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Board of Faith and Life (1946– )

Proper Title

Canadian Conference of MB Churches Board of Faith and Life series

Dates of Creation

1946–

Physical Description

1.15 m of textual materials

Administrative History

The Board of Faith and Life (BFL) was formed in 1987 as a standing board of the Canadian MB Conference. When the Northern District was formed, it had a leading committee that served in the capacity of providing direction in spiritual, exegetical, and ethical matters.

When the Canadian Conference was formed in 1946, the Board of Faith and Life was known as the Fürsorgekomitee. The committee functioned as a general board overseeing the main agenda items of the conference. In many ways, it functioned in parallel with the conference executive committee, with the executive committee setting the agenda and the Fürsorgekomitee making the decisions and seeing that they were carried out. This remained the case until 1964,becoming more of a Committee of Reference and Counsel from 1964 to 1969, during the language transition phase. From 1969 to 1987, the committee was renamed the Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns. Its agenda narrowed slightly to focus more on the spiritual, exegetical, and ethical matters. It maintained a similar focus when it became the Board of Faith and Life in 1987. For a small window of time (1989-1994), the Board of Faith and Life also held the responsibility for the production of the MB Herald, Mennonitische Rundschau and Le Lien, along with the management of Christian Press. These duties were transferred to the Board of Communications in 1994.

Acting as a moral and theological compass, the Board of Faith and Life interacted with multiple committees and boards, both within the Canadian Conference and without.  As such, the files listings for this series contains a wide variety of reports and communication with these associated groups. The Board of Faith and Life also participated in publishing pamphlets for distribution in Mennonite Brethren churches. These pamphlets ranged from topics of theology to issues of morality.

See (click here) list of BFL and other pamphlets that have shaped church life and thought.

In 2014, the conference ministries were re-framed as "services" and reorganized around four headings: Building Community, Multiplying Churches, Developing Leaders, and Financial Ministries (renamed Resourcing Ministry in 2016). The Board of Faith and Life fits in the Building Community service.

See (click here) 2014 video updating the CCMBC mission and service model.

See (click here) 2016 video describing CCMBC's four services model.

To view copies of the convention yearbooks, now published every two years, click here.

Scope and Content

This series consists of the minutes, reports, correspondence and publications of the Fürsorgekomitee, Committee of Reference and Counsel, Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns and the Board of Faith and Life. The materials document the history of the Board of Faith and Life from it's inception in 1946. Among the documents listed are several pertaining to associated boards, committees and institutes that corresponded or reported to the Board of Faith and Life.

Custodial History

Records have been transferred to the Centre for MB Studies in Winnipeg, Manitoba on a regular basis.

Notes

  • Volumes 42–44, 1402.
  • Accession No.'s: 2002-011, 2003-049, 2005-030, 2008-002.
  • Finding aid consists of a sub-series list and a file list.
  • Previous classification under the Canadian Conference of MB Churches inventory B220.
  • Described by Bert Friesen September 29, 2002; updated by Kate Regier, 2015.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Related materials can be found in the personal paper files of former board members, such as Frank C. Peters (Volume 1396, file 12).
  • More accruals expected.

Series Descriptions

1. Fürsorgekomitee
1946–1964.
15 cm of textual materials.

This sub-series contains minutes, reports and correspondence of the Fürsorgekomitee. The committee associated with a variety of other committees and boards within the General Conference and the Canadian Conference. Joint minutes of meetings with these associated boards, committees and institutions, as well as statistics, by-laws and reports pertaining to the Canadian Conference and various Provincial Conferences, are combined with materials related to the Fürsorgekomitee.

  • Volume 42.
  • German and English languages.
  • No restrictions on access.

2. Committee of Reference and Counsel
1965–1969.
10 cm of textual materials.

In 1964, the Canadian Conference restructured their committees and renamed the Fürsorgekomitee to the anglicized "Committee of Reference and Counsel." This sub-series contains minutes, reports and correspondence of the Committee of Reference and Counsel.  Various proposals, reports and recommendations of outside boards/committees, as well as financial and statistical information pertaining to the Canadian Conference are also located within this sub-series.

  • Volume 42.
  • English and German languages.
  • No restrictions on access.

3. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns
1969–1987.
27 cm of textual materials.

The Canadian Conference experienced a restructuring of their committees and boards in 1967, resulting in a new name for the Committee of Reference and Counsel in 1969. This sub-series contains minutes, reports and correspondence of the Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns, as well as various reports, proposals and recommendations of associated boards/committees and the Canadian Conference.

  • Volumes 42-43.
  • English language.
  • No restrictions on access.

4. Board of Faith and Life
1987–
46 cm of textual materials.

In 1987, the Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns was renamed the "Board of Faith and Life." This sub-series contains minutes, reports and correspondence of the Board of Faith and Life, as well as reports, recommendations and minutes of associated boards and committees and of the Canadian Conference.

  • Volumes 43-44, 1402.
  • English language.
  • No restrictions on access.

5. Associated Boards and Committees
1927–1996.
10 cm of textual materials.

Throughout it's many name changes, the Board of Faith and Life had a close relationship with various boards and committees, including the  Executive Committee (later named the Executive Board), the Board of Higher Eduction, the Board of Christian Education and the Council of Boards. As such, many documents of these associated boards and committees are integrated with reports, minutes and documents of the Board of Faith and Life. The Board of Faith and Life also had many sub-committees, such as the Pulpit Committee, Nominations Committee, and BFL Executive. These documents are included in the general minutes, unless otherwise stated.

  • Volumes 42-44.
  • English and German languages.
  • No restrictions on access.

6. Study Papers
[194–] – 1991.
40 cm of textual materials.

Part of the duties of the Board of Faith and Life was discussing the moral and theological issues facing the Mennonite Brethren church. As such, study papers and position statements were often read and discussed among board members. These papers vary in topic from positions on pacifism and principles of Christian living, to Christian approaches to homosexuality.  In order to communicate with Mennonite Brethren on a wider scale, pamphlets were written by the Board of Faith and Life on issues of morality and theology. These pamphlets were distributed in churches throughout Canada and continue to be published and updated.

File List

Volume 42

  1. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee correspondence, meeting minutes, education committee meeting minutes, joint meeting minutes of the Fürsorgekomitee of the General Conference, Canadian conference, and missions board, joint meeting minutes of the representatives of Bible schools in Canada, questionnaire for ordination candidates. -- 1946.
  2. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee correspondence, meeting minutes, joint meeting minutes and resolutions of Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization, provincial aid organizations, and national conference boards, financial records, Canadian conference annual convention agenda and minutes, Canadian conference executive committee meeting minutes, Bethesda Home report, Canadian conference statistics. -- 1947.
  3. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes and resolutions, correspondence, paper on freedom of religion, ministers of South America convention meeting minutes, Canadian conference financial records, position paper on the congregation, paper on pacifism. -- 1948.
  4. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee pamphlet on scriptural principles for the Christian life (1959), correspondence, Bethesda Home for the mentally ill bylaws, meeting minutes, MB Bible College report (1947), ministers of South America convention meeting minutes, paper on religious freedom (1950), paper on alternative service (1950), executive committee meeting minutes (1950), report and resolutions (1950). -- 1947–1959.
  5. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, correspondence, programme committee correspondence, bylaw of the MB Manitoba Conference, youth committee correspondence. -- 1951–1952.
  6. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, notice of annual general meeting of Christian Press, correspondence. -- 1952–1953.
  7. Correspondence and report to A.H. Unruh from A.P. Willms of Slavgorod concerning Ältester (church leadership). -- [19-?].
  8. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, sermon by B.B. Janz on the history and basic principles of the MB conference, correspondence, report of the Canada Inland Mission, Manitoba conference executive committee meeting minutes (1951), Canadian conference financial statement (1950). -- 1950–1954.
  9. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, correspondence, resolutions concerning the Bible College, Tract mission bylaws ([195-?]), Canadian conference statistics, programme for the Canadian conference convention, correspondence regarding the Canadian conference ownership of Christian Press, proposal concerning the irregular departure of some church members ([1955]). -- 1955–1956.
  10. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes (including a resolution to begin an archives at the MBBC), correspondence, principles of Christian living (draft). -- 1956.
  11. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, correspondence, joint meeting minutes of the Canadian conference publications committee and Christian Press executive committee, joint meeting minutes of the Fürsorgekomitee and the Canadian conference school committee, scriptural principles for the Christian life. -- 1957.
  12. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, convention proceedings of the ministers and deacons, correspondence, commission on unification (one seminary in North America) meeting minutes, Christian Press executive committee questions for the Canadian conference, bilingual pamphlet concerning television. -- 1958.
  13. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, correspondence, Canadian conference convention programme, Alberta conference mission board and mission congregations joint meeting minutes, report on possible mission work in Québec, resolutions of the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren conference to unite with the MB conference, statement on missions. -- 1959.
  14. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, correspondence, Mennonite society for the maintenance of the German language meeting minutes, statistical report of the Canadian conference, education committee report on higher (liberal arts) education, resolutions regarding church membership, Canadian conference convention programme, proposed Canadian conference constitution and bylaws, report by commission on services for the mentally ill, proposal for a conference owned publication house. -- 1960.
  15. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes, correspondence, executive committee meeting minutes, Christian Press executive committee meeting minutes, financial report, report of the Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee to the congregations (1962), report on the operations of Christian Press, proposal for a Christian Education director position. -- 1961–1963.
  16. Canadian conference Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes (1964), correspondence, financial statement (1964), hymn book committee report (1965), Board of reference and counsel meeting minutes (1965), proposal for a MB world conference (1965), report of the radio commission (1965), report of the conference reorganization commission, statistical report (1965). -- 1964–1965.
  17. Canadian conference committee of reference and counsel meeting minutes, correspondence, brief on a Canadian radio voice (1966), program committee meeting minutes (1966), convention programme, reorganization of the conference structure recommendations, Christian life recommendations, deacon office questionnaire, deaconate practices, statistical questionnaire. -- 1966.
  18. Canadian conference committee of reference and counsel meeting minutes, correspondence, committee directory, recommendations of the Board of Christian Education, financial statement, statistical report form, board of management meeting minutes. -- 1967.
  19. Canadian conference committee of reference and counsel meeting minutes, correspondence, planning committee meeting minutes, unified seminary commission report, statistical report form, recommendation for a unified seminary in Vancouver. -- 1968.
  20. Canadian conference committee of reference and counsel meeting minutes, correspondence, board of spiritual and social concerns meeting minutes, proposed guidelines for ordination, job description of executive secretary, statistical report. -- 1969.
  21. Canadian conference board of spiritual and social concerns meeting minutes, statement on baptism and church membership (1971), report and recommendations for the Columbia Bible Institute study commission (dual conference school)(1973), position resolutions on family, women in ministry, and stewardship (1974), correspondence. -- 1970–1976.

Volume 43

  1. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns minutes and related documents, correspondence. -- 1978, 1980-1983.
  2. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: MCC Task Force report. -- 1980.
  3. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Orientation Program for Ministry minutes. -- [1981].
  4. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Discussion papers - "Why do churches split?;" "Affluence and Lifestyle;" "Pastoral care and church discipline." -- [1982].
  5. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns correspondence and board reading materials. -- 1980-1983.
  6. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns correspondence, board reading materials and discussion papers; Canadian Senate statement on Marriage Prohibitions; Statement of the relationship between the Canadian Conference Minister and the Provincial Conference Ministers. -- 1984.
  7. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns correspondence, board reading materials and discussion papers. -- 1985.
  8. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns minutes and related documents. -- 1984.
  9. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns minutes and related documents. -- 1985.
  10. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns correspondence, board reading materials and discussion papers. -- 1986.
  11. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns minutes and related documents. -- 1986.
  12. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns correspondence, board reading materials and discussion papers. -- 1987.
  13. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns minutes and related documents. -- 1987.
  14. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Pulpit Committee minutes and related documents; correspondence and reports. -- 1981-1987.
  15. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Ad Hoc Christian Education consultation. -- 1982.
  16. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Conference Unity and Higher Education consultation. -- 1985.
  17. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Inter-Mennonite consultation planning minutes, correspondence, participants and final report. -- 1985-1987.
  18. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Inter-Mennonite consultation study papers. -- 1986-1988.
  19. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: The relationship between baptism and communion - study papers and correspondence. -- 1983-1987, 1986.
  20. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Leadership Congress. -- 1984.
  21. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Membership profile of MB churches - correspondence, results and summary statement papers. -- 1984-1985.
  22. Board of Faith and Life: Active/Inactive church membership - research and correspondence (includes constitution of Portage MB Church, Winnipeg MB). -- 1988-1989.
  23. Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns: Questionnaire (with responses) to all Canadian MB pastors re: Church Membership Issues. -- 1985.
  24. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 1988.
  25. Board of Faith and Life: Alcohol and Drug Abuse papers and correspondence. -- 1986, 1987, 1989, [198-].
  26. Board of Faith and Life minutes and correspondence; statistical report; Canadian Conference restructuring proposal; The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics. -- 1987.
  27. Board of Faith and Life correspondence and board reading material; Restigouche Valley church reconciliation; letter to Prime Minister Mulroney. -- 1988.\
  28. Board of Faith and Life minutes and correspondence; statistical report; Canadian Conference vision statement. -- 1989.

Volume 44

1. Board of Faith and Life: Scott St. MB church grievances [restricted]. -- 1990-1991.
2. Board of Faith and Life: Jacob Redekopp grievances [restricted]. -- 1990-1991.
3. Board of Faith and Life correspondence and board reading material; MCC mission statement proposal; Canadian Conference vision statement proposal. -- 1990.
4. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents; Conference Minister review. -- 1990.
5. Board of Faith and Life correspondence and board reading material; MB Herald proposal. -- 1991.
6. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 1991.
7. Board of Faith and Life: Grievance Commission - church and pastor relationship guidelines. -- 1980, 1988-1991.
8. Board of Faith and Life: Periodicals Committee minutes, reports and correspondence. -- 1989.
9. Board of Faith and Life: Periodicals Committee minutes, reports and correspondence. -- 1990-1995.
10. Board of Faith and Life: Study commission on "A People Apart. -- 1987-1988.
11. Board of Faith and Life: Symposium on Faith and Ethnicity among the Mennonite Brethren. -- 1987.
12. Board of Faith and Life: Symposium on Mennonite Brethren and Materialism. -- 1989.
13. Board of Faith and Life: Baptist-Mennonite dialogue. -- 1989.
14. Board of Faith and Life: Symposium on Christology. -- 1990-1991.
15. Board of Faith and Life: Church Growth Symposium. -- 1990-1991.
16. Board of Faith and Life: Institutes for Church Ministries. -- 1985, 1989-1991.
17. Board of Faith and Life: Medical Moral Dilemmas Conference. -- 1987-1989.
18. Board of Faith and Life: MCCC task force on AIDS. -- 1988.
19. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents -- 1992.
20. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents; BFL structure. -- 1993.
21. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 1994.
25. Board of Faith and Life various related meeting documents and reports (no minutes). -- 1999.
26. Board of Faith and Life correspondence and board reading material; Papers on ordination. -- 2004.
27. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 2004.
28. Board of Faith and Life: Executive Summary and Analysis of the "Strategic Planning Survey;" Comments Summary on the "Strategic Planning Survey." -- 2005.
29. Board of Faith and Life correspondence and board reading material' Women in Leadership BFL statement and congregational poll. -- 2005.
30. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents; Women in leadership discussion. -- 2005.
31. Board of Faith and Life: Women in Ministry - "Called and Gifted," ECC (Evangelical Covenant Church) response booklet. -- 2004.
32. Board of Faith and Life: Survey results on the Canadian Conference and theology. -- [2004-2006].
33. Board of Faith and Life: Survey responses to Women in Ministry resolution. -- [2005]-2006.
34. Board of Faith and Life correspondence. -- 2006.
35. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents; Women in Ministry discussions cont.'d. -- 2006.
36. Board of Faith and Life orientation binder. -- 2007.
37. The Strategic Plan of the Canadian Conference of MB Churches for 2005-2010. -- 2006.
38. Board of Faith and Life correspondence. -- 2007.
39. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 2007.
40. Board of Faith and Life Policies and Conference Issues, 1963-2006. -- 2007.
41. Board of Faith and Life: Pornography protocols research. -- 2007.
42. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. --  2008.
43. Board of Faith and Life correspondence; Vision 2008 materials. -- 2008.
44. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents; correspondence. -- 2009.
45. Board of Faith and Life: Study Conference 2009 evaluations and reports. -- 2009.

Volume 1402

  1. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 2010.
  2. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 2011.
  3. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 2012.
  4. Board of Faith and Life Memorandum of Understanding between Canadian and U.S. Conferences. -- 2012.
  5. Board of Faith and Life minutes. -- 2013.
  6. Board of Faith and Life pamphlets. -- 2002-2003.
  7. Board of Faith and Life Correspondence (Miscellaneous). -- 2001–2002.
  8. Mennonite World Conference. Anabaptist Core Values. Articles and Reports. -- 1996–2001.
  9. Board of Faith and Life. Women in Ministry Correspondence. -- 2000–2001.
  10. Board of Faith and Life. Pastor's Orientation. Correspondence and Itinerary. -- 2001–2002.
  11. Membership and Baptism Surveys. Correspondence and Reports. -- 2001–2002.
  12. Board of Faith and Life. Divorce and Ministry. Correspondence and Reports. -- 2001–2002.
  13. Board of Faith and Life Study Conference. Spiritual Warfare. Articles and Correspondence. -- 2001–2002.
  14. Board of Faith and Life minutes and related documents. -- 1995.
  15. Board of Faith and Life minutes. -- 1996.
  16. Board of Faith and Life minutes. -- 1997.

 

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