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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
July 29, 2020

Headlines

E3 Prayer  A Menno Minute  MC Canada Online Sunday Service An Invitation to Prayer  
Volunteers Needed  • 90 Seconds of Nature  •. And more!

Coming up
  E3 Celebration  •  International Witness Sunday
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E3=MCA: Year 1 - Christ in life


Our E3 Prayer

Oh God, encounter me and help me notice you beside me, even as I isolate from so many people around me.

A Menno Minute














Pastor Ryan Dueck, Lethbridge Mennonite Church

The Practice of Writing

Henri Nouwen once had this to say about the practice of writing: 

Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write. Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be “redeemed” by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.  (Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Writing to Save the Day”)

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to write—certainly long before I would have considered it anything like a “spiritual discipline.” When I was in graduate school in early 2007, I jumped into the then relatively new world of blogging. It was a good way for me to “claim what I had lived.” And I was enormously gratified to see that what was life giving for me also connected with others. 

I’ve been blogging for over thirteen years now. I’ve been a pastor for twelve. Occasionally I’m asked how I navigate those two parts of my world. Do I feel pressure to write “pastorally” on my blog? Do I say things on my blog that I wouldn’t say from the pulpit? Do I hold back or worry about what members of my congregation might say if they read my blog? The short answer to each of these questions would be “maybe occasionally, but not really.” 

I certainly feel a bit more freedom in writing online than in speaking, but these are different tasks for different contexts, in my view. I do keep members of my congregation in mind when I write on my blog because I know that some of them do read, but I’m proud to say that I have a pretty intellectually engaged and curious congregation that isn’t averse to hard questions or even a bit of irreverence now and again. Occasionally what I write can be a springboard into some interesting conversations in our community. 

For a good chunk of my blogging career, I asked myself one question before I pressed “publish.” Am I ok with my grandmother reading this? I knew I could count on her to read pretty much every word I ever wrote (and to not hold back on correcting my theology or my grammar!). My grandmother is no longer with us, but I still think of her when I write online. I do this not so much as a litmus test for what I decide to publish but as a reminder to emulate her character, to seek to write with integrity, curiosity, and honesty. 

And I am convinced there is value pastorally in “claiming what I have lived” in a publicly accessible way. Perhaps it will encourage and embolden others to do the same.  

 

.           
 

Online Service        
Mennonite Church Canada weekly worship service 
Sherbrooke Mennonite Church in Vancouver, B.C., will share their service with our nationwide community of faith this Sunday, Aug 2.  Pastor Kevin Barkowsky reflects on Matthew 11:1-6 with the message “Liminal Spaces and Desert Places.”
Why does God send His people into the desert? Many times in life, well thought-out plans fall to pieces in a heap. Humbled and frustrated, we are not happy. Aren’t followers of Jesus supposed to get what we pray and plan for?
 
See https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices for the link or watch on our YouTube channel
 
Construction Volunteers Needed! 
 Calgary Chin Christian Church's renovation project continues to progress! As you can see, the walls are up and the space is humming with electricians and plumbers. The congregation would welcome volunteers for the next steps -- particularly taping, mudding and painting.
Email Peter at calgarychinchurch@gmail.com for details.
As many of their congregants were laid off due to Covid, they would also appreciate donations to their building fund. Donations accepted via https://calgarychin.mcab.ca/
 
Do you have a favourite worship service to share?

After over 4 months of being "scattered" as we heard from First Mennonite Edmonton last week, our MCA congregations have produced more recorded worship services than anyone ever imagined they would. As you think about these, is there one from your congregation that stands out, that you would love to share with the rest of the MCA community? If so, check with your local leadership and pass the link on to communications@mca.ab.ca to be included in a future Communique. 
 

MCA Invitation
to Morning & Evening Prayer

(Click the photo for more information)

Congregants from across MCA are invited to join us on Zoom for morning and evening prayer.  We will be participating in morning prayer on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 am and evening prayer on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 pm for about 15-20 minutes, using Take Our Moments and Our Days. Register online at mcab.ca/events
90 Seconds of Nature  (or... Jon talks about deer poo)    
Again this week -- a little winter to cool us off!
Thanks Jon!
Click on Jon for a link to the video.
(originally published on Instagram).                                                  

                                                        Save the Date! Sept 27

         
E3 Celebration and Commitment Service

MCA is asking all congregations to include MCA’s E3 theme,
“Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ in Life”  
in your September 27 worship service.

There will be a worship outline and resources available soon.

 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS 

For the Love of Creation 

Churches and faith organizations across Canada have recently come together to pursue climate justice by forming an initiative called, “For the Love of Creation.” The goal is to facilitate climate conversation through theological reflection, congregational engagement and political advocacy. The most recent opportunity for action is a parliamentary petition calling on the Government of Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and to honour Indigenous rights, particularly around energy and infrastructure development. Learn more and sign the petition



If you missed the recent webinar hosted by Mennonite Church BC
for the recording, click here
“Living the Declaration: A Webinar on Indigenous Rights.” 
 


Help double the donation -
Mennonite World Conference


Updates available soon!

Mennonite Church Canada donates $50,000 to Mennonite World Conference for COVID-19 relief fund; asks constituents to match or exceed donation. To contribute to the MWC relief fund please go to mcab.ca/giving.
SAVE THE DATE:

International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020

Mennonite Church Canada International Witness invites congregations across our nationwide community of faith to celebrate International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020. Come prepared to give, learn and get involved with International Witness ministries. To help church leadership prepare for this day, promotional material and worship resources, such as readings, prayers and music, will be made available in August. For more information contact the IW Communications committee via jhanson@mennonitechurch.ca or go to https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/international-witness.
               

International Witness

Terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso 

Evangelical Mennonite Church of Burkina Faso asks us to pray for them as they continue to suffer terrorist attacks. Pray for protection, for the resolution to this conflict and for political stability. Mennonite Church Canada partner Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission supports the church in Burkina Faso through community outreach and leadership development.   

COVID-19 awareness project reaches many churches in Congo 

Evangelical Mennonite Church of Congo asks us to thank the Lord for the success of COVID-19 education workshops, which reached many of the local churches. Mennonite World Conference and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission provided funds for the project. Thank you for your support for these projects.   

Witness workers in China finish school year from home 

Praise God for another year of teaching in China for Tobia Veith.  She finished her classes and exams online from home. Pray for George and Tobia as they travel in China to visit Anabaptist study groups to encourage and collaborate on resource development.   

Mennonite Church Canada Study conference goes virtual on October 24, 2020 

Table Talk: Does the church still have legs? 


a virtual one-day conference with Sara Wenger Shenk

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for "“Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship. For more information, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/tabletalk2020.  

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

See the MCA website for Phase 2 Reopening information. 
 


Stories, Events, Announcements?
communications@mcab.ca


MCA Calendar
Sept 27        E3 Celebration & Commitment Service
Oct 18          International Witness Sunday
Oct 22 - 24   MC Canada Study Conference - Online
Oct 31          Christian-Muslim Dialogue
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