“For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:10
Each musician held his breath, waiting for the conductor’s gesture. The languid wait for the first note filled the air with hope. As soon as the conductor gave the signal, all the wind instruments began to play a melodious and perfectly synchronized harmony. The precise beat signaled by the baton balanced the mass of sounds. The performance had begun.
Just as a conductor, God has directed some Churches to perform their most beautiful music, a melody contributing to change the world.
The Creator plants powerful ambitions in our conscience and sometimes allows the dreamers to see these become reality during their lifetime. Such is the case with Daniel Marcoux and a few young pastors inspired by the Master Conductor. Two dreams were being woven independently and none of the hearts concerned could have imagined the story’s outcome.
It was on March 15th 2002 that Daniel Marcoux, pastor of the Église Baptiste Évangélique de Chomedey, shared with his congregation for the first time of his profound desire to work in collaboration with the local churches and pastors. He was expecting a favorable reply from the members of his Church, but there was no reaction. He prayed that the fruits of his calling would be harvested in his lifetime, or at the latest by the next generation.
Fifteen years later, a small seed of hope grew from this aspiration during a conversation between a few young pastors. Participating at an American conference in January 2017, Matthieu Giguère (Église Baptiste Évangélique de Terrebonne-Mascouche), Jacob Mathieu (Église Baptiste Évangélique de Saint-Jérôme, Ecclésia) and Jean-Christophe Jasmin (Église Évangélique Baptiste de Pointe-aux-Trembles, Union) were discussing projects, challenges and disciple-training in their Churches. One thing became evident from their passionate conversation: everyone was experiencing similar challenges and hoped to share the Gospel more effectively. Their solitude weighed on them, and the idea of working together seemed to open a window that had been long shut.
It is estimated that more than one and a half million people live without Jesus in the Laval, Lanaudière and Laurentian regions of Quebec. The young pastors calculated that it would require the conversion of 45,000 people in order to achieve a total of 3% declaring themselves as Christians! This ambitious dream for Christ seemed utopian and impossible! Alone and anchored in a single vision, one Church could not reach such a large population. With a great feeling of urgency, everyone desired the Gospel to be proclaimed on the North Shore.
Just as wind instruments play into the music of the string instruments in an orchestral presentation, the idea caught on and grew collegiality . Like a clash of cymbals marks a culminating moment of a concert, the four North Shore Churches created a group called La Cité.
The first initiative of La Cité was the connection of Daniel Marcoux, now pastor in Sainte-Thérèse, to a small group in the Terrebonne-Mascouche Church. He was able to share his experiences and gifts with a group of men struggling with addiction. Participants appreciated his contributions, knowledge and shepherd’s heart. Lives were transformed for God’s glory.
A second step was taken as Jonathan Labelle, pastor at the Terrebonne-Mascouche Church, trained the leaders of the Churches of Saint-Jérôme, Sainte-Thérèse and Mascouche on missional communities. A dynamic and passionate pastor, Jonathan encouraged the members of these Churches to consider themselves on mission in their neighborhood as he delivered a practical study on the subject.
Another collaboration born from La Cité is the mission trip organised by the Saint-Jérôme Church to serve the Inuit community of Uashat in Sept-Îles. Last May, the Pointe-aux-Trembles Church joined them in this endeavor.
A piece played by a brass ensemble is magnificent and fills us with emotion. The drums resonate and make our hearts beat. The woodwinds lead our imagination to sublime places. However, nothing is greater than a majestic symphony bringing all these instruments together.
The Master Conductor declares: let the symphony begin! Let all the Churches come and serve together and leave us breathless, for the glory of the King of Kings.