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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
November 10, 2020

In this issue

E3 Prayer -- Invitation to Prayer
MS Prayer request Update 
MCA Special Check-In Update
Dialogue Update
Engage

AND MORE from our wider faith communities!
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E3 = MCA 
Year 1  Christ in life


Our E3 Prayer

Oh God, speak to me and through me so others will hear your voice in mine.
 Our commitment to Daily Prayer continues. New participants are always welcome! 
 
Urgent Prayer Request 
from Jacob Froese, Missions and Service Committee 

Thank you for your prayers for Nayachar Pathot, wife of David Puok Riek and mother of their 6 children. She is improving steadily and looking forward to going home soon. 
 
   As you Pray for Peace,  remember Mezgebu Tucho (Bethel International) as he travels to Ethiopia as a peacemaker. 
 
     Also, consider joining Tim Chesterton for Songs of War and Peace, a live Facebook event.

     Tim is an Anglican who has done networked with MCA and Edmonton Mennonite churches       over the last decade or so, exploring Anabaptist elements of faith including peace practice.


from North Edmonton Ministries
Thanks to MCA for supporting the Dialogue again this year and which even virtually was a very positive experience.  The speakers were some of our best as they spoke on Mental health, especially vulnerable about personal experiences with depression.  They were holistic, describing the strengths of our faith communities and our holy books to sustain us, and then from their professional viewpoint.  The break out rooms that simulated our once round table discussions, the priority of our event,  had minor technical issues so of the fourteen groups that met with a facilitator (many of whom were Mennonite, thank you), all but two had good experiences.  Our greatest challenge was having enough Muslim participants, and even understanding why that is the case is quite complicated.   Our prayer is that God would help us do some mini Dialogues more often over winter.

An Anglican response is here:  
https://edmonton.anglican.ca/news/two-common-words

Donna Entz


Update!
MCA Special Check-In Zoom Meeting

happened November 7
Check out the updated video -- including Jon's Camp Valaqua presentation. 

A huge bouquet to all who participated in the check-in gathering on Saturday, November 7! Over 35 people from 10 congregations took part, sharing how God has been present this year. As each congregation shared, I was inspired by the creativity and struck by the diversity in how we’ve maintained connections within our congregations, as well as beyond. Our discussion time elicited calls to continue connecting, praying, studying, and having virtual coffee times together. I look forward to seeing where these ideas carry us in the coming months!  Brenda Tiessen-Wiens, Moderator
 
Supporting Our Students
 2020/21 Bursary Awards

Olivia Neufeldt, First Mennonite Church Edmonton, attending CMU
 

I choose to attend a Mennonite institution because I know that faculty, staff, and students who teach, work, and attend there are focused on their faith, but also because they inspire each other to support one another and motivate individuals to spread peace. There is a feeling of being understood when attending a Mennonite university, as many peers and professors come from the same faith and cultural background. If one is uncertain about their Mennonite faith, there are many supportive individuals who understand these questions or concerns.

Additionally, there are many students who do not come from the Mennonite faith who are welcome to share their methods of worship and beliefs and have taught me new ways of loving God. I have never felt like I have missed out by attending a Mennonite institution, as I have gained a caring, faith-based community that I can rely on. By attending Canadian Mennonite University, I have been able to take classes about Anabaptist history and Mennonite theology; had I attended a secular university, I would have been unable to learn more about the history of my faith as part of my formal university education. Having the opportunity to understand the background and events that have contributed to my faith has been incredibly meaningful to me. When I attend classes, I do not feel like I am just going to complete my degree; I am learning how to be a better Christian. 

Latecomers welcome!
Join the North Edmonton Ministries and Camp Valaqua as we host a 6 week Zoom conversation series on Wednesday evenings from October 14 to November 18 on how we can better engage with people of other faiths and backgrounds.  The series will feature presentations and conversations and will is focussed on creating an interactive space. 

Topics include:
-Unpacking our international or cross cultural experiences
-Basics about Islam.
-How to engage with Muslim people.
-Understanding the Iceberg of Culture
-Allyship, Racism, and BLM,
-Working for the Common Good and Neighbouring

Contact Jon Olfert (valaqua@xplornet.com, 403-637-2510) for registration information or access the link at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqdO2orTguGt2Ec0Ou4jwA2RmarSxylHnG

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

 

"The most important peacemaking agenda that we have now"


An interview with Be it Resolved editors Esther Epp-Tiessen and Steve Heinrichs and graphic designer Matt Veith

Be It Resolved: Anabaptist & Partner Coalitions Advocate for Indigenous Justice, 1966-2020 is a new publication from Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Central Committee. The near-500-page anthology is a compilation of over 90 documents that detail commitments Anabaptists have made to Indigenous justice and decolonization.

In our latest interview, co-editors Esther Epp-Tiessen and Steve Heinrichs, along with graphic designer Matt Veith, share their encounters with the commitments, the challenge to the live up to some of them and what a book like this means for the church now.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Why is this book important now?

EET: It's important to know where we come from, what our story has been, what our relationships have been. Looking back doesn't mean getting stuck in the past. It enables our past to guide our present and our future. I do think it is important to keep on returning to the story and reinterpreting it to come to a deeper and a more faithful understanding.

Mi'kmaw-Acadian theologian Terry LeBlanc tells a wonderful story that illustrates this. A grandfather and grandson are walking through a forest. Every now and then the grandfather stops and looks back and then carries on. The little boy is worried. He says, "Grandfather, where are we going? We are going to get lost." The grandfather replies that he is looking back so that he will know how to return home. It's a beautiful story about the role that history plays in our self-understanding. We look back so that we can move forward in a good way. Sometimes that means having to repent for actions and understandings that have been harmful.

Read more


International Witness

Remember Palestinians during their olive harvest 

Please remember Palestinian farmers in the midst of this year's olive harvest—a normally festive time for communities—who face the twin challenges of COVID-19 and harassment by Israeli soldiers and settlers. To learn more about the importance of the olive harvest for a just peace in Palestine, visit https://www.oikoumene.org/events/olive-harvest-initiative.  For Christmas gift-giving, consider purchasing fair-trade West Bank olive oil products through Zatoun. (from Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network

Colombia Mennonite Church calls for end to mass violence 

In a statement from the Colombian Mennonite Church on the massacres in communities and the assassinations of community leaders and former guerrillas, the church strongly calls the government, civic leaders and churches to work together to decrease violence and injustice in their society. There have been more than 60 mass killings so far this year. Adolescents, young people and small farmers are main victims. Please pray for safety, widom and peace for the pastors, leaders and congregations of the Mennonite churches as they take this courageous stand for peace and justice.   

Prayer as tensions rise in Ethiopia 

Pray that the Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia, the largest church in Mennonite World Conference, will be a strong voice for peace as ethnic tensions threaten civil war and nine million people are at risk of displacement due to increasing violence. Pray that the ethnic divisions will not spill over into the church. Pray for unity and peace.   


The webpage of resources that Mennonite Church Canada  created for International Witness Day now contains streaming and download links for all of the video resources. 

The introductory videos can also be found on our newly updated International Witness web page. 

Indigenous Settler Relations   

Take Action for the Declaration 

The Government of Canada promised to introduce legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the end of 2020. With only one month to go before the House of Commons breaks for the year, we are still waiting and praying! Please send the Minister of Justice and key politicians an urgent message—using MCC’s Take Action Letter—to support this “framework for reconciliation” (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada). 

Mennonite Church Canada congregations donate $40,000 to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund     

Since the spring, our nationwide community of faith we has raised over $40,000 for MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who struggle to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries. We reached 80 per cent of our goal to match Mennonite Church Canada’s initial donation of $50,000 in the spring. Thanks to everyone for helping to build up our global body of believers. 

Missed the Table Talk Study Conference?  Wish you could listen a second time?
The videos are now available.   

.                                              from Mennonite Church Canada 

Two digital at-home family worship options for Advent-Epiphany 

  • We Wait for Jesus is a new family resource similar to previous At-Home materials Mennonite Church Canada has produced since 2002. 

 

Together in Worship Launches! 

Visit www.togetherinworship.net for hundreds of free, digital, Anabaptist worship materials. A collaboration of CommonWord, in coversation with Anabaptist Worship Network and Voices Together, Together in Worship curates words, music, other artistic expressions and teaching resources to support Christian worship. It’s also a platform for individuals and communities to create and contribute resources. Bookmark it for the next time you’re planning worship!  

Virtual Book Launch at CommonWord 

Join us for a Zoom conversation with Ray Friesen on the launch of his book Wandering the Wilderness, November 12, 7:00 P.M. (CDT). Former pastor and lifelong “believing skeptic,” Ray will reflect on his own wilderness experiences and Brené Brown’s Wholehearted living research, while offering an ancient Biblical pathway for our own desert pilgrimage. Register at www.commonword.ca/go/2159

  

Voices Together Hymnal 

Congregations who pre-ordered the hymnal and its related products from MennoMedia will receive them soon! Individual copies of the hymnal pew edition, Worship Leader’s edition, Accompaniment edition, and Audio recordings are available to order from CommonWord.  

Voices Together Merchandise 

Exclusively available in Canada from CommonWord: 

Worship Calendar 

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

See the MCA website for Phase 2 Reopening information. 

Have a story to tell? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
Email communications@mcab.ca
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