CBOQ Assembly 2018

Dear fellow Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec,

Have you ever been in a situation that was made better by bitter words? I know I haven’t. It is the gentle answer that turns away wrath. (Prov. 15:1) Starting with love isn’t easy, and remembering to set aside anger and begin with grace doesn’t come naturally, but it is the way of Jesus. It is his voice that says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” (Luke 6:27) And even when—or especially when—it’s difficult, we are still called to reflect the character of Jesus in every conversation and interaction. Nowhere is this more critical than when we are reaching out to the next generation, who are seeking authenticity and belonging like never before.

And there are challenges! A few years ago, we highlighted some of them through Hemorrhaging Faith, which painted a grim reality of the rates at which young people are leaving the church. Last year, the Canadian Baptist Youth Network released Imaginative Hope, a report highlighting the urgency to gain traction back in our ministry to, with and for the next generation. We have been challenged to let the next generation lead as they engage with the key cultural issues of our time, and as churches, to give intentional focus to ministry for kids and youth in our churches and communities. This is why I am excited to present this year’s next generation-focussed Assembly theme: “Lead with Love.” Our hope is that as you experience Assembly, you will be better equipped and motivated to engage with the next generation and to begin to understand how loving relationships are a significant motivation towards living a life for God. 

I hope you feel welcomed at Assembly—I know your CBOQ Board and staff team are already preparing to welcome you once more. I hope you will feel encouraged by what you will learn and experience. Most of all, I hope you are equipped by it to return to your own church families to “lead with love” in your own communities.

Strength and peace,

Tim McCoy
Executive Minister, CBOQ