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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
June 30, 2021

In this issue

Our E3 Prayer 
We lament
NEM Update 
A Menno MInute -- Tim Wiebe Neufeld
Camp Camp CAMP!!!
Help wanted
Student Bursary Applications 
Employment Opportunity
and more... 

Plus... updates from MC Canada, ISR, International Witness, RJC and CMU, and CommonWord
(If this newsletter does not format properly as an email, please click the link above to view in your browser)
MCA Calendar
July 31 Deadline for Student Bursaries
September 25 Heritage Retreat A hybrid event -- both LIVE  and via ZOOM

E3 = MCA             Year 2  Christ in Community

Our E3 Prayer

As the summer sunshine warms the earth and your people, may the warmth of your love radiate through us to warm the hearts of those around us.

Mennonite Church Alberta joins MC Sask and the rest of MC Canada in lament following the discovery of children's remains  at a residential school site on the Cowessess First Nation. We join knowing that more unmarked graves will most certainly be found and that some of these will be in Alberta. We pray in sorrow and solidarity with our Indigenous friends and neighbours.

June 25, 2021

We join our siblings in Mennonite Church Saskatchewan as they lament 751 unmarked graves recently found on Cowessess First Nation, near what was once Marieval Indian Residential School:

The congregations of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan sit in a season of grief in the wake of the discovery of a further 751 unmarked graves near a former Indian residential school close by the Cowessess First Nation. We lament in solidarity with the sorrow of Indigenous neighbours and communities throughout southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba whose children were abducted to the Marieval Indian Residential School. We offer our grief to all those who are impacted by the news of these deaths, and we pray for all those who bear the wounds of the residential school system, as well as for those who have been re-traumatized by this discovery.

As congregations of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, we renew our efforts to understand the impact Indian Residential Schools continue to have on our Indigenous neighbours and seek to implement the TRC's Calls to Action (esp. calls 48-49, 58-61, and 73-75), pursuing a just (re)conciliation where tending wounds fosters the healing and hope of beloved community. Read full response.

Hospitality, Dialogue, Peacebuilding and Witness
– a framework for building mutual relationships

Over the last two months, fifteen participants from Mennonite church communities across Alberta met on Saturday mornings to explore.the “Peacemakers Confessing Christ International” (https://www.pcci.team/), discussion series.   Read More

 

A Menno Minute











Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, MCA Executive Minister 

An Encounter, Embrace, and Embodiment of Christ in Community:

Reflections on A Meeting with the Congregational Chairs of MCA

“It is so good to connect with each other”. In my four years as Executive Minister of MCA I have heard this sentiment expressed many times in many different ways, reflecting connections between individuals, groups, congregations, and as the broader Mennonite community of faith.

It is a feeling I heard expressed again this past Monday night as I met with the church chairpersons from the congregations of MCA. Together with MCA’s Moderator Brenda Tiessen-Wiens, we gathered by zoom to check in with each other, share thoughts and challenges, and support each other. This was the third gathering of MCA church lay leaders in recent weeks, with previous meetings taking place for church treasurers and church office administrators. While MCA’s pastors have a long history of regularly meeting together, the covid-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of nurturing other connections with in our church family.

As we went around “the screen”, it was to be expected that covid-19 featured prominently in our conversation. People shared how each church has been coping with the health restrictions and figuring out ways to connect while seeking to ensure people’s safety. We learned about different approaches and techniques to worship, whether online or in person within health guidelines. We heard about navigating difficult conversations and differing opinions. We celebrated God’s guidance that led through these conversations in a spirit of respect, love, and peace.

With pandemic restrictions set to end on July 1, we spent a fair amount of time sharing how churches are approaching reopening plans. Several challenges were highlighted, including:

    • navigating the eagerness of some to fully reopen with those more comfortable with taking things more slowly
    • acknowledging those who have experienced loss this past year, such as a person’s passing that could not be properly mourned as a full community
    • recognizing the limitations of welcoming newcomers in these pandemic times, who may or may not have experienced connection with our church communities as we might have hoped
    • moving forward with in-person worship while some are able to experience church more fully online, leading to the need to figure out hybrid ways of worshipping together

It was encouraging to hear how congregations were approaching challenges like these, and striving to do so in Christ-like ways.  In his letter to the Ephesians Paul writes, “…we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love”. (4:15b-16)  I pray that we may continue to “build up the body in love” as we walk through challenges with each other as the MCA community of faith.

As the MCA faith family we are halfway through Year 2 of our 3 Year Action Plan, “Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ…in Community”. The past 16 months of health restrictions have forced us to look for different ways to connect with each other and be the community God calls us to be. I am grateful for the many ways God brings people together even during a pandemic, whether within our faith family or beyond.
 


Reopening Resources

As Alberta enters Stage 3 of its reopening plan on July 1, check out the Alberta website for the latest guidelines and information.

The Anabaptist Worship Network has some helpful worship ideas for congregations as they begin to reopen after the pandemic closures.  Their webinar about reopening can be watched here. Slides from their presentation are available here.

Some Guidance from the Anabaptist Worship Webinar:

  • Celebrate return to in-person worship (remember that not everyone is present)
  • Lament the hardships of the pandemic
  • Grieve death and loss of pandemic
  • Acknowledge other changes during the year - graduation, gaining or losing members, what else?
  • Evaluate rituals (old and new)
  • Ask what is giving life in your community?
  • Ask what is essential and meaningful in each ritual

Camp Valaqua Update:

Camp is still looking for an assistant cook for August, more kitchen volunteers, and a chaplain for August 22-27.
Email Jon at director@campvalaqua.com 

Other news: Camp Valaqua is happy to be able to implement rapid testing with our staff, campers, and volunteers this summer! Rapid tests are one more tool to help keep our Summer Camp community safe. These tests, provided by AHS, test for asymptomatic positives. So if you're popping in at Camp this summer, prepare to be swabbed! 


Donations (and photos!) continue to be accepted toward the 2021 Camp Valaqua Hike-a-thon


Ron Janzen,
of Springridge Mennonite, Pincher Creek, has been fundraising for the Camp Valaqua Hike-a-thon for over 20 years, often bringing in the most donations. And yet, fundraising is only one part of his contribution to life at Camp Valaqua. 


Read more of Ron's story. 

 


Trinity Mennonite Church is looking for a part time Communications Coordinator, starting July 25, if possible. The Coordinator is required to enhance communication between people and groups within Trinity, maintain records and church building schedules, post communications to various groups, and prepare and email the weekly Trinity Trumpet. An ability to update the website is preferred. Trinity requires flexibility and is willing to work with an individual's schedule. Please contact Pastor Will Loewen at william.loewen@calgarytmc.ca for more details. 
DON'T MISS OUT!!! 
2021-2022 STUDENT BURSARIES

Bursaries are available for students
attending Canadian Mennonite University or Columbia Bible College


Deadline July 31, 2021

Mennonite Church Alberta (MCA) Employment Opportunity

Church Engagement Minister,  .5 FTE

For a full job description, see mcab.ca/careers.  Inquiries and resumes may be directed to moderator@mcab.ca

Are you looking for ways that you and your congregation can connect with E3 Year 2?

Worship Leaders, are you looking for a pre-recorded sermon to use as part of your E3 Sunday? 

All E3 Y2 Resources are available HERE. 

Thank you to Common Word for again compiling E3 Resources for us!
 



 

Nationwide service for July 4 – First Mennonite Church Edmonton



This service focuses on the scriptural promise of the Ascension captured in Luke 24: 44-53.  Woven throughout is the theme of cross-pollination – a calling Donna Entz explores as she shares with us her last sermon in her role as director of North Edmonton Ministry.  Inter-cultural and inter-faith cross-pollination was the focus of Donna’s work for ten years.  Donna and Loren Entz will be moving to Winnipeg in September 2021.

The services will be available at mennonitechurch.ca/worshipservices and on our YouTube channel.
Thank you to Foothills and Trinity Mennonite for also volunteering to represent MCA!!



"We cannot stand by silently in the face of injustice"
How our sister church Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia is responding to ongoing violence

Justapax, the justice and peace ministry of Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (IMCOL), nestled between other citizens, human rights workers and labour unions, joined a march on the Séptima, one of the busiest streets in Bogotá, Colombia. Read more.


“What we have seen, what we have heard”
a six-week study guide for Gathering 2022 

Across the nationwide church, congregations are being invited to witness to what God has been doing among us. What have you seen? What have you heard God doing in your life and the life of your community? This six-weeks study series invite congregations to understand how they are living witnesses to the gospel.

Consider using this study guide this fall for adult education, care groups or even as a worship series. Available through CommonWord this August 2021. 


Job opportunity with Mennonite Church Canada
Wouldn't it make sense if this was someone FROM Alberta? 
Someone for whom Camp Valaqua is already a sacred space? 


Mennonite Church Canada invites applications for a Nationwide Youth Gathering Event Coordinator.  The Nationwide Youth Gathering will take place July 31- Aug 4, 2022, at Camp Valaqua near Calgary, Alta. This position is a one-year term/contract beginning August 16 2021 at .4 FTE.  Applicants from across Canada are invited to apply. Applications will be considered beginning July 6, 2021.  For the full job description go to: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/get-involved#youth-coordinator-2022.


Save these Dates!!
Youth!  Youth workers!  Plans are coming together for a fantastic time at Camp Valaqua. 

Indigenous Settler Relations

Bill C-15 reaches Royal Assent! 

Bill C-15, An Act regarding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, received Royal Assent on June 21, 2021, National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a victory to celebrate! Many thanks to everyone who showed their support through written e-mails and letters the Senate. Our work on the path towards reconciliation continues. To learn more about this Bill and the Declaration visit https://www.faithinthedeclaration.ca/.  

 

Join the Be it Resolved Challenge 

Deadline to Register July 5!!

The Be it Resolved Challenge is a nationwide initiative encouraging Mennonite Church Canada members and congregations to create and commit to new resolutions for Indigenous justice. Learn more here:   

https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11800-indigenous-settler-relations-launches-be-it-resolved-challenge 

 




 

International Witness

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 24, 2021, is International Witness Sunday 
 




Learning together – online conversation with Colombia Mennonite Church 

July 10, 2021, 11 a.m. CDT 

Pray for the planning and the speakers in the online conversation between the Colombian Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church Canada. We will learn about current events in our countries and how our churches are responding. To register, visit https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/event/11867-2021-07-10-learning-together-an-online-conversation 











Support the dehydrator project in Philippines 

Learn how a request for funds for a simple food dehydrator from Witness workers Lakan and Lakambini Sumulong (Dann and Joji Pantoja) motivated generous giving from Mennonite congregations in MCEC and across our nationwide family of faith. https://mcec.ca/article/13354-the-pennies-were-already-there 

COVID restrictions reduce connection for Witness workers 

Travel restrictions within Thailand due to COVID-19 have limited the amount of time that Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong spend with the network of 40 congregations that are part of the Friends of Grace Church Association. Pray that the Poovongs will continue to find creative ways to connect and that the local leaders of these congregations will grow in confidence and wisdom. 

Calls for unity amid election in Ethiopia 

Pray that the recent elections in Ethiopia will help bring unity not division to ongoing ethnic tensions. Pray that Meserete Kristos Church will be strengthened as a living example of Jesus’s prayer for his disciples.   

We are OPEN for individual tours during July and August this summer! Book a personal visit time to tour the CMU campus and meet a few staff and faculty along the way. Four time slots are offered each weekday—evening/weekend times available upon request. We can't wait to show you around! Book a time here: enrolment.cmu.ca/portal/personal_visits.
 

CMU is looking for long term renters for furnished 1-bedroom apartments. The monthly rental rate is $978.70 per month which includes internet and all utilities. Parking is available for $35.05 per month. For more information, please contact Kara Klassen by phone at 204-594-0513 or email at rental@cmu.ca.

Are there students from your church planning to attend CMU in the fall? Check out the Church Matching Grant partnership! Churches can contribute to a student’s CMU tuition and have CMU match the funds up to $500/year/student. Details and applications at cmu.ca/future/financial/church-matching.

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Summer Reading List 

Our 13th annual list of titles for the lawn chair, hammock or beach blanket – to buy, borrow or special order - www.commonword.ca/go/2447. 

  







New digital worship resources available this summer 

Many new worship resources (music, visual, text) are being catalogued again this summer.  Available at both www.togetherinworship.net and CommonWord (www.commonword.ca/go/tiw).   

  

Featured resources: 
 

 

Creation Care resources - http://www.commonword.ca/go/2256 



 

 

The Church and the Coronavirus Pandemic

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

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