Abbotsford Ministerial Association
For a number of years, many of the ministers of Matsqui and Abbotsford met from time to time for mutual encouragement and cooperation; their association was called Matsqui-Abbotsford Ministerial Association (MAMA). In 1995, after Matsqui and Abbotsford amalgamated into a single city, MAMA was renamed the Abbotsford Ministerial Association (AMA). It was led by Henry C Born, retired missionary, pastor, and teacher. The updated mission statement affirmed that the purpose of the AMA was “to uphold the foundational scriptural principles of the historic Judaeo-Christian faith, relating these principles publicly to issues that affect the welfare of our community, and to convey the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Other stated goals were to encourage mutual fellowship, and to emphasize oneness in Christ amidst diversity. Membership was defined “by person rather than by church or organization.” In 2000, Rick Porter, senior pastor of Sevenoaks Alliance Church and then chair of the AMA, led his members through a name change to Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network (ACLN). The new name indicated the evolution of the organization from an assemblage of ministers to a gathering of Christian community leaders. The ACLN at this time (2013) meets monthly over lunch, advocates for a number of community issues, and hosts the annual Mayor`s Prayer Luncheon. Their mission strategy now includes “gathering together; teaching; fellowshipping; worshipping; praying; serving and sharing; adding to the church; and building favour with the whole city.” The ACLN has also been the venue of a growing concern for social issues such as homelessness and hunger.