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Mennonite Brethren HeraldVolume 43, No. 16November 26, 2004
First Ignite Vancouver church planter named; other Key City Initiatives expand
Alberta hosts third BFL study conference on women in ministry leadership
Discussion continues in Manitoba
CMU’s Friesen lectures focus on Mennonite church in Africa
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First Ignite Vancouver church planter named; other Key City Initiatives expand

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The first church planter for Ignite Vancouver has been named. Patrick Fung, currently pastor at South Vancouver Pacific Grace MB Church, will be planting a daughter church of that congregation in the Richmond/south Vancouver area.

As the South Vancouver Pacific Grace church underwent an extensive study of whether they should do a church plant, Fung recognized God’s call upon him to lead the new venture. Patrick and Leona Fung have been with the mother congregation for eight years. They have two grown sons.

Assessment of potential church planters continues for Ignite Vancouver, the most recent Key City Initiative (KCI), a cooperative church planting program of the national and provincial Mennonite Brethren conferences. Plans for Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Filipino and Caucasian-led churches are being explored. Various models of reproducing will also be considered, including the possibility of house churches, also called “organic churches.”

Montreal expands

In Montreal, where the Key City Initiative is called Rendez-Vous Montreal, The Journey Fellowship in Notre-Dame-de-Grace was recently publicly launched. Dave and Heidi Gray have been holding movie nights and opening their home for meals and conversation in order to connect with people.

One of their best connecting points, however, has been a Ten Thousand Villages store opened Sept. 10. The idea came to them, Heidi Gray told a ChristianWeek reporter, when they tried to get into a packed-out natural food co-op during Earth celebrations in their neighbourhood. “[We] were struck with the fact that the churches are empty but this store was full.”

“Quebecers respond to justice issues,” she said.

There is no financial link to the Grays’ church plant from Ten Thousand Villages, part of a chain of fair-trade stores originally started by Mennonite Central Committee. But establishing the store has resulted in connections with customers as well as the opportunity to develop longer-term relationships with store volunteers.

David and Patricia Miller and their son Andrew have moved to Blainville, on the north side of Montreal, from Pennsylvania. Supported by the Brethren in Christ, they will be partnering with Rendez-Vous Montreal to plant a new church. They will participate in the ministry of the Ste-Rose MB congregation while they pray and develop strategy.

Michel Monette is a church planter in training. He and Lyne have three young children. They have settled in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve area and will be involved with the St. Laurent MB church as he is encouraged and trained in specific objectives for church planting.

Goodbye and hello in Love Toronto

Although one of the projects of Love Toronto has discontinued (see box below), a unique new venture is underway in the Ajax/Pickering area.

Love Toronto has joined in partnership with the Durham (Ont.) Church Network (DCM) in planting a church in the Ajax/Pickering area. The DCM is sponsored by the Christian and Missionary Alliance and the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec and currently has three congregations. The MB plant in Ajax/Pickering will be the fourth.

Dave and Cheryl Fowler, credentialed by all three denominations in the DCM, are giving leadership to the new MB venture as well as being involved in the other congregations. Dave is the primary speaker at the Sunday morning programs and Cheryl assists with the children’s program and seminars. They have spent the last 19 years working with families of children and teens, through childcare centres and a family counselling centre. They have three children.

Mission in Alberta

Mission Calgary, the first Key City Initiative, now called Mission Alberta is actively searching for a church planter for a proposed Edmonton church plant, as well as exploring possibilities in several other centres. The Sudanese ministry meeting at Highland MB Church, Calgary, unfortunately closed because of conflict between the pastor and core leadership of the group.

Dora Dueck, from reports

The Canadian MB Board of Evangelism and Ontario Board of Church Extension announce that the Love Toronto church plant known as The Church of International Villages has been closed. The primary reason has been the slow development of a core group. Several families who had expressed interest initially transferred elsewhere.

On behalf of the two boards, we thank Dale and Miriam Bauman, the many financial supporters, and prayer supporters for the strong efforts to help share the gospel through church planting in the Brampton area. We ask you to pray for those touched through this ministry and for the Baumans as they seek God’s guidance for the future.

Ewald Unruh, executive director, Board of Evangelism

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Last modified: Mar 20, 2005

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