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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
June 23, 2021

In this issue

Our E3 Prayer 
NEM Update 
Our Stories -- Lethbridge Mennonite
Farewell to Donna
Camp Camp CAMP!!!
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
June 27 Farewell for Donna Entz  REGISTER TODAY FOR ZOOM LINK
July 31 Deadline for Student Bursaries
September 25 Heritage Retreat A hybrid event -- both LIVE  and via ZOOM

E3 = MCA             Year 2  Christ in Community

Our E3 Prayer

Oh God, many years ago people came and took this land, and we bear the benefit of their acts. Open our eyes and our hearts to those who have been displaced so we can thrive.


Please pray for our brothers and sisters from Bergthal Mennonite
as their building was vandalized this past week.


Some details: 

 On Saturday morning (June 12), the pastor at Bergthal Mennonite Church entered the church building and discovered it had been broken into. Several computers and related equipment were stolen and some damage was incurred, especially around door frames and locks.  The chances of finding these people are slim to none. But this doesn't stop us from praying for them. As someone said after the break in, they may have stolen our property but they didn't get what they really needed. 

Hospitality, Dialogue, Peacebuilding and Witness – a framework for building mutual relationships

 

Over the last two months, fifteen participants from Mennonite church communities across Alberta met on Saturday mornings to explore.the “Peacemakers Confessing Christ International” (https://www.pcci.team/), discussion series.  This is an initiative rooted in the work of David Shenk , Jonathan Bornman, and Peter Sensenig.

Participants were invited to share the impact of this series on their understanding of the value and importance of dialogue, but more importantly, how dialogue ultimately enriches our own faith understanding, even as we learn about and celebrate the best of each others’ faith traditions.  Read More

 

Our Stories

This is What we were Made For
Ryan Dueck, pastor Lethbridge Mennonite Church

Last week, I saw an older couple in our church for the first time in fourteen months. Both are north of ninety-five years old. Incredibly, they have been married for over seventy-five years. It probably goes without saying that this simply doesn’t happen very often (or at all!) anymore. They live in a senior’s home that has had strict visitation guidelines throughout this pandemic and have consequently only seen a few designated visitors throughout. But last week, she called me. The restrictions have loosened slightly. We can have four visitors now. Would you be one of them?

Of course, I said yes. And a few days later, I found myself at their kitchen table. There were broad smiles and eager questions. Would you like some coffee? How is your family? How is the church? How are you doing? We pray for you all often. Please pass along our greetings to the church. It was so good to see them again. Not pixelated approximations of them on a flat screen, but the real flesh and blood, frail and faltering versions. It was good to shake hands, to hug.

Like most churches during this last year or so, ours has migrated online in various ways, to varying degrees, for varying periods of time. We’ve done everything from recording grainy services on my laptop on a Friday night to celebrating communion in our homes to live-streaming on Sunday mornings to holding “Zoom foyers” and other informal social gatherings and virtually all of our meetings online. This ability to go online has been a gift, truly. Weekly online services have been a lifeline for many. Some in our congregation have connected with friends and family across vast distances in ways that they might not have done if not spurred by this pandemic. I don’t know what our church would have done without these options at our disposal, and I am immensely grateful to all in our congregation who have learned these new skills so we can stay connected.

And yet…. (You knew there was a “but” or an “and yet” coming, right?). Flesh and blood encounters cannot be replaced or replicated online. I was reminded of this as I sat at a sun-kissed kitchen table with these two friends last week. We were created for so much more than digital connection. We have these needs hard-wired into us for touch, for proximity, for physically coming and going to where others are, instead of swapping tabs on our browser or clicking on a different Zoom link. Even the most introverted among us are likely reaching the point where we are itching for a bit of embodied interaction by now, particularly as vaccines continue to roll out and the news seems more hopeful.

Last week I read the biography of the late pastor and writer Eugene Peterson. Peterson is perhaps most well-known for The Message, his colloquial paraphrase of Scripture. I don’t use The Message often, but I have always loved Peterson’s rendering of John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.” The incarnation is surely among the deepest of Christian mysteries. The transcendent Creator of all that is, got down in the dirt and grime and physicality of our world and our lives. We are not Jesus, obviously. But I hope that in the months ahead we, too, will move back into the proverbial “neighbourhood,” into flesh and blood human relationships, embodied worship, shared meals, etc. This is what we were made for.

If you've missed other Our Stories.

REGISTER TODAY!

A Zoom gathering
to say farewell to 

Donna Entz

as she retires from her role with
North Edmonton Ministry



June 27, 2010

2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Hosted by Mennonite Church Alberta 

To register 

Donations (and photos!) continue to be accepted toward the 2021 Camp Valaqua Hike-a-thon


Ron Janzen,
of Springridge Mennonite, Pincher Creek, has been fundraising for the Camp Valaqua Hike-a-thon for over 20 years, often bringing in the most donations. And yet, fundraising is only one part of his contribution to life at Camp Valaqua. 


Read more of Ron's story. 


 


 

Another 90 seconds of Nature from Jon at Camp Valaqua!

Camp Valaqua cook update!  



Thank you to those who spread the word!

We now have  head cooks for all of summer and assistant for July so we are only still seeking an assistant cook for three weeks in August. 


 The Assistant cook is typically a young and keen staffer with no real kitchen experience required.   Email director@campvalaqua.com to apply
DON'T MISS OUT!!! 
2021-2022 STUDENT BURSARIES

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


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 for June 27 – St. Jacobs Mennonite Church 

This Sunday join St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, St. Jacobs, ON, worship leader Zac Klassen and pastor Mark Diller Harder as they begin their summer worship theme “Come to the Water.” Mark will preach on the theme “A River Runs Through It,” naming how themes of water run through both the Scriptures and our lives. What do we learn when we pay closer attention to water? 

The services will be available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on our YouTube channel.

Thank you to Foothills, First Mennonite Edmonton, and Trinity Mennonite for volunteering to represent MCA!!
 

Reflections from NAIITS symposium 2021 

This year Mennonite Church Canada sponsored 20 people from across our nationwide community of faith to attend this year’s NAIITS - An Indigenous Learning Community’s virtual symposium — Treaty and Covenant: Creating Space for Hope, June 3 – 5, 2021, for a rich time of learning and relationship building. José-Luis Moraga and Justin Sun reflect on what they learned. Read more 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. 




Job opportunity with Mennonite Church Canada
Mennonite Church Canada invites applications for a Nationwide Youth Gathering Event Coordinator.  The Nationwide Youth Gathering will take place July 31- Aug 4, 2022, at Camp Valaqua near Calgary, Alta. This position is a one-year term/contract beginning August 16 2021 at .4 FTE.  Applicants from across Canada are invited to apply. Applications will be considered beginning July 6, 2021.  For the full job description go to: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/get-involved#youth-coordinator-2022.

Indigenous Settler Relations

Bill C-15 reaches Royal Assent! 

Bill C-15, An Act regarding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, received Royal Assent on June 21, 2021, National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a victory to celebrate! Many thanks to everyone who showed their support through written e-mails and letters the Senate. Our work on the path towards reconciliation continues. To learn more about this Bill and the Declaration visit https://www.faithinthedeclaration.ca/.  

 

Join the Be it Resolved Challenge 

The Be it Resolved Challenge is a nationwide initiative encouraging Mennonite Church Canada members and congregations to create and commit to new resolutions for Indigenous justice. Learn more here:   

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11800-indigenous-settler-relations-launches-be-it-resolved-challenge 

 




 

International Witness

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




Learning together – online conversation with Colombia Mennonite Church 

July 10, 2021, 11 a.m. CDT 

Pray for the planning and the speakers in the online conversation between the Colombian Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church Canada. We will learn about current events in our countries and how our churches are responding. To register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/event/11867-2021-07-10-learning-together-an-online-conversation 











Support the dehydrator project in Philippines 

Learn how a request for funds for a simple food dehydrator from Witness workers Lakan and Lakambini Sumulong (Dann and Joji Pantoja) motivated generous giving from Mennonite congregations in MCEC and across our nationwide family of faith. https://mcec.ca/article/13354-the-pennies-were-already-there 

COVID restrictions reduce connection for Witness workers 

Travel restrictions within Thailand due to COVID-19 have limited the amount of time that Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong spend with the network of 40 congregations that are part of the Friends of Grace Church Association. Pray that the Poovongs will continue to find creative ways to connect and that the local leaders of these congregations will grow in confidence and wisdom. 

Calls for unity amid election in Ethiopia 

Pray that the recent elections in Ethiopia will help bring unity not division to ongoing ethnic tensions. Pray that Meserete Kristos Church will be strengthened as a living example of Jesus’s prayer for his disciples.   

RJC Musical: Disney's Freaky Friday! - June 18-24. Tickets for scheduled viewing times are on sale now at ShowTix4U.com! $20 per viewing device. 

RJC Graduation Exercises - June 25. Live-streamed for the public. Baccalaureate Service 10:00am (SK CST) and Graduation Ceremony  2:00pm (SK CST). Watch events online at rjc.sk.ca/grad2021

RJC Employment Opportunity - Head Caretaker. Full-time, permanent position. The Head Caretaker is responsible for providing a safe, clean environment in the school, dormitory and on campus; and for managing, ordering supplies and coordinating all aspects of school cleaning. View the full job description at rjc.sk.ca/about/employment-opportunities Send all resumes to the principal, Ryan Wood, at ryan@rjc.sk.ca.

 

 

Are there students from your church planning to attend CMU in the fall? Check out the Church Matching Grant partnership! Churches can contribute to a student’s CMU tuition and have CMU match the funds up to $500/year/student. Details and applications at cmu.ca/future/financial/church-matching.

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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. 

  







New digital worship resources available this summer 

Many new worship resources (music, visual, text) are being catalogued again this summer.  Available at both www.togetherinworship.net and CommonWord (www.commonword.ca/go/tiw).   

  

Featured resources: 
 

 

Creation Care resources - http://www.commonword.ca/go/2256 



 

 

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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