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Press Releases

January 17, 2003


TORONTOConnexions 2003, the first annual national partnership training conference for Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical Christian ministry leaders, will be held in Mississauga, January 30 - February 1, 2003.

The three-day conference will train top executive leaders from Christian organizations across Canada, in the theory and techniques of developing innovative, dynamic and mutually beneficial partnering alliances.

"For years, corporate leaders have been using strategic alliances to build their businesses," said David Duncan, Chair of the Steering Committee for Connexions 2003, and Distribution Manager at the Canadian Bible Society, the organization responsible for initiating the event. "Now Church leaders are exploring how to apply similar strategies to expand the kingdom of God," he added.

Duncan explained why Connexions 2003 will be an important step for ministry leaders wanting to delve into partnership possibilities. "As Christian leaders, we need the type of training opportunity Connexions 2003 will provide, so that when we do enter into these kinds of partnerships, they become mutually beneficial, productive and don't have any negative fallout as such situations sometimes do. Occasionally when partnerships form, there is a win/lose situation. But in true partnerships, there should be a win/win result."

"Connexions 2003 promises to deliver the tools needed to ensure all our partnerships become win/win. It will also be a hands-on, interactive, networking opportunity. We anticipate a lot of out-of-the-box type thinking," Duncan added. "And we hope to see the conference develop into an annual occurrence."

The following organizations are partnering to plan Connexions 2003: The Canadian Bible Society, Canadian Council of Churches, Catholic Biblical Association of Canada, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, The Salvation Army (Canada and Bermuda), Scripture Union and Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada. Sponsors include: Augsburg Fortress Canada, Cook Communications Canada, Etherington's and World Vision Canada.

Garland Hoel, Eastern Regional Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada and a member of the conference Steering Committee commented, "For Christian ministry to have the type of holistic approach that it should, a co-operative effort is required in many situations. Connexions 2003 participants will come away with concrete methods for establishing strategic partnerships to enhance the effectiveness of their ministry endeavours."

Colley Jackson a committee member from the Salvation Army said "the broad range of Christian ministries represented will allow for truly innovative partnership potential."

Another committee member, Aileen Van Ginkel, is the Director, Centre for Ministry Empowerment with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. She said, "This conference comes at a time when many Christian leaders are looking for ways to work with others. We're hoping they will leave with a firm grasp of the principles for partnership development, in order to lay solid foundations for on-going partnering in future."

To date, 90 Canadian Christian leaders representing 63 different organizations have registered for the conference.

Keynote speakers will be Archbishop Marcel Gervais of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ottawa and former chair of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dr. Don Posterski, Director of Church Relations for World Vision Canada and Rev. Gary Walsh, President of Interdev and former President of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Sr. Jocelyn Monette, Executive Director of Catholic Biblical Association and The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches will deliver devotional addresses.

The steering committee is pleased to introduce Interdev, an international Christian partnership development organization, as the presenter of ministry partnership principles. Interdev representatives will also lead the registrants in several partnership exploration workshops.

Connexions 2003 will be held at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel and Conference Centre, 6750 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario.

To register, or for more information, visit the conference Web site at: www.connexions2003.ca.


David Duncan, Chair of Steering Committee
Connexions 2003
(Day) 416-757-4171 (x241), (Night) 905-619-6971
/ www.connexions2003.ca

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