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The MCA Communiqué
News & Notes for our Alberta family
December 9, 2020

In this issue

E3 Prayer -- Invitation to Prayer
A Menno Minute
The MCA Advent Calendar
One Good Thing

AND MORE from our wider faith communities
including an update from Mennonite Church CanadaInternational Witness and Indigenous Relations
(If this newsletter does not format properly as an email, please click the link above to view in your browser)
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E3 = MCA 
Year 1  Christ in life


Our E3 Prayer

Oh God, as the Christmas decorations appear around me, as we look forward to Third Advent,
I ask you help me see the true joy found only in you.

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.
Our commitment to
Daily Communal Prayer continues.

New participants are always welcome! 













Rob Tiessen, Foothills Mennonite Church

A Menno Minute

More Questions than Answers

Romans 16:25b-26

…according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages  but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith

Advent is all about waiting for the revelation of God’s mystery. It’s hard to wait for the Messiah; for Jesus to be born.  As children it was difficult to wait until Christmas to find out what gifts we might get under the tree.  But now life is difficult as we wait for other things. Now we wait eagerly for news of vaccines.  What does it mean that the United Kingdom has approved a vaccine already? Is that good news for other countries? Or will Canada be left behind in the vaccine race? 

Every day I doom scroll the Public Health Agency of Canada’s COVID statistics page. What is Canada’s active infection rate? What is Alberta’s? Why does our province have the second highest active infection rate in Canada?  And why does Alberta seem to be gaining on Manitoba? I often listen to Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer at her daily news conferences at 3:30 p.m. Sometimes I listen to the Premier or the Prime Minister at their respective news conferences. I am trying to figure out where we are at. Where we are going? What revelation is coming? 

We sometimes fly to Ontario to visit family for Christmas. That won’t happen this year.  When we stay in Alberta, we have friends over or visit friends in their homes.That won’t happen this year.  Maybe we will be able to go on walks with friends for Christmas? Help us learn to wait for an appropriate time to visit family and friends again. 

Our church decided to cancel in person services again to limit the possibility of transmitting COVID-19. It was the right thing to do.  But it was also the wrong thing to do.  Yes we have recordings of church services. We have Zoom.  But we also have Zoom fatigue. There will be no in person service for Christmas eve. What does Christmas mean without an in person service? Lord how much longer do we need to wait for normal face to face interaction again? 

Lord help us to wait for the revelation of your mystery. And help us to remember that nothing will be impossible with God

MCA has put together an online Advent Calendar! Starting December 1, the virtual “doors” open each day to reveal Advent thoughts, scriptures, and activities for individuals, couples, and families along the theme of
Encountering, Embracing, Embodying Christ…in Life.

How might we prepare to “encounter” anew Christ’s presence this Christmas?
One Good Thing. Just One Good Thing. 
Ang Bennett, Bergthal Mennonite



I am continually appreciative of technology. With it my spouse is able to work from home and gets to spend lunch hours with us, which is the perfect time for a few stories. We are able to video chat with friends near and far. It makes these days of isolation a little less isolated. 
 

Rental options and inquiries at www.campvalaqua.com/rentals

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.
We're renting individual units (members of the same household) -- just 1 hour NW of Calgary. Starting at $50/night.
Get access to:
- Outdoor firepits
- Walking trails
- Cross country skis and trails (weather permitting)
- BBQ
And of course, NATURE'S BEAUTY ❄️

Can you help the Calgary Chin Church move into their new building by Christmas?

This summer the Calgary Chin Christian Church purchased their first building. They are eager to move in, but need an additional $36,000 to complete the renovations. In light of the discussion at MCA’s November 7 check-in, the MCA Executive has decided to commit $18,000 from reserves to help with this effort. We invite congregations and individuals to also contribute, with the goal of doubling this amount so that the move can take place. One congregation has already committed $5000, meaning we are well underway to meeting this goal. 

Please visit mcab.ca/giving to donate or mail to Box 1839, Pincher Creek, AB   T0K 1W0  specifying your gift to help with the Chin Church renovations. 


The Voices Together dedication launch celebration will take place via Zoom. It will include a time to worship with new songs and resources, hear stories, and offer blessings for Voices Together and all who receive it. After this time of worship there will be an overview of the process of creating Voices Together and a time for questions with committee members. This event is free but registration is required to receive the Zoom link. Click on the photo to register.

 

RJC Christmas Program: There Is Still Hope - This online event will be held on Thursday, December 17, 7:30pm (SK CST) at https://rjc.sk.ca/christmas. The program will feature music, art, and other items of hope and celebration by RJC students and staff.

International Witness

 


Advent meet-and-greet with Bethlehem Bible College 

Join a live online gathering to hear from representatives of the West Bank’s Bethlehem Bible College (BBC). Tuesday morning, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. EDT. The one-hour gathering  is with BBC president Jack Sara and community outreach director Shireen Awaad Hilal. A Q&R will follow with hosts Jeanette Hanson, director of International Witness, and Doug Klassen, executive minister of Mennonite Church Canada. The event is sponsored by the Mennonite Church Canada Palestine-Israel Network in collaboration with International Witness. Registration is free: write to mcmfriendsofpalestine@gmail.com for the Zoom link. 

 

AIMM appoints new executive coordinators: John Fumana and Bruce Yoder 

John Fumana of Democratic Republic of Congo, and Bruce Yoder of Listowel Mennonite Church in Ont. will work as a team to give leadership to this Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. Outgoing executive coordinator Former executive coorindator Rod Hollinger-Janzen says, "The complementary skill sets of Bruce Yoder and John Fumana, together with their shared passion for Christian mission... position AIMM well for an exciting future." Read the press release here.  

 

Restorative circles in Chuncheon well received by schools and teachers 

Praise God for response to recent restorative circle processes led by Witness worker Bock Ki Kim in South Korea. Schools have been asking trainers from the Chuncheon Community Peace Center for training in communication and conflict transformation. One teacher responded, “I realize that I haven’t been really listening to my students. Today they expressed themselves so well.” Pray that God will use this training to bring peace to schools and homes in Chuncheon. 

Indigenous Settler Relations   

Federal government tables Declaration legislation 

On Dec. 3, the Government of Canada tabled Bill C-15, An Act Respecting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “It is a good day!” said Chief Wilton Littlechild, former commissioner of the TRC. If Bill C-15 reaches Royal Assent, it will affirm the Declaration’s application in Canadian law and provide a framework to align law and policy with the standards and rights affirmed in the declaration. To read the full text of the legislation, see Bill C-15. To read the Declaration Coalition’s statement of support, and resources for further learning, see www.declarationcoalition.com

UPDATED: Mennonite Church Canada congregations donate $40,000 to Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 relief fund     

Since the spring, our nationwide community of faith we has raised over $40,000 for 
MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund to help our sister churches around the world who struggle to meet basic needs due to pandemic-response measures in their countries.  Of this total, members of Mennonite Church Alberta have contributed approximately $12,000.  
We reached 80 per cent of our goal to match Mennonite Church Canada’s initial donation of $50,000 in the spring. Thanks to everyone for helping to build up our global body of believers. 













 

‘For God all things are possible’: Mennonite Church Colombia continues its witness despite great risk 

In late October, Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia issued a public statement declaring that there have been 60 massacres (killings of five people or more) so far in Colombia in 2020. Victims include young people and small farmers, as well as 200 civic leaders. The violence stems from a decades-long, multi-layered conflict between guerilla, paramilitary and drug cartel groups who fight for control of the country’s land for their own interests. Read full story here.

Together in Worship launches in collaboration with CommonWord 

Together in Worship, at www.togetherinworship.net, is an online, curated collection of free and downloadable Anabaptist worship resources. It’s also a place where contributors can submit their own resources to be shared by the wider Anabaptist and ecumenical community. Read full story here.    Link also under Congregational Resources on the MCA website 

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CommonWord remains open during increased COVID-19 restrictions 

Staff remain available for congregational resourcing questions and are here to help connect you with Anabaptist and related materials, Monday-Friday, 9-5 Central.  Browse our website (www.commonword.ca) to find thousands of free digital resources or to place your online retail or loan order.  Or contact us (204-594-0527; info@commonword.ca) for assistance.  If you’re in the Winnipeg area, although the doors to Marpeck Commons are now locked, we are glad to arrange for curbside pickup.  We don’t want you to go without your fair-trade coffee, other local specialty foods or a good book to read! 

Christmas Gift Ideas 





 

  • Stocking stuffers: From chocolate to activity books, recommended reads to Sunday School ideas, there’s a gift for almost everyone. Curbside pick-up available to local residents.  https://www.commonword.ca/Browse/9352 
  • Gift cards: A flexible gift for your avid reader, student and loved one. Gift cards can be redeemed in-store or remotely by phone and used toward any purchase – merchandise, food, book or textbook.  https://www.commonword.ca/Browse/9372 

Christmas Resources

Resources for Christmas Eve, Day and Season - www.commonword.ca/go/2191 


Together in Worship has launched 

Visit www.togetherinworship.net for hundreds of free Anabaptist digital worship materials. A partnership with CommonWord, Together in Worship curates words, music, other artistic expressions and teaching resources to support Christian worship. Also a platform for individuals and communities to create and contribute resources.  Bookmark it for the next time you’re planning worship! 

Voices Together products 

Congregations who pre-ordered the Voices Together hymnal and related products from MennoMedia will receive them soon! Individual copies of the pew edition of the hymnal, the Worship Leader’s edition, accompaniment edition, and audio recordings are available to order from CommonWord. T-shirts, masks and tote bags are also available to pre-order.  (We do not expect these to arrive in time for Christmas). www.commonword.ca/go/2199

Worship calendar 

Christmas Season – www.commonword.ca/go/2191 

Christmas Eve – www.commonword.ca/go/2192 

Christmas Day – www.commonword.ca/go/2193 

Epiphany Season – www.commonword.ca/go/2212 

Lent Season – www.commonword.ca/go/2213 

Free Book 

The Government of Canada has introduced legislation (Bill C-15) to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  To educate and raise support Mennonite Church Canada is offering this study for free - https://www.commonword.ca/ResourceView/82/18343 

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

December 17, 7:30 p.m. (SK CST)  RJC Christmas Online "There is still Hope"
March 20/21, 2021                           Annual Delegate Sessions -- via ZOOM
     
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