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2018 CONFERENCE

Mission and Evangelism in a Secularizing World

ca 2018 orgs

April 6th

Register below by clicking on the event associated with your region.

Conference Details

The Evangelical Missiological Society's 2018 theme, “Mission & Evangelism in a Secularizing World,” seeks to explore the creative and collaborative ways of Kingdom engagement in a Canadian context. On April 6th, three plenary speakers will present unique and diverse voices of the mission agency (Sam Chaise, Executive Director, Christie Refugee Welcome Centre), of the assembly (Connie DenBok, Lead Minister, Alderwood United Church), and of the academy (Ed Smither, Dean, College of Intercultural Studies, Columbia International University):

  • Agency: it is time to do things we have never done before.
  • Assembly: regeneration through renewed leaders.
  • Academy: Engaging the Secular Heart through Biblical Hospitality.

This year’s regional meeting will also feature 13 cutting-edge paper presentations across the five EMS Canada Centres in BC, AB, MB, ON and NB. These presentations include:

  • Do Missionaries Destroy Culture? (BC)
  • Technology as Loose Cannon on the Deck of Secularization’s Ship. (NB)
  • A New Evangelism for the Liberal City. (ON/AB/MB)
  • What Helps or Hinders in Sharing the Gospel on campuses? (ON)
  • Millennial Islam and Secularization: Witness Among the Next Generation of Muslims. (NB)
  • Speaking with our Hands and Feet: Serving at the Secular Table.” (ON/AB/MB)
  • The Exodus of GenX’s and Millennials from Canadian Churches: Implications for Evangelism in a Secular Multicultural Context. (BC)
  • Secularization, Globalization, and Terrorism: Realities, Implications, and Imperatives for Christian Missions and Evangelism in the 21st Century. (BC)
  • Infidels in Temple of Secularism: Impact of People of Diverse Faiths at University of Toronto. (ON)
  • Tentmaking: Creative Mission Opportunities within a Secularizing Canadian Society.” (ON)

Plenaries

1. Agency: It is time to do things we have never done before.”

We have never been here before. Which means that we will need to try things we have never tried, think thoughts we have never thought, imagine futures we have not yet seen, and act in patterns we have not yet experienced, if we want to see outcomes different from what we are seeing today. This is the fundamental assumption underlying everything I’m going to say today. If we are honest about it, since we’ve never been here before, none of us can be CERTAIN about what we are to do, including me. But, to riff off the Alcoholics Anonymous definition of insanity, we know that if we keep doing what we are already doing, we will continue to see what we already see. If we want to see something different, we will have to not just do things differently, but do entirely different things.

Sam ChaiseBiography. Sam Chaise is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) degree and a graduate of the Arrow Leadership Program. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry in Cultural Intelligence and Servant Leadership. To his new role as the Executive Director of the Christie Refugee Welcome Centre, Sam brings a rich background that includes experience as the Executive Director of Canadian Baptist Ministries, a national faith based denominational organization with international programs and partners, founding Director of the Carey Institute and as a senior/lead pastor in several church settings. He is a strategic thinker and leader with extensive cross-cultural experience working with boards, leading teams, building consensus and charting future direction.

2. Assembly: Church regeneration through renewed leaders.”

Dr. denBok tells the uniquely Canadian story of how the establishment of English Canada transitioned from Christendom, to regional, theological, and ideological stratification. She will explore remedial steps the Canadian Church has imported from the United States, Europe, and Great Britain and their effect. We will speculate as to why our solutions will most likely be home grown, and some hopeful developments on that front. As a practitioner who has lived with the consequences of several generations of church development theory, Connie will present a helpful and hopeful case for church regeneration through renewed leaders, and a pathway for training leaders at every level of church to reconnect with Christ, through Christian practices that have been missing from the Protestant toolbox for some time. While not an advocate of “the good old days,” Connie will make a case for the genius of every religious revival’s ability to ignite orthopraxy and create tools for even our Canadian context.

Connie DenBokBiography. Connie denBok is a Pastor, indefatigable long-distance trekker, and self-taught power tool user. Her Toronto church, Alderwood United, is a hub for United Church leaders rediscovering church regeneration through ancient Christian practices. Connie’s insights into Canadian missiology have been gleaned from 37 years of leading churches, including 3 church plants, one each for the United Church, Free Methodists, and Pentecostals. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Tyndale and Wycliffe College in Toronto School of Theology, served on the National Advisory Committee for Natural Church Development, and has been coaching two online mentoring groups connected with Church Renewal for 3 years. She and her husband Doug met and married in university and are proud parents of two adult daughters.

3. Connecting with Secular Muslims through History and Film: The Case Study of “Augustine: Son of Her Tears.”

North Africa possesses a rich Christian history, including the contributions of theologians such as Tertullian (ca. 160-ca. 220), Cyprian (195-258), and Augustine (354-430). While many North Africans today may be familiar with these names, they really do not know their faith stories. Is it possible to share the Christian message with a people through their own history? What if a high quality feature film was developed that captured that story? This is precisely the vision of a group of Middle Eastern and North African Christians who created “Augustine: Son of Her Tears,” which has recently been released and is currently premiering at film festivals and special showings around the Arab world.

In this paper, I will evaluate how this film is connecting with audiences, particularly among secular North African Muslims. Following a brief background on the making and initial distribution of the film, and a synopsis of it, I will discuss why Augustine’s story is meaningful to secular North Africans and what missiological lessons might be learned.

Ed SmitherBiography. Ed Smither (PhD, University of Wales; PhD, University of Pretoria) serves as professor of intercultural studies and history of global Christianity, and dean of the College of Intercultural Studies at Columbia International University. His most recent books include Missionary Monks, Mission in the Early Church, and is presently working on Christian Mission: A Concise Global History. He served for 14 years in intercultural ministry in North Africa, France, and the USA. Since 1999, he has been married to Shawn and together they parent three kids, Brennan (14), Emma (12), and Eve (10).

Video Stream

These plenaries will be streamed from Toronto to our four other regional centres with local papers in BC and New Brunswick and streamed papers from Ontario in Alberta and Manitoba.

Provincal Papers

British Columbia | ACTS Seminaries at Trinity Western University

The Vancouver Centre will have two papers in the morning and afternoon regional sessions:

  • “Do Missionaries Destroy Culture?” (AM)
  • “The Exodus of GenX’s and Millennials from Canadian Churches: Implications for Evangelism in a Secular Multicultural Context.” (AM)
  • “Secularization, Globalization, and Terrorism: Realities, Implications, and Imperatives for Christian Missions and Evangelism in the 21st Century.” (PM)
  • “Their Eyes Were Opened: A Holistic Epistemology for Missional Discipleship.” (PM)

Alberta | Jaffray Centre at Ambrose University

The Calgary Centre will stream a morning and afternoon session from Ontario:

  • “Morning A New Evangelism for the Liberal City.” (AM)
  • “Speaking with our Hands and Feet: Serving at the Secular Table.” (PM)

New Brunswick | Kingswood University

The New Brunswick Centre will stream a morning and afternoon session from Ontario:

  • “Morning A New Evangelism for the Liberal City.” (AM)
  • “Speaking with our Hands and Feet: Serving at the Secular Table.” (PM)

Ontario | Tyndale University & Seminary

The Toronto Centre will have three papers in morning and in afternoon regional sessions:

  • Morning A New Evangelism for the Liberal City. (AM)
  • What Helps or Hinders in Sharing the Gospel on Secular campuses? (AM)
  • Serampore Mission: pioneering educational and media evangelism. (AM)
  • Speaking with our Hands and Feet: Serving at the Secular Table. (PM)
  • Infidels in Temple of Secularism: Impact of People of Diverse Faiths at University of Toronto. (PM)
  • Tentmaking: Creative Mission Opportunities within a Secularizing Canadian Society.” (PM)

Manitoba | Providence University College & Theological Seminary

The Maritime Centre will have one morning and a choice of two papers in the afternoon sessions:

  • Technology as Loose Cannon on the Deck of Secularization’s Ship. (AM)
  • Millennial Islam and Secularization: Witness Among the Next Generation of Muslims. (PM)
  • How Africa Might Save Global Christianity. (PM)

The purpose of the Canada region of the Evangelical Missiological Society is to provide a forum once a year for Canadian missiologists and practitioners to engage each other around relevant topics in missions. This is motivated by a felt need for “dialogue, fellowship, and cooperation among evangelicals devoted to researching, publishing and instructing in areas related to the mission of the Church”

Become a Canadian EMS Member

Thank you for joining us in an ongoing dialogue around missiological issues from a Canadian standpoint!


Canada Vice President

Narry Santos

Narry F. Santos, PhD
Tyndale Seminary

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