Canada Conference Meeting Reflects Both Sorrow, Celebration

Post a Comment » Written on April 25th, 2007     
Filed under: News
PRINCE ALBERT, SK (April 25, 2007) – Sorrow and celebration were both part of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Canada Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church last Thursday through Saturday.

On Saturday, delegates voted to ratify the decision to close Covenant Bible College (CBC) on May 31 after 66 years of ministry. The school’s Board of Directors voted earlier this year to close the campuses in Ecuador and Canada because they no longer were financially viable.

“Tears of sadness and a sense of loss filled the room and rolled down peoples faces,” Executive Board member Dave McIntosh wrote in a report on the conference website. “There was also a sense of joy as people remembered the impactful moments in their lives as a result of CBC and joy for the impact it has made for the kingdom.”

Conference Superintendent Jeff Anderson and CBC Acting President Paul Lessard participated in a delegates’ Town Hall meeting on Friday. They had conducted seven previous meetings across the conference to discuss the reasons for closing the school.

“I think the conference came out of the annual meeting stronger,” Lessard says. “It demonstrated that the strength of the conference is much stronger than CBC. There was hope for the future.”

The theme for the three days was “New Wineskins,” as the delegates began to envision future ministry for the conference. Donn Engebretson, Evangelical Covenant Church executive vice president, used the scripture passage from Luke 5:36-39 in addressing delegates on Friday evening. He then encouraged the gathering, relating the story about a woman who started a church in China because she wanted to bring “new wine” to her community, despite personal danger.

CBC students, incorporating both small groups and full choir, presented a program during the Saturday evening banquet that included original compositions. The students lamented and praised. In the end, they said, the positive influence of the school will be felt for years to come.

The final commencement activities at the Ecuador campus will be held this weekend. Final commencement activities at the Canada campus will be May 4-6.

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