Ontario Conference News







Ontario Conference News (OCN) 






Thursday, August 3, 2023 




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Ontario Conference Responds to Trudeau's Separation




As it was mentioned yesterday in the news that the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire will be separating after 18 years of marriage, the president of the Ontario Conference Jakov Bibulović called for a moment of prayer and reflection in the following statement:

“As we reflect on the headline news regarding the Prime Minsterwe should pray for all families that that are going through crisis and separation and ask for wisdom to keep our marriages strong and harmonious. We need more than ever Divine empowerment of the Holy Spirit to keep our families together and keep our church families united.

There is a trusted and true saying: “Families that pray together stay together.”

If your family is in crisis or needs marital support, please reach out to your local pastor or the Ontario Conference for counselling and other resources to assist you.

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media





Ontario Conference Bids Farewell to a beloved pastor after 48 years of devoted service




Sunday, the 29th, marked a poignant moment for the Ontario Conference as the congregation at Toronto East gathered for a special program to bid farewell and honour Pastor Errol Lawrence, a man whose life has been dedicated to the service of God and His people for nearly 50 years. In this article we reflect on his remarkable ministerial journey.
Pastor Lawrence's ministry commenced in 1975 when he answered the Divine call to serve as a pastor in the South England Conference, London, U.K. Armed with a profound passion for God's Word, he then pursued his theological education at Newbold College, where he earned a BA in Theology. Further enriching his knowledge, he obtained a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry from Andrews University Theological Seminary, cementing his commitment to lifelong learning and spiritual growth.
Pastor Lawrence was ordained on March 8, 1980, which was the beginning of an international ministry. He served with unwavering dedication in congregations in the U.K. like Balham, Brixton, Battersea, Croydon, and the Monrovia district in Liberia. He also served in various departmental roles, including Communications, Stewardship, Health and  Family Ministries. Additionally, he served as an assistant to the president in the Liberia Mission, where he and his wife Pam served as missionaries for seven impactful years.
Throughout his career, pastor Lawrence's passion for evangelism shone brightly conducting evangelistic series in the U.K. as well as several in Monrovia (Liberia), Jamaica, Togo, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Philippines, and Cuba. His most memorable series was the Big Tent evangelistic series in 1978, held on Clapham Common, London, U.K. The success defied all the skeptics against public tent series. The success of that series was highlighted in the Division's report at the 1980 General Conference Session.
Pastor Lawrence was a man of many talents throughout his ministry including singing. He was once part of the male gospel quartet “The Golden Chords” that ministered to many churches in the U.K.
Amidst the joys of ministry, Pastor Lawrence encountered challenging moments that tested his faith. He faced danger when in Liberia during a coup d'état while he struggled to be evacuated out of the country.  During his mission service, he contracted malaria. Despite several treatments and days on an IV, his health deteriorated, and the doctor had grave concerns about his survival. A member from his local church came in and prayed fervently for Pastor Lawrence saying, “Lord, you have to heal our pastor because you did not bring him here to send him back home in a body bag."  Soon he experienced a miraculous recovery.
Upon moving to Canada he served at Apple Creek (1995-1998) and Burman University from 1998-2006  as chair of the Religion Department at Burman University. In that position, his students remembered him for his quotes. Two memorable ones were: "Pastoral Ministry is a call; not a career" and “If you are not a worker you are a shirker." Highlighting his view that pastoral ministry is a sacred work, and you are always working for the Lord.
He also served Ontario Conference as Ministerial Secretary from 2006-2013, lead pastor at Toronto West Church from 2013-2018, and finally as lead pastor at Toronto East Church.
Amidst his heartfelt expressions of gratitude, Pastor Lawrence extends special recognition to his wife Pam, “She has been a steadfast pillar of strength and support for 49 incredible years in marriage and ministry”, he states. He also celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of his four children (Abigail, Michaela, Anthony and Antonia), each pursuing unique paths of service and excellence.
Looking forward to his well-deserved retirement, pastor Lawrence plans to relax, reflect, and relish cherished moments with his family and grandchildren. He also aspires to write his memoirs and eagerly anticipates God's next chapter in his life.
Pastor Jakov Bibulović president of the Ontario Conference stated “As we celebrate pastor Errol Lawrence's retirement, we honor a life of dedication to God. His ministry has transformed countless lives, leaving a legacy etched in the hearts of all who have had the privilege of knowing him. Ontario Conference expresses our profound gratitude for his selfless service, and we wish him God's abundant blessings as he embarks on this new chapter of life.”

You can watch the full retirement service and tributes on Toronto East's YouTube channel.

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media





Adventurer Family Camporee Unites Over 500 Campers




The Adventurer Family Camporee, held from July 26th to July 30th, 2023, at Camp New Lowell, was a wonderful experience uniting over 550 campers under the theme "The Journey."

The camporee focused on the biblical character Joseph, whose journey of faithfulness served as a source of inspiration throughout the event. Despite experiencing diverse weather conditions, including windy nights that blew away tents and canopies, chilly evenings, hot and humid days, and a rainy Sabbath morning, the Adventurers demonstrated remarkable resilience and undeterred enthusiasm. Pastor Edwin Martin, director of Adventurers, Master Guides and Pathfinders at the Ontario Conference praised the talents and determination displayed by the Adventurers, likening their experiences to that of Joseph's faithfulness and courage. He commended parents and leaders for nurturing the Adventurers' sense of mission and dedication to Jesus.

Each day began with morning devotions led by Adventurer preachers, including Rianne Co from Mt. Zion Light Bearers and Jesther Migrino and her son from College Park Heaven’s Trail. The devotions were followed by various Award classes. In addition, the kids loved the morning show, "Joseph and Rameses," played by Gilbert Thomson and Richard Lewis and the Egyptian Marketplace and Museum.

Exciting daytime activities included the ever-popular bouncy castle and inflatable obstacle course, both of which constantly had eager and excited Adventurers lining up to take part. Organized games such as archery, water balloon toss, cup pyramid, and egg and spoon race added to the fun-filled atmosphere.

The highlight of the nighttime program was the drama musical presentation titled "Joseph’s Journey of Faithfulness." The cast delivered a phenomenal performance that captivated the audience.

Pastor Lyle Notice, Alberta Conference Youth Director, served as the guest speaker, sharing inspiring messages and captivating stories that excited and engaged the kids. His influence led to four Adventurers from the Toronto Spanish Adventurer Club making the decision to be baptized.

Despite rain on Sabbath morning, everyone participated in the procession with their club banners and flags. The Adventurer spirits could not be dampened, and many responded to the speaker's appeal to commit to a new journey with Christ.

Sabbath afternoon, the rain stopped and the sun came out allowing the Adventurers to enjoy the "Joseph’s Journey" treasure hunt and have photo opportunities with the Drama Cast members in their vibrant costumes.

Velma Morgan, Executive Coordinator of the Ontario Conference Adventurer Council, expressed her awe at witnessing the transformative power of Jesus within the Adventurers Ministry. She also praised God for the four Adventurers who were baptised and noted how it left a profound impact on all present.

If you missed the event the camporee will be available in a four-part series on the Ontario Adventurers' YouTube channel and Facebook page starting from Friday, August 4, 2023, at 7:30 pm.

If you would like your children to take part in an inspiring and life-changing event, be sure to mark your calendars for July 23-27, 2025, for the next camporee where the theme will be "Brave."

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media





When Power Fails, Faith Prevails: Ottawa Adventist Church's Sabbath Testimony




Last Sabbath, July 29th, the Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist Church faced an unexpected challenge when high winds, lightning, and thunder swept through the area, bringing down several trees and causing a power outage. Despite the circumstance, the church community rallied together to make ready for worship, resulting in a heartwarming and vibrant service.

As the electrical utilities worked to restore power with a forecasted timeline of 5 pm, church members immediately sprang into action. First, they notified the membership of the power loss through an emergency phone system that made robo-calls to all members who were given the option to attend the nearby Nepean Adventist church. However, in a remarkable display of dedication, members chose to come to their home congregation, resulting in a nearly full service.

Adapting to the lack of electricity, many members stepped forward to offer their assistance in ensuring the safety of everyone present and making the worship experience as vibrant as possible. Some members voiced their faith and enthusiasm, saying, as they listened to choirs singing acapella. "We may have no power, but we have the power of God." Others playfully remarked that "the atmosphere of worship was electric," reflecting on how members were in high spirits and a deep sense of togetherness.

Lead Pastor Robert Greaves, reflecting on the worship, said, "While we had a shortened service, it was wonderful! The music was vibrant, and the members were engaged and afterward, we all spent time in the parking lot, in fellowship and sharing our gratitude to the Lord."

Pastor Greaves also noted the powerful role of the Holy Spirit in bringing the church community together during this crisis. He said, “The adversity became an opportunity to adapt, demonstrate resilience, and give glory to God on His Sabbath day.”

At the end of the day, the Ottawa Seventh-day Adventist Church praised God for the positive outcome. Despite the high winds and power outage, there was no damage to the church building, no incidents among the members, and most importantly, the church family was brought even closer together in the worship of Jesus.

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media





Kanisa Fellowship's 20th Anniversary
Weekend Highlights




Kanisa Fellowship Seventh-day Adventist Church commemorated a significant milestone - its 20th anniversary. From July 21st to July 23rd, the congregation gathered for a jubilant weekend, rejoicing in two decades of faithful service, spiritual growth, and community impact.

Friday: A Homecoming Concert to Remember
The festivities commenced on Friday, July 21st, with a heartwarming Homecoming Concert at Kanisa Fellowship. Led by the talented Renee Rowe, the Worship Ensemble took the congregation on a musical journey back to 2003 with classic original songs that were birthed right in the church. The Junior Worship team, under the guidance of Kiara Picart, continued with their passionate worship and infectious energy leaving no doubt that the future of worship and praise at Kanisa Fellowship is in good hands.

The climax of the evening was the grand reunion of the Kanisa Community Choir. As dozens of voices united in harmonious praise, the congregation was reminded of how the Holy Spirit used the church to touch lives in and out of the church over the past two decades.

Saturday: A Day of Grateful Reflection
On Sabbath, pastor Frank Dell'Erba led the morning service. pastors Halsey Peat (director at the Ontario Conference),  John Scott (director at the Ontario Conference), Matthew Feeley, Mirthell Mitchell and Patrick Jacques,  former pastors who had faithfully served at Kanisa since its inception in 2003 shared warm greetings and stories about their times at the church.

There were also many moments of prayer and praise. The congregation was deeply moved by the expressions of praise shared by previous first Elder Earl Smith. This was followed by prayer by Elder Leila Seale who offered thanksgiving for what the Holy Spirit has done and asked for a spiritual renewal as the church carries its mission forward.

Dr. Wesley Knight, delivered a powerful sermon titled "This Is Not the Time!". His methodical and passionate exploration of the Word inspired the congregation and renewed their faith to re-commit to the church's mission.

Sunday: Fun and Fellowship for the Children
On Sunday, the celebration continued with a special focus on the children, who are at the heart of the church's future. In partnership with Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Kanisa family organized a fun-filled day of games, bouncy castles, art, live performances, fellowship, and free food.

As the 20th anniversary celebrations came to a close, the Kanisa Fellowship Adventist church family looked back on two decades of blessings, transformation, and spiritual growth. They now look forward to the next chapter of how they can bring more souls into the kingdom for Jesus and further impact the community for His glory.

Richard Picart
Communications Secretary
Kanisa Fellowship





Biker Blessing at Seventh-day Adventist Church Marks 14 Years of Fellowship and Safety




The spirit of camaraderie and a shared love for the open road filled the air as bikers from all directions converged at the Agape Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church for the 14th annual Biker Blessing. This time-honored tradition, initiated by Dave Lawrence over a decade ago, continues to draw more than 75 bikers and cyclists each year, celebrating the start of the riding season with a special blessing for their safety.

Under clear skies, each biker was warmly welcomed with smiles and embraces as they rode into the parking lot to the sounds of gospel music. The event fostered a sense of community, with riders from the east, west, north, and south exchanging stories and experiences as they parked their bikes and indulged in snacks.

The ceremony commenced with an opening prayer led by pastor Donville Cooper, the lead pastor of Agape Temple Church. Part of the ceremony focused on remembering fallen bikers as friends and families stood together in solidarity for a moment of silence. The names of those lost during the previous riding season were read aloud, honoring their memories and reinforcing the importance of safety on the open road.

The Alleyne Sisters graced the event with soul-stirring solos, reminding the bikers of God's presence and assurance during their journeys. Following the musical interlude, the bikers assembled in small groups to partake in personal prayers led by members of the church.

One of the most powerful moments of the day came when Angus, of the Creed Riding Network shared his life-changing testimony. While out riding one fateful day, he faced a harrowing situation that could have cost him his life. However, he spoke of how God kept him safe and expressed his thankfulness for His divine protection.

In a symbolic display of unity, all the bikers formed a massive circle around their motorcycles, while pastor Jayson Levy of Kendalwood Seventh-day Adventist Church closed the event with a prayer of blessing asking for God's protection and safety for all riders and their families throughout the riding season.

As the Biker Blessing concluded, the riders hit the open road, heading towards Uxbridge for ice cream. It was a perfect way to cap off the day of fellowship, faith, and gratitude.

The Annual Biker Blessing remains an essential outreach event for the Agape Temple Adventist Church and is sponsored by the Personal Ministries Department and organized by Melody McTaggart and Aundrea Belnavi.

Aundrea Belnavi
Communications Secretary
Agape Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church





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Ontario Conference
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Mission
To Reach Ontario and the world
with the distinctive, Christ-centered,
Seventh-day Adventist message
of hope and wholeness

The Vision
Connecting like Jesus






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