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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
October 28, 2020

In this issue

E3 Prayer - A Menno Minute
Our Stories Correction
90 Seconds of Nature
Christian-Muslim Dialogue
Engage
MCA Special Check-In


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


Our E3 Prayer

Oh God, may I encounter you in the silence of my home as I isolate for the safety of others.
A Menno MInute


Marguerite Jack, Mennonite Mutual Insurance


The Gift of Covid -- Do not fear...

Our churches have gone through a lot of change and ways of “doing” church over the past few months.  It’s amazing how creative churches have been!!  I visit many different congregations through my work with MMI Insurance – with appropriate distancing and masking – and am very inspired and encouraged by what I hear.  
Over the past year the MMI Board has embraced a Vision of “supporting and strengthening the church”.   They have rolled out a program of donating 4% per annum of earned premiums generated by MMI policyholders to member churches. MMI mails out these donations on a quarterly basis but sometimes we deliver these donations in person to the pastors or MMI volunteers in those churches. Churches are using those donated funds for various projects.     

They are using the monies to send to Guatemala for the couple in their church who work with orphans. They are using the monies for sprucing up their church building and grounds. Overwhelmingly they are using these monies for projectors, sound boards and other media so that they stay connected with their congregation and their communities. Some have been live streaming through Facebook, or connecting via Zoom, or recording a service and sending out a link for their members. They have been surprised by the people that participate distantly …. neighbors, church members, friends and family that haven’t come to church in years, members that are in different countries, people that would have not participated in person.

So we are connecting – differently – but connecting. We lament that we can’t see each other in person and that we must physically distance even if we do meet occasionally.  

But God’s spirit is around and among us. Churches have found new ways to encourage community and there are persons in our communities that are more comfortable “zooming” in rather than meeting in person.  They are hearing our stories and perhaps we are or will be hearing theirs. Projectors and sound boards and other media is becoming a way to do church in ways we would have never imagined a year ago. Yes, our churches have remained empty but we are grateful for the technology that has allowed us to feel as close to one another as possible. What a gift!! Although physical presence has disappeared the heart still longs for the connection. God gives a promise to his people as noted in Haggai.

“This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.  Haggai 2:5

We can’t imagine what tomorrow will bring – or next year. Although Zoom is a great connector it doesn’t afford us the community that we ultimately long for.  We will get together again and God is with us.  His promise in Haggai is a reminder to us in 2020 – his spirit remains among us – do not fear! Although Covid is a nasty bug and has devastated us in so many ways – it has also brought us gifts that we would otherwise not have.


Our Stories --  Correction

Our Stories is a new series both in the Communiqué and on the MCA website. One congregation per month will share a story for our wider MCA family. The series is coordinated by the Community Building/Program Committee. If you have a story idea, please contact Kate, Correen or Karen or email communications@mcab.ca  


The newsletter gremlins were at work last week and thus, there were two broken links in the Our Stories story. 

Click HERE for the MCA Our Stories webpage.

And HERE to donate to Calgary Chin Christian Church's building fund. 
Click on Jon for another 90 Seconds of Nature.
Be sure to turn your volume up!
This Saturday!

North Edmonton Ministries

Christian-Muslim Dialogue, October 31 -- Online
1:30-4:30 p.m.
Register today!

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

REGISTER TODAY

MCA Special Check-In Zoom Meeting

November 7, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM.
All MCA congregations are invited to a Special Check-In Zoom meeting. 
At this event congregations will have the opportunity to give updates from their church and hear about the ministries we share. Although there will be no official motions, the MCA Executive looks forward to this time of mutual support and discernment about our MCA priorities and ministry direction.

All are welcome, with the hope that each congregation would be represented by their chairperson, pastor(s), treasurer, and at least 1-3 others. 
Registration form at https://mcab.ca/   (Scroll down.)
Please pray for our MCA pastors as they gather at King's Fold Retreat Centre,
November 3 to 4.

Pastors, register with Tim Wiebe-Neufeld.  tim@mennonitechurch.ab.ca

International Witness

Thailand Witness workers ask for prayers for peace 

International Witness workers, Tom and Christine Poovong, ask for prayers for peace in Thailand. Protestors and activists have been marching and demanding change in government since July. Pray for the safety of protestors and wisdom of government leaders and the monarchy as they respond to demands.    

New Anabaptist study groups in China 

Pray for the newly formed network of Anabaptist study groups in China. Pray that study resources and classes beginning next week will strengthen and encourage people’s faith. Pray that pastors and leaders guide with wisdom, led by the Spirit.   

AIMM annual meetings in November 

Pray for the online Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission annual meetings in early November. Pray for a Spirit of unity and understanding as people come together from five countries to discern and plan for this next year. Pray that the online nature of the meetings this year won’t stand in the way of strengthening relationships. Pray for wisdom as AIMM chooses a new executive director.   



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. 
Introductions to the various ministries of International Witness will be featured in upcoming editions of the MCA Communiqué. 

"Seize the Day" 
George Vieth, Witness worker in China
based on the story of Philip from Acts 8:26-39 and Colossians 2-6. 

Indigenous Settler Relations   

In Nova Scotia, Ontario and B.C., we are witnessing conflicts over Treaty rights, Indigenous lands and resource development. What can the church consider these matters and how might we act? Be It Resolved, a new anthology, documents over 50 years of resolutions by Mennonite churches and partner coalitions to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples. An eight-session study guide helps us explore what these commitments mean for our responses today and will stoke group discussion or individual reflection. Study groups can purchase five copies for $75 through CommonWord


Worship and Mission: Book reviewers wanted! 

What does worship have to do with mission? How should our worship look and feel in order to embody peace and embolden justice?  The Anabaptist Witness journal is creating an issue that explores the connections between witness and worship. We have a bunch of amazing books on the topic and are looking for people to read and write personal reflections that engage church contexts. If you are interested, please contact Steve Heinrichs.   

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

We are close to our goal! As a nationwide community of faith we have raised $40,000, for 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. Help us reach, $50,000! Donations go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

New from Mennonite Church Canada 

Be It Resolved

This anthology brings together over 90 documents that trace the history of Anabaptist commitments to Indigenous justice and decolonization since the mid-1960s.  Includes a study guide. 

 

Join CommonRead 

An important read during COVID-19 when we all have faced many losses.  Available to buy at discounted rates.  Group study guide and a link to a discussion with author Stephanie Lobdell is also available – www.commonword.ca/go/2124 

 

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 will soon be available through CommonWord.  Watch our website for more details. 

 


Virtual book launch 

Join us for an online conversation with Ray Friesen, November 12, 7 p.m. CDT, on the launch of his book Wandering the Wilderness

 

Salt of the Earth 

A unique Christian Seasons calendar - beginning Advent 2020. Buy - www.commonword.ca/go/2177

 




Watch Recent Recorded Webinars/Zoom Events   

Seeing through the Pandemic – CMU Face2 Face panel conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2144  

Liberating the Politics of Jesus: Women’s Wisdom and Experience – MC USA Women Doing Theology – www.commonword.ca/go/2153   

Doctrine of Discovery: Honouring our Connections to the Land – MCBC conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2154  

It Can Be Done: Children's Sunday School during COVID – MennoMedia Shine – www.commonword.ca/go/2155  

Treaty as Sacred Covenant with Myeengun Henry – MCEC conversation – www.commonword.ca/go/2156  
 

Join an Upcoming Online Event  

CMU’s Renew:  Resources for Preaching – Nov 24  

Voices Together Digital Launch – December 13  

For more information, see www.commonword.ca/go/events 

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. 

Have a story to tell? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
Email communications@mcab.ca
MCA Calendar
Oct 14-Nov 18.      Engage: Learning to Walk with People from other Faith Backgrounds
Oct 31                    Christian-Muslim Dialogue -- Online
Nov 3/4                  MCA Pastors Retreat at King's Fold Retreat Centre
Nov 7                     Special Congregational Zoom Check-In       
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