The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
September 16, 2020

In this issue

E3 Prayer - A Menno Minute:
Thank you!
Fall Update!
E3 Celebration 
Meet our Students
Table Talk 

And more!
Don't miss updates from Mennonite Church Canada, International Witness,
Indigenous Settler Relations, MWC, and Common Word, 
Donate today
E3 = MCA 
Year 1  Christ in life

Our E3 Prayer

God, speak through me.
Use my words to help others to feel your love .
A Menno Minute


I remember leaving Edmonton in late June of 1996 with my best friend. We were heading south to spend our summer at Camp Valaqua. We had both just finished the last of our diploma exams and had graduated from Grade 12. We left the city, which had been blanketed in a grey and gloomy sky, and the clouds gave way to a bright, blue sky. Both of us felt the weight of our everyday lives lift from our shoulders and joy filled our beings. We knew we we were heading to the place where we could be fully ourselves in nature and explore who we are and our place in the world. A powerful moment for us both. 

This moment of my youth returned to me this summer as I thought about all the staff, campers and volunteers who had their summer plans at Valaqua interrupted due to the pandemic. Not being able to attend summer camp may seem like a minor inconvenience to some but is far from that for many. Some people have waited their whole lives to work at camp.  For others, Valaqua is the one place where they feel a sense of belonging.  And for many, summer camp is the only time throughout the year when they get the opportunity to spend time with friends who may be scattered throughout the province.

I had the opportunity to spend some time at Valaqua this summer with some close friends and their families. While it felt strange to see the camp empty of children and youth, the elated shouts of our own children echoed through the trees as they played on the swings, competed in the ga-ga ball pit and splashed in the river. These sounds filled me with hope that there will be a jubilant return of children and youth to Valaqua. That is something worth celebrating and, when that time comes again, we will! 

Thank you
to all those who participated in the creation of worship services shared with our wider Mennonite church family. 

From one appreciative member, sent to Mennonite Church Canada

    I just wanted to thank you for providing the video church services from across Canada during this time of church closures.  

    It was very interesting to be a part of the various types of worship and I felt connected spiritually to the larger Mennonite family for the first time.

   In addition to the local streaming, these were uplifting and meaningful to my personal spiritual growth as I looked forward to each one!   

(My apologies for missing Holyrood's video as well as the joint Good Friday video as I was scrolling through MC Canada's listing of services last week. What creativity and variety!  RBB)

The MCA Fall Update!
Rather than a conventional bulletin insert, your MCA staff went digital and got creative!




E3 Celebration and Commitment Service

On Sunday, September 27 MCA Congregations have been asked to focus
on our E3 Theme: Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ…in Life

The service will include a time for individuals to share a commitment they would like to make to a prayer or spiritual practice. Or, to share a way they have already experienced “encountering, embracing, embodying Christ” in their life. 

In preparation for this service:

Ask yourself how, in the past year, you have become more open to encounter, embrace, and embody Christ. Or, how you can do so in the year to come.

Some ideas are

  • Commit to daily prayer 
  • Begin a gratitude journal 
  • Take up fasting 
  • Lectio divino 
  • Select a spiritual friend 
  • Develop a statement of faith 
  • Listen to a faith-based podcast 
  • Read a book on faith or prayer 
  • Try new kinds of prayers 
  • Take on an intentional practice 
  • Join a class or club Sunday School, Bible Study or Book Club
  • Pray through the day

More ideas can be found on Overview of Year One and the pdf Bucket Lists  HERE .

There will be opportunity for all churches to contribute to a digital celebration of our personal and collective growth — and aspirations for the future. Your worship leaders will guide you! 

Watch for a Fall Update Digital Bulletin Insert September 20. 


Meet our Students
2020-2021 Student Bursary Profile

Cassidy Brown

My decision to attend an Anabaptist post-secondary began as a curiosity about my faith, and a yearning for intentional community, and has blossomed into a yearning to integrate my faith with my education.

At Canadian Mennonite University you are required to take six credit hours, or two classes, of math or science courses in order to graduate. I’ve never been incredibly interested in math or science but enrolled in a class called the Evolutionary and Ecological Revolution. I grew up believing that there was a strict line between religion and science, and it’s taken a lot of learning to integrate these two ideas. My professor in this course was gentle in guiding the students through applying a religious view to science, and vice-versa.

Another benefit that CMU has provided me with is community-based events. These cater not only to those who are attending or work at CMU, but to other church congregations or others in the area. These events offer students the ability to navigate the interaction with their faith and current events that are happening in Manitoba, Canada, and the globe.

Relating back to the theme of integration between science and Anabaptism, every year, CMU has a “Scientist in residence” which is a guest who comes and is specially trained in integrating science and religion in a way that is accessible and easy to navigate for those who may not be used to this topic. All in all, attending CMU has allowed me to challenge my views on science and religion.

Meet our Table Talk guest speakers: Jesse Nickel 

Professor of Biblical Studies at Columbia Bible College, Jesse Nickel will be a guest speaker at Mennonite Church Canada's study conference Table Talk 2020: "Does the Church still have legs?" on October 24. He will present on worship in the New Testament. In this short interview, he shares about how the NT encourages us to be open to what worship can be. 

Register for Mennonite Church Canada’s virtual study conference on Oct. 24, 2020.


Join our nationwide community of faith as we gather virtually for “Table Talk: Does the Church Still have Legs?”, a virtual study conference on Saturday, Oct. 24, on the nature and identity of the church and the role of worship. Plenary speakers from Mennonite Church Canada-affiliated universities and colleges will present on themes of ecclesiology and worship.    

Xplore courses for +55 moving online
Xplore, a 55-plus enrichment program offered by Canadian Mennonite University, offers courses that investigate dimensions of the Christian faith, our world, and life in it. All without any assignments or examinations! Because of COVID-19, all Xplore courses in 20-21 are moving online via Zoom, thus making all courses available widely across the country. Eight stimulating courses are offered every Wednesday and Thursday morning over a six-week period, beginning September 30. View course, tuition, and registration information here  Courses and teachers this fall include: 
·         Reading the Bible with Jesus – Michael Pahl
·         Journaling through Grief – Wilma Derksen
·         Beyond the Numbers: Pandemic Reordering the World we Knew – Janet Plenert
·         Denominations:  What are they and what are they good for? – Gerald Gerbrandt
·         Race and Racism – Jobb Arnold
·         “ that through the church...” Vision and Challenge from the Letter of Ephesians – Robert J. Suderman
·         Exploring Mennonite Schisms:  Theology, Personality, or Church Practices? – Hans Werner
·         Life Sentences:  Writing for Yourself and Others – Larry Danielson

Interview by Katie Doke Sawatsky, Mennonite Church Canada.

Postures of trust: an interview with Tany Warkentin 

Liaison to Ministry in Africa for Mennonite Church Canada Tany Warkentin shares in our latest interview about the relationships formed between our Canadian congregations and the Burkina Faso Church and ways congregations can learn more and become involved in International Witness ministry in Africa.


SAVE THE DATE: International Witness Sunday, October 18, 2020  

Resources for International Witness Sunday on October 18, 2020, (or any Sunday your congregation deems appropriate) are now available! Online resources including: recorded sermons, videos, worship ideas, children’s stories, pictures and information about International Witness to inform and inspire are now available to your congregation through our website. Ways to give. Ways to learn. Ways to get involved! Go to

Less violence in Burkina Faso 

Praise God for a recent decrease in violence in the area around the Burkina Faso Mennonite churches. Pray for protection of people and for the resolution to this conflict. Pray that the believers in this area will have strength and courage to work for peace in a difficult situation.  

First edition of peace journal launches in South Korea 

Bock Ki Kim and Sook Kyoung Park, Witness workers in South Korea, ask for praise and prayer in the release of the first edition of Peace Journal “Plan P.” May God use this journal to bring together many groups and individuals working for peace in this country and beyond.   

More opportunity to be peaceful presence 

Pray for Tobia Veith, Witness worker in China, as she ministers to university students who are isolated on campus. May her presence bring peace to them as they study and live through lockdown on campus. Pray that Tobia experiences God’s love and joy in the extra time she has to be with her students. 






Canada at a Crossroads online bookclub Oct 8-Nov. 26, 2020 

Register at 

What are the things that separate and unite Indigenous and settler peoples? What can we do to challenge structural racism and repair broken relationship? Join Steve Heinrichs for an online book club this fall, exploring the new book Canada at a Crossroads by sociologist Jeff Denis. Beginning Oct. 8, we’ll gather by Zoom each Thursday at 7 p.m. (CST) for 8 weeks for a circle conversation, sharing with each other our questions and learnings, our hearts and hopes. Together, we’ll seek to understand how we might nurture Treaty friendships.  



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

This spring Mennonite Church Canada donated $50,000 to 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. Now Mennonite Church Canada is asking its congregations to match this donation so that we collectively raise $100,000. Donations go through regional churches. Click here for more info. 

Join CommonRead! 

Together with MennoMedia, we are encouraging congregations, nationwide, to study a common title this fall: Signs of Life: Resurrecting Hope Out of Ordinary Losses. In the context of COVID-19, we have all experienced losses of one type or another. This guide will inspire conversations of lament and hope. Listen to an inspiring interview with author Stephanie Lobdell, download the study guide, or purchase copies at a discount –   

Upcoming Webinar: It Can Be Done! Children’s Sunday School During COVID-19 

Join Mennonite Church USA and Joan Daggett of Shine curriculum to discuss new digital options for Sunday School during the pandemic. Shana Boshart Peachey from MC USA hosts the conversation – Canadians invited. Sept. 23, 2:30 EDT/1:30 CDT/12:30 MDT/11:30 PDT. Register at     

New children’s stories from Kevin Drudge, pastor at Covenant Mennonite Fellowship in Winkler, Man. 

Borrow or Buy - $13.49 each 

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 ( 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. 

Stories, Events, Announcements?

MCA Calendar
Sept 27        E3 Celebration & Commitment Service
Oct 18          International Witness Sunday
Oct 24          MC Canada Study Conference - Online
Oct 31          Christian-Muslim Dialogue
Facebook Group
Mennonite Church Alberta
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