WELCOME MESSAGE FROM DAVID WELLS, GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT
I welcome you as you join us for General Conference 2020 in the vibrant maritime city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. We want to express our sincere gratitude to District Superintendent Kevin Johnson and the Maritime District for their invitation to come to one of Canada’s great historic cities. Personally, it is very meaningful to me to have our conference commencing with the Maritime district’s welcome event at Pier 21 on Monday evening, May 4.
On May 5, 1928 at Pier 21, Jakob Thomsen-Dam with 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 the 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. For that reason, at General Conference 2020 we have structured our plenary sessions to provide concentrated opportunities to focus on our shared mission, character, theology and future.
“It’s Time” – for missional fruitfulness; churches that are vital and multiply. In the light of our 2020 Initiative goals, we will evaluate our current missional integrity as we look forward to greater fruitfulness.
“It’s Time” – for leadership that is spiritually alive and marked by integrity. We are recommitting to being leaders of faithful character who leave a legacy of spiritual intimacy.
“It’s Time” – for truth-based ministries that make disciples. We are considering our refreshed Statement of Essential Truths as we recommit to knowing and communicating His truth that sets people free.
“It’s Time” – to send called persons to Canada and the world. We are reimagining our response as we send global and Mission Canada workers into current and future realities.
“It’s Time” – for the future, now! Engaging our shared challenge and commitment to make disciples and develop the leadership of children, youth and young adults.
In each session at Halifax, opportunities will be opened to worship, prayer and listening to presentations focused on each of these topics. We will then interact at tables as each participant has occasion to contribute what they hear the Spirit impressing on them regarding the fresh season ahead that the Lord has for us. At General Conference 2020, you will not only listen, be inspired and be informed—you will also participate and contribute to the shared direction we have as we move into the future the Lord has for us.
New days always have a continuity 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. 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. We welcome you to Halifax as we begin the journey.
WELCOME MESSAGE FROM KEVIN JOHNSON, MARITIME DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT
On behalf of the Maritime District family, Annemarie and I warmly welcome you to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for General Conference 2020. We are thrilled to host our PAOC family and friends in the picturesque ocean port city of Halifax.
Our District prayer team has been interceding for this Conference for many months. God is all powerful and we are expecting Him to perform miracles, open our hearts, and speak to us prophetically during these days. We want you to be renewed, refilled, and refocused in order to pursue the calling God has on your life.
Halifax has had a unique place in Canada’s formation. It was originally settled by the Mi’kmaq. Then the French came in the early 1600s and established Acadia. The English arrived in the 1700s and built a number of fortifications including Citadel Hill. Later the city became an important naval military base playing key roles in World War I and World War II as home to one of the largest and deepest ice-free harbours in the world.
For the history buffs, you might be interested to know that:
• In 1776, the Great Awakening spread to Nova Scotia through the preaching of New Englander Henry Alline. He helped establish the first Baptist Church in Canada in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
• The first Salvation Army meeting was held in Halifax on March 24, 1881. One year later the Salvation Army was officially established in Canada
• Halifax was one of the earliest locations in the Maritimes where Pentecostal services began. Two women returned home to Halifax after visiting evangelist Aimee Semple MacPherson’s meetings in the early 1920s. They introduced the Pentecostal experience to the city. Then Mattie Crawford, a female Baptist evangelist filled with the Spirit, held outreach services in 1925 where thousands attended. People were saved, healed and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Then in 1929, Ray Watson, a converted bank robber, held meetings in the city. Following these meetings, a congregation was born with the first pastor, Clare and Lydia Scratch, coming from Western Canada.
Please join us for the Monday night gala at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 on the waterfront. This was one of the main ports of entry for immigrants coming to Canada between 1928 and 1971.
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 these days together at this conference. We are grateful for their godly and gracious leadership.
Enjoy the conference, connect with friends, and let’s meet with God!
For Christ’s cause,
Maritime District Superintendent