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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
March 24, 2021

In this issue

E3 Prayer 
ADS Reflections
A Menno MInute -- Levi Klassen
One Good Thing  -- Hélène Wirzba
Mission and Service Update
Camp Valaqua Rentals 

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

Our E3 Prayer

As I think of the loud Hosannas of the Palm Sunday crowd,  Lift my heart, too, to sing Hosannas to you.

Please also remember in your prayers those in our congregations for whom Covid-19 is much more than a daily statistic.
Pray for peace for those isolating, renewed health for those who are ill, and comfort for those who are grieving.

ADS Reflections
Brenda Tiessen-Wiens

How fitting that our theme of Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ in Community began with worship and was full of community-building time together! Although Saturday’s business session elicited less discussion than expected, attendance and engagement at workshops leading up to the ADS were full of thoughtful feedback and affirmation. When I think back to last year's discussion, it's clear that we are entering our second year of COVID uncertainty with greater confidence and faith. I look forward to seeing plans and dreams take shape in 2021 and to the fresh perspectives that new committee members bring!
Videos from the Annual Delegate Sessions and the all-MCA Worship Service are now available on the MCA website. 

Keynote messages introducing E3Y2, 

Doug from MC Canada and CMU's video featuring some of our own MCA students. 
A Menno Minute
Levi Klassen, CMU (formerly Foothills Mennonite!)

The other day, my friend and I were fulfilling our duty of cleaning out the Canadian Mennonite University Student Council room when we came across a filing cabinet of school newspapers from the 1960s. Being rather loosely committed to our cleaning assignment, we soon found ourselves leafing through submissions sent in by students during the summer, and lo and behold, I came across a letter written by someone working at Camp Valaqua.

They detailed sporadic weather patterns, beautiful landscapes, good food, a picturesque wedding, and the struggle of trying to re-learn the names of six campers after realizing that the ones originally provided were false – this groups’ first performance in a series of practical jokes. Having worked at Camp Valaqua, I have also wondered at the landscape, dined, attended weddings of my own dear friends, and been at the mercy of cabins of young boys exploring how fruitful life can be when it is crammed with pranks, so it was rather surreal to read something from 60 years ago that so closely resembled the experiences floating around in my own memories. They spoke of the joy of exploring what it means to be a counsellor for others with the same hesitancy and excitement that I felt when on the same path.

I think I can often get caught up in ideas rooted in exceptionalism when thinking about what is best for my development as a young adult, and what will turn me into the kind of person who will have the capacity to make an impact in the world. Many of us tend to internalize the idea that building a vision of hope for the future can only be uncovered by looking forward, willing ourselves not only to learn more, but to learn faster, convinced that we must find ourselves on the forefront of some field or industry where we will then, finally, have the capacity to “make a difference.”

Reflecting on my time as a CIT at Camp Valaqua, I think nobody will be surprised to know that neither the campers nor the staff were making any technological breakthroughs. Quite obviously, that was not the point. Rather, we faced nearly the same challenges, bore witness to the same beauty, and uncovered the same God as that of our predecessors, with no change needed to bring more value.

It feels bizarre to share an experience so deeply with someone who communicated long distance via a typewriter; meanwhile I’m writing on a word processor that seems to understand grammar better than I do. However, maybe this points to something intrinsically valuable about these experiences. Writing this exactly one year after COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic – an event that that led to our lives changing in ways far more extensive than we first imagined possible – I invite us to explore the places in our lives where time is of little consequence. In these spaces, I hope that we may find purpose that is unfettered by the comings and goings of tumultuous times, and that, by God’s grace, it will persist for years to come.

One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing. 

Hélène Wirzba, Lethbridge Mennonite

I live within walking distance of Henderson Lake in Lethbridge.  Earlier this year, hundreds of ducks and geese took turns treading the water in order to keep a small area of the lake from freezing.  Despite the cold, everyday dozens of people gathered at the edge of the lake, amazed at their collective effort, taking pictures and engaging in conversations with each other.  Birds were fighting for their lives, and we created community. 

 

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 date April 6.  7-8 p.m. Mountain Time.

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

Registration required: http://acwalberta.ca/

And ...

from Donna Entz at North Edmonton Ministry   
Peacemakers Confessing Christ International (PCCI) is a network of Mennonites who engage Muslims somewhere in the world.   We in MCA and NEM are now partners in this network. Please join us for a stimulating discussion about engaging Muslims.  We will meet weekly for 8 weeks right after Easter, on zoom for one hour.  We will meet weekly for 8 weeks right after Easter, on zoom for one hour starting April 10 -- Every Saturday morning at 9:30 am.   
 
 Please spread the word . And..check out a sample video

In the midst of the worst-yet coronavirus outbreak in Palestine, Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) invites us to pray with them for students, staff, faculty, families and all Palestinians.

  • They pray for healing. Many have succumbed to the disease and hospitals are overwhelmed, especially due to the spread of virus variants. 
  • They pray for economic recovery in a situation that is becoming desperate due to long lockdowns, which have decimated the local tourism industry.
  • They pray for vaccines to arrive and become widely available. This has not yet begun in Palestine, except for front-line medical workers. 
Please watch and share this video of BBC President, Dr. Jack Sara, describing the present situation.
 
Mennonite Church Canada is proud to support Bethlehem Bible College through the Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network. For more information, visit mennonitechurch.ca/pin.

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.






We're HIRING!

Mennonite Church Canada invites applications for the position of executive assistant. The position is full-time and located in Winnipeg, Man. Applicants from across Canada are invited to apply. The start date is May 1, 2021.

The role's main responsibilities include assisting the executive minister and providing administrative support to the Executive Staff Group, Joint Council, Church Leadership Ministers and the Company of 1000 study reserve fund.

The full job posting is available on our website.

Job posting

Meet Mennonite Church Canada’s Sustainability Leadership Group 


 

The SLG focuses on the environmental and social impacts of Mennonite Church Canada activities. It identifies ways the regional churches and nationwide community can improve in these areas while remaining economically sustainable. 

Visit our Sustainability webpage: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/sustainability

 

INDIGENOUS-SETTLER RELATIONS 


ISR online book club runs this April 

Join Steve Heinrichs (director of Indigenous-Settler Relations) for an online book club this April on Beloved Amazonia. Beginning April 8, we’ll gather by Zoom each Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (CST) for five weeks of circle conversation. Together, we will dream new paths for the Church in these lands now called Canada. Together, we will consider what roles we can play to help make this gospel dream a reality. To register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/beloved-amazonia



NAIITS virtual symposium, June 3-5 - A Mennonite Church Canada ‘virtual delegation’ 

Mennonite Church Canada is sponsoring 20 friends from across our nationwide community to attend this year’s virtual NAIITS symposium — Treaty and Covenant: Creating Space for Hope, June 3 – 5, 2021. It will be a rich time of learning and relationship building. For more information and to register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/naiits-2021

International Witness
 

Continued prayer for Myanmar 

Having worshiped with Calgary Chin Christian Church during our Annual Delegate sessions, we encourage you to be in particular prayer for the community this week. 

With news of increasing violence in Myanmar, we invite you to continue to pray for the people of Myanmar. Pray also for our nationwide siblings in our community of faith, many of whom are still unable to reach their family members in Myanmar. We invite you to reach out with encouragement to:  

  

Colombia Mennonite Church asks for prayer amid violence 

Mennonite Church of Colombia (IMCOL) asks us to pray for them as they support congregations in areas of violence. “Violence is widespread and affects us all. There is not a day that goes by that we do not hear of deaths, fighting and coca crops and fear for the welfare of children, young people and the whole church. But as a Church we cannot fall into despair. These events pain us but we must strengthen our hope in God.” Praise God for the witness of peace they bring to the region and the strong message of hope in darkness. 

Pray for the future of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. 

PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., in Mindanao, Philippines, invites you to pray with them as they plan with Witness workers, Dann and Joji Pantoja, a sustainable future of training for peace and reconciliation and economic development with marginalized communities.  Pray for wisdom as they seek God’s vision for peace and harmony with the people and the land.  



Spring at CMU is online Tuesday, April 13, 7:00 PM CDT.
Join us at www.cmu.ca/springatcmu  to hear stories from students, faculty, and alumni including a spotlight on Science (Can you spot a good scientist?); CMU Singers’ premiere of Breathe by Leonard Enns (commissioned by the CMBC class of 1970); and some campus humour. Following the event, participate in an optional Zoom conversation with President Cheryl Pauls and others at 8:00 PM CDT. RSVP to development@cmu.ca by April 9 to receive the conversation Zoom link.

.                                           

New Guide - Season & Event Calendars 

A comprehensive set of links to church season resources, lectionary materials, thematic items for holidays and calendar events - www.commonword.ca/go/calendars 

 

Healing Haunted Histories by Elaine Enns and Ched Myers 

A family memoir, racial analysis and decolonization workbook from members of Nutana Park Mennonite Church. Shipping generously subsidized by Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations office – www.commonword.ca/go/2243

The Confession by Richard Toews 

The Confession – Richard Toews examines questions of theodicy, culpability and loss of story in this novel of Mennonites in Ukraine during the years encompassing the Russian Revolution and Hitler’s invasion of Stalin’s USSR - www.commonword.ca/go/2325


 
Calendar and resources: 

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

See the MCA website for up-to-date Covid-19 information as it impacts our worshiping together.

MCA Calendar
May 1 Camp Valaqua Work Day


  
Have a story to tell? One Good Thing to share? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
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