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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
February 10, 2021

In this issue

E3 Prayer 
A Menno Minute - Hugo Neufeld
One Good Thing - Robert Proudfoot
Upcoming ADS workshops
Chin Church Celebration
Missions and Services Update
Camp Valaqua Rentals 
Family Feud Fundraiser
and more

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


Our E3 Prayer

As we look forward to both Valentine’s Day and Family Day,
we give you thanks, Oh God, for drawing us together into your family by your love.      

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.

Hugo Neufeld, Trinity Mennonite

A Menno Minute

Sometimes a Selfie is a Must
(a little Covid-time humour) 

It was a beautiful fall day with the colourful poplar trees shouting their unique golden yellow regalia that is so plentiful in Alberta.  What better way to spend the day than to take a 15 kilometre bike adventure around the Glenmore Reservoir.

Plans had been carefully put together. After about 8 kilometres of cycling I would arrive at a juncture not far from a restaurant where I could sneak in for a luncheon hamburger. 

With the scenery at its prime, I found myself almost effortlessly gliding my bike over the relatively easy trail. Occasionally leaves fluttered down, slowly carpeting the pathway with their elegance. Before long I arrived at the designated rest stop. With my mask on, as required, I quickly picked up the juicy hamburger and went outside, where I found a small iron-clad round table. Here I could relax in COVID-required-solitude. 

I was about to leave, when I abruptly asked myself, “But where is my mask?”

Did I leave it on the washroom counter? – It wasn’t there. Was it in my pocket, or in my backpack? – Not a trace of the light blue protective gear.

Now I was getting upset. I had hoped to go for a late afternoon coffee break after biking through a more hilly area with its challenges. I recalled the location of a neat coffee shop just a few minute drive off the beaten path. My commitment was to follow city regulations that required me to wear a mask whenever I entered an eating establishment. Frantically I searched the garbage can where I had tossed out my disposable cup and napkin. Nothing!

Eventually I decided not to allow this unanticipated annoyance take over. Soon I was on my way, enjoying the leisurely bike-pedalling, high above the bank of the waterway. The 3.84 square kilometre reservoir had been created by the construction of a dam on the meandering mountain-fed Elbow River. Completed in 1933 it continues to serve as a primary source of drinking water for the growing city of Calgary, and it controls flooding. In more recent years it has also become a treasured recreational park that I was now enjoying.

After a good half hour I decided to make a short detour that would take me over the Glenmore Trail thoroughfare, just where it spans the narrow section of the reservoir. Stopping at the middle of the overpass, I was amazed to see hundreds upon hundreds of cars and trucks whisking under me in rapid succession. The pace of life at this underpass with 160,000 vehicles per day whizzing by, a stark contrast to that of a leisurely bike ride, reminded me again of our speed-driven society. 

“I’ll take a quick photo of this busy scene, one that I don’t even notice when I’m in the car, maneuvering 4 lanes of traffic each way – and I’ll send it to Doreen (my wife) to give her a glimpse of my day. And why don’t I take a selfie to show her how much I’m part of the scene? 

With the roar of all the vehicles my camera clicked automatically to my voice-activated call to “Smile”.

“Did I get a good picture? Let’s see.” 

“O my goodness!” I began to smile, almost looking around to see if I could share my discovery – or could I say, my blunder.

There, neatly furrowed under my chin was the missing mask.

In addition to the humour of the whole thing, the rest of my journey that day took on a surprising contemplative metaphor that had so vividly been placed before me. Am I safely tucking away my small and big foibles, even forgetting about them? What do I think I am successfully hiding, while it’s in full view and may so easily be detected by others? What do I need to unmask in my life? Maybe a few more selfies could be a good and revealing thing.


Read more Menno Minutes HERE

One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing.  
Robert Proudfoot, First Mennonite Edmonton

THE LOVE OF GOD IS GREATER FAR1

I was reminded, from watching Les Miserables on television recently, how enduring is God’s love for His creation. Jean Valjean, become hard and angry from 20 years of harsh prison life, is salvaged by God through kindness extended by a priest, who asks only that he become an honest man. Valjean spends the rest of his life helping others, particularly the poor and downtrodden. Although he becomes rich and influential under the alias of Monsieur Madelaine, he is harassed by the police inspector Javert, who won’t let Valjean forget his miserable past. The ex-convict’s care for the lowly confounds Javert, who commits suicide in despair after freeing the reformed man; our protagonist lives out his days in peace, supported by a loving daughter and son-in-law. Victor Hugo’s timeless story illustrates how kindness and love can change people’s hearts as well as their circumstances, and may even open the minds of our so-called enemies.  

1 From the hymn The Love of God, by FM Lehman and Claudia Lehman Mays.

Our Pre-session ADS workshops begin this upcoming Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with a chance to visit with Arlyn from Common Word and Doug from MC Canada. At 11:00 a.m., our Community Building and Program committee, Kate, Coreen, and Karen, will share their vision for connecting us as a faith community. 
(And just an FYI, the Communication Coordinators from the other regional churches are envious that we have a Community Building Committee. We are blessed, indeed.)
Register today!
"God is doing a great work among us and it is in this light
that we want to share this important milestone in the life of Chin Church with you."

All are invited via Zoom. Read CCCC's celebratory Letter of Invitation 
linked from the MCA website home page.
Calgary Chin Christian Church 
On Monday, February 1, Mennonite Church Canada asked our nationwide community of faith to pray for the people of Myanmar as well as for our Myanmar siblings here in Canada.
Please continue to remember our brothers and sisters in the Calgary Chin Christian Church in your prayers. 


Having received an extension to continue in their current space, the Calgary Chin Christian Church has made the decision to delay their official move-in date. On March 14, 2021 they will celebrate both their Grand Opening and their 10-year anniversary.
They celebrate the work that has been completed and have shared a virtual tour on the MCA Facebook page.  
They will continue to fundraise for tech equipment (TVs, projectors, monitors, computers, a sound system)  and office furniture. Donations accepted with gratitude!  

Missions and Service Committee
is inviting you to join two events beyond our Mennonite family.

Continuing the Conversation. 

A three part monthly  series, which began in February, patterned after the yearly Christian Muslim Dialogue

This series brings together people in small Zoom Rooms,
on the first Tuesday of the month. 
Remaining dates:  March 2, April 6.  7-8 p.m. Mountain Time.

Topics: Know your Neighbour, Hospitality, Embassy, and Unity.  

Registration required: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrce6qrjwrEtSEEM4BusjibbyMYs0VP-RF


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 ❄️
     
   from Kevin Stoesz, Camp Valaqua committee chair

Camp Valaqua's Family Feud Fundraiser 
March 6, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. 

We are changing things up this year for our annual Camp Valaqua Fundraiser! Join us on March 6th from 7-8:30 for our first Family Feud evening. This event will be held over Zoom.

Sign up with a group of people or sign up as an individual and I will find a team for you. Please fill out the Registration form. I look forward to seeing you all on March 6th. Feel free to email kbstoesz@gmail.com for any additional questions. 

MCA Annual Delegate Sessions will be held via Zoom March 20. 
Pre-assembly workshops have been scheduled for the dates and times below. 
Register at www.mcab.ca 

February 13         MC Canada  10:00 a.mand Community Building & Program. 11:00 a.m.
February 20         MC Canada (Indigenous Settler Relations. International Witness) 1:30 p.m.   
February 27         RJC 10:00 a.mand MCA Executive 1:30 p.m.
March 6               Mission & Service 10:00 a.mand  Constitution & Bylaw 11:00 a.m.
March 13             Camp Valaqua 10:00 a.m. and CMU 11:00 a.m. 
Mark your calendars and plan to join our MCA family of congregations
for Worship via Zoom 


as we launch Year Two of our E3 Action Plan:
Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ in Community

March 21, 10:30 a.m.
See www.mcab.ca to register.

Thank you! 
Mennonite Church Canada congregations successfully matched the $50,000 donation for MWC COVID-19 Sharing Fund in 2020.  Of this, $11,901.90 came via Mennonite Church Alberta! 

Call for RJC alumni & friends to join virtual choirs: We invite anyone interested to join one or both of the virtual alumni & friends choirs that Richard Janzen is putting together for RJC's upcoming Virtual Choirs & Cakes fundraiser event on March 14. There will be a mass choir (alumni, friends, greater community, & RJC students) and an alumni & friends choir. All are welcome. If you are interested in singing, email richard@rjc.sk.ca.  


CommonW
ord, Herald Press and MC USA partner
for Commo
n Read winter title 

“The intersection of peacemaking and storytelling is where I feel alive”: Common Read author discusses peacemaking during online webinar 

In an online webinar hosted by Herald Press and MennoMedia on Jan. 14, Michael T. McRay, who is from small-town Tennessee, said his father, a doctor who tended to the poor, taught him that “Matt. 25 was a cheat sheet for the final exam,” particularly the part about clothing and caring for “the least of these.”  

Indigenous-Settler Relations

Canada, The Churches, & Bill C-15: A Webinar Discussion
The church has been called by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to adopt and comply with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But what should we make of the government’s newly proposed Bill C-15 legislation? We’ve got a fantastic webinar event coming up on February 18th to help us understand these matters. Join a brilliant set of panelists— land defender Ellen Gabriel, professor Sheryl Lightfoot, Chief Wilton Littlechild and Archbishop Mark MacDonald— and invite your friends to take part in the discussion. Everyone is welcome! To register, click here

International Witness
 

Mennonite Church Canada issues call to prayer for Myanmar 

Mennonite Church Canada calls on our nationwide community of faith to pray for the people of Myanmar. Pray also for our Myanmar siblings here in Canada. They are deeply concerned for their loved ones and the effect that recent actions will have on peace within Myanmar. 



Witness worker serving Lao migrants 

Pray for the fellowship of Lao migrant workers near Bangkok and their leadership as they form a community of faith that focuses on discipleship and leadership training.  Pray that Witness worker, Tom Poovong will have wisdom and strength to support this group as together they serve God in their local and home communities.   

Patience during changing lockdown measures 

Praise God for the support Witness worker Sook Kyoung Park gives to her students and their parents amidst the opening and closing COVID-19 orders for after school programs. Pray she will have wisdom, patience and a calm presence in a difficult time.   

Burkina Faso Mennonite Church elects young leaders, first woman 

 There are exciting changes in the Eglise Évangélique Mennonite du Burkina Faso (EEMBF), the nationwide Mennonite church in Burkina Faso. Last month, the Executive Committee elected new, promising young leaders, as well as the first woman to ever serve on the Committee.

New pastors ready to serve in Burkina Faso 

Nine young pastors were ordained (pictured together with their wives) in addition to three more young men finishing their biblical training and ready to begin pastoring. Thank-you for your prayers for these promising new leaders within the Burkina Faso Mennonite churches. 

 

.                                            

Resources for Lent 

 CommonRead Title 

Our winter 2021 CommonRead title – www.commonword.ca/go/2215.  Additional savings for group studies:  20% off when purchasing 5 or more copies! 

 




From Friends of CommonWord 

A family memoir, racial analysis and decolonization workbook by Elaine Enns and Ched Myers. Due to be released in a few weeks. Shipping generously subsidized by Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations office – www.commonword.ca/go/2243

A joint Canadian Mennonite University, A Rocha, MCC Manitoba and Canadian Foodgrains Bank publication on food, faith, farming and the land. Pre-order your copy (due to be released May 1) – www.commonword.ca/go/2248

 






New from Herald Press 

Purchase access to the streaming video curriculum through MennoMedia.  Purchase the leader’s guide and participant’s journal through CommonWord – www.commonword.ca/go/2247 

 

MCEC’s recent Leaders Event on “Intercultural Church” 

Safwat Marzouk of AMBS, in two video sessions, offers a biblical vision for what it means to be an intercultural church, one that fosters just diversity, integrates different cultural articulations of faith and worship, and embodies an alternative to the politics of assimilation and segregation - www.commonword.ca/go/2249.  Also see a variety of related resources available – www.commonword.ca/go/2205

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
ADS Pre-session Workshops
February 13         MC Canada  10:00 a.mand Community Building & Program. 11:00 a.m.
February 20         MC Canada (Indigenous Settler Relations. International Witness) 1:30 p.m.   
February 27         RJC 10:00 a.mand MCA Executive 1:30 p.m.
March 6               Mission & Service 10:00 a.mand  Constitution & Bylaw 11:00 a.m.
March 13             Camp Valaqua 10:00 a.m. and CMU 11:00 a.m. 

March 6                    Camp Valaqua Family Feud Fundraiser


March 20-21, 9:30 a.m.                            Annual Delegate Sessions -- via ZOOM
Sunday, March 21, 10:30 a.m.                  Online Worship for ALL MCA congregations
  
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