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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
January 6, 2021

In this issue

E3 Prayer -- Invitation to Prayer
A Menno Minute
One Good Thing
Thank you!
Camp Valaqua Rentals
and more

Plus... updates from our wider faith communities
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E3 = MCA 
Year 1  Christ in life


Our E3 Prayer

As this New Year unfolds, use my hands and feet, oh God, to bring your message of caring to those around me


Please also remember in your prayers those in our congregations for whom Covid-19 is much more than a daily statistic.
Pray for renewed health for those who are ill and comfort for those who are grieving.












Brenda Tiessen-Wiens, Moderator, MCA

A Prayer for the New Year

God, who makes all things new,

In this season of looking back and looking forward,

we are grateful.

We are grateful for your presence that we have learned to trust, even when sitting alone,

for your love that warms our hearts at each first glimpse of a loved one on our laptops,

for the adventure you spark in our spirits each time we experiment with something new.

 

God who makes all things new,

we release the past.

We release the tears we’ve shed

for people who shaped our lives and are now gone,

and for the times we said “goodbye” without closure.

We let go of the spaces in our lives

that were meant to be filled with dreams and experiences

that didn’t happen.

Give us the courage to turn to those empty spaces

and to prepare them to be filled again.

 

God who makes all things new,

you give us hope!

We anticipate the return of the things we love:

hearing our voices, lifted together in song,

smiling with our mouths and not just our eyes,

laughing with friends until we cry,

the touch of a hand-shake,

working together in person, through struggles and achievements,

the peace that fills us when we are together as your people.

 

God who makes all things new,

help us to embrace the new.

Open our eyes to a future that will look different than the past.

May we grow through and be changed by these strange times.

Help us to see the cracks where opportunities linger,

and to trust each other as we take another step into the unknown.

 

God of all time and space,

make us new.


 

One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing.  

Joyce Baergen, Holyrood Mennonite

One Good Thing is God blesses us and gives us joy in our family.  Our daughter and son-in-law blessed us with our first grandchild, a granddaughter 18 months ago and blessed us with another beautiful granddaughter this Christmas season.  After many years of prayer, God touched our son in a special way, he accepted Christ in his life, was baptized on the first Sunday of Advent, and he completed the coursework at NAIT and is now a Journeyman in Plumbing/Pipefitting. 
                                                                                                                                
Thank you
from Danika Warkentin, MCA Student bursary recipient

My experience at Canadian Mennonite University has taught me just how deep and diverse the faith community truly is. This past semester has meant meeting new people, taking part in discussions about topics that matter, and learning to embrace new perspectives. I found myself in a circle of individuals, each of whom carries a unique view of the world. I was able to explore and contemplate different perspectives with a listening ear, which pushed me to expand my own paradigm. It means a lot to me that Mennonite Church Alberta supports me in exploring these opportunities to push myself deeper into the mystery of faith. I feel encouraged, both financially and relationally, by my provincial church. Thank you for supporting me in embracing new opportunities and fulfilling my goals both as a student and as a pursuer of faith.


Itching to get out of the city for the weekend? A night?
Or maybe you want to do school with your kids in nature for the week.

Rental options and inquiries at www.campvalaqua.com/rentals

We're renting individual units to members of the same household.
No shared space due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

 Just 1 hour NW of Calgary. Starting at $50/night.
Get access to:
- Outdoor firepits
- Walking trails
- Cross country skis and trails (weather permitting)
- BBQ
And of course, NATURE'S BEAUTY ❄️
      Camp Valaqua meets Family Feud

Hello Mennonites! 
This year we will be changing our annual trivia night into a family feud evening. One of the categories we will be exploring is the answers to what Mennonites would say. You can help by filling out this short survey so that I can start collecting data. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScKAuDix8G_eq2hoNVeeocLX2VyTmztfyoPn5QresGGKXD6cg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Kevin Stoesz, Camp Valaqua board chair

Mennonite Church Canada’s annual report, “Looking Back on 2020,” is available through CommonWord at https://www.commonword.ca/ResourceView/83/10101
A one-page summary and full report are both available for congregational AGMs

Voices Together hymnal launch on Jan. 9, 2021 

Voices Together is holding a second hymnal launch this Saturday afternoon, Jan. 9, at 2 p.m. EDT, as a free three-hour webinar. Visit http://voicestogetherhymnal.org/2020/12/30/launch-event-ii/ to register for the Zoom link. 

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Join a February bookclub on Unsettling the Word 

How might we read the Bible so that it can be an instrument of reconciliation and decolonization? In partnership with the New Leaf Network, Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations is co-hosting a four-week book club on Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization. Join editor Steve Heinrichs, along with Indigenous authors and activists Cheryl Bear and Sylvia McAdam, for life-giving conversations on justice, faith, reparations, and healing. Borrow or order the book through CommonWord. For more info, and to register, click here

International Witness

 

Is your congregation interested in mutual faith learning with brothers and sisters around the globe? 
Join a Witness Support Network and connect with other congregations who support International Witness ministries. 
Five networks currently support ministry in China, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Burkina Faso. Learn more at www.mennonitechurch.ca/witness-support-networks

Vietnam believers celebrate 

Praise God for the Christmas celebrations and services held by the Evangelical Mennonite Church in Vietnam. Over 2,000 people attended multiple gatherings during Christmas week in six different counties. Pray for the leadership of these congregations and for the new believers that are worshipping with them.   

Peace in South Korea 

This month pray for Song Kang-ho, founder of Frontiers (a Christian-based peace organization), who is appealing a two-year sentence for trespassing onto a military base during a peaceful protest. Pray for Witness workers Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park as they support and provide study resources for the Christian peace community in South Korea. 

Outbreaks in China put student holidays at risk 

Pray that the students of Tobia Veith, in Harbin, China, are able to end the semester well before returning to their homes for the Chinese New Year holiday. Students under end-of-term exam pressure are worried about being caught in Harbin for the holiday due to COVID-19 outbreaks and a potential lockdown. Pray for Tobia as she provides support and a calm presence in their lives.   

UPDATED: Mennonite Church Canada congregations has reached it's goal of$40,000 to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!   

Thanks to everyone for helping to build up our global body of believers. 

RJC Online Open House & Friday Night Live - Friday, January 22 - Prospective students (grades 5-11) and families are invited to our online open house at 7:00pm. Learn more about our academic, dorm, athletics, and music programs. Following the open house will be our annual Friday Night Live student coffee house at 8:00pm. Enjoy the evening from the comfort of your own home! Please register by email to admissions@rjc.sk.ca or call (306) 232-4222. 

RJC Early Application Incentive - New students who apply for Fall 2021 by February 1 will receive $500 off their tuition! Apply online at rjc.sk.ca/apply

Together in Worship launches in collaboration with CommonWord 

Together in Worship, at www.togetherinworship.net, is an online, curated collection of free and downloadable Anabaptist worship resources. It’s also a place where contributors can submit their own resources to be shared by the wider Anabaptist and ecumenical community. Read full story here.    Link also under Congregational Resources on the MCA website 

Update: The creators of this online space are excited for it's possibilities.
From Darryl Neustaedter Barg "I'm hoping it will develop some creative energy in our communities once we can move past the initial stages of creation. "  He referred to Together in Worship as "a place for creativity to live."

.                                            
 

Epiphany 

Resources for the season between Christmas and Lent – www.commonword.ca/go/2212 

CommonRead conversation with author MIchael McRay 

Join us for a conversation with CommonRead author Michael McRay, Thursday, January 14 at noon, Eastern.  Register here - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPZBTRx9nS6-7lWcndIlpLtD__hKmWFuWh1gVOGZ_SimmaEg/viewform. Our winter 2021 CommonRead title – www.commonword.ca/go/2215. 20% off when purchasing five or more copies! 

 New Peaceful at Heart study guide 

 

A new companion study guide for Peaceful at Heart, Anabaptist Reflections on Healthy Masculinity – free to download at www.commonword.ca/go/2224. Watch for additional resources, including free audio book and video interviews, in the coming months. 

Calendar 

 

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

See the MCA website for up-to-date Covid-19 information as it impacts our worshiping together.

Have a story to tell? One Good Thing to share? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
Email communications@mcab.ca
MCA Calendar

March 20/21, 2021                           Annual Delegate Sessions -- via ZOOM
     
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