through a transition in various ways to provide a wonderful camping experience for our junior campers by keeping the registration at an affordable rate. As all camps are aware, overhead costs continue to increase while affordability of registration is always a concern for most working families these days. The KCBC board is always seeking ways to provide an opportunity for all families to send their children to camp. The 2013 camp year was blessed with a full camp again this year. We were also blessed with 26 excellent volunteer workers, speakers, kitchen staff, and cabin leaders. Without the many volunteers that give of their time and energy, our camp could not work. It’s amazing to see how God uses our people to provide such a quality camping experience for our kids. Most of our church families are not aware of what it takes to put on a one week camp. So many details and preparations need to be dealt with weeks before hand as well as on the spot. Decisions on food, finances, promotion, funding, communication, staffing, and training are just a few of the items that demand effort, knowledge and energy from many wonderful volunteers. We praise the Lord for providing these incredible people every year. Many of our children this year had never experienced Christ in their lives before, but after this week, because of our volunteers, they found out who He is and that He loves them desperately. Praise God!!! Lord willing, we look forward to providing another Junior Camp this year on July 12th to the 19th at Dutch Harbour on beautiful Kootenay Lake, British Columbia. http://www.kcbcamp.org/ ~Rick Dickieson, Chair

Covenant Heights Bible Camp | Manitoba The 2013 annual general meeting of Covenant Heights Bible Camp (CHBC) started with a scripture reading from the gospel of Matthew where Jesus is asked why his disciples are not fasting. Jesus responds with these words: “No one sews a patch of un-shrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Mt 9:16-17) The time has come for the CHBC board to pour new wine into new wineskins, and move with faith and discernment in a new direction. It was made clear at our AGM this past fall that camp was at a critical point when the question was voiced of whether the camp should or could continue operating in its current state. The discussion that followed was honest and sobering for everyone. It was agreed upon by the board and delegates that changes need to be made immediately if we are truly to embrace the new wineskins that God is calling us to. Three decisions were made by the AGM including a decrease in the number of weeks of camp in an effort to retool operations and ensure each week of camp in 2014 has a critical mass of students. Second, a shifting away from member churches being assigned to run one week of camp towards having all member churches


being responsible for all weeks of camp. With the third decision being the approval to establish a search committee to hire the camp’s first Director of Camping Ministry to ensure continuity in leadership is realized in the carrying out of the mission and vision of CHBC. The board is excited about the change that is taking place at our camp and is faithful that this ministry will continue to bear fruit long into the future. ~Bruce Reimer, Chair

Covenant Bay Bible Camp | Alberta As I reflect on this past year, I am in awe of God. He continues to amaze and while I shouldn’t be surprised at the many blessings, I still am! Our mission - promoting a growing relationship with Jesus Christ - was fulfilled this past year. By listening to the life transforming stories of the many individuals and families I am moved to tears by God’s love and desire for His people! Our vision - to become a year round ministry - is drawing near and I sense that we will see this become a reality soon. In the past five years we have developed as second program area on the back half of the property called the “Wilderness Adventure Camp”. It includes eight wall tents complete with decks, bathrooms, picnic shelter, walking/prayer trail, fire pit, and climbing wall. This nearly doubles our summertime accommodation space and gives us the flexibility to expand our programming. Expanding our programming not only allows us to fulfill our mission in new ways but also helps grow the number of campers we host annually. This is important as we prepare to move into year round ministry. Since 2008 we have more than tripled our camper attendance for all programs to just under 800 campers in 2013. While it is important to continue to expand the number of campers annually for a smooth transition into year round ministry it is important to remember that our ministry success is not measured in numbers, but in the stories of life transformation and even more so in the obedience to God's leading. With an expanding ministry comes increased expenses. I am absolutely amazed at God’s faithfulness. Less than 10 years ago in 2006 we had less than $15,000 in donations. This is contrasted greatly by over $200,000 donations for 2013 and more than half of this for our capital projects. God has moved his people to give and we are so grateful to be partners in this great work He has entrusted to us. Our first annual Fundraising Dinner was a huge success. Not only did we have over $175,000 pledged or given to the capital fund, but even more impressive was story after story of God’s faithful work in the lives of families and individuals. I am so grateful to donors but even more so to God. To see and hear of how God has faithfully transformed lives for 84 years at Covenant Bay is overwhelmingly exciting! Just like in 1929 today our efforts are completely fruitless without God’s power, grace, and leading. There are many season’s in life and today we find ourselves in a season of growth. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of growth and jump on board forgetting the many unique seasons of our past; seasons of dreaming, searching, wandering, of plenty, and of need. In 2014 we will celebrate 85 years of God’s faithful guidance and provision through all the hard, difficult, joyful, exciting, and scary seasons. Join us on June 7th at our Celebration and Fundraising Dinner as we look back at 85 years of God’s story at Covenant Bay. Join me this year in praying for the work at Covenant Bay and let the following verses guide you in you prayers.

Our God, be kind and bless us! Be pleased and smile. Then everyone on earth will learn to follow you, and all nations will see your power to save us. Psalm 67:1-2 ~ Jon Drebert, Executive Director


Trellis Foundation It is with great joy and hope that I am serving as chairperson on the Trellis Foundation board. Through attending Covenant Bible College almost 20 years ago, Jesus made a profound impact on my life. A trellis is a tool that enables a grapevine to get off the ground and grow upward, becoming more fruitful and productive. Our desire is that this foundation, in the legacy of Covenant Bible College, will support growth in God’s kingdom in amazingly fruitful ways. Sometimes all that is needed is getting an idea ‘off the ground’. We believe this is what we are to be about. Trellis Foundation will be distributing grants to qualified donees who are doing the crucial work of discipleship in Canada. The funds coming out of the closure of CBC (in a truly miraculous way) equals about $1.8 million. We have entered into a partnership with another longstanding denominational foundation (Canadian Baptists of Western Canada Foundation) who is assisting us in investment. The funds are currently being transferred to an asset management firm with a very strong track record. We have received legal permission to change our status from charitable organization to charitable foundation and this will take place in full June 1, 2014. We are also in the process of our legal name change and submission of governance documents. In the mean time we are cleared to move forward in our preparation to make grants. With some of these crucial details falling into place, we are able to look ahead to the work of being a trellis on which the Spirit-led growth of Canadian Covenant discipleship can flourish. Our vision is to be a catalyst of biblical, intentional, and innovative discipleship in the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada. To this end, the criteria for grants will be based around these three values: Biblical impact - What is God doing in your community and how will this initiative make a Kingdom impact? What biblical story or principal inspires your plan? Intentional Planning - What are the people, leadership, time, and capacity resources available to make this plan work? Is everyone on board? What is the financial, space, and prayer investment already being made? Innovative Ministry - What need or growing edge does this initiative address? How is this different than what you have done in the past? Trellis Foundation will be granting to qualified donees who are Canadian Covenant charitable organizations (ie. churches, camps and other future organizations). The Foundation will not be granting towards loans, construction projects, nor existing operational budgets. The disbursement will be 3.5% per year (the disbursement amount required by the CRA) as the funds are to be kept in perpetuity. Through vital partnership with the ECCC, many of the existing conference-wide discipleship initiatives will continue to be supported and ‘held up’ through Trellis. This is a ‘sneak peak’ at some of what Trellis will be announcing through the launching of our website in the next couple months including more detailed application guidelines and deadlines. Our timeline is that we would be operating in full force in time for the ECCC Annual General Meeting, May 1-4, 2014. Trellis Foundation is about stewarding, supporting and seeing discipleship to Jesus Christ flourish across Canada. Thank you for remembering us in prayer as we together seek to grow and blossom in His name. ~Kirsten Waldschmidt, Chair


DiscipleshipEvents Jr. High JAM Jr. High JAM was an annual youth event put on by the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada. Planned by the youth leaders and held at Covenant Bible College, JAM was always looked forward to by the youth in our conference. Looking back on the impact that JAM had in our own lives, we have been encouraged to give JAM a new start. Last year, JAM was held in Norquay. We had 25 students from four different churches (Norquay, Minnedosa, Edmonton, and Strathmore) for the weekend. Some highlights to the weekend included a hay ride, swimming at a wave pool, and throwing paint filled balloons onto a giant canvas. We also enjoyed our times of worship, small group discussion, and hearing from speaker Nate Severson. Even with the small group, memories were made and new friendships were formed. Plans for JAM 2014 are well under way! We are excited to host the event at Covenant Bay Bible Camp. Our theme this year is SALT and we are looking forward to hearing from Tom Dierenfeld over the weekend. We are busy lining up excursions, games, and other creative ideas for the students to participate in. JAM offers something unique. It offers an opportunity for students to see how their home church is a part of something bigger. Their church is a part of a family of churches, called the ECCC. They can meet students, just like themselves, from youth groups across our denomination and across Canada. These connections are my favourite part. We join with you and the ECCC to make and deepen disciples. Our hope is that these Jr. High students would be encouraged in their faith, form new frienships, and have tons of fun. www.facebook.com/Jr.HighJAM

~Hanne Johnson

Adventures in Leadership When high school students say, “I never knew I had it in me to lead,” or “I can’t wait to get home and change things,” or “I really experienced God this week,” you know something good is happening! Adventures in Leadership (AIL) came to Canada for the first time this year. It is a program designed to help students not only learn how to be a leader, but to experience it first hand. Our Canadian Conference saw the need to be more intentional about developing leaders of our youth, so in August ten students from around the country, along with three youth Pastors and a camp director, spent a week in the Alberta Rockies to do the first ever Canadian AIL. We spent the first day and a half at Covenant Bay Bible Camp getting to know each other and laying the foundations for leadership and our upcoming adventure together. The next five days were spent backpacking in the mountains. We covered 40 kilometers, two mountain peeks, alpine lakes, and a grueling 1,000 metre descent back to civilization. Some students had never seen a mountain before (Saskatchewan inhabitants), let alone hiked one. Others lived in the mountains and were well equipped for the journey. Some showed up


with heavy-duty boots, others brought their running shoes. The diversity of the group proved to be both a considerable challenge but also very rewarding opportunity to journey together as a team by leading one another through care and encouragement. Each student had the unique chance to lead the rest of the group and then receive feedback from their peers. As a leader, the student had to consider the needs of the whole group, navigate us by map and compass, keep everyone on track, get everyone fed, and lead a devotional to either begin, or end the day together. It was amazing to see how each student stepped up to the challenge! They got to see in themselves things they hadn’t yet realized and hear positive feedback from their peers and leaders. During the hiking days, the four adult leaders took turns leading conversations about what makes a good leader, covering spiritual and practical skills. We talked about the disciplines of prayer, silence, community, and pursuit of God as essential for godly, spirit filled leadership. The practical skills included vision, communication, conflict management, and listening well. Over all, our goal was to integrate Christian character with specific leadership skills. The students responded well. They led devotionals, journaled, dialogued with one another, and were forced to put into practice some of the skills that are necessary for good leadership. In addition to personally practicing leadership, each student got to spend half a day with one of the adult leaders to reflect on their own life’s situation and personal goals of leadership when they returned home. Some students had a passion to work closer with their youth pastors to help effect positive change in their ministries. Others were inspired to step up their influence at home and in their schools. We are so encouraged to see how these students are putting into practice the things they learned about themselves, and their faith. We are planning AIL 2014 and are hopeful that this program is here to stay! (This report is a reprint of an article published in The Messenger, Fall 2013, by: Chris Wiens)

ALIVE ALIVE is an annual adult discipleship conference held in Canmore, Alberta. In 2013 over 80 adults gathered to worship, learn, fellowship, and growth in their walk with Jesus Christ. Paul Lessard from Castle Oaks Covenant Church in Colorado was our speaker. Paul spoke about the way of faith, not as a step by step program, but as a journey. We tried some new things this year like hosting everyone for a group meal at Boston Pizza. The change was a hit. It was nice to have everyone together for a meal. One thing that didn’t change was the generosity of participants during the annual auction. $5,730 was raised to support missions in Ecuador and Palestine. We are planning ALIVE 2014 for October 17-19. Our speaker will be Gordon Smith of Ambrose University. Please join us for a weekend of discipleship! ~Julia Sandstrom


Proposed Constitutional Changes Summary The following is a summary of the constitutional changes proposed by the ECCC Leadership Board which was presented at the 109th Annual General Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada. Our constitution requires that the changes be presented at an AGM one year prior to being ratified by the next AGM gathering. A vote to accept these changes will be taken at the 110th AGM in 2014. A full proposal of changes may be found online at www.covchurch.ca The ECCC recently adopted the current constitution in 2010 in Calgary. After an audit by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) we found that corrections needed to be made. Some of the following are from those conversations with CRA. Other changes are proposed to bring us more in line with recommended guidelines for charities by the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. Section: Introduction Proposal: Remove wording of Articles of Incorporation and add Special Act. Reason: We are not an incorporate charity but were established by a special act of parliament. Section: Article III Proposal: Clarify the wording of objectives and include the Special Act objectives. Removal of sections that relate to territory. Reason: CRA requested we make our objectives and activities clearer. The territory section will contain the territory information. Section: Article III Proposal: Add the following “The ECCC is operated without the purpose of gain for its members, and any profits or assets of the ECCC will be used solely to promote the objectives of the ECCC.� Reason: This statement is required by law. Section: Article IV Proposal: Addition of information previously contained in Article III. Reason: To place the wording in the proper article. Section: Article V Proposal: Remove point V.5.2 as it is stated in current point V.5.4 Reason: To remove redundant wording. Section: Article VIII, X, XI, and bylaws Proposal: Change Superintendent/President from an ex-officio member (voice and vote) of the Leadership Board to an advisory member (voice, no vote). Reason: This has already been made law in Ontario and we anticipate it will happen in other provinces. Additionally, we believe it is good governance.

All delegates are asked to see the full proposal online at www.covchurch.ca


Global Initiatives Kernels of Hope Kernel by kernel. Acre by acre. Dollar by dollar. Prayer by prayer. Abundant hope! We were farming again this year! Three prairie provinces having real farmers like the Olsons, Nelsons, VanBurgstedens, and others investing their talents to produce a program with far reaching effects! Burying a talent often doesn’t work but burying a seed as we know can create and sustain life! Real farmers teaming up with another key ingredient the virtual farmers, makes all this happen! We had a great year again with some yields that were unbelievably high! Our prices caught the high ranges because we need to sell soon after harvest to keep the grain separate. Bin space was almost non existent! That was good for us this year! The people of the Congo that we are helping to help feed their own families and more are truly thankful for your thoughts and prayers and actions! The word hope is only four letters long but it is one of the biggest words in Africa, in Canada, and in anyone’s life! Thank you so much for providing hope to so many ! ~Ray Baloun

CovKids Congo In the United States and Canada over 7,000 children have been sponsored by Covenanters. This unprecedented partnership has made an unprecedented impact! The work on the ground has begun in Congo. Construction on three schools has started with parents and members of the community working with World Vision on the process. Mothers have taken nutrition classes. These classes teach them how to prepare meals that preserve nutrients. Efforts are underway to drill for water and repair water sources. These projects will provide water for 300,000 people in the Equateur Province. The poorest province, in the poorest country, in the world. The CovKids Congo blog reads: “The generous support of churches on behalf of Covenant Kids Congo in year one was an instrumental catalyst to our success. We are enlivened by the momentum their participation generated for our team and for this ministry. And while we are excited about churches galvanize to stand alongside our brothers and sisters in Congo, we know that there are still more yet to participate and many more Covenanters yet to be inspired.” The Canada conference has sponsored 197 children to date. Our goal of 200 children has been just barely unmet. If you would like to sponsor a child and bring life changing resources to this region, please contact the conference office. We would happily connect you to a child. ~Julia Sandstrom


Ecuador Challenging, exciting, interesting, spiritfilled, energetic, hopeful, and breathtaking are a few of the words that might describe the ECCC missions trip to Quito, Ecuador this past February, 2014. Fifteen people, half youth and half adults headed to Quito for eight days to encourage the Ecuadorian Covenant Church with our funds, our time, our hearts for Jesus, and our friendship. The group helped in a construction project to add to a pastoral and ministry guesthouse of the national Covenant church each morning and then partnered with a local Covenant Church (Jipijapa) to worship together, to do a children’s program each afternoon, paint their youth and nursery rooms, and join together for a church-wide Valentine’s program (Dia del Amor). We were pleased to see cement forms go up, walls painted, nursery supplies and furnishings bought, children playing, singing, enjoying puppets, and entering into the Word of God as it was acted out by our team. The friendships formed in a cross-cultural situation are difficult to describe. Other than ourselves, no one on the team had any considerable Spanish, yet they found themselves communicating with smiles, hugs, much waving of hands, mime, laughter, and a unity of spiritual connectedness as we worshipped together. The team spent two nights in host families from the church and so appreciated the generous and sacrificial hospitality of these families. The insights and bonds built from these days of being part of a family will not be forgotten. At the end of the week our team took a rest day to travel north over the amazing Andes mountains to Otavalo, the largest indigenous artisan, outdoor market in South America. We enjoyed the color, beauty and amazing artistry as we shopped for souvenirs for our families and friends back home. Our final day of farewell came on a Sunday as we worshipped with the Jipijapa Covenant church and went out to a large forested city park to enjoy a church-wide picnic with games, Zumba, and a barbeque. The farewells were teary and yet the promise of Facebook friends helped everyone feel like they could stay connected. One last visit to the Equator monument at 0 degrees latitude had some team members hopping back and forth between two hemispheres and others watching water swirl down a drain one way on one side of the equator and the other way on the other side of the equator. As former missionaries to Ecuador with the Evangelical Covenant Church, it’s a thrill for us to lead these mission trips with fellow Canadian Covenanters to a country that we served and that we love. We would love for you to consider being a part of a team next February (2015) as we re-connect with, and strive to bless our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ecuador. ~Jenell Pluim


Haiti I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Ephesians 3:16-17 When we review the year of ministry partnership with Haiti it was predominantly a year of rethinking and redirection. The primary focal point of the last number of years has been the Ebenezer Clinic in Haut Limbe near Cap Haitien. During the terrible earthquake and cholera outbreak we were sending significant funding to assist this clinic in their compassionate work. Local relational strains have meant that we have withdrawn all funding to the Ebenezer Clinic. At the same time the long term relationships forged with some of the clinic and church leaders have allowed a couple of ministries to continue or form new. The Sarepta Fellowship has been a ministry of the local Baptist church for a number of years now. Funding for this has been largely given by Hope Community Covenant Church (Strathmore, AB). Pastor Joel Dorsinville reported that at the year-end event some 100 mostly older persons from the community were fed a meal and sent home with a grocery bag of food. Diabetes is rampant in Haiti and the clinic used to provide needed care to the community. With the breakdown of the community we approached the Baptist Church to see if they would be willing to oversee the flow of funds from the ECCC to Dr. Manno so he could treat patients with the backing of a larger organization. The board that has been established to oversee health needs through the church has agreed to this relationship and we have sent our first funds. We are waiting to see how the reporting and accountability goes and then will proceed with additional funding. A group from College Park Covenant (Saskatoon, SK) became gripped by the incredible needs of children in an area of Cap Haitien known as Petit Anse. They have helped us partner with a major Canadian charity, Food For the Poor Canada (FFTP). There has been significant work in getting the feeding station registered and under way. We still have work to do but the partnership with FFTP brings needed expertise to this area. We feel led to continue to partner with ministries in Haiti because they are financially under-resourced. At the same time they have access to the unlimited resource of God and through relationships help many who have visited that community grow in their walk with Jesus. ~Jeff Anderson

Israel/Palestine In 2013 the ECCC saw two groups go to Israel and Palestine. The first was a study tour in May led by Jeff Anderson. The second was a young adults awareness tour led by Julia Sandstrom in partnership with World Vision US. In early 2014 the conference partnered with World Vision again to bring guests from Israel and Palestine to our churches here in Canada. The tour was called Hope for the Holy Land. Below is a summary of each trip. May 2013 (this section was written by Jeff Anderson) For the third time the ECCC Israel/Palestine Study tour brought a group from our wider constituency to visit the Holy Land. As we have done with previous experiences there is a blending of visiting biblical sites to get a better sense of the geography and setting of Scripture. We have been blessed to have the same guide each time. Waleed is an Arab Christian who is an Israeli citizen. Being a former teacher he is excellent with helping groups discover the land. We not only want to discover the land but also the “living stones”; those who follow Jesus and live in the land of the bible. Our group interacts with key partners in Nazareth, Jenin, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem. Through reading of Scripture and time spent in worship the group has the opportu-


nity to think devotionally about the experiences. Finally we seek to give opportunity for the group to see first hand issues of justice that bring increased complexity and richness to time in that region. The I/P Study tour of May 2013 included a group of 12 from Canada and 12 from the Midwest Conference and one student from North Park Seminary. The group was very diverse with the average age south of the border being 60+ and the average age for the rest being mid 30’s. It was amazing to see how the shared experiences brought such a diverse group of people together. Our next I/P Study Tour is scheduled for early June, 2015. Watch for information regarding itinerary and early discounts. August 2013 Our group spent ten days meeting Palestinian Christians engaging in peace activism in the Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. We travelled to the old city of Hebron where we witnessed the effects of military occupation and settlement projects. Our team went to Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum, and grieved the atrocities done to the Jews while being mindful of the atrocities going on in the area today. We also journeyed to Aboud, a small town of about 2,500 people, and worshipped with Palestinians at the Orthodox church, the Catholic church, and the Protestant church. Our team got to see how the youth of that village were using the olive trees that have not been taken from them by the occupation to make olive oil soap. It was a trip of forming relationships, of learning what is going on in the region, and of standing with our brothers and sisters as they seek to be faithful followers of Jesus in difficult circumstances. Hope for the Holy Land Tour, February 2014 Over 300 people came out to our Hope for the Holy Land events during the first week of February. They each heard stories from our guests: Charlie Abou-Saada, a Palestinian Christian; Sahar Vardi, an Israeli peace activist; and Mae Cannon, a Covenant pastor who works on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for World Vision US. Their stories spoke of difficult circumstances on both side of the separation barrier. Charlie shared about his life as a man who cannot easily travel to work and cannot take his kids to the sea because of restrictions placed on him. Sahar spoke of her experience of growing up in a military society where everything is geared toward military service. Mae preached from Joshua five reminding us that we are called not to choose a side, but to love our neighbor. ~Julia Sandstrom


PO Box 34025 | RPO Fort Richmond | Winnipeg, MB R3T5T5 Phone: 204-269-3437 Fax: 204-269-3584 www.covchurch.ca office@covchurch.ca This report was prepared and edited by Julia Sandstrom


110th annual report