AN IMPORTANT GENERAL CONFERENCE 2020 UPDATE
WELCOME MESSAGE FROM DAVID WELLS, GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT
On behalf of the General Executive and my fellow Executive Officers, I welcome you to this first ever online General Conference. During this unprecedented season, let me express how grateful we are for the ways in which God is working through our Fellowship at this time of crisis—and great kingdom opportunity. “It’s Time” for the Spirit to lead us in fresh and creative ways to the future the Lord has for us.
We are so proud of our churches, ministries and leaders who have been showing great initiative and finding ways to communicate the good news of Jesus and be His caring hands and feet in these challenging times. We are so grateful for our global and Mission Canada workers, who are still serving Jesus faithfully, under sometimes great challenges.
Of note are the powerful prayer gatherings that have arisen during this season, called by local churches, districts, and even national and international movements. Many of us can testify of the encouragement we have received from participating in them. Thank God that, in a time of challenge, we have a Rock who is higher than us, and we can lean heavily on the Lord to continue to be at work in our lives, in our families, in our churches and ministries.
There is a lament in not being onsite in Halifax. There was this strong sense of the Lord’s guidance about how He was speaking to us, and the direction in which He’s been calling us. I will miss the opportunity to participate together face to face, having ears to hear what the Spirit would say.
Our Maritime District, Pastor Kevin Johnson, and his team had worked so hard to be prepared to welcome us. To those of you in the Maritimes, be assured that we love you and we continue to believe for great days in your provinces as you maintain your trust in the Lord for a great new day of vital churches, outreach and multiplication.
This online conference takes place on the 92nd anniversary of a key event in my family’s history. Ironically, it took place at Pier 21 in Halifax, N.S. On May 5, 1928, Jakob Thomsen-Dam and six members of the Nielsen family arrived on the “United States,” a Danish ship from the Scandinavian-American line. Landed immigrants from Denmark, they had decided it was time for a new season in their lives. Full of anticipation for the adventure that lay ahead of them, they boarded a CN train and headed for Western Canada. Early in 1930 Jakob married Marianne Nielsen in Dalum, Alberta. Their second daughter, my mother, Ruth Thomsen-Dam, was born in 1933. It has been my life-long joy to experience the family heritage established by these pioneers.
Similar to how my grandparents boldly launched into unchartered territory to create a new future, “It’s Time” for us as a Fellowship of churches, ministries and leaders to engage in fresh adventures of mission, rooted in lives of spirit and truth.
“It’s Time” – for missional fruitfulness—churches that are vital and creatively multiply.
“It’s Time” – for leadership that is spiritually alive and marked by integrity.
“It’s Time” – for truth-based ministries that make disciples.
“It’s Time” – to send called persons to Canada and the world in reimagined ways.
“It’s Time” – for the future, now—as we engage our shared challenge and commitment to make disciples and develop the leadership of children, youth, and young adults.
New days have a sense of continuity when combined with the knowledge, skills, and character of the past. My Bedstefar and Bedstemor brought all these to Canada and they contributed to the new life they enjoyed. But beyond what they had and knew, they chose to sacrificially move into the future that waited for them and those who would follow them. “It’s Time” for the Pentecostal family to boldly launch into the new adventures God has for us beyond 2020. What was considered “normal” does not exist any longer. In many ways, we come to our own Pier 21 with so much to be grateful for, but with so many new kingdom adventures to experience.
Article Photo: Jakob Thomsen-Dam, Marianne Nielsen, and other members of the Nielsen family just before coming to Canada in 1928.
WELCOME MESSAGE FROM KEVIN JOHNSON, MARITIME DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT
On behalf of the Maritime District family, Annemarie and I warmly welcome you to General Conference 2020. Although we are not going to have the honour of hosting you in Halifax, we are looking forward to being with you for the very first online General Conference.
The unusual times we are living in cause me to think of Israel travelling through the wilderness. Just as this is a time unlike anything we have seen before, the wilderness was a place Israel had never seen before. They did not know how to get through the wilderness. They did not know how to find food. They had never been this way before. They would have been lost had it not been for the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. When it moved, they moved. The Lord looked down on them from the cloud. The cloud stood at the entrance to the tent of meeting. The cloud moved behind them to protect them. As long as they followed the cloud and the fire they could travel by day or night, they could make their way through unknown lands, and they were assured of God’s presence and provision.
Our General Superintendent has called us to recognize that “‘It’s Time’ for us as a Fellowship of churches, ministries and leaders to engage in fresh adventures of mission, rooted in lives of spirit and truth.”
I believe the theme of our conference is prophetic. “It’s Time!” God is obviously up to something at this time. It’s time to hear what the Spirit is saying and follow where He leads us. Circumstances can thrust us into directions that we might otherwise resist. Great uncertainty can move us to trust God in deeper ways and do things we have never done before. If we observe carefully, we will see that God is up to something.
Our district prayer team has been interceding for this conference. We know that God is at work and even though the venue has changed, we believe that He will fulfil His purposes. Let’s join together and pray that during these days we will move wherever God wants us to go. There is no aimless wandering for the people of God who watch for His moving.
Finally, we want to express our love and appreciation to Dave and Sue Wells, David and Stacey Hazzard, and Murray and Cindy Cornelius for how they have served our Fellowship and prepared for this time together. We are grateful for their friendship and godly leadership.
Enjoy the conference, and let’s hear from God!
For His glory,
Maritime District Superintendent