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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family

April 1, 2020

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

In the current state of emergency and in accordance with health guidelines,

MCA urges the cancellation of all in-person congregational gatherings until further notice.

MCA will continue to reassess this recommendation as new information emerges.

Headlines

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A Menno Minute

by Brenda Tiessen-Wiens
Moderator, MCA

I clicked on the Zoom “join with video” button and was met by the familiar faces of Executive and staff members. Within seconds the doorbell was dinging and new faces were popping up on everyone’s computer screens. Zoom’s “waiting room” and “mute upon entry” settings hadn’t kicked in, which meant that with each new face, chatting multiplied. People who didn’t know each other started talking and introducing themselves, which quickly turned into, “Hey, we should say which church we’re from!” Within minutes people were re-naming themselves and adding that information.
 
I’ll remember this start to MCA’s 2020 delegate sessions for the spontaneous way that people engaged with each other and for the positive tone that it set from the moment each participant joined. This spirit of openness and willingness to explore a new format helped us to listen and see with new ears and eyes.
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Palm Sunday service

for our nationwide community of faith 

presented by churches of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan

As part of Mennonite Church Canada’s weekly sharing of worship services, Eigenheim Mennonite Church, together with Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, will collaborate this week to bring a service to our nationwide community of faith for Palm Sunday on April 5. Ryan Siemens, Executive Minister for MC Sask, will focus on Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11) and help prepare us to walk with Christ to the cross. Go to https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices to view the video this weekend.

NOTE: Every week you can find videos through this link

Weekly Worship for MC Canada

What's available?

Links and list of resources from across MC Canada can be found at mcab.ca/pandemic-prep.


 

INTERNATIONAL WITNESS 


Prayer request to ease fears in Thailand 

On March 26 Thailand declared a national state of emergency. People in the Issan province, where Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong are working, are afraid that closing businesses in Bangkok and other cities will send people back to their homes in the rural areas, further spreading COVID-19.  The Poovong family is practicing social distancing in their home and ministering to congregations and church leaders online and by phone. Tom asks for prayer that the hope that is within them will shine to those around them in this dark time.   


China churches reach out to help equip Canadian congregations 

Churches in China are praying for our Canadian congregations and offering their help as we begin to face what they have lived through in the last months. Praise God for the nearly daily messages of support and offers of masks and other protective gear from Mennonite Church Canada China ministry colleagues and friends, sent in the midst of the Canadian COVID-19 crises. Thank God for this global family of faith that walks together in times of difficulty and times of joy.   


Prayer for Witness workers in quarantine 

Pray for George and Tobia Veith in their second week of quarantine in a hotel within walking distance of their home in Harbin, China. Praise God that they arrived back in China before the borders were closed to foreigners. Pray that their work on creating on-line classes and resources for the church engage them while they wait to return home.   


Coffee for Peace affected by COVID-19 shutdown 

Pray for Witness worker Joji Pantoja as she makes decisions for her business, as CEO of Coffee for Peace.  “As a social entrepreneur, I have to think of our workers at Coffee for Peace Café and their needs,” Joji says. “I have to think of our workers at Malipayon Peace Hub as they sort our coffee so that in their struggles to make ends meet while under community quarantine, their families will still survive, will eat, and will stay healthy.” Read more from Joji and pray that God will give her wisdom and peace as she serves.  

Spring at CMU

an online event April 3

Due to COVID-19, our in-person Spring at CMU event has been canceled. However, we invite you to participate in a virtual, online take on Spring at CMU on April 3, 2020 from the comfort of your living room.

Join us for a virtual gathering—a 45-minute event, featuring music from the CMU Singers, sharing from graduating CMU students, and a celebration of the CMU Communications & Media program.

The presentation of the PAX award to Senator Dr. Mary Jane McCallum is postponed to a later date.

Date: Friday, April 3, 2020
Time: 7:00–7:45 PM

If you have questions about accessing this online event, or how to make the in-person donation you were planning to make on April 3, please call Julie Derksen at 204.594.0517 or visit the website

Jubilee Fund Praise 

Each year, Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Central Committee issue grants to Indigenous organizations seeking to rebuild and renew connections to the land. The grants come from the Jubilee Fund, created in 1992, the quincentennial of Columbus’ non-discovery of the Americas. Over the years, we’ve helped an incredible array of Indigenous communities with land-based education, healing programs, repatriation efforts and more. This year we give thanks for an opportunity to give to two initiatives seeking to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples together on the land, to learn traditional ways of relating to the world of which we are a part. Find out more about and give to the Jubilee Fund.

MCA Calendar

Apr 18           All Committee meeting, Zoom
Apr 28-30      Come Away - Pastor & Spouse retreat - Lord willing
May 22-23     MCC Sale - Cancelled
May 23-24     Joint Council
Jun 5-7,         MCA Women's Retreat - Lord willing
Jun 13           Camp Valaqua Hike-a-Thon - Lord willing
Jun 14           Camp Valaqua Garden Party - Lord willing
Oct 22 - 24    MC Canada Study Conference - Lord willing

Stories, Events, Announcements?
communications@mennonitechurch.ab.ca


The current climate around the COVID-19 virus has many of us feeling out of sorts. To help, CommonWord has put together a list of resources on pandemic preparedness and response that you can use to help you navigate this difficult time. We continue to update the list as congregations and organizations create new resources. Visit www.commonword.ca/go/1966.  

You can order resources through our Cheaper by the Dozen program, which allows congregations to borrow our resources for a longer loan period. Your congregation can also share the materials among members during the loan period. Visit www.commonword.ca/go/1584.

Mennonite Church Canada Director of Indigenous-Settler Relations Steve Heinrichs recently spoke about with Liam Miller of Australia’s “Love – Rinse/Repeat” podcast about editing the book Unsettling the Word. Steve speaks of his own journey with Scripture and decolonization, how the book came together, what surprised him in its compilation and how churches in settler-colonial contexts might start hard but necessary conversations. Visit www.commonword.ca/go/1970 to hear the podcast.  

As a part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 we have closed the physical CommonWord store to the public and have our team working from home. Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean a lack of reading material.  Our staff are still hard at work, making sure you receive the best resources. You can continue to contact us by phone or e-mail and we continue to ship resources to your door. Peace and good health to everyone during this time.

Worship Calendar: 

Apr 5      Palm Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1463  

Apr 7      World Health Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1324  

Apr 9      Maundy Thursday - www.commonword.ca/go/1462  

Apr 10     Good Friday - www.commonword.ca/go/1461  

Apr 12     Easter Sunday- www.commonword.ca/go/1460  

Apr 22     Earth Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1733  

May 15    International Day of Families - www.commonword.ca/go/1751 

May 21    Ascension Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1752 

May 31    Pentecost - www.commonword.ca/go/1759  

Jun 7       Trinity Sunday - www.commonword.ca/go/1769 

Jun 20     World Refugee Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1770  

Jun 21     National Indigenous Peoples Day - www.commonword.ca/go/1474  

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