Members of the Boissevain MB Church have been discussing a name change for quite some time, and through the process of deliberating on a new name they have embraced Living Hope Community Church, this to be more sensitive to the cultures and nationalities of their community and congregation, to be more welcoming.

The Mennonite Brethren Church began with the majority of its members having a Mennonite (German-Dutch) heritage. But that congregational landscape has changed significantly in most MB churches over the past two decades including the Boissevain church.

"That was kind of the reasons behind the changes was that there are a lot of people who don't have that same Mennonite heritage and yet they're here and they are part of us as much as anybody else," shares lead pastor, Geoff Unrau. "So, part of the change was just recognizing that and wanting those folks who are feeling this was their home, that this truly could be their home as much as anybody else's."

Geoff Unrau had been youth pastor with the church for 14 years, and as senior pastor for the past 12 years.

Unrau says the conversations surrounding the name change took place over a good stint of time with a committee formally heading up the initiative.  "The conversations within the church were very good. There were some different opinions which is always good I think, and we listened to each other, and by the end of it all it felt like we were on the same page. People were encouraged together."

"After the final meeting everyone stuck around for quite a while and sat around the tables and had good conversation together," he adds. "So, it felt good. It felt like we had made the decision together as a community and recognized not that we were losing our heritage in anyway, but recognized why we would make a change like this."

The newly named Living Hope Community Church typically sees about 120 people congregate on any Sunday morning.  

Unrau says the name, 'Living Hope' speaks to the need for hope today in our world of struggles and challenges.  As well, it speaks to Jesus, who is our Living Hope.

Please listen to more with Pastor Geoff Unrau below!

Unrau adds they are currently waiting for feedback from Canada Revenue Agency before signage, letterheads, etc can be completed.