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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
July 14, 2021

In this issue

Our E3 Prayer 
Prayer Updates
We continue to lament
A Menno MInute -- Suzanne Gross
Camp Camp CAMP!!!
Help wanted
Student Bursary Applications 
Employment Opportunity
and more... 

Plus... updates from MC Canada, ISR, International Witness, RJC and CMU, and CommonWord
(If this newsletter does not format properly as an email, please click the link above to view in your browser)
MCA Calendar
July 31 Deadline for Student Bursaries
September 25 Heritage Retreat A hybrid event -- both LIVE  and VIRTUAL

E3 = MCA             Year 2  Christ in Community

Our E3 Prayer

Oh God of the poor and oppressed, help us to walk alongside those who are suffering and add our voices to theirs in a call for your justice.

Updates for your prayers

Werner and Joanne De Jong
In early 2021 the Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia approached Mennonite Church Canada to explore ways to support the education and training of church leaders. These conversations led to an invitation for Werner and Joanne De Jong to serve as MC Canada Witness workers at the Meserete Kristos Seminary near Addis Ababa. Werner would teach courses so that existing Seminary professors could upgrade their own education, while Joanne would do some teaching and support activities for the Seminary and its students. While there is enthusiasm for this Witness ministry to proceed for September, there are uncertainties surrounding tensions in Ethiopia including a recent election. There are also logistical complexities of visas and travel at this time. Please keep Joanne, Werner, and the MK Church in your prayers as they navigate God’s calling through these uncertainties. It is hoped that in coming weeks it will become clearer about how this ministry will proceed, including how we as MCA can walk with Werner and Joanne in responding to this Witness invitation. 

Please also pray for Camp Valaqua as Jon and Jeff and the rest of the summer staff navigate the complexities of re-opening.
Children's camps began this week. Pray for safety for the staff and campers, for protection from the Covid-19 virus and it's variants, and that God's love would shine through every experience, every interaction. 

Mennonite Church Alberta and the rest of MC Canada continue to lament following each new discovery of children's remains at a residential school site. We know that more unmarked graves will most certainly be found and that some of these will be in Alberta. We pray in sorrow and solidarity with our Indigenous friends and neighbours.

A Menno Minute
Suzanne Gross, First Mennonite Edmonton
 

Accept the Invitation. Show Up.

I am sharing this Menno Minute as a member of the North Edmonton Ministries Advisory Group.  In this context, I have been given the lead role of walking alongside Donna Entz over the last three months as she concludes her work in our midst.  This time with Donna has given me ample opportunity to reflect on the world we live in and how a local ministry such as NEM can speak into the converging issues emerging and evolving around us.

As a white, educated, English-speaking person, I came into this role recognizing that I walk with quite a lot of unearned privilege.  And yet, what I have been reflecting on as I walk with Donna, is the strength of my Mennonite identity – shaped by my faith in God as revealed through Jesus – and how this identity can create an opening for authentic relationship-building with people whose identity and privilege might differ from my own.

Throughout my life, I have had mentors and opportunities for experiences that have taught me what I believe is the critical starting point for how Jesus calls us to walk in this world.  Abe Janzen and Orlando Vasquez summarized this well for me years ago: “We are called to ‘show up and hang out.’”  Everything else that happens in our lives grows out of that.  In other words, it is not about our job title in a hierarchy, or our pedigree when it comes to wealth or education.  We show up as ourselves – but with a well-formed identity.  For me, this identity has been shaped by stories of Jesus, mixed with experiences that have challenged and nurtured me within the church collective.  As Mennonites, our identity is that delicate balance of personal and collective or communal.  My life experience toggles between these two poles and ultimately helps me stay the course of being a Jesus-follower in community.  And in the context of my vocation, and recent work with Donna, this community has merged my Mennonite faith community with many people from diverse walks of life.  We have, in fact, come together!

In dialoguing and reflecting with Donna over the last three months about her work, the impact of this work, and the value of continuing this work, I am keenly aware that a good mentor always goes back to the source.  In Donna’s case, that source is Jesus.  Jesus showed up all over the place – always with the same identity – but playing many different roles.  When he showed up for Zaccheus, it was an invitational role that challenged someone working within a system that oppressed others.  When he showed up for the woman tugging at his cloak, he took up the role of healing.  When he showed up at the well of the Samaritan woman, he took on the role of counsellor – of knowing someone else deeply.  In this story, what could be experienced as shaming was received as invitational and liberating!  When we know each other deeply, in love, we liberate each other.

One thing I have learned from my interactions and learnings from the Indigenous community is the importance of showing up for each other from an identity rooted in our teachings, and – just as importantly -- ready to take up the role that emerges from the context of our encounters.  That role can change.  We may be a helper in some situations, a leader in others. We may be called into a pastoral role, or a healing role through prayer.  If we are called to show up and hang out, what follows is engaging with others to explore the right role for ourselves in this context.

It is this gift that Donna Entz has left us with.  She modelled for us how to show up and hang out, and how to take the gifts that come from these encounters to the next level:  to accept the invitation to play a role --- be it a pastoral role in her daily walks with friends, a leadership role in organizing dialogues, a mentor role as she empowered others to take on leadership, and a ministering role as she preached and taught in our midst.

Last day of Camp Valaqua Staff Orientation,  July 9
Check out the MCA Flickr account for more photos. 
Can you help?

Camp Valaqua Kitchen Help Volunteers needed!  
Aug 8-13 and Aug 15-20.
and a chaplain for August 22-27.

Email Jon at director@campvalaqua.com
or Jeff at manager@campvalaqua.com

Trinity Mennonite Church is looking for a part time Communications Coordinator, starting July 25, if possible. The Coordinator is required to enhance communication between people and groups within Trinity, maintain records and church building schedules, post communications to various groups, and prepare and email the weekly Trinity Trumpet. An ability to update the website is preferred. Trinity requires flexibility and is willing to work with an individual's schedule. Please contact Pastor Will Loewen at william.loewen@calgarytmc.ca for more details. 
Time is running OUT!!! 
2021-2022 STUDENT BURSARIES

Bursaries are available for students
attending Canadian Mennonite University or Columbia Bible College


FIRM Deadline July 31, 2021
 

Mennonite Church Alberta (MCA) Employment Opportunity

Church Engagement Minister,  .5 FTE

For a full job description, see mcab.ca/careers.  Inquiries and resumes may be directed to moderator@mcab.ca

Are you looking for ways that you and your congregation can connect with E3 Year 2?

Worship Leaders, are you looking for a pre-recorded sermon to use as part of your E3 Sunday? 

All E3 Y2 Resources are available HERE. 

Thank you to Common Word for again compiling E3 Resources for us!
 



 

Nationwide service July 11 -- our own Foothills Mennonite

Foothills Mennonite Church shares a service from Calgary, Alberta this week. This service was recorded on June 20. It is led by the Montgomery family with a message from Reece Zablocki and a children's feature with Linda Dickinson from MCC. Reece reflects on the difference between facts and the deeper truth told in our stories. As we read the story of David and Goliath, we are invited to listen to the stories of people on the margins in our own context, those whom Jesus is calling us to hear and listen to. We invite you to sing and pray and hear God's word with us this morning.
The services are available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on our YouTube channel.

Thank you to Trinity Mennonite for also volunteering to represent MCA!!



"We cannot stand by silently in the face of injustice"
How our sister church Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia is responding to ongoing violence

Justapax, the justice and peace ministry of Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (IMCOL), nestled between other citizens, human rights workers and labour unions, joined a march on the Séptima, one of the busiest streets in Bogotá, Colombia. 
In a recent Zoom conversation with Mennonite Church Canada International Witness, leaders of Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (IMCOL) described how their church is responding to ongoing protests in Colombia and promoting a message of peace to the government. Read the story here.


“What we have seen, what we have heard”
a six-week study guide for Gathering 2022 

Across the nationwide church, congregations are being invited to witness to what God has been doing among us. What have you seen? What have you heard God doing in your life and the life of your community? This six-weeks study series invite congregations to understand how they are living witnesses to the gospel.

Consider using this study guide this fall for adult education, care groups or even as a worship series. Available through CommonWord this August 2021. 




Save these Dates!!
Youth!  Youth workers! 
Plans are coming together for a fantastic time at Camp Valaqua. 


Indigenous Settler Relations

Responding to Residential School revelations 

Over the last month and a half, more than a thousand unmarked graves have been identified at the sites of church-run residential schools. The discovery, long spoken-of by survivors, has shaken Indigenous communities and settler society. How might we respond?   

As we lament the violence of the residential schools, we need to learn more about the settler-colonial structures that created them. We need to support those who are addressing the past and present harms: 

  • Consider listening to recent podcasts from the Assembly of First Nations.  

  • Reflect on the ways that Mennonites have been involved in the Indian School System: see Confessing the Past 

  • Prayerfully read through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, and discern what action you can learn more about and respond to.  

  • Follow Reconciliation Thunder’s #94in94 campaign which is highlighting one Call per day toward September 30, the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.  

  • Donate to one of the many groups that are supporting the ongoing work of survivors in their quest for justice.

News from our partners 

Christian Peacemaker Teams is on the ground supporting Indigenous land defenders as they resist the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota, under the Mississippi River. Join their call to U.S. Secretary Deb Haaland to uphold treaty law by stopping Line 3 construction. Learn more about this call here: https://cptaction.org/urgent-action-ask-deb-haaland-to-stop-line-3/

International Witness

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday 

Military seized Indigenous land in Philippines 

While Lakan and Lakambini Sumulong (Dann and Joji Pantoja), Witness workers in the Philippines, help to coordinate a Peace Memorial for the Bagobo Tagabawa Tribe to celebrate peace made in this formerly violent area, 200 hectares of the tribe's farmland was seized by the military without proper ritual and respect. Please pray for peace and wisdom during this conflict. 

Witness worker continues restorative-justice training 

Witness worker Bock Ki Kim, together with colleagues at the Chuncheon Community Peace Centre, have been asked to instruct trainers in restorative justice practices in Chuncheon schools and police services. The end of June marked the 17th training course for school divisions in the Chuncheon area dealing with school violence and conflict transformation. We thank God for Bock Ki’s presence and work in this community. 

AIMM opens office in Kinshasa 

Thank God that the AIMM (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission) Kinshasa office in DRC is now open and allows AIMM to be closer to African partners. Pray for God’s presence and wisdom as AIMM serves God’s people through the church.   

Come work at CMU! We are currently recruiting for several positions, including for Food Services Cook and Director of Finance. Check out our employment opportunities at cmu.ca/about/employment.

We are OPEN for individual tours during July and August this summer! Book a personal visit time to tour the CMU campus and meet a few staff and faculty along the way. Four time slots are offered each weekday—evening/weekend times available upon request. We can't wait to show you around! Book a time here: enrolment.cmu.ca/portal/personal_visits.

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  Summer Reading List 

Our 13th annual list of titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket – to buy, borrow or special order - www.commonword.ca/go/2447. 

  





 

  • SAVE THE DATE: Shine curriculum webinar hosted by MennoMedia on July 27, 7 p.m. 

  • Indigenous-Settler Relations resources Over 350 introductory references, biographies, group studies on residential schools, treaties, decolonization, and more – www.commonword.ca/go/2098.   

  • The MennoCast - CommonWord is pleased to partner with the MennoCast team (hosts Moses Falco, Carrie Lehn, Ryan Dueck and their Advisory Group). The pilot season launched last week with a trailer and its first episode with guest, Meghan Larissa Good – www.commonword.ca/go/mennocast

  • Children’s Illustrated Books Over 400 titles to buy, special order, or borrow - www.commonword.ca/go/2371 

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?  Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
Email communications@mcab.ca
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