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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
June 24, 2020

Headlines

A Menno Minute    E3 Celebration  •  YA Week 6   •  MC Canada AGM  •  Help Double the Donation for MWC  •  Online Sunday service  •  International Witness Sunday
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A Menno Minute

by June Miller
 

It's "Dasvidaniya", not "Paka"


It was about this time of year, the summer of 1996, when I had to say goodbye to friends in Russia. After three years, that day at the train station was a tearful goodbye. I knew I may never see them again, but they will forever be in my heart.

Zoom ahead 24 years. I'm again having to say goodbye to precious people in my life. Most I will see again, but still, tearful. To say I'm blessed by or thankful for my Alberta and Canada family is like calling the ocean a glass of water. Being the MCA Communications Coordinator has really been a dream job for me. As the first Communicator, I had a chance to experiment and create; to participate in the bigger vision; to help form the first nationwide communications team; and more.  I love the work, but it's truly the people that the difference. Brenda & Tim, it's been and honor* to work beside you. To the pastors, the executive, and committees, I'm challenged by your passion. To the NatComm team & Doug, you are inspiring and the best teammates I could have.

In Russian, the way friends say "good-bye" is "пока́" (paka). It's informal and usually reserved for close friends. But that summer day in 1996, I was corrected. "It's not 'пока́'" (paka). "It's 'до свида́ния!'" (Dasvidaniya, the formal version) - "until we meet again."

"13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you."  3 John 13-14

So for now, I raise my cup to you. до свида́ния!

June

*I have to practice my American English.

MCA Representative to Joint Council

Issue #8
 

Over thirty years ago, I moved to Calgary to teach at Menno Simons Christian School. I moved here from a teaching job in Mississauga and was often asked for a comparison of western and eastern Canada: which did I like better?   My answer was that I have family and friends, of whom I am very fond, in both the west and the east.  One of the aspects that excites me greatly about serving as Alberta Representative to Mennonite Church Canada's Joint Council is the opportunity to be part of a group that brings together all parts of Canada, east west south north.  As a group, we strive to discern the mission of the church and to facilitate its implementation.

As you might imagine, discussions with a group that has such a wide range of representation is not always easy or cohesive.   Numerous discussions involve representing as many viewpoints as possible from the regions in which we each live.  Communication that is open and respectful of the variety of people within the faithful church is vital.   With openness to God and to each other, commonalities do emerge over the course of the meetings.   Together, on Joint Council, we hope to align our visioning and goals with God's movement of reconciliation locally and worldwide.

The structure of Mennonite Church Canada is based on congregations: agenda setting at the national level is to come from the ideas and needs of the congregations in each of the regions.  When the opportunity arises for congregants to express viewpoints, through questionnaires or in discussions at meetings or other gatherings, please do consider contributing.  While direction setting is done as a group, the wisdom of the individual has great merit in enhancing the whole.  I am pleased to be representing this wonderful province, Alberta, on the Joint Council of Mennonite Church Canada.

Margaret Kruger-Harder
MCA Representative to Joint Council

Donate today

E3=MCA: Year 1 - Christ in life

God, may I embody your love in all I say and do.

Share a story or reflection

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 worship service Sept 27. There will be a worship outline and resources available soon. Watch for further information in the coming weeks.
Week 6 of 6

Assets based community development

Sundays at 2 pm

FINAL session

Engaging the culturally "other."
a six-week Young Adult discussion; hosted by Camp Valaqua and North Edmonton Ministry







Jun 28 Assets based community development.

Register and join! Last Sunday is June 28. The event is free, but you do need to register by clicking the link below.
Read more

MCA Invitation to Morning & Evening Prayer


Congregants from across MCA are invited to join us on Zoom for morning and evening prayer, which began June 15, 2020. We will be participating in morning prayer on Monday’s 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
More Info

Phase 2: Reopening Strategy

Now in Stage 2 of Alberta's relaunch strategy, MCA encourages caution, careful assessment, and preparations before congregations decide to reopen.

  1. Take time to discern together.
  2. Take the time to ensure readiness before opening.
  3. Share the work.
  4. Share the responsibility.
  5. If you decide to delay reopening,

Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash
 

Student Bursary Application

Submission Deadline is July 31, 2020.
Extended dates
The Hike-a-thon is back on!

Join us in collecting pledges and go on a hike between June 13th and July 13th (although if you collect pledges and hike before or after that, you will not be disqualified from incentives). Details and registration: www.campvalaqua.com/events/hike-a-thon-2020/

                 P/T Youth Worker Wanted


Foothills Mennonite Church is seeking to hire a part-time Youth Worker to plan and implement youth
programs and service opportunities, and to foster spiritual growth and discipleship in Junior and Senior
High youth.
Qualifications include:
  • baptism and a commitment to Anabaptist/Mennonite faith and practice
  • strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • some post-secondary education
  • group leadership experience with youth aged 12-18
IT skills, musical abilities, and administrative experience would be an asset.

This is a 1-year term position, quarter-time to half-time, depending on the applicant and their
qualifications. Interested individuals may reply by email to: The Chair,  office@foothillsmennonite.ca, OR by mail to: 2115 Urbana Rd, NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2B9. Deadline for applications is June 30, 2020.


Guest House Reopening July 1



Beginning July 1, 2020 the Foothills Mennonite Guest House will begin accepting guests who are visiting/supporting family members or loved ones in Hospital. We will be limiting guests to one family (cohort) unit at a time.

The Guest House will be thoroughly cleaned when guests leave and before new guests are able to come in.  Preference will be given to guests needing a stay of 3 days or longer.  

For detailed information regarding operating  details during this re-opening phase and bookings please contact the Foothills Mennonite Guest House at 403-282-7101.

AIMM seeks new Executive Director

Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission welcomes applications for position of Executive Director. Applications are due July 15, 2020. For information, visit http://www.aimmintl.org/executive-coordinator-search.

Mennonite Church Canada AGM, June 27, 2020, 11 a.m., CST via Zoom.

Email communications@mcab.ca to register: A link to the zoom meeting and the financial documents will follow.

Help double the donation - Mennonite World Conference


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.

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

 

Beginning June 12,  Alberta moved into Stage 2 of its relaunch strategy. MCA continues to recommend caution. Congregations may hold worship services as long as they follow all distancing requirements and guidelines outlined for worship gatherings and for businesses. Watch for Stage 2 updates: https://www.alberta.ca/restrictions-on-gatherings.aspx.
 
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.
               


Online Service

June 28, 2020: Mennonite Church Canada weekly worship service

Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond, B.C. will guide our nationwide community of faith in worship as we gather this Sunday, June 28. The life of faith is not always a straight, upward line, but often a journey marked by victory, failure and restoration. Lead Pastor Winston Pratt will introduce a new sermon series, “When Heroes Fall,” which highlights God’s grace in our weakness, focusing on Gen. 12:10-20. Available at https://www.mennonitchurch.ca/worshipservices and our YouTube channel

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.  


Stories, Events, Announcements?
communications@mcab.ca


MCA Calendar
Jun 13 - Jul 13       Hike-a-thon
June 27        MC Canada AGM
Jun 28          Young Adult Series: Engaging the culturally "other." Week 6
Jul 31           Application deadline for MCA Student Bursary
Sept 27        E3 Celebration & Commitment Service
Oct 18          International Witness Sunday
Oct 22 - 24   MC Canada Study Conference - Online
Oct 31          Christian-Muslim Dialogue

International Witness


Vietnamese Mennonite church trains 10 pastors 

Praise God for the week-long pastoral training in mid-June taught by leaders of the Evangelical Vietnamese Mennonite Church (EVMC).  About 10 pastors gathered to study, pray and fellowship together.  Pray for the president of EVMC, Rev. Hong Thi Nguyen, as she gives leadership to this group of congregations and develops resources for pastoral training.   


Remembering 70 years of war and working for peace 

Pray for Witness workers, Sook Kyoung Park and Bock Ki Kim as they work with others in South Korea to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean war on June 25.  Pray that the message of peace and reconciliation, through Jesus, Prince of Peace, will bring healing to people caught in this 70-year conflict.   


Prayer request for the Veiths and MPC 

As political and economic tensions between Canada and China increase, pray for George and Tobia Veith, Witness workers in China, and the Mennonite Partners in China program.  Pray that God strengthens their bonds of friendship, common purpose and fellowship with church and education partners in the country.   


Prayer request for AIMM executive coordinator search 

Pray that God will lead in the search for a new executive coordinator of the Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission partnership. Pray that the international search committee gives wise council during this process.   


News from Mennonite Church Canada Palestine and Israel Network 

Israel to annex Palestinian territory in West Bank 

Israel’s government has announced it will begin annexing significant parts of the Palestinian territory of the West Bank. The Palestinian people, including Christian partners of Mennonite organizations, are concerned that this violation of international law will further deepen the dire human rights abuses, land expropriation and economic injustice experienced under Israeli military occupation since 1967. Pray for Palestinians, Israelis and advocates around the world who promote a durable and just peace, with equal rights and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians alike, using what Palestinian Christians call “the logic of love.” 

Prayer: God of peace and justice, you have created all people in your image to serve both Creator and creation in love. We lift up the people of Israel and Palestine on the eve of the threatened annexation in the West Bank. May all recognize that the “earth is the Lord’s” (Psalm 24:1), and that the forced acquisition and use of the land by one people at the expense of another is far from your will. Strengthen and give courage to those who speak your truth to the powers of this world. Protect the weak and the dispossessed. May your people shine the light of your love and care for this troubled but “holy” land. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Amen. 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS 


Make June a Jubilee!  

June is Indigenous History Month—a time to intentionally reflect on Indigenous-Settler relationships both past and present; a time to grow in right relations with host peoples and the lands in which we live. To learn more about how we can pursue paths of decolonization visit www.commonword.ca/go/1512. This month all proceeds will go to Mennonite Church Canada’s Jubilee Fund, which supports Indigenous communities repairing and renewing relationships with ancestral lands (see www.commonword.ca/go/2042). 
 

EFC makes commitment to ”relations based in justice” with Indigenous Peoples 

Imagine evangelicals across Canada walking in costly solidarity with Indigenous Peoples to pursue “relations based in justice”! The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has just made an amazing seven-part commitment to pursue this dream: a dream that Elijah Harper (Cree Member of Parliament) originally put before us in the 1995 Sacred Assembly, a dream that Evangelicals (including Mennonite leaders) said “Yes” to 25 years ago. To learn more about the EFC’s commitment, see: https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/IndigenousRelations

Prayer: Please pray for the EFC’s Indigenous-Settler Relations Working Group as they discern how this profound commitment can be implemented (ISR director Steve Heinrichs is a part of this working group). 


“Listen to the oppressed: stories from conflict centres around the world” 

Mennonite Church Canada writer Katie Doke Sawatzky spoke with Christian Peacemaker Teams’ program support coordinators this spring about their work and why the church needs to more actively support non-violent peacemaking. Read the full article here

Worship Calendar 

  

Jul 30         International Day of Friendship - https://www.commonword.ca/go/771 

Aug 6         Hiroshima Day - https://www.commonword.ca/go/772 

Sept 20      International Peace Sunday – www.commonword.ca/go/169   

Sept 30      Orange Shirt Day – www.commonword.ca/go/764 

Oct 4         World Communion Sunday – www.commonword.ca/go/1439 


The pandemic should not mean a lack of reading material.  Check out the new www.commonword.ca – your national online bookstore and resource centre with Anabaptist resources on COVID-19, anti-racism, and much more - to buy, borrow or access online.  All loan items ship free.   
 

2020 Summer Reading List 

Check out our 12th annual summer reading list – www.commonword.ca/go/2089.  Recommended titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket during the warmer months! Tip: These, and other titles, can be bundled together for an extended loan period with our Cheaper by the Dozen program. 
 

CommonWord launches new website 

On June 1 CommonWord launched a new website at www.commonword.ca that is mobile-friendly, easily searchable, and beautifully designed!  We are thrilled to offer this gift to the church and university communities, and the wider public – and invite you to take a peek, especially if you’ve never visited us before.  Our goal is to make Anabaptist and related resources easily found for the pastor and the parishioner, the student and the casual reader – and have them available in multiple forms:  to buy, borrow or access online.    

 

Anti-Racism Resources 

In this time of overt racial tensions (in the US ... and in Canada ... and confessionally, in ourselves), we humbly offer these resources - biographies, group studies, worship services, biblical retellings - to inspire us toward true reconciliation and love of neighbour.  See www.commonword.ca/go/2054
 

COVID-19 Resources 

Resources to help communities of faith live well in this time of pandemic.  See https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/outbreakresources 
 

June is Indigenous History Month; make June a Jubilee! 

June is Indigenous History Month—a time to intentionally reflect on Indigenous-Settler relationships both past and present; a time to grow in right relations with host peoples and the lands in which we live. We encourage everyone to pick up a great book—like Chelsea Vowel’s “Indigenous Writes”, or Barker and Lowman’s “Settler” or other reads—to learn more about how we can pursue paths of decolonization.  

Purchase any of the following Indigenous-Settler Relations resource—including “Unsettling the Word” and the "TRC Trilogy"—and all proceeds, during the month of June, will go to the Jubilee Fund which supports Indigenous communities who are repairing and renewing relationships with ancestral lands. 

 

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