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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
September 23, 2020

In this issue

E3 Prayer - A Menno Minute:
Fall Update!
E3 Celebration and Committment
Meet our Students
Camp Valaqua


And more!
Don't miss updates from Rosthern Junior College, Mennonite Church Canada, International Witness,
Indigenous Settler Relations, Mennonite World Conference, and Common Word, 
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E3 = MCA 
Year 1  Christ in life


Our E3 Prayer

Oh God, may I see you in the eyes of all those I encounter in my daily life.
May I look past the mask and see you.
 
A Menno Minute

                                                                                                                                                     











Jacob Froese, Missions and Service Committee

God's License

The location is but a fast food hangout. The occasion is what matters!  Bayak and I are meeting to celebrate. It has taken a few failed attempts, but he has just passed the driving test to finally procure his driver’s license! This after a considerable history including a previous examiner with a bad attitude and a lengthy coronavirus interruption. Finally the required Class 5 which allows him to drive his car legally. Family, social and church activities can now proceed with just a bit more freedom in this new country which he claims is a wonderful place, given the troubled South Sudan where he has come from.

We are both pleased and relieved. I ask him about this latest test, “Good, good.  The examiner, he was a Christian.”  Needless to say I enthuse about that good fortune, previous attempts already well-reviewed by us in previous conversations.  His smile conveys something else however, which leads to my next question.  “So Bayak, How did you discover each other? Did you tell him you are Christian, or did he first tell you?” “Oh”, he says simply and matter of factly, “I just bowed my head to pray before driving. I was nervous so I had to pray. The examiner bowed his head and prayed too.  Then we knew we were both Christians”.  No exuberance, no gloating, no fanfare; just another smile.

And so it is that this happy coffee meeting became in fact a holy occasion – a peaceful account of driving the streets of Calgary, a few errors pointed out by a helpful examiner, and the test not only survived but yielding the much needed license. Bayak and I have had many conversations by now, many of the problem solving theme, with his kind appreciation for my efforts to help with some immigration challenges and my admiration for his perseverance to that which he believes God would have him do. Faith conversation is common territory although our skin tone not exactly the same.  

My friend is teaching me considerably about faith and the ordinary challenges of life - Faith and Life as we used to call it in various Bible College or conference affiliated things I have been involved in. I just learned a new thing about something I thought I knew a lot about. God is available in any and all circumstances. Do not hide your prayers or your confidence in God, for you may be in the presence of another person who is or may want to be on your team.  I am humbled. I am touched. My problem-solving orientation just received a helpful corrective. Today I encountered in a new way the One “who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish … more than we can ask or imagine” (Eph.3:20).

The MCA Fall Update!
Rather than a conventional bulletin insert, your MCA staff went digital and got creative!

                                       

         




 

E3 Celebration and Commitment Service

This Sunday, September 27 MCA Congregations have been asked to focus
on our E3 Theme: Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ…in Life

The service will include a time for individuals to share a commitment they would like to make to a prayer or spiritual practice. Or, to share a way they have already experienced “encountering, embracing, embodying Christ” in their life. 

In preparation for this service:

Ask yourself how, in the past year, you have become more open to encounter, embrace, and embody Christ. Or, how you can do so in the year to come.

Some ideas are

  • Commit to daily prayer 
  • Begin a gratitude journal 
  • Select a spiritual friend 
  • Develop a statement of faith 
  • Read a book on faith or prayer 
  • Try new kinds of prayers 
  • Take on an intentional practice 
  • Join a class or club Sunday School, Bible Study or Book Club

More ideas can be found on Overview of Year One and the pdf Bucket Lists  HERE .

There will be opportunity for all churches to contribute to a digital celebration of our personal and collective growth — and aspirations for the future. Your worship leaders will guide you! 

 

Meet our Students
2020-2021 Student Bursary Profile

Danika Warkentin

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to attend a Mennonite post-secondary institution. My parents had met at CMU, and I had heard stories about both the meaningful and the crazy fun experiences they had shared there. As I grew older, my desire to go to CMU increased. Through my experience in working at Camp Valaqua, I realized how much I longed to learn in an environment that supported the values I held in my own life, and to meet new people with whom I could talk openly about my beliefs as a Christian.

I had rarely had opportunities to interact with other Mennonites my own age, because the church I attend, Springridge Mennonite Church, does not have many youth. Even though I did not have many friends my own age, I immensely enjoyed my years attending Springridge. I felt like a very important part of the congregation; I began accompanying congregational singing on piano when I was about twelve years old, and later took on the role of Sunday School teacher for younger children. My experience at Springridge helped me grow vastly in my leadership skills, which I will forever be grateful for. As I begin my years of study at CMU, I look forward to taking courses that nourish me in my faith and knowledge. I also look forward to being immersed the community of love and acceptance that is cultivated at CMU as I embark on this new journey.

Another 90 Minutes of Nature -- this time about Rose Hips.
                                                                                  Thanks Jon!   
                       
Remember RJC as they have their Opening Program - Sunday, September 27 @ 2:00pm. Help RJC start off the school year by joining us virtually for our opening program. The event will feature music, reflections from RJC parents & students, and an invitation for your ongoing support for the school year. Information on how to watch the event can be found at rjc.sk.ca. 


    RJC Employment Opportunities:  RJC High School is currently hiring for a number of full and part-time      positions: Teaching Staff, Kitchen & Dining Hall Staff, and Custodial & Maintenance Staff. 
    Please contact Ryan Wood, Principal (ryan@rjc.sk.ca) for more information about these positions or call (306) 232-4222.

Prayer of thanks: RJC High School is grateful for the continued prayerful support of its church constituents. We are happy to report a 25% increase in enrolment for the 2020-21 school year, with students from across Saskatchewan, Alberta, other parts of Canada, and the world. 

Bryan Born is a guest speaker at Table Talk 2020: Does the Church still have legs?, Mennonite Church Canada's virtual study conference on Oct. 24 on the nature and identity of the church. President of Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, B.C., Bryan will talk about missiology in today's current context.  Read more. 

Register for Mennonite Church Canada’s virtual study conference on Oct. 24, 2020.

Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on Saturday, Oct. 24, 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.    

Xplore courses for +55 moving online
Xplore, a 55-plus enrichment program offered by Canadian Mennonite University, offers courses that investigate dimensions of the Christian faith, our world, and life in it. All without any assignments or examinations! Because of COVID-19, all Xplore courses in 20-21 are moving online via Zoom, thus making all courses available widely across the country. Eight stimulating courses are offered every Wednesday and Thursday morning over a six-week period, beginning September 30. View course, tuition, and registration information here cmu.ca/explore.  Courses and teachers this fall include: 
·         Reading the Bible with Jesus – Michael Pahl
·         Journaling through Grief – Wilma Derksen
·         Beyond the Numbers: Pandemic Reordering the World we Knew – Janet Plenert
·         Denominations:  What are they and what are they good for? – Gerald Gerbrandt
·         Race and Racism – Jobb Arnold
·         “...so that through the church...” Vision and Challenge from the Letter of Ephesians – Robert J. Suderman
·         Exploring Mennonite Schisms:  Theology, Personality, or Church Practices? – Hans Werner
·         Life Sentences:  Writing for Yourself and Others – Larry Danielson
 
 
INTERNATIONAL WITNESS

SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020  

Resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, (or any Sunday your congregation deems appropriate) are now available! Online resources including: recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire are now available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Go to mennonitechurch.ca/IW-Sunday

Less violence in Burkina Faso 

Praise God for a recent decrease in violence in the area around the Burkina Faso Mennonite churches. Pray for protection of people and for the resolution to this conflict. Pray that the believers in this area will have strength and courage to work for peace in a difficult situation.  

First edition of peace journal launches in South Korea 

Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park, Witness workers in South Korea, ask for praise and prayer in the release of the first edition of Peace Journal “Plan P.” May God use this journal to bring together many groups and individuals working for peace in this country and beyond.   

More opportunity to be peaceful presence 

Pray for Tobia Veith, Witness worker in China, as she ministers to university students who are isolated on campus. May her presence bring peace to them as they study and live through lockdown on campus. Pray that Tobia experiences God’s love and joy in the extra time she has to be with her students. 

 


               

  INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS 

    Online bookclub Oct 8-Nov. 26, 2020 

Register at mennonitechurch.ca/crossroads-bookclub 

What are the things that separate and unite Indigenous and settler peoples? What can we do to challenge structural racism and repair broken relationship? Join Steve Heinrichs for an online book club this fall, exploring the new book Canada at a Crossroads by sociologist Jeff Denis. Beginning Oct. 8, we’ll gather by Zoom each Thursday at 7 p.m. (CST) for 8 weeks for a circle conversation, sharing with each other our questions and learnings, our hearts and hopes. Together, we’ll seek to understand how we might nurture Treaty friendships.  


 New anthology documents six decades of Anabaptist response to Indigenous calls for justice.

Winnipeg, Man. -- A new anthology published by Mennonite Central Committee Canada (MCC) and Mennonite Church Canada hits the press this fall. Be it Resolved: Anabaptists & Partner Coalitions Advocate for Indigenous Justice is a collection of over 90 documents detailing commitments Anabaptists have made to Indigenous justice and decolonization since the 1960s.

"I was aware of a handful, but as soon as I started digging in the archives I found incredible, old, significant commitments," says Steve Heinrichs, director of Indigenous-Settler Relations for Mennonite Church Canada. "Everything from Indigenous self-determination, recognizing native sovereignty and advocating for a resolve to Indigenous land claims. Big things!"

The work was originally meant to be a pocket-sized booklet like those created for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action or the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. At the time of printing the manuscript is 480 pages.

Heinrichs and Esther Epp-Tiessen, historian and former peace educator for MCC, co-edit the collection and provide historical context for each of the documents featured in the text. Documents are presented chronologically and prefaced by quotes from Indigenous voices calling for action to address injustice.

"This work is about pockets of the church being responsible and collectively responding in faithfulness, but it's always the cries of Indigenous Peoples that move the church to action," says Heinrichs.

Read more

.    For the past four years, playwright Alison Casella Brookins and actors Michelle Milne and Ted Swartz have travelled across North America, raising awareness about the Doctrine of Discovery (the legal fiction used to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands) through their drama, “We Own This Now.”

Join us for a webinar conversation to learn more about the Doctrine of Discovery, how it impacts us today, and how we might join others in the struggle to dismantle it. Please register in advance.
Sponsored by Mennonite Church BC Indigenous Relations Group.


 

Help match Mennonite Church Canada’s donation to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund!      

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who are struggling to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

Join CommonRead! 

Together with MennoMedia, we are encouraging congregations, nationwide, to study a common title this fall: Signs of Life: Resurrecting Hope Out of Ordinary Losses. In the context of COVID-19, we have all experienced losses of one type or another. This guide will inspire conversations of lament and hope. Listen to an inspiring interview with author Stephanie Lobdell, download the study guide, or purchase copies at a discount – www.commonword.ca/go/2124.   

Upcoming Webinar: It Can Be Done! Children’s Sunday School During COVID-19 

Join Mennonite Church USA and Joan Daggett of Shine curriculum to discuss new digital options for Sunday School during the pandemic. Shana Boshart Peachey from MC USA hosts the conversation – Canadians invited. Sept. 23, 2:30 EDT/1:30 CDT/12:30 MDT/11:30 PDT. Register at https://bit.ly/2FsN30d.     

New children’s stories from Kevin Drudge, pastor at Covenant Mennonite Fellowship in Winkler, Man. 

Borrow or Buy - $13.49 each 

Contact Us 

CommonWord staff are very knowledgeable about the breadth of materials available (for your church council, worship committee, small group, etc.) and offer customer support, by phone (1-877-846-1593), email (info@commonword.ca) or in-person (public hours @ CommonWord, Mon-Fri, 11:00-3:00). 

 

 

 

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 24          MC Canada Study Conference - Online
Oct 31          Christian-Muslim Dialogue
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