President's Message

BC CONFERENCE NEWS – PRAISE THE LORD!

It is a privilege to connect with you again. The Lord has been good to us and we feel His daily protection over our lives through the presence of His holy angels with us and the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. As this message include some news (including financial) I wanted to send it to you before sunset today.

I preferred not to include this section (below) in the Sabbath message sent to you last Sabbath. It presents some financial info and statistics that I felt not to be a suitable reading for the Sabbath hours.

Many wonderful things have happened in our Conference since the last time we connected at the beginning of Oct. Please find below just a few of the highlights during this period:

The BC Conference Board of Directors (BOD) met two times (Zoom meetings on Sep 17, Oct 25 and Nov 10) and made some important decisions:

  • It was voted to financially support the Squamish Church Plant with the dedicated funds from the Church Plant account. A generous donation from a church member was received for that project. Also, our application to the SDACC and NAD for a special evangelism project was approved. There is no Adventist presence beyond North Vancouver in that geographical area. The BOD assigned Pastor Robert Folkenberg III and his family to move to that city and mingle with the people there. They have met with people while doing outdoor activities, which have resulted in Bible studies and attendance in spiritual meetings. The latest report received from Pastor Folkenberg III shows that there is a consistent group meeting at their place and in some parks in Squamish. The challenge they are facing now is to deal with the latest BC Ministry of Health regulation with a limit of 6 people gatherings at homes beside family members. Pastor Folkenberg started a “creative” evangelistic campaign on Sabbath, Oct 31 and he was pleasantly surprised with the number of Adventist folks who had not shown up for Worship Service or church activities in years have attended those meetings (12+). Please, let’s keep those evangelistic meetings, church plant, and Pastor Folkenberg III and his family in our prayers.
  • The BOD voted favourably of the new Victoria Church building project. This has been a dream of our members in Victoria for many decades. They have already raised about 65% of the project cost, including the money from the miraculous sale of the Pandora Ave. property (old church) for more than double of the appraised value. When the project is fully completed, it will have an attractive sanctuary, large space for community services, children’s and health dedicated rooms, a spacious kitchen, multipurpose use foyer, etc. Prayers are much appreciated.
  • Also, the BOD voted to approve the revolving fund loan application of the Chilliwack Church and to seek its approval by the SDACC. The purpose of that loan is to buy a property adjacent to the Chilliwack Church and School. Their plan is to own a full block of land in the near future (10 years vision) to make provision for the building of a new complex – church and a school with potential secondary level. 
  • A small revolving fund loan application of the Smithers Church was also approved by the BOD. The process involves seeking its approval of the SDACC for that loan. They intend to do some much needed renovations in their church building.
  • It was a joyful moment when the BOD received the news regarding the progress of building of the new washroom block at Camp Hope (section B). It looks amazing. This has been a long awaited for project. Good is good!
  • The BOD was happy to approve a plan to allocate $200,000 from the incentive subsidy (COVID 19) to be directed to our schools facing financial challenges due to COVID 19.  
  • In a creative action, the BOD voted to combine the Inspire Ministries Company with the Whitehorse Church to be pastored by Pastor Mathew Reyes, starting November 1. He will minister to both of those churches for two weeks every month. Pastor Reyes was a key human leader for the church plant and formation of Inspire Ministries. The cost to bring him down to Burnaby once a month is minimal compared to hiring even a part-time pastor or Bible worker to minister for the Inspire Ministries. The Whitehorse Church is a lovely and vibrant congregation (about 60 members) with excellent lay leaders, and the same applies to Inspire Ministries. 
  • The BOD voted to assign Pastor Kelber Mazur to be the Assistant Pastor of the Prince George/McBride/Vanderhoof District starting December 1. That is the largest pastoral district in our territory, and they fit the BC Conference funding formula for placing pastors in the Conference. That was a long overdue action.
  • Also, Pastor Mario DiLione was assigned to be the pastor of the Vancouver Hispanic and Surrey Hispanic Churches, replacing Pastor Kelber Mazur. Pastor DiLione will also minister to an English- speaking congregation to be determined at a later stage – new pastoral district comprised of three churches. Pastor DilIone will start his ministry with the Hispanic Churches on December 1.
  • The BOD placed a call to Pastor Miguel Chapparo, part-time pastor of the Power River Church, to be hired as a full-time pastor of the Campbell River, Comox Valley, and Power River Churches (a new pastoral district) from December 1.
  • The BOD took an action to place an official call to Pastor Matt Parra, North New South Wales Conference (Australia) Evangelism Director, to be the pastor of the Kamloops, Barriere, and Clearwater Churches from July 1, 2021. The churches are thrilled to receive Pastor Parra and his family as their new human spiritual leader. The same applies to the Parra pastoral family. We are convinced that Pastor Parra will be a great addition to our Ministerial Team in the BC Conference.
  • The BOD received the report presented by Denny Rumambi, BC Conference Treasurer and Chair of the Building Committee regarding the building project of the new Conference office. The project proposal is in the possession of the Abbotsford City Development Committee, which has revised it twice together with our hired architect and Conference’s Building Committee. We expect to hear from them within the next three months or so and will update you then. Our current office is about 48 years old and the cost to renovate it is prohibitive. This project is about 87% funded. The BOD (previous and current) tried SEVERAL options (8) to move forward with the decision to relocate the BC Conference office during a special called Constituency Meeting on Aug 05, 2007. The most viable one (location, financial, exposure, etc) was to sell part of the land owned by the Conference and build a new office at the front of the current portion where our office is. That decision was taken by the previous BOD/Administration in 2015. We need your prayers and donations are greatly appreciated!
  • The BOD received the BC Conference financial report for the month of September year to date (YTD) as presented by our VP of Finance/Treasurer, Denny Rumambi. It shows a tithe growth of 2.56% when compared to the same period last year. The YTD ABC financial report is, also, better by 50% than the one from the same time frame in 2019 – Praise the Lord! We ought to thank God for the faithfulness and generosity of our church members.

The YTD statistical report shows a decrease in baptisms and Profession of Faith when compared to the same period in 2019, mainly because of COVID 19. However, this year’s third quarter report revealed a positive trend. Let’s continue to work together, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to reach that goal.

After many years of attempts, the BC Conference Administration and some members of the Camp Hope Committee met with our Camp Hope neighbours – the Chawathill First Nation Council. The meeting was very amicable as it transpired in an atmosphere of learning each other’s culture and in the spirit of building bridges for reconciliation. This is a matter for continuous prayer!

I kindly request you to sing and praise God with me for all these accomplishments – all of them provided by the hands and wisdom of our Heavenly Father. Praise God from whom our blessings flow! “Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name.” (2 Samuel 22:50 NIV). 

Thank you for your committed and faithful service to God’s Church! 

Jesus is coming again, soon! 

In His Service,

Wesley Torres

President