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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
March 10, 2021

In this issue

E3 Prayer 
A Menno Minute -- Brenda Tiessen-Wiens
Chin Church Celebration
One Good Thing  --  Gwen Worthington
ADS Workshops
Delegate sessions and Worship
Missions and Services Update
Camp Valaqua Rentals 
and more

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

Our E3 Prayer

As I gather with friends and church family virtually help me to hear your voice in our conversations

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

 A Menno MInute

The Spice in Spicy

My introduction to the Chin began with wearing the label “The English Teacher.” There had been a call for mentors to walk with the Chin and introduce them to the Mennonite story and faith when they were first exploring membership in MCA. Missing the point, I offered to teach English, instead. This is one of those places where you would say, “And the rest is history!”

I have been involved with the Chin for the past nine years, now, in contexts of: muddling through the English language, grammar checking official documents, preparing for GED, IELTS, CELPIP and citizenship exams, worshipping, celebrating various holidays, mourning at a funeral, blessing new homes, tax and mortgage discussions, sponsorship, a first attempt at cooking a turkey, and even a barbecue assembly. The English class sometimes looks more like a social club, and the open door policy of Peter and Mawite, the hosts, embraces people of any age and stage in life.

As I look back, my memory is filled with faces, names and occasions. Above all else, I see smiles. Contagious smiles. Trevor often commented that if I went to class dragging my feet a bit, I always came home full of energy. The Chin do this to you. I’ve been regaled with descriptions of the mountainous region where they grew up and how childhoods were spent. I’ve learned about Christmas and community traditions, and was particularly captivated by a story of how, in a village with no road access, the first teacher arrived, carried for days on the shoulders (literally) of a community member.

I love teaching English because it sheds light on assumptions that I didn’t know I had. It reveals quirks of Canadian culture that are only seen by fresh eyes. Learning language expands opportunities for education and employment, but it’s also about sharing hopes and dreams. I’ve heard words like, “Maybe this dream isn’t meant for people like me” and wondered what world we’ve structured where these barriers are so overwhelming for some.

Prayer is central in the Chin community. I recall standing in a circle with a small group of women before leaving for Women’s Retreat. Many of them were nervous because it was the first time they’d spent a night away from their children. We all prayed aloud and at the same time (something new for me!) and we were blessed. The blessings of prayer are shared often and I have found myself ministered to and cared for in my own times of loss and struggle.

Vivid colours fill my mind as I think of Chin National Day. The Chin are comprised of a multitude of smaller groups which each have their own traditional clothing. When they are all together, the room is an array of colour and texture. Traditional dances include the weaving of dancers and colours, tests of agility, and occasionally knives or weapons. The Chin put the “spice” in “spicy!” The first time I had Chin salad (salad!) tears flowed down my cheeks because I hadn’t looked closely enough to see what it was made of.

I look forward to worshipping and praying with the Chin on Sunday, March 14 as they celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their church and their new worship home. With gathering restrictions, it won’t be like other times, where the room is filled with the energy and voices of children reciting Bible verses or women singing. But like every time that I’m with the Chin, I know that it will be filled with God’s presence and God’s love. I invite you to hold them in your prayers as God continues to lead them and to call them into fellowship together.

 Baking class at Foothills and Chin National Day Celebration 
"God is doing a great work among us and it is in this light
that we want to share this important milestone in the life of Chin Church with you."

All are invited via Zoom. Read CCCC's celebratory Letter of Invitation 
linked from the MCA website home page.
One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing. 
Gwen Worthington, Love Wins house church, Cranbrook, B.C. 

Is there anything more glorious than a flower that blooms in the dead of winter? Or a flower blooms for six months?That's why I've long had a love affair with orchids! Here's my current collection.
 
Saturday March 13
This week's Pre-session ADS workshops 


Camp Valaqua 10:00 a.m 

Join Jon Olfert, Director of Camp Valaqua to talk about the year that was and what we are looking forward to in 2021. We will talk about the projects that have been keeping us busy, what we think summer might look like, and how you can get involved at Camp Valaqua

Canadian Mennonite University 11:00 a.m.   

A CMU Workshop:  So what are they really learning there anyway?

Join a conversation, moderated by Terry Schellenberg, with a number of undergraduate MCA students enrolled at CMU. Learn about classes that are bringing students to life. Discover how they – and CMU with them – are surviving and thriving through a pandemic. Deepen your understanding of how their faith experience is being shaped and strengthened. Pull up a chair and have a conversation with younger adults from five different MCA congregations!

If you've attended a Pre-ADS workshop, no need to re-register.  The ZOOM link is the same!  If you haven't, register at www.mcab.ca  

MCA Annual Delegate Sessions will be held via Zoom on March 20. Each congregation is entitled to send one delegate per 15 members (or part thereof). Registration by both delegates and guests is required and can be found on the MCA website www.mcab.ca.

The Zoom link has been emailed to those registered. Late registrations will receive theirs via the MCA website. Churches are asked to submit their delegate slate by March 12.

Report books are available here: https://mcab.ca/ads21  

Pre-assembly workshops have been very well attended! Please join us this Saturday. 
March 13             Camp Valaqua 10:00 a.m. and CMU 11:00 a.m. 
If you have attended a Pre-ADS workshop, no need to register. The Zoom link is the same. If not, register at www.mcab.ca
Mark your calendars and plan to join our MCA family of congregations
for Worship via Zoom 


as we launch Year Two of our E3 Action Plan:
Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ in Community

March 21, 10:30 a.m. WORSHIP for ALL
See www.mcab.ca to register or watch your email for a zoom link from your church office. 

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/


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.

RJC Virtual Choirs & Cakes fundraiser: Join us online on March 14 at 7:00pm (SK CST) for our annual fundraising concert and dessert auction. Enjoy an evening of good music and entertainment by the students, staff, alumni, and friends of RJC. Watch the event and participate in the auction at rjc.sk.ca/cakes

Call for RJC alumni & friends to join virtual choirs: We invite anyone interested to join one or both of the virtual alumni & friends choirs that Richard Janzen is putting together for RJC's upcoming Virtual Choirs & Cakes fundraiser event on March 14. There will be a mass choir (alumni, friends, greater community, & RJC students) and an alumni & friends choir. All are welcome. If you are interested in singing, email richard@rjc.sk.ca.  








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

 

News from our partners 

Support human rights defenders in Colombia 

In 2020, more than 300 human rights defenders in Colombia were assassinated and more than 20 have already been assassinated within the first weeks of 2021. Christian Peacemaker Teams – which has accompanied oppressed peoples in Colombia for 20 years – invites us to sign the following international solidarity letter to demand the protection of human rights defenders. Together, we can cry out for an end to the cycles of violence and death. 

Sign the Letter: Raise Your Voice for Social Justice in Colombia. 

International Witness
 

Mennonite Church Canada PIN asks for prayer for Israeli election 

The Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network requests prayers that the elections scheduled for March 23 be fair and free for all citizens of the state of Israel (i.e., not including the occupied Palestinian territories), both for Jewish Israelis and for the Palestinian minority.  We ask that God will guide the elections so that justice, equality and peace may come to the land. 

New believers join Maliwan church 

Pray for the Maliwan Mennonite Church in Khon Kaen, Thailand, and for Christine and Tom Poovong as they give leadership to this congregation. Pray that believers who have come to faith in the last couple of months grow to become a strong support for this group and a blessing to the community where they worship.   

Farmers begin training from PBCI and Coffee for Peace 

Praise God for the 12 farming families that began the six-month training by the Inclusive Development Consulting Team of PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee for Peace. Pray for Joji and Dann Pantoja and their colleagues as they plan and train. 

More here: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/01/founding-leaders-of-kapeyapaan-farmers-association-alegre-start-their-training/ 

.                                           

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 

  Lent 

  • Including resources for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday – www.commonword.ca/go/2213 

  • Lenten Guided Prayer from Mennonite Spiritual Directors of Eastern Canada – www.commonword.ca/go/2221 

 An At-Home devotional guide for families from Mennonite Church USA – www.commonword.ca/go/2240


Easter

Including resources for Easter Sunday and the season following Easter - www.commonword.ca/go/2231 

From Friends of CommonWord 

A family memoir, racial analysis and decolonization workbook by Elaine Enns and Ched Myers.  Due to be released in a few weeks.  Shipping generously subsidized by Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations office – www.commonword.ca/go/2243

New from MCC 

A look at the ministry of service and reconciliation through the lens of MCC’s work - www.commonword.ca/go/2314 

   
Calendar 
 

 

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
ADS Pre-session Workshops
March 13             Camp Valaqua 10:00 a.m. and CMU 11:00 a.m. 
March 14             Chin Church Grand Opening and 10 Year Anniversary



Saturday, March 20, 9:30 a.m.                            Annual Delegate Sessions -- via ZOOM
Sunday, March 21, 10:30 a.m.                  Online Worship for ALL MCA congregations
  
Have a story to tell? One Good Thing to share? Feedback on the MCA Communiqué?
Email communications@mcab.ca
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