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The MCA Communiqué
January 5, 2022

In this issue

Our E3 Prayer and  Prayer Updates 
HOPE -- A Menno MInute -- Brenda Tiessen-Wiens
And LOVE -- a blog post by Suzanne Gross
Camp Swag -- Thank you! -- and PEACE or 90 seconds of Nature

And more from MC Canada, International Witness, Indigenous Settler Relations, our schools and Common Word. 
(If this newsletter does not format properly as an email, please click the link above to view in your browser)
MCA Calendar
February 25, 26 Snow Camp
March 19 Annual Delegate Sessions, First Mennonite Calgary 
July 29 - August 1  We Declare: Gathering 2022, Edmonton
July 31 - August 4   Amplify: Youth Gathering, Camp Valaqua

E3 = MCA             Year 2  Christ in Community

Our E3 Prayer
O God, Light of the World, Shine in and through us this and every day.

International Witness Prayer Updates
Werner and Joanne leave for Ethiopia in 11 days! Pray that they will be able to take care of all the details still to be done before then. Pray for Werner as he continues to prepare for his classes at Meserete Kristos Seminary. 

Click the photo below to experience some of their excitement on finally receiving their tickets! 

A Menno MInute

Brenda Tiessen-Wiens, MCA moderator

Hope:  What a beautiful thing to observe!

The last month of 2021 was filled with connections with family and friends through Christmas cards, letters and photos, spontaneous video chats and a family corny joke challenge that brightened each day. Throughout December and now into the new year, social media friends have been sharing numerous spiritual insights and words of inspiration.

I don’t know if this year-end pattern reflects people’s own need for encouragement to make it through these cold winter days and consecutive pandemic waves, or if it’s a sign that deep within our beings, we are more optimistic and joyful than we might think. (Or, perhaps, it reflects that I’m surrounded by very positive networks!)

I welcome these connections, smiles and encouraging words as an antidote to the daily news. I welcome them as a reminder that, in spite of all the discouraging messages around us, there are celebrations to be shared and joy to be found, and that each new day brings hope.

I’m reminded of the numerous “you become what you surround yourself with” adages that are meant to inspire and transform. And I think about God’s people. Specifically, I think of the variety of ways that people are immersing themselves in and reflecting one of the core aspects of God’s nature: hope. What a beautiful thing to observe!

2022 didn’t begin with any grand resolutions for me, but I did start my own little “something new for the new year.” I’m attempting my first winter garden and calling it my Garden of Hope. The first seeds have just sprouted and over the next few months I’m looking forward to waiting, watching, and watering. My little garden has become a “prayer pause” each time I pass by it, reminding me of God’s people, God’s hope and God’s joy!
 

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(If you have an idea for a Menno Minute or know a writer you would like to see here -- send any and all suggestions to communications@mcab.ca) 

In case you missed it: 
A new blog post by Suzanne Gross, NEM interim worker. 

Love is Never Carried Alone

I am sitting in the warm-up room at Al Rashid Mosque, volunteering to welcome anyone in need of food and company.  Al Rashid is one of the partners with the City of Edmonton that offers emergency shelter during cold spells.  When I learned they were in need of volunteers, I offered to take a shift.  

Salwa, the volunteer coordinator at Al Rashid and I had a beautiful exchange about the heart of our respective faith traditions.  We agreed that Islam is one thing and how we as humans behave as Muslims is another.  And, similarly, Christianity, or the Jesus Way is one thing, and how we as humans behave as Christians is another.  We agreed that in both traditions, there are people who distort the beautiful and clear message of both of our traditions both of which call us to show love for each other.  Our faith traditions both teach us that it is not only for ourselves, but for, as one Sheikh puts it, "the uplifting of the human race. As believers, this is our job, to care for all of humanity."  That sounds familiar, especially during this time of Christmas when we pray for hope, peace, joy, and love in our broken world.  It is in this shared spirit that Al Rashid opened up its doors to our under-housed neighbours during the recent cold spell that reached down to -30 degrees.   READ MORE.

For previous blog posts

Thank you for all your orders!  Camp Valaqua Swag was a great success! 
You may have found some of these in your own Christmas stocking.
Watch for another pop-up store -- sometime in the future. 
And remember, Camp Valaqua is again open for rentals.
Contact Jeff   (manager@campvalaqua.com)
Camp has had some groups booking the whole camp, as in previous years, with strict Covid protocols. There are other spaces (the white house, the brown house, the yurts) that are available for rentals -- a perfect family getaway? Call (403) 637-2510) or email for details. 
90 MInutes of Nature -- Bird Tracks

We are grateful that Jon shows us details from Camp Valaqua that we might never see ourselves.  
Click for video.  And while you're there, watch other videos you may have missed.
CLICK for MC Canada Gathering 2022 Updates


 

 

Mennonite Church Canada 2021 annual report to come 

The annual report from Mennonite Church Canada will be available through CommonWord on Jan. 15, 2021. 

Greentech environmental offers discounted air purifiers to Mennonite Church Canada congregations 

Contact your regional church communicator for a 25% coupon code to purchase an air purifier from Greentech environmental. These portable air purifiers reduce airborn pollutants and pathogens. 
 

A thank you to donors, from Executive Minister Doug Klassen  

A big thank you to those who made giving to Mennonite Church Canada programs and ministries a priority over the past year. Despite continued uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ever-increasing climate disasters, our program directors, staff and affiliated partners remain dedicated to their areas of service and resourcing and grateful for the financial support shown across our nationwide community of faith. God’s blessing of grace and peace be with you. 

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, including sermons by Tim, Will, and Brenda, are available HERE. 

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


Conflict at Wet’suwet’en continues 

Please pray for Wet'suwet'en water protectors who are currently asserting their sovereignty in the face of yet another large-scale mobilization of militarized police. On Jan. 4, Wet'suwet'en water protectors executed a nonviolent, strategic retreat to avoid arrest and violence at the hands of dozens of militarized RCMP. Take action by following Gidimt'en Checkpoint on social media and watching a recent Mennonite Church Canada webinar about solidarity with Wet'suwet'en. 


Creator’s Call in a Climate Emergency: a Mennonite Church Canada community learning series 

Thursdays at 7 p.m. (CST), Jan. 20 to March 17, 2022 

Register: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/community-learning-series 

Join Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations and the Sustainability Leadership Group for a spirited eight-week conversation exploring the two paths of decarbonization and decolonization. Participants discuss Seth Klein’s A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency (2020) and listen to Indigenous activists and climate action leaders in real-time conversation. 




The Cost of Colonialism / The Joy of Jubilee weekend retreat 


Feb. 11-13, 2022, at Star of the North Retreat Centre, St. Albert, Alta. (in person and online) 

Register: https://www.starofthenorth.ca/jubilee 

How does Canada as a settler colonial society shape Christian understanding and vocation? If dispossession is the fundamental breach of the Indigenous-settler relationship, what biblical resources can address that? Join Steve Heinrichs, director of Indigenous-Settler Relations, in a weekend retreat to discuss these important questions. 


A big thank you from ISR director Steve Heinrichs 

Twenty-twenty-one was a challenging year for Indigenous-Settler Relations. We grappled with the discovery of thousands of unmarked graves found at Indian Residential School sites. We witnessed the State’s repeated assault on land defenders in unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. In the midst of great sorrow and violence, we celebrated the legislative passing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, a remarkable achievement accomplished by the linking of arms between Indigenous peoples, faith communities, activists and federal government officials. I want to express my sincere thanks to our Mennonite Church family, for supporting the work of reconciliation and reparations. It isn’t easy—trying to “carry each other’s burdens” —but we are doing our part and helping make a difference. Thank you for your persistent prayers, the local learning and advocacy that you do and for your financial support. I lift my hands and heart to you! 

International Witness


New Witness workers on their way to Ethiopia this January 


Join in praise and prayer with Witness workers Werner and Joanne De Jong as they make their way to Ethiopia to serve with the Meserete Kristos Seminary on January 16, 2022.  After waiting the fall semester for visas, they are finally able to travel. Learn more about their assignment here: https://www.mennonitechurch.ca/article/11996-mennonite-church-canada-welcomes-new-witness-workers-in-ethiopia 




Vaccines finally available in northeast Thailand 

After months of waiting, vaccines are now readily available in the Issan northeast area of Thailand where Witness workers Tom and Christine Poovong live and serve. Praise God that people can get this help as the Omicron variant catches hold in the area.   

Pray for training of church leaders in Angola 

As part of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, leaders of the Mennonite Church of Angola have asked for prayer for the church's leadership training school which prepares pastors and other church workers for ministry. Pray for encouragement for participants and that they will be blessings to the church and to their communities. 

RJC Tournament of Memories (Basketball & Hockey), January 7 & 8, 2022 - Alumni & friends of RJC are invited to our annual basketball & hockey tournament. Basketball will take place on Friday, January 7 and Saturday, January 8. Those interested in basketball should register by Dec. 28 by email to Denelda Fast (deneldafast@hotmail.com). Hockey will take place only on Saturday, January 8. Those interested in hockey are encouraged to contact Paul Ayres (paul.ayres@hotmail.com). Questions for the school can be directed to (306) 232-4222. 

RJC Open House & Friday Night Live - January 21, 2022 - Prospective students and families are invited to the RJC campus for a look into life as a student at RJC. There will be campus tours and RJC's annual Friday Night Live student coffee-house. Register by email to admissions@rjc.sk.ca or call (306) 232-4222. 

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Borrow a new book for the new year! 

All who affiliate with a MCA congregation are automatically members at CommonWord! Simply link your account to your current congregation – and receive free shipping on loan items, both ways. 






Resources for the New Year 

  • Resources from Jan 6 to Ash Wednesday, including thematic materials on Jesus’ early ministry - www.commonword.ca/go/2212  

  • Beyond epiphany - thematic resources for special occasions and lectionary-based worship materials for the church seasons – www.commonword.ca/go/calendars  



Winter Common Read 

 

  • Our CommonRead title for January – March.   

  • Read it individually or as a small group.  Purchase 5 or more copies to receive 20% off. 

  • Buy or borrow the book – www.commonword.ca/go/2628  

 



2022 Lenten Guided Prayer Experience 

A contemplative prayer resource for individuals, small groups and congregations during Lent.  Prepared by the Mennonite Spiritual Directors of Eastern Canada. For more information and to register – www.commonword.ca/go/2221 


AMBS Faith Formation Conference 

  • Pastors and Leaders annual conference 





 

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Email communications@mcab.ca
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