Mission Central (Missions Fest) to affirm focus on unity during final conference

Rev. Dr. Lisa Pak, Global Strategist for Finishing The Task, will be a speaker at the SERVE Conference.

Ever since the first Missions Fest Vancouver gathering in January 1984, the movement has gathered believers from the hundreds of churches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and beyond.

Their history page states, “Missions Fest conferences . . . are based on the same foundational principles of local churches working together to reach out to the world.”

So it is fitting that the theme for their final events – January 27 – 29, back at the Vancouver Convention Centre after having had to go online because of Covid – will be ‘Unity.’

(Missions Fest Vancouver is now part of Mission Central – “to help disciples of Jesus participate in His mission all year-long” – and this year there will actually be a Pastors and Leaders Summit leading into two overlapping conferences.)

Vancouver has been uniquely blessed by Missions Fest / Mission Central for almost 40 years. Every year thousands of us have participated in the largest annual mission conference in North America.

The gatherings later this month will be a unique opportunity for those tens of thousands – but also for those who have never participated – to join fellow Christians in imagining how we can continue to work together to reach the local community, and the world beyond, for Christ.

Pastors – take part, and urge your congregation members to join in! Church members – invite your friends!

  • Pastors and Leaders Summit: Collaboration for City-Reaching

The Pastors and Leaders Summit will take place January 27, 10 am – 12 pm (coffee at 9:30) at Cariboo Hill (Salvation Army) Temple in Burnaby.

Here is the description

As the Canadian church moves towards recovering from the turbulent and unexpected changes thrust upon it because of the pandemic, it is more critical than ever for the church to come together for a unified witness to see greater kingdom impact in our cities.

The pandemic has managed to divide our world, disconnect leaders and fragment the church. When we have a divided world, we need more than ever a church that is united.

On January 27, Mission Central will be gathering a diverse group of church and ministry leaders from the church in the Vancouver region to listen, learn and discuss how we might navigate the topic of unity as a critical ingredient for mission.

Kevin Palau will describe pioneering efforts in Portland to link churches and partner with civic officials to work for the good of the city.

At this gathering we will be hearing from Kevin Palau and Rick McKinley who will share about TogetherPDX, a beautiful gospel city movement of churches working together for the sake of the kingdom in Portland, Oregon – a city not unlike our own in degrees of secularism and non-religious affiliated people.

If we desire to see the transformation in our cities, region and nation that we dream of, then we need to learn to collaborate, build trust and not compete. Unity cannot truly happen until we participate in it. We look forward to seeing you there.

The gathering is sponsored by the Canadian Bible Society, in partnership with Church for Vancouver, CityGate Ministries, Union Gospel Mission, WayBase and 24-7 Prayer.

Register here for this free event.

  • SERVE Conference

Mission Central SERVE will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre for the last time January 27 – 29.

Mission Central SERVE (formerly Missions Fest Vancouver) will open Friday, January 27 at 6 pm.

There will be over 100 mission agencies, 40-plus seminars taught by missional experts, prayer sessions and worship and teaching in the General Sessions. The closing celebration will go from 3:30 – 5 pm Sunday, January 29.

The Mission Central SERVE conference is for everyone who loves Jesus – whether you’ve thought “I’ll never be a missionary” or you’ve already committed your life to kingdom ministry.

Come and experience the creative ways that the love of God is being expressed around the world. Grow your faith as you hear stories of the transforming power of Jesus. Be part of the larger Christian community as we intercede for fresh moves of the Spirit all over the earth.

The SERVE 2023 conference will be in person at the Vancouver Convention Centre! Adult tickets are $12. (Ticket sales help cover the cost of planning and putting on the conference. Donations above the cost of the ticket are welcome and needed, to meet the budget.)

Here are links to specific elements of SERVE:

  • CREATE Conference

This Mortal Plastik is one of the movies that will be shown as part of CREATE’s Moving Pictures Festival.

Mission Central CREATE is a conference for Christian creatives and those who love the arts.

CREATE aims to support and be a catalyst for a community of generative Christians, and desires to move beyond passive consumption. We are keen to inspire Christians (artists or not) to live lives of holy creativity.

Toward these aims, the conference includes development opportunities such as Q&As on selected films, workshops and networking experiences.

CREATE is also open to and attended by local cinema lovers. Tickets will be available for individual films within the Moving Pictures Festival.

The CREATE conference will be happening the same weekend as SERVE at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Go here for more details.

Ways to get involved

There are several ways to get involved with the upcoming Mission Central events:

  • Volunteer – as individuals, small groups or whole churches.
  • Invite church members and friends to the Pastors Summit, SERVE and CREATE.
  • Join Mission Central’s Praying for Unity on Zoom, Wednesdays, 12 – 12:30 pm.
  • Take part in the Pre-Conference Rally at the Mission Central office (Cariboo Road Church, Burnaby) January 14.
  • Share your Mission Central / Missions Fest stories; they’re “compiling a collection of stories and memories to celebrate the impact of our organization and the countless connections and opportunities that have been created and had their own harvests.”
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2 comments for “Mission Central (Missions Fest) to affirm focus on unity during final conference

  1. Definitely unity is needed after the COVID pandemic exposed the lack that was already present. As one involved in church-based ESL ministry, I and others perceive an enormous need for development of an active and cooperative network as we deal with an increasing number of immigrants expected as the federal government has relaxed its quotas.

    Not only ESL but also housing for refugees are growing issues in a metropolis marked by a severe shortage of rental housing and an overall high cost of living. “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh . . . . all are one in Christ Jesus.”

    We need to recognize one another and the wider community as imago dei and behave accordingly. No one ought to outdo our churches and the wider community when it comes to loving our neighbours as ourselves, doing everything in love.

  2. Thanks for this overview of the heritage and on-going work of the Missions Fest organization. The emphasis on ‘unity’ is much needed. I had the privilege of being part of Missions Fest presentations in years past as part of organizations like Teachers’ Christian Fellowship.

    As an ordained Anglian vocational deacon whose ministry vocation was in secondary school teaching and administration and then as a faculty associate at Trinity Western University, I was blessed to be part of Missions Fest presentations that focused on teachers and education.

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